The V-12 Navy College Training Program was designed to supplement the force of commissioned officers in the United States Navy during World War II. Between July 1, 1943, and June 30, 1946, more than 125,000 participants were enrolled in 131 colleges and universities in the United States. Numerous participants attended classes, and lectures at the respective colleges and earned completion degrees for their studies. Some even returned from their naval obligations to earn a degree from the colleges where they were previously stationed.
The V-12 program's goal was to produce officers, unlike the Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP), which sought to turn out more than 200,000 technically trained personnel in such fields as engineering, foreign languages, and medicine. Running from 1942 to 1944, the ASTP recruits were expected but not required to become officers at the end of their training.
The purpose of the V-12 program was to generate a large number of officers for both the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps to meet the demands of World War II, far beyond that turned out annually by the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis and standing U.S. Naval Reserve Midshipmen's School to that point. Once enrollees completed their V-12 subsidized Bachelor's degree programs, their next step toward obtaining a commission depended on service branch:
- Navy officer candidates were required to complete the V-7 United States Naval Reserve Midshipmen's School program. It was a short course of eight months. The first month was spent at Indoctrination School, a "Boot Camp" for Officer Candidates that had Marine Corps drill instructors. Pre-Midshipmen's School was a preparatory four-month course teaching military skills like seamanship, navigation, ordnance, and how to behave like an officer. Midshipmen's School itself taught academic skills and was 3 months long. Graduates were commissioned as ensigns in the U.S. Naval Reserve and the majority entered into active duty with the U.S. fleet.
- Marine Corps candidates reported directly to boot camp and were later enrolled in a three-month Officer Candidate Course. Once complete, participants were commissioned as second lieutenants in the Corps.
When the United States entered the Second World War in the early 1940s, American colleges and universities suffered huge enrollment declines because men (citation needed] and at prime draft age) who would have normally gone into college (or would have remained enrolled until their degreed course of study was completed) were either drafted, volunteered their enlistment into service; or, were preemptively diverted from their university studies into military enlistment/officer commissioning exempt technical civilian jobs in war-related industries. As a result, some colleges worried they would have to close their doors, essentially for the duration of the conflict. Helping offset this, the federal government backed U.S. Navy run V-12 Program paid tuition to participating colleges and universities for college courses that were taught to qualified candidates. Those eligible included naval enlisted personnel who were recommended by their commanding officers, Navy and Marine Corps ROTC members, and high school seniors who passed a qualifying exam. After the V-12 Program was established on July 1, 1943, public and private college enrollment increased by 100,000 participants, helping reverse the sharp wartime downward trend.[
Depending on the V-12 enrollees' past college curriculum, they were enrolled in three school terms, or semesters, which lasted four months each. Students were paid $50 per month, required to wear service uniforms, and engaged in rigorous physical training.
Captain Arthur S. Adams, from the Training Division of the Bureau of Naval Personnel, was the officer-in-charge of the V-12 program. Richard Barrett Lowe, future Governor of Guam and American Samoa, was one of its early commanding officers.
|“||Gentlemen, we are about to embark on an education program that will have important effects on American colleges, on the Navy, and, most important of all, on the lives of thousands of this nation's finest young men. We must educate and train these men well so that they may serve their country with distinction, both in war and in peace. Vice Admiral Randall Jacobs, May 14, 1943||”|
The primary purpose of the program was to "give prospective Naval officers the benefits of a college education in those areas most needed by the Navy." The Navy did not want to interrupt the "normal pattern of college life," but instead, the goal was for the participants to complete a degree in their field of study; while supplementing their course work with Navy classes, for which the colleges awarded regular academic credits.
The Navy's plan was to contract not only classroom, mess hall, and dormitory space for a "stipulated amount of instruction," but also plans were made to make use of each campus' instructors and administration; a much needed infrastructure that was already in place. The students were expected to "have the benefits of faculty counseling, of extracurricular activities -- in short, the best undergraduate education the colleges can offer."
Vice Admiral Randall Jacobs, USN, the Chief of Naval Personnel, announced plans for the joint venture between the Navy and the colleges and universities during a national conference which was held at Columbia University on May 14 and 15, 1943. Administrators from 131 colleges and universities under contract with the Navy attended the conference along with Naval officers from the Bureau, who were designated as the administrators of the V-12 Program.
The colleges and universities were "expected to keep academic standards high" and were ultimately placed in charge of the implementation, which was accomplished in six months. Captain Adams stated that the Navy had no intent of "taking over the colleges," but instead, the Navy wanted to take "full advantage" of each institution's academic resources and to make use of the experience and knowledge of the college administrators. This included all details of the program such as the length of the college day, scheduling of exercises, meals, recreation, textbooks, and class time.
The V-12 program while economically and functionally beneficial to undergraduate colleges and universities in maintaining quasi-normal educative functionality during a general mobilization of all manpower for the war; also met and exceeded critical needs of the military.
The numbers of officers needed at sea; and, in the many and multiple theaters of the conflict, given the global scope of the war, were not only beyond the capacity of the services' officer academies, the requirement was well beyond the capacity of the uniformed services' officer corps itself, entirely. Enlisting (by contract) colleges and universities to undertake part of the officer candidate education mission, freed the Navy & War department's officer corps to concentrate principally upon the prosecution of the war; from the very beginning of the conflict. And to not have to divert from the outset of the war, all their energies to the building up of a global uniformed officer corps to command the forces.
In addition World War II was an unprecedented technical challenge for all the armies/navies who fought in it. The World War II US Navy's need for college trained officers would have demanded such a program to create in the cadre of officers, men who possessed the technical qualifications demanded for the specialized scientific, organizational, and management tasks performed in the waging of a modern war.
Midshipman Schools (V-7 Midshipman Program)
- George Allen, football coach (Alma College & Marquette University)
- Howard Baker, U.S. Senator from Tennessee (University of the South & Tulane University)
- Pat M. Baskin, judge and city council member in Midland, Texas (University of Texas)
- Angelo Bertelli, Notre Dame football star and Heisman Trophy Winner
- John Robert Beyster, founder, SAIC, Foundation for Enterprise Development, and Beyster Institute
- Ray Bishop, Los Angeles Pierce College football coach
- Harry Bonk, played college football as a fullback for the University of Maryland from 1945 to 1948, and Dartmouth College and Bucknell University in 1944
- Frederick C. Branch, first African American United States Marine Corps officer (Purdue University)
- M. Scott Carpenter, Project Mercury astronaut (Colorado College and Saint Mary's College of California).
- Earl H. Carroll, United States federal judge in senior status, for the United States District Court for the District of Arizona
- Johnny Carson, television personality (Millsaps College)
- Warren Christopher, 63rd U.S. Secretary of State (University of Redlands)
- Louis J. Cioffi, TV Newsman
- Henry S. Coleman (1926–2006), acting dean of Columbia College, Columbia University who was held hostage during the Columbia University protests of 1968.
- Jackie Cooper, actor from Los Angeles, California, attained rank of Captain
- Roger Corman, filmmaker from Los Angeles, California, (Stanford University)
- John Piña Craven, helped pioneer the use of Bayesian search techniques to locate objects lost at sea
- Bill Daley, All-American fullback who played for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers from 1940–1942 and the University of Michigan Wolverines in 1943
- Robert V. Daniels, American historian and educator specializing in the history of the Soviet Union
- Alvin Dark, Major League Baseball Player and Manager, (LSU & University of Louisiana-Lafayette)
- Jeremiah A. Denton, Jr., U.S. Senator, U.S. Navy Rear Admiral, Naval Aviator, Vietnam POW
- Alfred J. Eggers, NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics), NASA
- Bump Elliott, American football player, coach, and college athletics administrator, played halfback at Purdue University (1943–1944) and the University of Michigan (1946–1947)
- Daniel J. Evans, Senator, Governor
- Alfred Leo Fenaughty, CEO (Information International, Inc.), Co-founder and Chairman of the Board (Yandex, Inc.)
- Jim Fitzgerald, businessman and philanthropist (University of Notre Dame)
- Aloysius C. Galvin, American Jesuit priest, teacher, administrator, President of the University of Scranton (1965–1970)
- Warren Giese, South Carolina legislator and football coach
- Bernard M. Gordon, inventor and philanthropist.
- Samuel Gravely, first African-American Admiral (UCLA & Columbia University)
- Wyndol Gray, American professional basketball player in the 1940s
- Peter Hackes, TV Newsman, White House Correspondent
- John Woodland Hastings, leader in the field of photobiology, especially bioluminescence, and one of the founders of the field of circadian biology
- Wilmot N. Hess, physicist, NASA Apollo moon missions, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) hurricane research and oil spill cleanup
- Bruce Hilkene, captain and starting left tackle of the undefeated 1947 Michigan Wolverines football team
- Elroy Hirsch, LA Rams Football Great
- Robert F. Kennedy, U.S. Attorney General, U.S. Senator (Bates College & Harvard University)
- E. Henry Knoche, deputy director of the CIA, from 1976 to 1977, and acting Director of Central Intelligence in 1977
- Bowie Kuhn, Baseball Commissioner (Franklin & Marshall College & Princeton University)
- Melvin Laird, Secretary of Defense
- John Black Lee, architect in New Canaan, Connecticut
- Jack Lemmon, actor (Harvard University)
- Charles McC. Mathias, Jr., Senator
- Norman Mead Maxon, Community Developer and Architect for Green Valley Arizona, Streamwood and Trout Valley, Illinois
- James McClure, Senator
- Sam Mele, (right fielder, manager, coach and scout in Major League Baseball, led the Minnesota Twins to their first American League championship in 1965
- Wayne E. Meyer, regarded as the "Father of Aegis" for his service as the Aegis Weapon System Manager, founding project manager of the Aegis Shipbuilding Project Office
- William Middendorf II, Ambassador, Secretary of the Navy
- Frank N. Mitchell, Marine First Lieutenant who posthumously received the United States' highest military decoration – the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during the Korean War
- Dade William Moeller, American health physicist, radiation and environmental protection scientist
- Daniel Patrick Moynihan, U.S. Senator from New York (Tufts University)
- Fred Negus, played college football for University of Wisconsin and University of Michigan and professional in the All-America Football Conference and the National Football League
- Paul Newman, actor, entered the program at Ohio University but had to drop out because of color blindness
- David "Sam" Peckinpah, film director (University of Louisiana-Lafayette)
- John A. Peoples, Jr., College President (1967-1984) Jackson State University (Jackson State University) and (University of Chicago)
- Sidney Phillips, author, physician, U.S. Marine
- William Dale Phillips, chemist, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopist, federal science policy advisor and member of the National Academy of Sciences
- Robert C. Pierpoint, TV Newsman, White House Correspondent
- Victor Prather, American flight surgeon famous for taking part in "Project RAM", a government project to develop the space suit
- John Prchlik, NFL Player – Detroit Lions
- Al Rosen, Major League Baseball Player and Executive
- Carl T. Rowan, Columnist, TV Personality, Ambassador
- Harold Lyman Ryan, served as a federal judge on the United States District Court for the District of Idaho.
- Leo Ryan, U.S. Congressman killed in Guyana immediately before the Jonestown Massacre (Bates College)
- Kenneth G. Ryder, president of Northeastern University from 1975-1989
- Pierre Salinger, Newsman, Presidential Press Secretary
- Phillip Shriver, historian and college administrator who was president of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, 1965–1981
- Leon Silver, geologist who was instrumental in training the Apollo Program astronauts in field geology.
- G. William Skinner, leading American anthropologist and scholar of China
- Eugene Sledge, Author, U.S. Marine
- William Styron, novelist and essayist (Duke University)
- Lachlan Maury Vass, petroleum industry executive noted for increasing existing petroleum reserves and offshore exploration
- Robert Lawson Vaught, mathematical logician, and one of the founders of model theory
- James Logan Waters, founder of Waters Corporation, a publicly traded laboratory analytical instrument and software company
- William Webster, Federal Judge, Director, CIA and FBI
- Thomas Grey "Tom" Wicker, Columnist and Author
- Roger Williams (pianist), Musician, Entertainer
- William W. Winpisinger, president of the million-member International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
- Benjamin Drake Wright American psychometrician, largely responsible for the widespread adoption of Georg Rasch's measurement principles and models
- Ernest M Zaiser Jr - General Manager McDonnell Douglas F-4 Technical Services, Representative Director McDonnell Douglas Japan, Vice President Operations McDonnell Douglas F-15 Technical Services (Yale University}.
- Zig Ziglar, author, salesperson, and motivational speaker (University of South Carolina).
Citation: Wikipedia contributors, "V-12 Navy College Training Program," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=V-12_Navy_College_Training_Program&oldid=785059450 (accessed