West Point Removes ‘Duty, Honor, Country’ from Its Mission Statement

West Point Superintendent Army Lt. Gen. Steve Gilland on Monday announced a new mission statement for the venerable institution that replaces the words “duty, honor, country” for the more generic “Army values.”

The West Point’s previous mission statement was:

To educate, train and inspire the Corps of Cadets so that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character committed to the values of Duty, Honor, Country and prepared for a career of professional excellence and service to the nation as an officer in the United States Army.

The new statement says:

To build, educate, train, and inspire the Corps of Cadets to be commissioned leaders of character committed to the Army Values and ready for a lifetime of professional excellence and service to the Army and Nation.

Gilland indicated in a statement he wanted to focus more on the “mission essential tasks” of “build, educate, train, and inspire” versus “duty, honor, country.”

He said in a message posted on the West Point website:

Duty, Honor, Country is foundational to the United States Military Academy’s culture and will always remain our motto. It defines who we are as an institution and as graduates of West Point. These three hallowed words are the hallmark of the cadet experience and bind the Long Gray Line together across our great history.

Our responsibility to produce leaders to fight and win our nation’s wars requires us to assess ourselves regularly. Thus, over the past year and a half, working with leaders from across West Point and external stakeholders, we reviewed our vision, mission, and strategy to serve this purpose. We believe our mission binds the Academy to the Army — the Army in which our cadets will serve. As a result of this assessment, we recommended the following mission statement to our senior Army leadership:
To build, educate, train, and inspire the Corps of Cadets to be commissioned leaders of character committed to the Army Values and ready for a lifetime of service to the Army and Nation.

Both the Secretary of the Army and Army Chief of Staff approved this recommendation.
Our updated mission statement focuses on the mission essential tasks of Build, Educate, Train, and Inspire the Corps of Cadets to be commissioned leaders of character, with the explicit purpose of being committed to the Army Values and Ready for a lifetime of service. The Army Values include Duty and Honor, and Country is reflected in Loyalty, bearing truth faith and allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, the Army, your unit, and other Soldiers. In the past century, West Point’s mission has changed nine times. Many graduates will recall the mission statement they learned as new cadets did not include the motto, as Duty, Honor, Country was first added to the mission statement in 1998.
Our absolute focus on developing leaders of character ready to lead our Army’s Soldiers on increasingly lethal battlefields remains unchanged.
Go Army!
Duty Honor Country
LTG Steve Gilland
61st Superintendent

Army Col. Terence Kelley, director of communications for West Point, said in a statement to Breitbart News:

Duty, Honor, Country is and always will be the motto of West Point. As we have done ten times in the past century, we have updated our mission statement, now including the Army Values, Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Integrity, and Personal Courage.

The words “duty, honor, country” appeared in a famed Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur speech to the Corps of Cadets in 1922. MacArthur served as superintendent of West Point from 1919 to 1922, after returning from service in World War I.

According to the Western Journal’s Randy DeSoto, new cadets during basic training at West Point had to memorize a portion of the speech, which said:

Duty, Honor, Country: Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying points: to build courage when courage seems to fail; to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith; to create hope when hope becomes forlorn.

In the beginning… Cadets conduct firing exercises outside the new barracks at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York, in 1853. (Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

MacArthur repeated the phrase several times in his speech:

Duty, Honor, Country. The code which those words perpetuate embraces the highest moral laws and will stand the test of any ethics or philosophies ever promulgated for the uplift of mankind. Its requirements are for the things that are right, and its restraints are from the things that are wrong. The soldier, above all other men, is required to practice the greatest act of religious training — sacrifice.
In battle and in the face of danger and death, he discloses those divine attributes which his Maker gave when he created man in his own image. No physical courage and no brute instinct can take the place of the Divine help which alone can sustain him.”

MacArthur told West Point cadets: “In the evening of my memory, always I come back to West Point. Always there echoes and re-echoes: Duty, Honor, Country.”

DeSoto wrote: “Hopefully, the same will be true for today’s West Point cadets, even with ‘Duty, Honor, Country’ no longer in the mission statement.”

Several Army veterans weighed in on the change.

Will Thibeau, an Army Ranger veteran and director of The American Military Project at The Claremont Institute, told Breitbart News in a statement, “The West Point mission statement is the cornerstone of everything that happens at the preeminent institution of our nation. Army civilian and military leaders’ decision to expunge the timeless principles of ‘Duty, Honor, Country’ from that motto in favor of a reference to the Army Values.”

“On the surface, this change is a benign semantic tweak from leadership. In reality, this is a rhetorical revolution in West Point’s culture. ‘Duty, Honor, Country’ are foundational commitments, instilled by General McArthur, that transcend time and culture. The Army Values now in the mission statement have undergone constant revisions since 1986, only formally codified in 2012. ‘Values’ are subjective cultural preferences that, for the Army, while important concepts, were the product of corporate consulting and endless bureaucratic revision,” he added.

“The saddest part is that we shouldn’t be surprised. At West Point, a cadet can get a degree in Diversity and Inclusion studies. The admissions office builds the Corps of Cadets based on ‘class composition goals’ that are, without question, race and sex-based quotas.”

Thibeau concluded, “The change to the motto is legitimately concerning, and Americans should ignore the military’s effort to sanitize the moment in which we find ourselves.”

Class of 2023 cadets throw their caps during commencement ceremonies at the U.S. Military Academy West Point, on May 27, 2023, in West Point, New York. (KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images)

Army veteran Spence Rogers called it a “disgrace” on X:

.@WestPoint_USMA got rid of “Duty, Honor, Country” out of its mission statement this week and replaced it with the words “Army Values”. What a disgrace! Listen to the speech by General Douglas MacArthur called “Duty, Honor, Country” given when he received West Point’s Thayer Award at West Point, May 12, 1962. He was 82 years old when he gave this speech. P.S. I don’t agree with the good general on the age of the earth or evolution. Despite that part of the speech, he is 100% correct.

Hal Lambert, a Republican fundraiser who served on the Inaugural Committee for President Donald Trump, posted sarcastically:

Army Values are now the amorphous words describing West Point grads mission statement. Duty, Honor, Country are out. Why not just go with the words “my truth” and be done with it?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

312K Migrants Encountered this Year in Arizona Border Sector

Hunter Biden Gets a Trial Date for Gun Charges