Medicine and the military” [Yale Medicine, Spring 2011] reports an admissions interview at the School of Medicine in which a former Navy pilot’s job was described as “to kill people.” Perhaps the lack of ROTC at Yale is responsible for the persistence of such misinformed and distorted thinking. 

Having testified dozens of times in courts of law defending law enforcement officers, I am familiar with such nonsense from plaintiffs’ lawyers in trying to mislead a jury. In the military as in law enforcement, the “job” is saving the lives of the innocent by deterring violence and stopping aggression. True, some killing results; but everything possible is done to avoid it. Killing is never the goal.

Martin L. Fackler, M.D. ’59
Col., U.S. Army Medical Corps Ret.

Gainesville, Fla.

Editor’s note: In May, U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and University President Richard C. Levin signed an agreement to establish a ROTC unit at Yale—the Navy’s only such unit in Connecticut. The first class of midshipmen will enter Yale in the fall of 2012.