Delivering the 2015 Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Distinguished Lecture at Harvard Law School on Oct. 22, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus ’75 told attendees that “one of my proudest moments as Secretary” was the reinstatement of the Reserve Officers Training Program on the Harvard campus in 2011.
In March of that year, Mabus and Harvard University president Drew Faust signed an agreement ending ROTC’s 40-year absence from the Harvard campus.
“When I was in the Navy more than 40 years ago, it was a very different country,” Mabus said. “I was stationed in Newport and it was hard to walk through Logan Airport without having somebody upbraid me for being in the military. But today, Americans have learned to separate the warrior from the war. You can have disagreements about the conflicts we may be in, but not over the people who are fighting them, who are willing to raise their hand.”
His speech provided a broad assessment of the 900,000-person, $170-billion Naval Department under his command as “the best force we’ve ever had.” He also said that the Navy is operating more ships, striving for less dependence on fossil fuels, and focusing on improving the lives of sailors and Marines and their families.