Navy, Columbia Univ. to ink pact for ROTC's return

By CHRIS HAWLEY | May 25, 2011 | 6:29 PM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — Columbia University says it will sign an agreement with the Navy allowing the ROTC back onto campus for the first time since the military training program was banned amid protests over the Vietnam War.

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus (MAY'-buhs) and university President Lee C. Bollinger will sign the agreement aboard the USS Iwo Jima as part of New York's annual Fleet Week on Thursday.

Student and faculty leaders voted in April to allow the Reserve Officers' Training Corps back after the U.S. military dropped its ban on openly gay soldiers.

Under the agreement, the Navy will have an office at the university's campus on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Recruits will train at the State University of New York's Maritime College in the Bronx.