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

  • Reising serves those who serve

    Harvard Law School student Jesse Reising will extend the Warrior-Scholar Project to Harvard. The Warrior-Scholar Project is a two-week “academic boot camp” to help veterans transition from the military to college.

  • A welcome to the military

    In an annual fall tradition, Harvard rolls out the welcome mat for its new students and fellows who are veterans or who are still in the service.

  • Back to basics

    Military training returns to Harvard, as ROTC cadets participate in their first on-campus workouts in 41 years.

  • Smart suit improves physical endurance

    Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering announced that it has received a $2.6 million contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop a smart suit that helps improve physical endurance for soldiers in the field.

  • Signs of progress against PTSD

    A decade after the start of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, studies have shown that the incidence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among troops is surprisingly low, and a Harvard researcher credits the drop, in part, to new efforts by the Army to prevent PTSD, and to ensure that those who develop the disorder receive the best treatment available.

  • Stepping up

    A day before graduating, four Harvard seniors receive their military commissions.

  • Renewing Harvard-Army ties

    In a ceremony March 28 at Hilles Hall, Harvard University resumed a connection with the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) that started in 1916.

  • Blue, gray, and Crimson

    Before the Civil War, Harvard was a microcosm of the complex loyalties and opinions that marked the United States. During the war, it lost more than 200 of its sons.

  • Harvard formally recognizes Army SROTC

    Harvard University announced March 21 that it has signed an agreement with the United States Army to re-establish a formal on-campus relationship with the Army Senior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (SROTC).

  • The return of ROTC

    Among the top Harvard stories of 2011 was the return of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) to campus after an absence of 40 years. In March, the University signed an agreement with the Navy. By September, offices had opened in Hilles Hall for the Naval ROTC’s Old Ironsides Battalion.

  • Harvard goes to war

    Harvard University’s expansive role in World War II, from research to recruits, helped the Allies to triumph.

  • To honor the living and the dead

    A ceremony on 11/11/11 at the Memorial Church will dedicate a tablet honoring Harvard’s 17 Medal of Honor recipients and also will celebrate the return of an ROTC presence to campus.

  • A Harvard perspective on military service

    Harvard’s Office of Career Services adds to its shelves of guides a pamphlet on military service.

  • New approach to traumatic brain injuries

    Bioengineers at Harvard have, for the first time, explained how the blast of an exploding bomb can translate into subtly disastrous injuries in the nerve cells and blood vessels of the brain.

  • Officers of the day

    On the eve of Commencement, three Harvard students become military officers during the annual ROTC commissioning ceremony.

  • Harvard in the military

    Recent graduates commissioned as officers through ROTC are training, traveling, and plunging into combat.

  • Signing ceremony welcomes ROTC

    After a 40-year hiatus, Harvard University will again host a Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program on campus, according to an agreement signed Friday (March 4) by President Drew Faust and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, J.D. ’76.

  • Harvard welcomes back ROTC

    Harvard President Drew Faust and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus today (March 4) signed an agreement that will re-establish the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) formal presence on campus for the first time in nearly 40 years.

  • From Ivy to military

    ROTC commissioning ceremony honors students for their “honor, courage, respect, and selfless service.”

  • Over there, over here

    On the Harvard campus, as many as 150 students have an untraditional academic past, as present or former members of the U.S. military, many of whom have had multiple combat tours.

  • Working to lift the fog of war

    Thousands of miles from his Harvard lab, Kevin Kit Parker is lugging a gun and his engineer’s sensibilities through the mountains south of Kabul, in Afghanistan’s Wardak and Logar Provinces.