West Point Strips ‘Duty, Honor, Country’ From Mission Statement

When West Point cadets recite the venerable institution’s mission statement in the future, they will no longer include the words “duty, honor, and country.” Instead, they will replace them with a commitment to “Army Values.”

At what point did duty, honor and country fall out of favor with the military? Army values may be anything popular with the Pentagon establishment at the moment, but duty, honor and country are timeless foundations of the U.S.

And they are now eradicated from West Point’s mission statement. 

The former statement began with “to educate, train and inspire the Corps of Cadets so that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character to the values of Duty, Honor, Country.”

Now it reads, “To build, educate, train and inspire the Corps of Cadets to be commissioned leaders of character committed to Army Values.”

West Point Superintendent Army Lt. Gen. Steve Gilland attempted to clarify that he wanted to concentrate on “mission essential tasks” of “build, educate, train and inspire.”

The words “duty, honor, country” became part of West Point lore when legendary Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur spoke to the Corps of Cadets in 1922. He was currently the superintendent after having served in World War I.

The elimination of MacArthur’s words is not a sign of progress, according to Will Thibeau. He is an Army Ranger Veteran and the director of The American Military Project at the Claremont Institute.

In a statement to Breitbart News, he noted that civilian and military leaders chose to “expunge the timeless principles of ‘Duty, Honor, Country’ from the motto in favor of a reference to the Army Values.”

Values that undergo steady revision and change with the times.

Far from a benign adjustment, Thibeau observed that Army Values in the mission statement were steadily revised since 1986, only formally codified in 2012.”

Values are subject to swirling cultural changes, while “duty, honor, country” is indeed timeless. But this should not be surprising for an institution where a cadet in 2024 can earn a degree in Diversity and Inclusion studies.

Nor in a setting where the admissions office builds the Corps of Cadets based on “class composition goals.” 

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