September 04, 2019

Following Hirono & Schatz Advocacy, Secretary of the Navy Approves Creation of Naval ROTC at UH Manoa

HONOLULU – Today, Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii), Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower, and Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, announced that Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer approved the creation of a Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. The announcement followed years of advocacy from Hawaii’s Congressional delegation to establish such a program.

“The long-awaited establishment of a Naval ROTC program at UH Manoa underscores the Navy’s commitment to the Indo-Pacific region and represents a tangible step toward increasing the diversity of its officer corps,” Senator Hirono said. “I want to thank Secretary Spencer for his support in approving this request, and will continue to work with leaders like him to deepen the Navy’s commitment to Hawaii and the Indo-Pacific region.”

“This new ROTC program at UH will give more Hawaii students a chance at earning scholarships and gaining an education, while helping the Navy strengthen its diversity to make sure its sailors and Marines better reflect the American public and our values in Hawaii,” Senator Schatz said. “I thank Secretary Spencer for his partnership and his recommitment to the Navy’s longstanding relationship with Hawaii.”

“We are grateful and proud that the Navy has selected UH Manoa to host a new NROTC unit,” University of Hawaii President David Lassner said. “We are already the home of exceptionally successful Army and Air Force ROTC units, and the establishment of a Navy ROTC unit will provide scholarship opportunities that enable more Hawaii students to attend college affordably and serve their country. Our thanks to Senator Hirono, Senator Schatz and our entire Congressional delegation for their sustained support.”

Senators Hirono and Schatz consistently encouraged the establishment of a Naval ROTC program at UH. Senator Hirono first formally raised the prospect of establishment of a Naval ROTC program at UH in 2015 letters to then-Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and then-Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson. The Senators continued their advocacy following the change in administrations, and consistently raised the issue with Secretary Spencer throughout his tenure and with other senior Navy leaders.