Date: June 15, 1931
Location: Northampton, MA
(Original document available here)
One of the most interesting and encouraging developments of the past fifteen years has been the Citizen’s Military Training Camps. At the outset they were not considered any too favorably by the government. Now they have become an institution.
While a considerable value attaches to them as centers of military instruction their scope is much broader. They are really schools of good citizenship. The chief weakness of military life is that it tends to become purely professional and detached. The remedy is the citizen soldier. When he appears the misunderstanding and suspicion between civil and military authority diminishes. Instead of being some¬thing to be distrusted and feared the soldier becomes a neighbor and friend. The uniform is considered a badge of protection.
Although but 37,500 can be taken into camp this year, over 76,000 already have applied for admission. The great significance of this is that our people are not looking to mercenaries for protection but are determined to protect themselves. In disciplining the body and mind, in teaching practical patriotism the camps fill an important place. They demonstrate the power of the people, with or without the approbation of government, to act in emergency and manage their own affairs.
Citation: Calvin Coolidge Says: Dispatches Written by Former-President Coolidge and Syndicated to Newspapers in 1930-1931 (Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation)
The Coolidge Foundation gratefully acknowledges the volunteer efforts of DJ Bettencourt who prepared this document for digital publication.