Public Service Academy; Another Leftist, Very Bad Idea

National Service Academy; Another Leftist, Very Bad Idea, by Lynn Lancaster

For years, prominent Democrats have called for eliminating the Service Academies citing both cost and redundancy with the ROTC programs at public colleges and universities nationwide. They have also wanted a formal training program for public servants to, at least in part, to produce an unending stream of unelected bureaucrats who can implement policy through regulatory fiat.  Both of those goals remain in place today, and Democrats seem poised to eventually achieve them.

In 2006, Chris Myers Asch and Shawn Raymond, who describe themselves as its co-founders, conceived the United States Public Service Academy, modeled after the Military Service Academies.  Asch then began working fulltime to introduce USPSA to Congress in 2007, and again in 2009.  During the early months of Obama’s first term, there was a concerted effort to establish USPSA with its proposed site as Washington, DC.  Although USPSA had strong Democratic support, it did not have broad bi-partisan support, and the effort failed.

While there has been no significant legislative effort since 2009, the concept still has broad Democratic support.  USPSA still maintains an active website which indicates they are still accepting donations, and the “founders” remain committed to its eventual establishment.

Democrats have long used the federal bureaucracy to implement their policy objectives since they do not have the legislative muscle to implement them unilaterally.  Citizens are experiencing this first-hand with new federal standards, for example, on gas stoves, electric vehicles and food choices.  On the April 8 edition of MSNBC’s “The Last Word,” Senator Amy Klobuchar stated if Donald Trump is elected this November, he will nominate judges who believe unelected federal agency officials shouldn’t make critical policy decisions and that should be left to Congress.  This concept clashes with modern Democratic dogma. Senator Klobuchar apparently is comfortable in abrogating her Constitutional responsibilities to unelected bureaucrats. And she is by no means alone in her thinking.

But there is more than one way for Democrats to achieve success.  The Service Academies all have undergone many changes over the last 30 years.  West Point, established in 1802 as the republic’s first engineering school, with high academic standards, is now viewed as a liberal arts college offering degrees in philosophy and race relations.  West Point’s motto, “Duty Honor Country,” was eliminated from its mission statement in March 2024.  Its Honor Code, that a cadet will not lie, cheat, steal or tolerate those who do, was an absolute for more than two centuries. 

Sadly, the Honor Code is now viewed as an aspirational goal. Current DEI dogma dominates decisions at West Point, especially in the classroom where, according to instructors, standards have been lowered to achieve DEI goals.  Currently, West Point graduates, when measured at the ten-year mark, now leave the service at greater rates than ROTC graduates. These facts, which are not in dispute, do not bode well for the long term health of  West Point or any of the other service academies.

Today, West Point’s mission statement, when compared side-by-side, is now much closer to that of the USPA created 18 years ago.  This is not coincidental.   With mission statements that are very similar, the case of establishing the USPSA gains has become stronger and more relevant. USPSA could easily be co-located at one of the current Service Academies or make use of established facilities if a Service Academy is eliminated.

When viewed through this prism, the Democratic Party effort to establish USPSA and eliminate one or more of the Service Academies seems much closer to reality.

Lynn Lancaster
April 12, 2024

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Lynn Lancaster

Lynn Lancaster is a 1981 graduate of West Point.  He is a retired health care administrator with more than 30 years’ experience.  He has been a firearms instructor and hunter education instructor for many years and a Boy Scout leader for 25 years. He holds handgun Distinguished Expert credentials and lives in North Carolina with his wife of 41 years.  He was promoted to grandfather in 2021.


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1 thought on “Public Service Academy; Another Leftist, Very Bad Idea”

  1. I believe they want to copy the French system.

    As an ’81 grad, please check out the MacArthur Society of West Point Graduates.

    Good piece.

    James Atticus Bowden
    USMA CL 72

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