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Defense Secretary Ash Carter congratulates a newly commissioned Air Force second lieutenant during a commissioning ceremony at Yale University on May 23, 2016. DOD photo by Air Force SMSgt. Adrian Cadiz.​

​Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Monday handed out commissions to the first graduating class of Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets at Yale University in more than 40 years. Yale and many other universities left the ROTC program because of student protests against the Vietnam War, and returned in 2012 after the military repealed the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that banned openly gay service members. Carter, who graduated from Yale, awarded 18 commissions on Monday, according to The Associated Press. “It’s so appropriate for good young people to have what is a wonderful opportunity to be a part of something bigger than themselves,” Carter said Monday before the ceremony. “And I’m glad the country is together enough now to be supportive of Yale ROTC.” Harvard restarted its ROTC program last month.