while I there in 1990.
I was the Professor for Military Science (PMS) at Hofstra
University and would visit other nearby colleges with ROTC programs. One school that I often visited was Brooklyn Poly (Polytechnic Institute of New York University) located in Brooklyn (where else?). It was what I called a sidewalk college because they had no lawns, just sidewalks. The school posted guards at every entrance. On one visit I noted that there was a new guard at the entrance to the building that housed the ROTC offices. The PMS there told me that gang members who wanted his leather jacket had killed the last guard on the subway.
I knew that this PMS took the subway to work every day, in his dress uniform. I suggested that, perhaps he should not wear his uniform to work but keep it at his office and wear causal clothes on the subway. I thought he was attracting attention by wearing his uniform and, maybe, inviting trouble. He told me that he wore his uniform so that if someone attacked him, he wanted them
to know that they were attacking the US Government. He made a good point.
I think the British are making a mistake. They should let their soldiers wear their uniform while off duty. It would show the terrorists that we do not fear them and that any attack on a soldier, or any government employee, is an attack on the government. It would also inspire the citizens to stand up
to terrorists and report their activities. It shows, in the words of FDR, that Britain “has nothing to fear but fear its self.”