JWG (jwg) wrote,

Military Science at MIT

fj wrote about Veteran's day (today) which caused me to reflect on my Military career if you can call it that.

There were a number of universities, sometimes called Land Grantschools that because they were built on land given by the federal government were obligated to have everyone take ROTC. MIT was one of those and you were supposed to do it for two years and then the second two years were optional and only those led into being a reservist.

I was an MIT student starting in the fall of 1956 and had to take ROTC. I just checked my transcript. I was quite surprised to actually be able to find it. I got a C in MS11 (Military Science) first term and a B in MS12 for the second term. I wasn't too good at polishing my shoes or brass buttons. I think I marched OK and knew how to strip a M1 rifle. It was hard to keep awake in the Military History lecture at 9 am and I didn't do well on the exam. Karl Von Clausewitz wasn't a very interesting author.

This User pic is me in my uniform.

I was excused from MS21 (1st term 2nd year) because my eyesight was not good enough. I'd gone to the MIT infirmiry to try to get out for flat feet because I heard that was a valid excuse. The doctor said "well, you don't have flat feet, but what about your eyes?" A quick test and I was declared unfit. Hurrah!

The rules were changed in about 1960 to not require ROTC and MIT dropped the requirement immediately. The military faculty was quite happy since they didn't really relish teaching people who didn't care.

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