Harvard and the Military

Harvard has played a significant role in America’s military traditions since the founding days of the nation, and continues its historical and ongoing commitment to military and public service, as well as its academic contributions in areas like technology, defense, and diplomacy.

All from this series

  • The long Crimson line

    For almost 250 years, the U.S. military and Harvard have shared a deeply interwoven history. A Harvard University Archives exhibition at Pusey Library demonstrates the scope of this relationship.

  • Centuries of honor and prestige

    A new library exhibit will explore the 350-year-old relationship between the U.S. military and Harvard University.

  • Harvard ROTC: Soldiers and Scholars

    Photos from Harvard ROTC’s 100th birthday show the intersection of service and academics through time.

  • Advice for the next president

    Chuck Hagel, former U.S. secretary of defense and two-term senator from Nebraska, talks about Syria, the urgency of our relations with Russia, and the damage the 2016 election is doing to U.S. standing in the world.

  • U.S. needs upgrade against cyber threats, commander says

    The Kennedy School hosted Adm.Michael Rogers for a talk on both state and lone-actor cyber threats.

  • From military policy to reality

    Over summer, a Harvard ROTC cadet traded a Pentagon office for Slovak training exercises.

  • Inspired to serve, and lead

    Twelve Harvard seniors were formally recognized as officers in the armed forces at the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps commissioning ceremony.

  • The military-humanities connection

    Recent graduates and students discuss how a revived ROTC program enriched their Harvard College experience and taught them more than they could have imagined.

  • A focus on veterans

    Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership hosted a day of service for students to give back to veterans in the community.

  • Air Force ROTC returns to Harvard

    Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James and Harvard President Drew Faust signed an agreement Friday to bring the Air Force ROTC program officially to campus.

  • Higher education and the military

    U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus reflected on the longstanding relationship between Harvard and the Navy during an address to mark the fifth anniversary of the Navy ROTC program’s return to campus.

  • To speak, and move others to act

    Language, literature, and the liberal arts are key disciplines in forming leaders, Harvard President Drew Faust said during a speech at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

  • Harvard honors its military past with tour

    The inaugural Official Harvard Military History Tours in November brought together 50 veterans who toured the many landmarks significant to Harvard’s distinguished military past.

  • Using law to protect veterans

    Fifteen active-duty or veteran soldiers have matriculated at Harvard Law School this year. Among them is Anne Stark, who commanded a company that was responsible for the daily operations of a 500-soldier battalion.

  • Honorable guests

    Memorial Church hosted a private ceremony for more than half of the living recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor.

  • Graduating to a life in service

    Four Harvard seniors received their military assignments on Wednesday before family and friends during the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps commissioning ceremony in Tercentenary Theatre.

  • Dimensions of war, including peace

    A new Harvard-wide seminar program, slated for three years, takes on a constellation of interdisciplinary issues around violence and nonviolence.

  • Fresh start at the VA

    Robert McDonald, new U.S. secretary of veterans affairs, detailed initial progress in reforming the department, which has been scarred by revelations of mismanagement and lengthy, perhaps life-threatening, waits for veterans needing care.

  • HLS legal clinic lands victories for veterans

    Since its founding in 2012 by Clinical Professor of Law Daniel Nagin, more than 30 HLS students taking part in the Veterans Legal Clinic have represented more than 100 clients in the areas of federal and state veterans’ benefits, discharge upgrades, and estate planning.

  • The $3 million suit

    The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University has been awarded a first-phase, follow-on contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to further develop its Soft Exosuit ― a wearable robot — alternative versions of which could eventually help those with limited mobility as well.

  • ‘The choicest of their kind’

    A look back at Harvard’s role in World War I, from the men and women who entered as volunteers after the first shot was fired to the thousands of graduates and students who joined the fighting in the American phase of the conflict.

  • Academic boot camp

    Harvard President Drew Faust welcomed to campus the Warrior-Scholar Project, an academic boot camp for veterans thinking of applying to college, while Professor Harvey C. Mansfield Jr. introduced the students to the two works he considers seminal to understanding American politics.

  • Disarray at the VA

    In a question-and-answer session, Linda Bilmes, the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Senior Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School, discusses how to fix serious shortcomings in the management of Veterans Affairs.

  • In 1914, poised for war

    The Harvard and Radcliffe Classes of 1914 were the University’s final ones before world war. Their brilliant students became players on a stage of vanishing national innocence.

  • Moving on to the military

    A Tercentenary Theatre ceremony launches seven ROTC graduates as officers in Marines, Navy, and Air Force.

  • A case for veterans

    Harvard Law School students argued a case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, seeking to establish the rights of veterans who are redeployed and who also have benefits claims pending.

  • A welcome mat for veterans

    In what has become a Harvard tradition, President Drew Faust and guest Gen. Stanley McChrystal led a list of those welcoming new Harvard students who have military backgrounds.

  • On the water and in the Air Force

    All-American Crimson rower Courtney Diekema, a graduating senior, is hoping for a spot on the under-23 U.S. women’s crew and perhaps in the Olympics, even as she gets ready for duty as a lieutenant in Air Force intelligence.

  • Navy honors Faust with award

    The U.S. Department of the Navy has presented Harvard President Drew Faust with the Navy Distinguished Public Service Award, its highest civilian honor, for leading the move to formal recognition of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps on Harvard’s campus in 2011.

  • A military base, reborn

    Harvard design students imagine multiple futures for a longtime New England military base.