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West Point removing the words Duty Honor Country from mission statement


West Point removing the words Duty Honor Country from mission statement

By John T. Reed, ’68


The words “Duty Honor Country” were on the cover of Time once. Why? it was the caption on a photo of Oliver North admitting he lied in the Iran-Contra hearings. Those words are the motto of West Point. They are in the West Point crest which was on the front of our hats at West Point.

Did Lying Oliver graduate from West Point? Au Contraire. He graduated from the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, MD the same day I graduated from West Point (6/5/68), although he entered Annapolis two years before me. Slow learner.

The coat of arms, or seal, of the United States Naval Academy consists of a hand grasping a trident, a shield bearing an ancient galley ship coming into action, an open book (representing education), and a banner with the motto “Ex scientia tridens,” meaning “From knowledge, seapower.”

When I was an officer in the Army in ranger and Vietnam, I often used those words to recenter myself when I was in some very difficult situation.

When I go to court or to a deposition, I use them to remind me of what should guide each of my under-oath answers.

Will West Point grads like this change? Hell, no!

Does the West Point superintendent care what grads think? Not one damned bit. He would not have done this if he did.

I met him at our 55th reunion last May. We were in front of his house when he returned to it and he joined us for a photo. He looks the part and, at least then if not now, talked a good game..

The origin of this is apparently the Progressive Caucus and their puppet Commander in Chief.

They are replacing “Duty Honor Country” with “Army Values.”

I know what duty, honor, and country mean. Army values?

Signing false documents, sucking to the guys who write your efficiency report, attending “command performance” parties, claiming disability before you retire, affirmative action, rooting out white supremacists in the Army?

I would prefer eliminating Duty, Honor, Country to replacing them with “Army values.”

Sound a bit reminiscent to the German Army requirement to swear loyalty to Hitler. Army values is the Olive Drab Deep State, a bureaucracy.

The oath we took to enter West Point and to graduate from it got it right: To protect and defend the Constitution. Duty, honor, and country are consistent with that oath.

“Army values” sounds like an loyalty oath to the bureaucracy that is the US Army.

Indeed, here is a quote from the West Point superintendent explanation for the change:

‘The general added that “Army Values include Duty and Honor, and Country is reflected in Loyalty, bearing true faith and allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, the Army, your unit, and other Soldiers.”’

I wrote an article on loyalty as a value. It is about loyalty among football coaches, but about 98% of it also applies to Army officers Superintendent Gilland needs to read it.

A superintendent worthy of the position or the West Point ring he no doubt wears, would have resigned his commission rather than agree to this.

The word careerist comes to mind. Here is the definition of that word: ca·reer·ist:

a person whose main concern is for professional advancement, especially one willing to achieve this by any means.

The West Point Association of Graduates is located on the military post at West Point. I have described that as not an association of graduates, but rather as a public relations department of the US Military Academy, a government agency, that uses our names [“Graduates”] to gain legitimacy and imply that everything they do is endorsed by us graduates.

Like hell is it. AOG endorses every woke and affirmative action thing Biden’s West Point does.

This will be a test of whether the AOG is about graduates or about flacking for the Supe. I think there is a 100% probability that the AOG will support the Supe. That is whom THEY are LOYAL to.

Not the values embodied in the words of the Corps, the Alma Mater, or the former mission.

If they behave as I just predicted, or even if they refuse to comment, we grads should start a REAL association of graduates, off campus and off script—an association that represents our experience and perspective and that criticizes USMA when it deserves to be criticized.

At present, AOG’s guiding principle is that the Supe can do no wrong. That, fellow grads, is a lie—dishonorable.

There is no way we grads should be supporting, or even remaining silent in the face of, such dishonorable behavior.

First published on John T. Reed’s blog

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