So Goes West Point, So Goes The Army.

So goes West Point, so goes the Army. West Point has never retreated, coming through for the nation from the War of 1812 to the present. If West Point fails to produce the next Generals, U.S. Grant and Dwight Eisenhower, then it is not difficult to imagine that the dangerous world situation overcomes America.

Far from seriousness of purpose, the recent administrations of “Woke” Point have instead concentrated on winning the hearts and minds of woke politicians and Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) stalwarts, and defeating deadly adversary Navy football. Although previously denying as rumors the teaching of Critical Race Theory (CRT), Superintendent Lieutenant General Steven Gilland, Class of ’90, recently reversed course and admitted the addition of CRT classes to the curriculum.

Perhaps the threat of House Republicans subpoenaing the Department of Defense for evidence of CRT caused Gilland to rediscover the Academy’s motto: Duty, Honor, Country. He did so at the same event that he knelt in obsequiousness to a black cadet applicant, usually a gesture reserved for the families of fallen war heroes receiving the national colors at an internment.

This follows on the heels of the erasure of General Robert E. Lee from public view at the Academy. Perhaps Lee’s removal was warranted in some public areas, as the cause of slavery he represented was what Grant called “most odious.” Yet Lee, before the US Civil War, was the best officer in the Army, if one is to believe then commander General Winfield Scott and numerous military historians.

Lee’s service in the War with Mexico, his building of coastal fortifications, and his arrest of John Brown dwarfs the very military records of those who now castigate him, not even considering his later honorable military service to a terrible cause. Far from mimicking Benedict Arnold and trading over military plans to an adversary during war, Lee went in person to resign less than a week after South Carolina fired on Sumter.

Does his service deserve erasure as one of West Point’s great leaders and Superintendents? Should cadets not be reminded of Lee’s service from his portrait (recently removed by Gilland) peering at Grant across the Cadet Library since 1951, and Reconciliation Walk with statues of both Lee and Grant in peaceful harmony?

CRT, with its Marxist underpinnings claiming nothing can be forgotten nor forgiven, and that racial grievance is a permanent condition demanding reparations to those who were not slaves, paid by those who were not slavers, indeed undermines reconciliation. This even though West Point itself began to invite former Confederate officers back in the 1880s, showing more foresight and magnanimity than our current racialists; the former graduates actually bloodied by Lee at Gettysburg, and the latter suffering from imagined wounds caused by Lee’s portrait.

It is no small irony given the complete ahistorical underpinnings of this situation, that the former head of the history department, Brigadier General (ret.) Ty Seidule who is neither a West Pointer nor a Civil War historian, led a “Pickett’s Charge” against Lee and renaming military posts and vessels from Confederate leaders. Seidule did little to demonstrate leadership during his time in the department if you are also to believe honest officers like Lieutenant Colonel (ret.) Robert Heffington, and a number of my peers who did not exactly find inspiration there other than from the good cadets and a small number of like-minded officers.

It is not my intention to re-catalogue the facts Heffington detailed in his open letter demonstrating how the Academy had lost its way with a lack of discipline, favoritism toward athletes, and the corruption of the officer corps then teaching there. If anything in the intervening years since then with the recent CRT and Lee episodes, and the failure to punish black women cadets for publicly photographing black-power salutes in uniform on the steps of a barracks, things have deteriorated further.

The football program is a literal contagion within the Corps, although Coach Jeff Monken is front and center for the Alma Mater at the conclusion of games, neither as a graduate nor veteran. Since Monken has supposedly turned the football program around to defeat Navy a few times, Army football has been rife with drug and alcohol abuse and coverups. Even during my pre-Monken time in this history department, history faculty on the admissions board were often overruled by the administration to allow questionable applicants to become football players and other athletes.

The coaching staff, ably assisted by serving officers including the Superintendents, indeed have succeeded in letting justice go undone, with the death of a third-class cadet football player driving drunk to his death off of post after a time he would have been allowed to leave, and driving someone’s car, as sophomores are not allowed to possess them. Apparently, nothing to see there or to explain to the graduates, which unsurprisingly has led to more malfeasance and more coverups.

This includes the recent near fentanyl death of a football player on spring break. Instead of jail time at Leavenworth or reverting to lower enlisted for mandatory terms in the Army, the drug and alcohol addled football partygoers escaped justice. The Academy claims it did not have enough evidence to prosecute, the kind of corrupted litigious argument that will go noticed by every cadet. One of the players now represents a famous college football team after his leaving the Academy. Unlike Cadet Robert E. Lee who not only did not party, nor even earn a single demerit when demerits were de rigueur, the football player cadets have crossed over even what might be expected from large public university football teams in this era of semi-pro college sport.

Also confusing to the cadets might be the Marxist CRT curricula after a recent graduate, 2LT Spenser Rapone was thrown out of the Army for declaring himself a Marxist against the interests of the United States. Subsequent investigation uncovered that West Point military leadership knew of this cadet’s Marxist beliefs and allowed him to graduate, and that at least one civilian professor in the history department knew of it and was a Marxist himself. This is unsurprising news to me having served with a number of avowed Marxists civilian professors within the history department. Their presence undoubtedly led to this ideology being passed on to cadets, and there are in fact senior Marxist professors still teaching within the department.

So what is to be done about Woke Point’s current deplorable condition? The leadership of the Academy will claim that their hands were tied by the DoD decision to remove Lee and the confederates at the recommendation of the Seidule-board; that they have no control of legal proceedings without sufficient evidence; that the civilian Marxist professors currently on staff are beyond their jurisdiction; and that CRT will be necessary indeed to earn academic credentials from the university credentialing system. Perhaps then it is high-time to close the Academy, if it can no longer meet its mission of producing leaders of character for the common defense. Certainly, no living influential generals have come out to demand better from their alma mater, in a sign of how deep the rot has taken hold. At least the national-security threat of Navy has been neutralized.

Fabius Maximus the Younger

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8 thoughts on “So Goes West Point, So Goes The Army.”

  1. ROTC is less expensive to the taxpayers. It graduates reasonably qualified Junior Officers. As no one graduates with. Regular Commission, any more why pay more for a 2LT? West Point no longer is an elite institution graduating Professional Soldiers whose charge is to lead the American Military in times of War. Thus, it is an expensive dinosaur and should fade into history. As an Old Grad it breaks my heart. As a tax payer it breaks my bank.

    • MacArthur and all the other greats of the Long Gray Line must be rolling in their graves at what their alma mater has become. Sad, I once hoped to find a way to teach History there…

    • I agree 100%. If it is no longer special it should be disbanded. I have seen West Point as a cadet, on the faculty, and as a parent. I would rather see it shut down than watch it betray its sacred trust.

    • I’ve had this discussion with classmates (USMA 1972). If the Army can’t quantify the difference between a West Pointer and a ROTC grad then that is Strike One. If the Army can’t attest to the grads imbuing the officer corps with an absolute adherrence to the Honor Code, then that is Strike Two and Three. Shut it down.

  2. You forget when Williams let 75 varsity athletes would guilt of cheating on a test remain at the Academy. That would have never happened to 1, let alone 75, “regular” cadets.

    The left has destroyed everything I held dear — from the Constitution to my alma mater. I spent 28 years wearing the uniform of an army that no longer exists in service to a nation that no longer exists. Very depressing.

  3. I’d like to know when you were in D/History and in what part? I taught in D/Soc Sci 1981-84. Had great friends in History – classmates and other super officers.

    I’d like to be appointed the Grand Inquistor of USMA with the authority to clean house and draft legislation and regs to keep it squared away.

    I’ve written a number of pieces on USMA here and on my blog Deo Vindice.

    If West Point doesn’t serve the Army, then shut it down.

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