The Navy V-12 Training Program At Carroll College, 1943-1945
The Army and Navy were experiencing a shortage of trained officers at the beginning of World War II. The rapid expansion of the military during this war required more officers to assume positions of leadership. This problem escalated as even more young men left college after November 1942, when the draft age was lowered from twenty to eighteen.6 Clearly, this was a problem for both the schools and the military. Something had to be done. Military representatives met with delegates from colleges and 3 universities across the nation to try to formulate a coordinated wartime plan for higher education. On December 12, 1942, the Army and the Navy announced their college training programs.7 These military training programs subsidized small colleges, gave them a role in the war effort, and symbolized the concern of the federal government for higher education: In those earlier years the smaller colleges could offer basic educational training, most of it quasi-scientific, to college-age draftees who lacked important skills. The Navy's V-12 program and the Army Specialized Training Program sent qualified young men to the campuses. . .and later drew them out for combat duty.8 The V-12 and the ASTP Programs had weaknesses, "but the very existence of the programs kept alive colleges that might otherwise have had to close, perhaps never to reopen."9 In fact, without the Navy V-12 Training Program, Carroll College might not have survived.