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Woke West Point abandoning ‘duty, honor, country’ is shameful

“Duty, honor, country: Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be.”

So said Gen. Douglas MacArthur in his famous May 1962 address to West Point cadets.

But those words are no longer hallowed.

West Point last week removed them from its mission statement, substituting a bland reference to “the Army Values.”

West Point’s superintendent, Lt. Gen. Steve Gilland, defended the change, suggesting in a damage-control letter addressed to “supporters” that it resulted from a year and a half of discussions held “across” the West Point community and in consultation with unidentified “external stakeholders.”

He said the decision was supported by Army Secretary Christine Wormuth, whose last job was director of a center at the RAND Corp., a research and policy institute that professes to “strive to cultivate a community that embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion as central to our culture.”

Gilland also claimed the approval of Army Chief of Staff Gen. Randy George, who previously served as senior military assistant to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, whose department requested $86.5 million in fiscal year 2023 for “dedicated diversity and inclusion activities.”

That would pay for a lot of implicit-bias workshops for men and women who should be trained to lead and kill, but the difference in language is neither subtle nor insignificant.

The words “duty, honor, country,” enshrined at West Point since 1898, have precise meanings that have historically bound our officer corps to timeless imperatives vital to the nation’s defense.

They presuppose our country is worth defending, honorably and as a matter of duty.

Proponents of woke ideology reject this notion.

For them, those very concepts — along with such basic values as merit, hard work, rational thought, respect for authority and even punctuality — are undesirable symptoms of a culture supposedly infused with “structural racism” and “white supremacy.”

A country built on them is patently not one they would care to defend.

A March 2022 Quinnipiac poll found 52% of Democrats would leave the country rather than stand and fight against a military invasion of the United States.

“Army Values,” in contrast, can mean anything politicians and their diversity, equity and inclusion commissars want them to mean.

Just ask former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, who testified in a 2021 congressional hearing only weeks before horrifically botching the US withdrawal from Afghanistan that he had devoted a significant amount of time to contemplating “white rage.”

Milley also objected to doubts about West Point teaching critical race theory, a Marxist-influenced body of social analysis that reduces all conflict to race-based dichotomies of alleged oppressors and the supposedly oppressed.

CRT and DEI instruction at West Point has been confirmed by documents provided to Rep. Mike Waltz (R-Fla.), an academy graduate who released them alongside a formal inquiry in February 2021, and to Judicial Watch, which brought lawsuits against the Defense Department later that year to obtain hundreds of pages of documentation improperly withheld following Freedom of Information Act requests.

Featuring such lessons as “Modern Slavery in the USA” and “White Power,” these materials show cadets are taught “whiteness” is a problem and they should address it in accordance with CRT principles.

In August, Gilland hosted West Point’s biggest-ever DEI conference, at which he described diversity in terms of “how important and how critical it is not only to our U.S. Military Academy, to our military, but especially to our nation.”

“This is our mission,” concluded the man who a few months later would preside over the removal of “duty, honor, country” from West Point’s mission.

Notably, the service academies were exempted from June’s Supreme Court ruling in Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard outlawing the explicit use of race in higher-education admissions, an area in which our elite military schools are now comically more woke than the craziest liberal-arts colleges.

On that point, Biden administration Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar argued successfully but without evidence that “it is a critical national security imperative to attain diversity within the officer corps. And, at present, it’s not possible to achieve that diversity without race-conscious admissions.”

In September, plaintiff SFFA filed lawsuits to extend the prohibition to the service academies.

Litigation is pending, but last month the Supreme Court declined to grant an injunction barring consideration of race in admissions to the service academies’ incoming classes.

“The unbelievers will say they are but words,” MacArthur reflected on the “duty, honor, country” triptych.

Prophetically, he added, “Every pedant, every demagogue, every cynic, every hypocrite, every troublemaker, and, I am sorry to say, some others of an entirely different character, will try to downgrade them even to the extent of mockery and ridicule.”

After swallowing gallons of DEI Kool-Aid, they have.

A new administration should restore those noble words to West Point’s mission statement on Day 1, root out all traces of DEI and CRT and cashier the woke bureaucrats who dared remove them in their dastardly bid to elevate diversity, equity and inclusion over duty, honor and country.

Paul du Quenoy is president of the Palm Beach Freedom Institute.



This story originally appeared on NYPost

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