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West Point Removes ‘Duty, Honor, Country’ from Its Mission Statement


West Point Removes ‘Duty, Honor, Country’ from Its Mission Statement

By Kristina Wong  |  Breitbart News

West Point Superintendent Army Lt. Gen. Steve Gilland on Monday announced a new mission statement for the venerable institution that replaces the words “duty, honor, country” for the more generic “Army values.”

The West Point’s previous mission statement was:

To educate, train and inspire the Corps of Cadets so that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character committed to the values of Duty, Honor, Country and prepared for a career of professional excellence and service to the nation as an officer in the United States Army.

The new statement says:

To build, educate, train, and inspire the Corps of Cadets to be commissioned leaders of character committed to the Army Values and ready for a lifetime of professional excellence and service to the Army and Nation.

Gilland indicated in a statement he wanted to focus more on the “mission essential tasks” of “build, educate, train, and inspire” versus “duty, honor, country.”

He said in a message posted on the West Point website:

Duty, Honor, Country is foundational to the United States Military Academy’s culture and will always remain our motto. It defines who we are as an institution and as graduates of West Point. These three hallowed words are the hallmark of the cadet experience and bind the Long Gray Line together across our great history.

Our responsibility to produce leaders to fight and win our nation’s wars requires us to assess ourselves regularly. Thus, over the past year and a half, working with leaders from across West Point and external stakeholders, we reviewed our vision, mission, and strategy to serve this purpose. We believe our mission binds the Academy to the Army — the Army in which our cadets will serve. As a result of this assessment, we recommended the following mission statement to our senior Army leadership:

To build, educate, train, and inspire the Corps of Cadets to be commissioned leaders of character committed to the Army Values and ready for a lifetime of service to the Army and Nation.

Both the Secretary of the Army and Army Chief of Staff approved this recommendation.

Our updated mission statement focuses on the mission essential tasks of Build, Educate, Train, and Inspire the Corps of Cadets to be commissioned leaders of character, with the explicit purpose of being committed to the Army Values and Ready for a lifetime of service. The Army Values include Duty and Honor, and Country is reflected in Loyalty, bearing truth faith and allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, the Army, your unit, and other Soldiers. In the past century, West Point’s mission has changed nine times. Many graduates will recall the mission statement they learned as new cadets did not include the motto, as Duty, Honor, Country was first added to the mission statement in 1998.

Our absolute focus on developing leaders of character ready to lead our Army’s Soldiers on increasingly lethal battlefields remains unchanged.

Go Army!

Duty Honor Country

LTG Steve Gilland

61st Superintendent

Army Col. Terence Kelley, director of communications for West Point, said in a statement to Breitbart News:

Duty, Honor, Country is and always will be the motto of West Point. As we have done ten times in the past century, we have updated our mission statement, now including the Army Values, Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Integrity, and Personal Courage.

The words “duty, honor, country” appeared in a famed Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur speech to the Corps of Cadets in 1922. MacArthur served as superintendent of West Point from 1919 to 1922, after returning from service in World War I.

According to the Western Journal’s Randy DeSoto, new cadets during basic training at West Point had to memorize a portion of the speech, which said:

Duty, Honor, Country: Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying points: to build courage when courage seems to fail; to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith; to create hope when hope becomes forlorn.

MacArthur repeated the phrase several times in his speech:

Duty, Honor, Country. The code which those words perpetuate embraces the highest moral laws and will stand the test of any ethics or philosophies ever promulgated for the uplift of mankind. Its requirements are for the things that are right, and its restraints are from the things that are wrong. The soldier, above all other men, is required to practice the greatest act of religious training — sacrifice.

In battle and in the face of danger and death, he discloses those divine attributes which his Maker gave when he created man in his own image. No physical courage and no brute instinct can take the place of the Divine help which alone can sustain him.”

MacArthur told West Point cadets: “In the evening of my memory, always I come back to West Point. Always there echoes and re-echoes: Duty, Honor, Country.”

DeSoto wrote: “Hopefully, the same will be true for today’s West Point cadets, even with ‘Duty, Honor, Country’ no longer in the mission statement.”

Several Army veterans weighed in on the change.

Will Thibeau, an Army Ranger veteran and director of The American Military Project at The Claremont Institute, told Breitbart News in a statement,

“The West Point mission statement is the cornerstone of everything that happens at the preeminent institution of our nation.

Army civilian and military leaders’ decision to expunge the timeless principles of ‘Duty, Honor, Country’ from that motto in favor of a reference to the Army Values.

“On the surface, this change is a benign semantic tweak from leadership. In reality, this is a rhetorical revolution in West Point’s culture.

‘Duty, Honor, Country’ are foundational commitments, instilled by General McArthur, that transcend time and culture.

The Army Values now in the mission statement have undergone constant revisions since 1986, only formally codified in 2012.

‘Values’ are subjective cultural preferences that, for the Army, while important concepts, were the product of corporate consulting and endless bureaucratic revision,” he added.

“The saddest part is that we shouldn’t be surprised. At West Point, a cadet can get a degree in Diversity and Inclusion studies. The admissions office builds the Corps of Cadets based on ‘class composition goals’ that are, without question, race and sex-based quotas.”

Thibeau concluded, “The change to the motto is legitimately concerning, and Americans should ignore the military’s effort to sanitize the moment in which we find ourselves.”

Army veteran Spence Rogers called it a “disgrace” on X:

.@WestPoint_USMA got rid of “Duty, Honor, Country” out of its mission statement this week and replaced it with the words “Army Values”. What a disgrace! Listen to the speech by General Douglas MacArthur called “Duty, Honor, Country” given when he received West Point’s Thayer Award at West Point, May 12, 1962. He was 82 years old when he gave this speech. P.S. I don’t agree with the good general on the age of the earth or evolution. Despite that part of the speech, he is 100% correct.

Hal Lambert, a Republican fundraiser who served on the Inaugural Committee for President Donald Trump, posted sarcastically:

Army Values are now the amorphous words describing West Point grads mission statement. Duty, Honor, Country are out. Why not just go with the words “my truth” and be done with it?

What People Are Saying

From the comments section of the article:

“I’m old enough that I heard Gen. MacArthur speak those words in person. They were embedded into me. I served as an Army officer.”

“One of my close buds is a West Point grad and a decorated veteran and very involved with the school on an almost daily basis. He just shakes his head when discussing how the school is going woke.”

“This is an obvious change to making them loyal to the leaders of the Army instead of the country. Now it is obvious that plans are in motion to subvert military allegiance to our country and it’s Constitution for nefarious reasons.”

“My kid graduated from USMA just in time to avoid this crap. I won’t send my other boys to an academy now. Too woke.”

“Democrats will never learn. It’s the love of one’s country that gives a young man the courage to sign up for military service. It is then a honor to serve and evolves into a duty as you fight alongside your fellow soldiers each dependent on the other, each with a trust and friendship of all. I have no shame in saying the military made me the man I am to this day. The soldiers I served with are lifelong friends and one can travel the world and not have to look for a bed. That army is being killed off by Bidens woke brigades. What has a soldier got to fight for now? A rampant greedy globalist communist outfit going hell for leather in destroying our America for what? Money and power. No honor there.”

“So what is are Army Values these days – – – – DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion), BLM , Trans and Gay rights, etc ?”

“”Duty, Honor, Country” are very specific values and eliminating those terms means it’s a lot easier to redefine “Army Values” depending on leadership’s whims, such as “transhumanism, equity, inclusiveness, blah, blah.” The end result is a watering down and graying of the definition of our Nation’s principles. Just what the progressives have been striving for the last 50 years.”

“I graduated from the Academy years before Steve Gilland was out of high school and attended a class reunion a year ago. Gilland gave the ‘Supe’s Briefing’ to the reunion class, intending on ‘enlightening’ all of us. He ended up berating the concerns of a classmate who was simply respectfully asking questions that clearly made Gilland uneasy as he tried to dance away from his woketardary. When you have to explain in length why you changed something that really did not need changing, you are making excuses for the reason behind the change. “Duty, Honor, Country” has been the motto of USMA for eons but also represented the values ALL LEADERS in the Army are expected to model. I imagine Gilland’s ideas for Army Values are those that tend to change with the political leanings of the administration controlling the US Army and he couldn’t be more wrong. West Point officers should be modeling the values West Point used to ingrain in its graduates. And while Duty, Honor, and Country doesn’t need to be part of the Academy’s mission statement, what are today’s Army Values supplant those three hallowed words? Here’s a clue: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Gilland ought to be politely, or not so politely, dismissed from further service as soon as the buffoon in the White House is gone and kept as far away from cadets and USMA administration as possible. For my part, no more donations to USMA or its Associate of Graduates until this woketard is gone and the decay in standards that he has ushered in as its Superintendent is reversed.”

“We are witnessing in real time the destruction of one of the greatest nations the world has ever known. I never thought I’d live to see the day, the country I volunteered to serve and protect from all enemies foreign and domestic, crumble before my very eyes. So sad.”

“No more duty, no more honor, no more country.”

“As a 1970 grad, I am not surprised by this never ending, progressive attempt to denigrate one of the last bastions of national stability, strength, and the American spirit. They have worked through, and infected, the universities, the national educational system, the federal bureaucratic structure, all the way down to parents at PTA’s spewing their hate for this country. The military was their last challenge and this is part of their opening volley along with the D.E.I. insanity and Covid mandates to destabilize the remaining bedrock institutions of our national history. The chosen “woke” general officers to lead the military are destroying the fabric that has allowed us to be the arbiters of peace on the world stage. They need to spend an afternoon walking through the cemeteries at Arlington or West Point and listen closely to what they are hearing. I doubt there is anyone who would prefer to be operated on by a D.E.I. surgeon versus one who earned enrollment based on meritocracy. How much more is that true about the officer who is going to lead your son or daughter into battle. Stand up and stop this assault on the America you love. Vote like your life depends on it, for surely it does.”

“The new mission sounds like something out of third rate corporate training. Already we’re being attacked for “God, Family, and Country”. Now “Duty, Honor, and Country” is out.”

“Replacing specific, honorable terms we all understand with a vague reference to “Army Values” is another use of changing language for a political motive. Army Values will inevitably become whatever the Commander in Chief decides it will be. This is an anti-traditional, anti-democratic, anti-American, totalitarian, pro-Marxist maneuver. Shame on this Administration and the current Army Leadership. We are being destroyed from within.”

“Todays “Army Values” include, DEI, racial preferences, men pretending to be women, and Colonels dressing as dogs. It will always and forever be “Duty, Honor, Country.”

““Duty, Honor, Country” was specific. It was direct. It was time-honored tradition. It meant something. It was a compass. “Army Values” is amorphous, squishy, meaningless, and capable of being changed with the stroke of a pen and to suit the fad of day. This is emblematic of what’s ongoing in all branches of the Armed Services. As an Army veteran, this is a very sad day for West Point, the U.S. Army, and the nation.”

“Frankly, this is the way our armed forces are heeded. Sadly, as ex-military and with a son in the military (freaked out by pronouns and half-baked ‘men’) we have lost all respect for the services, especially the officer Corp. They should protest en-mass or resign . Instead they’re mere cowards out to protect their own asses. After the failure in Afghan and no general resigned over the decisions made by blo-Joe. There should have been a sense of honor and register disdain and disgust for that decision. Instead they mumbled—no sense of honor!”

“Before 2025 even gets underway, it will be impossible to recruit ANYONE into the U.S. military who isn’t gay, bi or trans. Real men, and real women too, will just “sit it out,” wait and watch the world go by. And who can blame them?”

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