The Military And Institutions Of Higher Education

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Throughout most of the wartime eras of the United States, there has been a symbiotic relation between the military and institutions of higher education. This relationship was precipitated by the Morrill Act of 1862, which provided grants of public land to states to establish institutions of higher learning to be operated in conjunction with state and federal governments (Renne, 1960). One particular focus of the land grant institutions was to focus on the teaching of military tactics. Considered an “afterthought stipulation” to the Morrill Act Legislation (Abrams, 1989, p. 16), this stipulation that required land grant institutions to offer military training as part of the curriculum would become pivotal in building the foundation for relationship between the military and institutes of higher education.
The military training provision of the Morrill Act was perhaps undergirded by the nation’s commitment to the notion of the citizen-soldier versus the need for a standing army. Congressman Justin Morrill, the author of the legislation, thought it best to give young men the experience of being soldiers in colleges run by civilians versus the United States possibly creating a large professional military establishment (Abrams, 1989). In addition to citizen-soldiers, the Morrill Act was aimed at educating the children of the working class and farmers (Renne, 1960).
World War II would begin to solidify the connection between universities and the military as it was
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