As war breaks out between Japan and China, and fascism grows in Europe, annual peace strikes held off campus outside Sather Gate indicate the opposition of many students to militarism in all forms. In 1936, 3,000 students petition the university for voluntary ROTC. But in 1939, mandatory military training is upheld by a 9-4 vote by the ASUC executive committee, followed by a 14-2 vote by the Regents. A student poll in 1940 again supports voluntary ROTC, and again, the Regents vote to oppose it.
In 1937, Robert McNamara graduates from the UC and later will serve as U.S. secretary of defense from 1960-68 under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson during the Vietnam War. In 1938, Frederick Weyand graduates and goes on to serve in WWII, the Korean conflict and Vietnam, rising to the rank of general and finally, from 1974-76, to chief of staff of the U.S. Army.