Letter to the Editor: ROTC Ban

Dear Editor,

While I agree with the majority of Ms. Luu’s article [ROTC Ban Not the Way to Address Safer Campus in Feb. 26 issue of The Foghorn], there were some statements made about ROTC and the military that were disconcerting.

Ms. Luu wrote that ROTC needs to hold its cadets to a higher standard. However, she fails to mention that it is because of those standards that Mr. Caskey was expelled from the program, effectively ending Mr. Caskey’s military career before it could even start. She also wrote that one of her main issues with the military is the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. However, the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy is not a product of the military.

It was enacted by Congress. The military has no choice but to follow it. Ms. Luu also wrote how, in her vision of an ideal world, our country would not need the military.

I believe that not having a military is possibly one of the worst ideas I have ever heard. The military serves multiple purposes, not just fighting wars.

When a disaster strikes, who races in when everyone else flees? The National Guard. Even if there is no war at the time, the military is utilized for humanitarian missions in various countries.
It is only in the military that humanitarian aid can be done on such a grand scale, and with such organization.

If the country were to suddenly stop having a military, not only would we leave ourselves vulnerable to the rest of the world, but the opportunities to serve one’s country, gain valuable leadership skills and make a difference in one’s life will cease to exist. While many people can argue that those same things can be done in other programs, such as Teach for America, only the military can guarantee a stable job.

USF should not even consider banning ROTC. As Ms. Luu wrote, “These alleged rapes are the result of one person’s choices and behaviors, and should not be blamed or linked to ROTC.”
Why punish the other cadets who hold themselves to a higher standard than Mr. Caskey? Where is the justice in that? If USF bans ROTC, it will not only fail to train “compassionate, educated, social – justice minded leaders,” but will also not give the cadets the opportunity to show the rest of the student body what the program is really about. That is a form of censorship.
It is unfortunate that people are suggesting banning ROTC from USF. The 94 cadets who receive scholarships from ROTC are contracted, meaning they will spend eight years minimum upon graduation from USF in the military.

Those eight years do not include time spent in specialized schools for the Army. By even hinting at banning ROTC, USF is suggesting to those cadets that their personal sacrifice to their country and to their fellow students is worth nothing because of the actions of a single cadet.

I hope that the student body seriously reconsiders the idea of banning ROTC. This community should not allow the actions of a single person to affect the futures of the current cadets.
Mr. Caskey has already victimized four women. By making the banning of ROTC an option, USF will allow him to victimize others: the ROTC cadets.

-Nicole-Faith Alipio

Nicole-Faith Alipio is a freshman politics major and member of Air Force ROTC


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