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retired list is to be detailed on active pay, except in the case of land-grant colleges, where no minimum number is prescribed. Retired officers receiving from the United States only their retired pay may be detailed to any school fulfilling the general requirements of the statute, regardless of the number or age of the pupils actually in attendance.
At the date of the last official report,—the end of the school year of 1912-'13,-officers on full pay were serving at 86 institutions; at four others entitled to army instructors the position was vacant for the time being; six schools had officers detailed on retired pay. All these 96 institutions received arms, equipments and ammunition in greater or less quantity. A total of 29,402 students was reported as receiving military instruction, of whom 929 were under fifteen years of age.
Over half of these institutions can unquestionably be rated as universities or colleges; about one-quarter can with equal certainty be set down as secondary schools. The others are more or less difficult to classify. Some, though ostensibly colleges, have such low entrance requirements and such elementary courses that their real place in the educational system seems very doubtful. On the other hand, certain secondary schools bave departments that may be considered junior colleges. In perhaps the majority of the doubtful cases there is a heterogeneous mixture of preparatory and collegiate students on the same campus and even in the same classes. It is accordingly difficult to draw any hard and fast line, but we may without material error consider 34 of these 96 as secondary schools, and 62, or not quite two-thirds, as colleges. These 62, however, have almost exactly five-sixths of the total number of students under military instruction,—24,500 in all, an average of about 400. The remaining 34 schools have 4902 pupils, an average of about 145,
Now the preparatory schools with very few exceptions are distinctively military academies; the pupils are always in uniform, the forms of administration and discipline are military throughout, and the daily routine is modelled more or less closely on that of West Point. Of the colleges, only six or eight are of this type, most of them very small. In the rest military training is incidental. Fifty of them are land-grant colleges, compelled to give this instruction in order to receive the federal appropriation, and in some the compliance with the law is merely perfunctory.
A mere outward imitation of the forms and customs of West Point is no evidence, however, of any great attainments in military science and art; and training that does not extend beyond ordinary drillground maneuvers, necessary as these are for the soldier, does not accomplish much of value. Probably there is not so much difference as would at first appear between the quality of the military training of the avowedly military school and that of the “civilian" institution. The former, too, is likely to be very small, rarely having as many as 200 pupils, often less than 100. Miami Military Institute (Ohio) and Peacock Military College (Texas), for example, report 53 students each; Missouri Academy has 60; three schools in California have from 74 to 98 each; Northwestern Military Academy (Illinois) has 84, and so on. Evidently the contribution of such schools toward either of the purposes previously referred to must be very limited. The "civilian” colleges, as a general rule, are much larger. There are exceptions, it is true. The University of Wyoming reports only 33 as actually under military instruction, and the University of Arizona only 70. Both of these, however, are young state universities, destined to grow enormously in the next few years, in both attendance and equipment. At the other end of the scale we find five institutions, each with more than 1100 enrolled in their student regiments—about 1400 on the average. Considering numbers alone, the influence of each of these would seem to be equal to that of eight average military schools, and since among these five are four of the best state universities and one high grade technical school, it is plain that the relative influence is actually much greater than is indicated by size alone.
For the better attainment of the first of the purposes mentioned earlier,—that of providing an adequate source of supply for officers of volunteers,—it would seem good policy to divert the aid now given, from the weakest-in numbers and curriculum of these schools, to those strongest in these respects. At present one lone officer is detailed to instruct the 1200 cadets of the Universities of Minnesota or California or Illinois, the same number assigned to each of some fifteen schools of less than 100 students. Size should not be the sole consideration, of course, for among the smaller institutions are some that are excellent in both the scholastic and the military departments, while some of the larger ones are inferior in both. But there cannot be an unlimited allowance of either men or money, and it would be well to sacrifice at least the microscopic preparatory schools for the additional benefit of the great universities.
It is sometimes thought that the essentially military schools deserve extra consideration on the ground that they are training officers for the regular army to a greater extent than the other colleges. This is true in certain cases, but by no means as a general rule. There are in the army at the present time more than 60 graduates of the Virginia Military Institute, St. John's College (Maryland) furnishes 25, and one or two others of the military schools are well represented; but some even of those classified by the war department as “distinguished” for military training have contributed only two or three. Most colleges of any consequence supply as many as that, and there are probably half a dozen offering no military training at all that have more graduates in the army than any one of the “distinguished military schools," with the one notable exception of the Virginia Military Institute.
It is well, moreover, that this should be the case. The distinctively military institutions are nearly all secondary schools, and of the colleges few are of satisfactory standing. It is an odd fact that these colleges, generally small and with inadequate resources, have almost uniformly undertaken that line of work which calls for the greatest expenditure and the most costly equipment. Nearly all are primarily engineering schools; some are exclusively so. The funds that might support a modest and worthy collegiate course can provide only the most meager facilities for laboratory and shop work. Probably this tendency is in part due to the attempt to imitate West Point in all respects, coupled with the curious delusion, almost everywhere prevalent, that West Point is an engineering school.
The standard universities and colleges afford a far better source of supply for our corps of army officers than do nine-tenths of the military schools. In no profession are the breadth of mind and discipline of the intellectual faculties derived from good education of more real and practical value than in the military service; and, it must unfortunately be added, in no profession is this value less clearly realized. Until recently the educational requirements for commission in the army have been astonishingly low; and though the standard is now a reasonable one, the opinion generally prevails that a little elementary military training is worth more than the best general education. It is a singular situation. In a country cheerfully neglectful of all preparation for war, and convinced that any man may instantly be converted into a soldier by the addition of a uniform and a gun, there is nevertheless an exaggerated respect for the military qualifications of the schoolboy who has learned the elements of infantry drill, and is, perhaps, competent to handle a platoon or company on the parade ground. He can of course make a better appearance during the first few days or weeks of service; in the long run, in the army as everywhere else, education tells.
All things considered, it will hardly be denied that the best returns on the government's investment are to be had from those large institutions of high grade which provide a certain amount of practical drill and instruction. Among these we find a good proportion of the leading universities,—Cornell, Wisconsin, and others,—and of the engineering schools of the highest type, such as Purdue and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Many more of the best, however, are missing from the list. Harvard, Michigan, Yale, Chicago, Columbia, and others of similar standing, have no military departments. But it is just these universities that offer the best field for the accomplishment of the second of our purposes, though not the first. Many students who, having no expectation of ever performing military service, are unwilling to give their time to drill and practical training, would be glad enough to learn something of army organization, of military history, and of the general principles of the art of war. Here is an opportunity hitherto neglected. Some of the officers now vegetating in obscure and minute preparatory schools could be far better employed in the large universities, even though no drill whatever were included in the course of instruction. Most of the universities would welcome this arrangement and give their hearty assistance, though unwilling to organize and maintain regular battalions or regiments. To bring this about would require legislation, it is true, for the present law provides that "no officer shall be detailed to or maintained at any of the educational institutions
where instruction and drill in military tactics
is not given.” It is not likely, however, that this law would be difficult of amendment if the war department should request the change.
Though much remains to be done, the progress in the army itself toward a clear appreciation of its relations with education has been most encouraging during the last few years. Sympathy from the outside often seems lacking, but in this, too, there is improvement. A careful study of the whole subject, not by a soldier but by an educational expert, would be a blessing both to the army and to the institutions concerned.
A UNITED AFRICA
(Born Nov. 4, 1910.)
May Heaven's richest blessings on thee fall.
Peace, white winged, may cover war's grim pall.
Within an ancient land of mystery,
With dust of ages dim, although it be,
As fabled Venus rose from out the sea.
The sea? Alas, it was a sea of blood,
Poured out by patriots in freedom's name.
Is Heaven's mystery and human shame.
We of the west can give no better cheer
To this new land, like ours in name and mould,
Our splendid strength, with less of greed for gold.”
What great achievements may the world now see!
In brain and brawn, who dares to call thee poor?
Than one that mingles Briton and the Boer!
No longer land of mystery and doubt,
Of myth and monster, dimly scanned afar,
-DEWEY AUSTIN COBB.