President Carmichael solicited many Navy and Washington, D.C. officials in the hopes of bringing a ROTC unit to Tufts. Finally, on May 20, 1941, Carmichael was officially notified by both David I. Walsh, U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, and Frank Knox, Secretary of the Navy, that Tufts was one of eight schools awarded a Naval ROTC unit.
President Carmichael has been quoted as referring to the NROTC programs as a "lifesaver for Tufts," mostly because the Naval ROTC unit helped supplement enrollment when the high demand for men to serve in the military during World War II depleted the student population.
Captain Keppler was issued change of duty orders in 1941, relieving him from duty as Professor of Naval Science and Tactics at Brown University in order to report to Tufts to organize and become Professor of Navy Science and the first commander of the Tufts NROTC unit.
In the following year, Captain Haines was appointed commanding officer of the Tufts Naval Training Unit and served until 1945. During Haines' time at Tufts, Carmichael again petitioned the U.S. Navy for Tufts to be considered for a Navy College Training Program known as the V-12. The NROTC program of 1941 was running smoothly, making the college a prime candidate for continued military expansion.
In 1943 Tufts was accepted as a host school for the V-12 program which accommodated 1,000 trainees in its first year.