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Why Have Military Academies?

DEI AgendaMSWPG Authors

Why Have Military Academies?

By Tony Lentini, USMA ’71

Established in 1802 under President Thomas Jefferson, West Point is our nation’s oldest armed services academy and the first engineering school in the United States.  Why engineering?  Because it is a battlefield-relevant discipline that promotes the kind of critical thinking military leaders need to fight and win wars.

Successful combat officers must be able to solve basic engineering problems, such as determining whether bridges will support trucks and armored vehicles, how best to cross rivers and other obstacles, how to plan and build fortifications, and where to place demolition charges, to name just a few required skills.

According to the West Point website,

“graduates were largely responsible for the construction of the bulk of the nation’s earliest waterways, infrastructure, harbors, the Washington Monument, and surveys for the future transcontinental railroads.  Perhaps the greatest engineering feat in world history was the Panama Canal completed in 1914 under the direction of Colonel George W. Goethals (Class of 1880), an Army engineer.”

All that began to change in the mid-1980s, when West Point transitioned to a liberal arts institution offering degrees in a wide variety of disciplines, many of which have little to no relevance to the battlefield or to leading troops.

Most useless and counterproductive of these is a minor that now woke West Point offers: “Diversity and Inclusion.”

Courses within this minor include Social Inequality; Power and Difference; The Politics of Race, Gender and Sexuality; World Religions; Sex and Civilizations; Race, Ethnicity, Nation; and Society & Culture in American History.

These are fitting for a military academy that now promotes anti-white racism, communist-style self-criticism sessions for white cadets, transgenderism, discriminatory entry requirements, and race-over-merit promotions.

West Point now has cadet “respect” officers, reminiscent of Soviet and Nazi political commissars placed within units to enforce the Party Line.  Careers were ruined and leaders and soldiers executed because of adverse reports from these enforcers.

Duty, Honor, Country has been replaced by totalitarian values.

Recent West Point superintendents have taken over the Cadet Honor Code, which previously stated that “a Cadet will not lie, cheat or steal or tolerate those who do.”  Now blatant dishonesty that formerly would have resulted in expulsion is routinely tolerated by superintendents, especially when the offenders are members of the Army football team.

One such recent case involved a cadet who was caught on camera stealing a wristwatch from the West Point Post Exchange.  He was allowed to graduate.

Recent superintendents have set a bad example themselves.

Former superintendent Darryl Williams was rewarded with a fourth star and command of the U.S. Army Europe and Africa despite lying to graduates at a reunion when he said that he had no knowledge of the watch thief and denied that West Point hosted only leftists for speaking engagements.

Williams also permitted football players involved in a cheating scandal to play while under investigation.  With the cheaters’ help, they “won” the Army-Air Force and Army-Navy games in 2022.  

Former superintendent Robert L. Caslen had to resign from the presidency of the University of South Carolina after plagiarizing parts of a speech by the former commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command.

Caslen’s predecessor, David H. Huntoon, was convicted by the Pentagon’s Office of the Inspector General of misusing his office by requiring subordinates to perform personal services.

West Point routinely violates federal law by slow-walking or simply not responding to Freedom of Information Act requests.

The academy has yet to come clean on the final disposition of cadets who ingested fentanyl-laced cocaine during 2022 Spring Break.  Although the dealer who sold them the drugs has been tried, convicted, and sentenced, West Point claims that the case is “still under investigation.”

Judicial Watch had to sue the academy to obtain cadet classroom materials proving that West Point is indoctrinating cadets in radical Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity; Critical Race Theory; and transgenderism.  Numerous graduates have submitted FOIA requests that are never even acknowledged.

West Point and its sister military academies dismissed students who refused to take experimental COVID vaccinations and refused even to consider religious exemptions.

Admissions to the nation’s service academies are governed no longer by merit, but by discriminatory racial quotas, which the Supreme Court recently ruled unconstitutional in civilian universities and now are being challenged in court with respect to the nation’s military academies.

The United States has not won a major conflict since World War II.  Our flag officers, generals, and admirals are now all political creatures rather than war-fighters.

Former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff retired general Mark A. Milley infamously contacted his Chinese counterpart to say he would give a heads-up if the United States under President Trump were to plan an attack on China.  In any other time, that would be considered treason.  Milley also spoke of trying to understand so-called “white rage.”

Recruitment is failing.  Legacy military personnel, whose fathers and other family members served, used to constitute 70 percent of our armed forces; now these patriots increasingly refuse to sign up.

Many service academy graduates are so fed up that they no longer contribute to their alma maters.

Meanwhile, the world is as dangerous a place as ever.  The United States is no longer the pre-eminent superpower.  China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, and others are allied against us.

We are flirting with thermonuclear war over Ukraine or Taiwan, and our woke military is more concerned with divisive, America-hating DIE, transgenderism, and Critical Race Theory.

So the question arises: if taxpayer-funded U.S. military academies are now not at all different from other liberal arts colleges offering BS majors and ROTC, why should they continue to exist?

Tony Lentini is a 1971 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point.  He served five years active duty in the Army at Ft. Carson, Colorado and Nuremberg, Germany, attaining the rank of captain.  He then worked in electric utilities and the oil and gas industry, serving as vice president of public and international affairs for two independent exploration and production companies.  He is a member of Stand Together Against Racism and Radicalism in the Services (STARRS) and a founder and board member of the anti-woke MacArthur Society of West Point Graduates.

First published on American Thinker

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