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USMA Supe briefs Class Leaders re Mission Statement Change – “Build[ing]” Diversity Creeps into the Mission Statement

AdmissionsMissionMSWPG Authors

USMA Supe briefs Class Leaders re Mission Statement Change – “Build[ing]” Diversity Creeps into the Mission Statement

By Scott McQuarrie, USMA ’72
President, Veterans for Fairness & Merit

USMA’s Supe briefed class leaders on 3/19 regarding the mission statement change. Reports of that briefing are now being made to some classes. No real news, but a few items, and, apparently, confirmation of my suspicion re “nod to diversity.” The Supe said:

  • there was no “political pressure” on the academy to change the mission statement;
  • substitution of Army Values for Duty, Honor, Country was intended to more closely link USMA to the Army, nothing more
  • the changes were the result of a 2 year long “strategic review,” the result of which “USMA 2024 strategy” is intended to be announced later this year
  • the mission statement change is intended to reflect the USMA 2024 strategy and was approved by CSA and SecArm

The BOV briefing slide that contained the old and new mission statement was titled “USMA Mission Statement and Strategy.”

It recited the old and new mission statements on the left, and on the right listed 5 lines of effort (LOE 1-5) under the heading “USMA Strategy 2024.” LOE 3 reads: “Build and Retain Diverse and Talented Winning Teams”

USMA Admissions documents often couple “diversity” with “talent.”

For example, the most recent USMA Academic Board Directive for the Admissions Committee (see Declaration of COL McDonald, Exhibit A, Annex B) states

“USMA shapes the incoming class through established Class Composition Goals (CCGs)…. USMA narrowly tailors the use of CCGs to achieve diversity that upon graduation will be commensurate with or slightly above the current officer percentage in each demographic (Women, African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians). USMA also shapes an incoming class through established CCGs based on talent….”

The new mission statement adds the word “Build.” Why?

The answer is USMA Strategy 2024 LOE 3, “Build and Retain Diverse and Talented Winning Teams.”

The mission statement, by adding “Build,” and per Strategy 2024 LOE 3, now references what USMA has been doing for decades to further diversity, using racial preferences in admissions to “shape the incoming class” in pursuit of racial demographic Class Composition Goals.

This “shaping” and its purpose may sound innocuous. They’re not.

The below-listed practices deny equal opportunity, expressly use race-based classifications (inconsistent with the Constitution), and result in the admission of many marginally/poorly qualified candidates (about 20% of each USMA class) whose whole candidate scores are significantly below the whole candidate scores of many better qualified candidates who are rejected.

Just one of the negative consequences is that about 20% of the time, our warfighters are deprived of the best qualified leaders.

The USMA Admissions Directorate uses the following practices (references are to Exhibits A (Directive) and B (Memorandum) of COL McDonald’s declaration):

  1. Lowering the “Qualified” bar unnecessarily (demonstrably) so that marginally/poorly qualified appointees (most, if not all of whom are diversity or recruited athlete appointees) can be labeled “qualified.” Directive, paras 4b (d)-(f), 7b (1)-(3). (Unnecessary because the minimum could be 10-15% higher, with no waivers permitted, and qualified applicant numbers would still exceed vacancies.)
  2. Misusing 10 USC 7443 (“top off” statute intended to authorize filling unfilled vacancies, average ~ 23% of class, second largest appointment category, “order of merit” selection not required) to fulfill racial diversity and excessive recruited athlete Class Composition Goals. Memorandum Cl 2028, para 3.
  3. Restricting eligibility for acceptance (“Letter of Assurance” “LOA”) early in the admissions cycle by race, by excluding fully qualified, white and Asian male applicants with Whole Candidate Score (“WCS”) < 6801 and white and Asian women applicants with WCS < 6500 (unless a recruited athlete, for whom no minimum WCS is stated), while including Hispanics having WCS > 5599 and all African Americans (for whom no minimum WCS is stated). Memorandum Cl 2028, para 6.
    Applying different WCS thresholds for different races in admissions decisions, frequently rejecting fully qualified white and Asian candidates who have WCS significantly higher than accepted minorities and recruited athletes having lower WCS, usually in the Additional Appointee category. Memorandum Cl 2028, para 6.
  4. Reserving appointments for racial “diversity” applicants and recruited athletes in the Additional Appointee (“AA”) and Superintendent Nomination (“SN”) appointment categories. Directive, para 5a.(1)(d) and Memorandum Cl 2028, para. 3.
    Authorizing (and using) “out of order of merit selection” in SN and AA categories “to help achieve the Army’s needs in talent and diversity.” Directive, para. 5a and 5a.(1).
  5. Departing from order of merit when selecting from “competitive slate” congressional nominations in pursuit of Class Composition Goals (and considering race/ethnicity when doing so). USNA Dean of Admissions Declaration para. 58.

These practices will be defended in the ongoing litigation against USMA by claiming them to be essential to the accomplishment of USMA’s mission which, to the extent designed to help DoD achieve officer-enlisted racial demographic parity and or officer-national demographic parity, is claimed to be essential to our national security.

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