Are U.S. Military Academies Worth The Money?15:34
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Graduating midshipmen sing "Navy Blue and Gold," the U.S. Naval Academy's alma mater, during the Academy's graduation and commissioning ceremonies in Annapolis, Md., in May 2012. (AP/Patrick Semansky)
Graduating midshipmen sing "Navy Blue and Gold," the U.S. Naval Academy's alma mater, during the Academy's graduation and commissioning ceremonies in Annapolis, Md., in May 2012. (AP/Patrick Semansky)

A debate has emerged over whether U.S. military academies are worth the $400,000 or so per graduate that they cost taxpayers. Bruce Fleming, who has been a professor of English at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., for 25 years, contends that service academies represent a military Disneyland.

Fleming told Here & Now's Robin Young that Navy and other service academies don't really attract the best and brightest students, and they don't really produce leaders. The Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) and Officer Candidate School (OCS) do a better job of that, he said.

In a statement, the Naval Academy's public affairs officer Cdr. William Marks defended the school's record of producing leaders.

“The Naval Academy teaches its Midshipmen to defend the Constitution of the United States, which includes defending the right of its faculty members to express their personal opinions. It is not our practice to comment on the personal views of employees, however we stand by our record of producing the nation’s finest leaders and welcome others to review the facts on their own.”

Guest:

This segment aired on October 18, 2012.

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