Captain Barrett's command of the unit from 1969 to 1972 began a very turbulent and changing period of NROTC at Villanova. With the changes made in uniform and appearance policies by the Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Zumwalt, young men who had previously never considered joining the Navy were now given the opportunity to join, and although men were still joining to serve their country, one could also join for the sake of avoiding the draft. It was during this time that the battalion's usage of M1 rifles was abandoned, and the Naval equipment that had been the pride of John Barry Hall was slowly dismantled, piece by piece. The downsizing also began in earnest with the country's disenchantenment with the military in Vietnam, and many NROTC programs ceased to exist. Although the graduating class of 1971 would be the unit's largest graduating class before or since, numbers would drop dramatically. The two other Commanding officers during this time, Captain Mahan and Colonel Culkin, were unfortunately never recognized by the Bel Air yearbooks or the Villanovan magazines, and so the 1970s faded into a "dark age" for the Villanovan NROTC community.
Two of the few programs to survive during the 1970s was the drill team "Whiskey Company" and the Navy Nursing program. In 1972 the drill team was given the opportunity to wear the Marine Corps "Charlie" uniform, which would continue to 1996, but in 1975 and 1976 the bayonets were discarded as part of the drill routine, and the older M1 rifles were replaced with cheaper materials. In addition, in a move probably influenced by the Marine Instructor, a former Fo