In the wake of Lt Rapone

| October 12, 2017 | 162 Comments

Last week we discussed Lt Spenser Rapone and his antics celebrating his communist leanings while in uniform. Yesterday, the Superintendent of the West Point US Military Academy, Lieutenant General Robert Caslen addressed the problem;

We posted a statement that Lieutenant Colonel Robert M. Heffington wrote about Cadet Rapone. The Lieutenant Colonel explains his motivations for releasing that statement last week in a letter posted in Medium.

First and foremost, standards at West Point are nonexistent. They exist on paper, but nowhere else. The senior administration at West Point inexplicably refuses to enforce West Point’s publicly touted high standards on cadets, and, having picked up on this, cadets refuse to enforce standards on each other. The Superintendent refuses to enforce admissions standards or the cadet Honor Code, the Dean refuses to enforce academic standards, and the Commandant refuses to enforce standards of conduct and discipline. The end result is a sort of malaise that pervades the entire institution. Nothing matters anymore. Cadets know this, and it has given rise to a level of cadet arrogance and entitlement the likes of which West Point has never seen in its history.

The Officer basically says that USMA is no different than any other university in the country, more concerned with creating a safe space for cadets than educating them. This is not my shocked face.

Category: Army News

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  1. Graybeard says:

    And the Long Grey Line fades into pink.

    God have mercy on us all.

  2. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    Well, LTC (Ret.) Heffington’s Sworn Statement ALONE on the commie 2LT is pretty damning, why the hell wasn’t that little SHIT thrown out of the USMA for that alone? I’m sure that the USMA is in serious need of a good housecleaning.

    • Graybeard says:

      Starting with the Super.

    • radar says:

      Read LtCol Heffington’s letter on Medium. He explains in great detail how and why a piece of garbage like Rapone was allowed to graduate and receive a commission. It’s utterly revolting and, according to the letter, it can’t all be blamed on Obama. LtCol Heffington states that standards were already going down the drain when he was first on the faculty at West Point – in 2006-2009 under George Bush.

      • Jonn Lilyea says:

        He claimed the rot began during his first tour at USMA in the early 1990s.

        • radar says:

          Jonn, I read it a bit differently than you then. The thrust of his letter is what he witnessed as a faculty member in 2006-09 and again from 2013-2017. He then draws a contrast between his time as a faculty member and his time as a cadet:

          “During a discussion about cadet standards between the BTO and the Dept. of History faculty, I asked why plebes were going on leave in civilian clothes. His answer astonished me: “That rule is too hard to enforce.”

          Yet West Point had no problem enforcing that rule on me in the mid-1990s. I found it impossible to believe that the several hundred field grade officers stationed at West Point could not make teenagers wear the uniform. ”

          To me, that sounds as if he is saying that things went downhill quickly in the nine years between his graduation (1997) and arriving as faculty (2006)

          • SSG Kane says:

            It’s an Army thing.

            I’m convinced that things went downhill in the Army between my first enslitment ending (1995) and my re-enlistment (2007).

            I think a lot of it less political than its made out to be. It’s laziness. Numbers are quantifiable on an NCOER/OER. The higher the numbers, the better you are doing. So you don’t want to kick people out, because your command shrinks or you failed to graduate/instruct your students/cadets. So you relax the standards so your numbers look good.

    • cc senor says:

      Oh, where is Gen Goodpasture now that we need him again?

  3. IDC SARC says:

    “The end result is a sort of malaise that pervades the entire institution. Nothing matters anymore.”

    I see this same attitude in the training pipeline in SOF. Things students never got away with when I went through are ignored. The environment has lost its sense of purpose and relevance. It’s all about the numbers and those that think differently are just looked at as dinosaurs and obstructionists.

    • radar says:

      Slightly off topic but relevant….up until a couple of years ago, two of my close friends were instructors in our old schoolhouse, MATC, in Pensacola. They frequently told me stories of their disgust and frustration with the lowered standards in the program from when we went through it in 2002. Our instructors when we were trained took it as a badge of honor that so many trainees rocked out of ATC radar. It was SUPPOSED to be a goddamned difficult course because fixing radars is not an easy thing to do. They were looking for ways to get rid of us if they thought we weren’t up to snuff. Fast forward ahead a decade or so to 2010-2013, and now my friends were being told to bend over backwards and give their students retest after retest as they failed critical sections of the course. According to them, discipline had slipped noticeably as well. It was distressing to hear.

      • ExET2 says:

        So… I’m an exET2 that joined up in 2002. I went to AETC/AECF, did both comm and radar, got orders for SATCOM. When I left my ship in 2007 the new guys had my previous classroom instruction, replaced by self-driven “slide-based” instruction.

        They did not know anything. Also, no one had time to train them on the “basics”. It ended up being a disaster and I was emailed up until Inleft in Sep 2010 about ship related stuff.

  4. NotBuyingIt says:

    After reading LTG Caslan’s mealy-mouthed attempt at damage control, I’m inclined to believe LTC Heffington is right.

    I remember a motto emblazoned on a certain head-shed back in the ’80s: “Hard Looks. Straight Talk. Get Results.” I guess LTG Caslan never passed by that building.

    • 1610desig says:

      And he undoubtably knew this shit was going on…anyone want to serve under any of these affirmative action malcontents?

      • AnotherPat says:

        Lets see now…who was the Commander in Chief when that event happened?

        As stated before, LTG Caslen has a Chain of Command…we may not know what took place between him and BHO.

        Poor decision on those Cadets posting that photo on Social Media. I did not condone it. It made me angry what they did. Same with Rapone.

        Yet, how many of us served under those Point Officers who were caught cheating on their spouses? Did it affect our performance as Soldiers? Again, (ad nauseum), IMHO, responsibilty lays with the individual on their poor decision making.

        • Eden says:

          Cheating on spouses, while undeniably despicable, doesn’t usually have direct effect on the security of the nation. Anti-American sentiment within the cadet/officer ranks most certainly does.

          • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

            Cheating on spouses, ever heard of the “Honey Trap”? It’s one of if not THE oldest game in the spy business, an effective blackmail tool used on men who think with their peckers.

            • Eden says:

              I’m well aware of that. The regulations prohibiting adultery and homosexuality were based far more out of security concerns than morality ones. Still, my point remains–adultery’s effect on security is more indirect than the behavior of Rapone and his ilk.

              An OTS classmate of mine was unable to get a security clearance (resulting in automatic ELS for officer candidates in the 80s). Seems she got her degree at Berkeley. Nothing was ever said about exactly what she did while she was there, but it was enough to get her kicked out. It’s mind-boggling to me that Rapone has slid by this long with far worse (or at least far more open) than whatever she did.

          • 11B-mailclerk says:

            People who break an oath, may have a problem with keeping others.

            People with impulse control often have trouble with judgement in many things.

            “Cheating” is not a certain indicator of other moral errors, but it is an indicator that more are possible.

            The opposition exploits all of those, usually for seemingly trivial things. This later becomes more serious things, eventually treason.

  5. Martinjmpr says:

    Well, that’s just a damn shame. Back in 2015 I toured West Point for the first time and I was impressed by pretty much everything there, but of course I only saw what the tourists see.

    All the tradition in the world won’t make a lick of difference if standards are not enforced.

    USMA should not be “just a college” (nor should the USNA or USAFA.) At the risk of sounding elitist, a diploma from a service academy ought to mean more than one from State U, just as 4 years on the Long Gray Line ought to mean more than 4 years of going to keggers at Alpha Tau Omega and spending spring break at Panama Beach.

    I’d be interested to hear from some recent graduates, maybe those who have been in the “real Army” for a few years but who can still recall their cadet years, as to whether they think the experience was worth it.

  6. Guard Bum says:

    I suspect the same istitutional rot exists at Annapolis and this is going to begin a dominoe effect as more and more comes out.

    Raboner isnt the only subversive that made it to AcDu and the rest need to be smoked out ASAP.

    • luddite4change says:

      Having lived next to USNA and been associated with it from time to time for 10 of the last 15 years, I’d admit that they have their own issues (standards for recruited athletes, “correct” percentage of women, enforcement of off post athletic uniform standards, commissioned officer leadership involvement) but they pale in comparison to the rot LTC Heffington highlights.

      As a retired Army officer, it pains for to admit it, but I recommend USNA over USMA everytime if someones kid has to make a choice between the two.

    • MustangCryppie says:

      Went out with a woman who graduated from Annapolis. She said it was called the “Uncollege.” The stories she regaled me with reminded of the time I found out there was no Santa Claus. Crushing disappointment.

      She got her ring in 1990.

  7. Ex-PH2 says:

    A third-class liberal arts college is a nasty slap at what should be a highest-end technical college on the order of an engineering school like IIT or MIT.

    This is just a sad, sad statement about what used to be a top school. I wonder if it’s this bad at USNA.

  8. Hayabusa says:

    Given the problems described at West Point, the endemic problems with the Navy, etc., I am becoming convinced that we are going to lose the next serious war we fight. Our institutions have rotted from within. I take no pleasure in saying this and I hope to be proven wrong.

    • Mason says:

      Have faith. Americans can rise to the challenge if needed. We always have. 🙂

      After the revolution the military was essentially disbanded. After WWI, the services were cut back to shadows of their former glory.

      • NotBuyingIt says:

        I’m afraid that “Americans can rise to the challenge” is false hope – and has been for a long time. Those were different times, with Americans – and an America – of a different stripe.

        It’s instructive to remember that the New Deal ran about 3 million young men through the Civilian Conservation Corps in the years leading up to our involvement in WWII. The CCC was run much like a military organization; which surely helped once the fighting started.

        We gutted the ground forces after WWII too and paid for it with blood in the opening months of Korea.

        Americans might still be able to rise to the challenge if needed, but not until after too much blood and treasure is wasted.

        But, I hope you’re right and I’m wrong.

  9. USAF E-5 says:

    I strongly suspect USMA isn’t the only one needing a housecleaning. It would go a long way in explaining leadership failures across the board. GD the Military isn’t a frigging “Police Force”. They need and must have the higher standards if they’re to cope with doing more with less. Man, I can tell the blood pressure is up..whole screen is blurry. LOL.

  10. Roger Irvin, CPO USN Retired says:

    Why bother to have standards or rules. There is no “rule of law” in amerika any more. The Constitution is not adhered to. We are bombarded by media lies which passes for news. The majority of the population is too stupid or ignorant to pass a very simple citizenship test which is required for legal immigrants to become citizens. Yet many of them vote. That same majority have the ethics lower than gutter rats. Yes in my opinion we are on the road to hell.

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      Lighten up, Chief.

      If you turn your head away from your enemy’s shenanigans, how will you know when he’s setting up to pound you?

      Yes, it’s annoying but it’s better to know about it and have the means to stop it than to be shuffled off into the unknown.

  11. Sj says:

    Someone is going to say that old farts always say things are not as tough as they were back in … I heard this at Citadel in the early 60’s from dinosaur graduates and I hear some of my fellow grads saying it about today’s cadets.

    IMHO, this is NOT the case here. The LTC’s letter is horribly damning and is going to be a tsunami for all of the Service academies. Perhaps most disturbing is the dilution of the honor code. Getting anywhere near a violation was kryptonite at Citadel and Academy grads told be the same for there. And, disrespect of leaders – this is insurrection.

    The fallout from the LTC’s letter is going to be huge. I hope.

    • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

      I hope it turns out to be somewhere between nuclear and Biblically huge.

    • borderbill (a NIMBY/BANANA) says:

      “May you live in interesting times”-alleged Old Chinese saying.
      We pulled a lotta tschidt at The Citadel in 1962 (and years prior), but The Honor Code was venerated. LtCol T.N. Courvoisie, US Army, Ret’d. also provided guidance and edification.

      • Sj says:

        ’63. “Guidance and edification” is quite the understatement! I got sweated by him. Not fun.

        • USAFRetired says:

          My first real dealings with The Boo himself was in the fall of my Sophomore year. I came back early during the same time as Cadre as part of Palmetto Company. The Boo taught us how to safely fire those cannons and drilled us on how to do it. While he might have been exiled to the supply warehouse almost a decade earlier, I can attest to the fact that the real man was greater than the myth.

          Gen Goodpaster was employed at The Citadel when he came out of retirement, took a demotion to three stars to serve as Supe at West Point following the ’76 cheating scandal.

  12. Carlton G. Long says:

    CHAOS’ “Feelings Soon To Be Badly Hurt” list is probably getting longer by the day.

  13. smoke-check says:

    Caslen seems more angry at Heffington’s letter than he is at Rapone and the degradation of the academy. Caslen was more interested in defending himself than indicating an honest evaluation would be taken. This will all get buried.

    • sj says:

      I think the LTG is focused on Heffington’s letter because it exposes how we got to Rapone. I think that the LTG won’t be able to sweep this under the rug because I’m guessing SECDEF is pissed and there are a lot of powerful people from the Long Grey Line.

    • UpNorth says:

      That was my take-away, also. It read like, “how dare this lowly LT COL rain on my parade, making me do my job. Just wait until one of my junior officers comes up with a suitable reply”.

  14. Cowpill says:

    And what the hell does being in Kandahar and downtown Mosul have to do with this little pinko commie?

    • smoke-check says:

      Exactly. He is standing on the bodies of former cadets and soldiers to protect his failure. I immediately went to USMA homepage to get the lay of the land. The CPT Dockery person is plastered all over the place. How does Dockery feel being used as a tool to deflect well earned criticism of the Academy? Caslen is a disgrace. That letter was disgusting.

  15. 26Limabeans says:

    West Point was a pretty strac place when I went through there in 1959. People yelling at each other and walking funny.
    Then we all got back in the station wagon and continued our family vacation to New York.

  16. AnotherPat says:

    Read LTC Heffington’s note posted on Medium as well…and what is interesting to note is that
    the person who wrote this stated:

    “This was written by LTC (USA, ret.) Robert M. Heffington, as an open letter to graduates of the United States Military Academy at West Point. It has only been edited for format, and may differ in that respect from the original. My apologies to Lt. Colonel Heffington if this has been misrepresented in any way)”

    Heffington wrote (that is, IF he wrote it verbamin in his letter) stated:

    “First and foremost, standards at West Point are nonexistent. They exist on paper, but nowhere else…it has given rise to a level of cadet arrogance and entitlement the likes of which West Point has never seen in its history.”

    He also quotes the Cadet Prayer ““…suffer not our hatred of hypocrisy and pretense ever to diminish. Make us to choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong, and never to be content with a half-truth when the whole can be won.”

    Based on a personal confrontation with someone who graduated from the Point in the 1950s, have come to personally believe the Honor Code (“A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do”) as well as the Cadet Prayer do exist on paper only and that this behavior have been going on for years to be carried on after the Cadet graduates.

    That same person who still wears the Ring and spent 30 years on AD consistently for years beat the Honor Code and the Cadet Prayer in his childrens, his grandchildrens and nephew and nieces heads (and still does).

    At the same time, he bragged about cheating on his income taxes (still does), steaming stamps off of letters and reusing them (still does) and told his family that his father graduated from the Point (not true.)

    Saw a pattern when I found out his children and grandchildren are doing the same thing, i.e. cheat on their taxes as well as well as their spouses and caught them lying on social media that they “almost” became 3rd Generation West Pointers.

    When confronted, that Point Graduate stated “It’s different” and walked away. Am now the bad guy because his family members project their guilt and wrongdoings on me (sound familiar with phonies we encounter?)No loss; just lost a lot of respect for that family. But not for the Point.

    Not all Cadets or Graduates are like Rapone or that 1950s Point Graduate and his family. It is always that one person who violates ethics or embellishes that makes the rest of the bunch look bad.

    • Fyrfighter says:

      Always gonna have bad apples Pat, nothing will prevent that, but when the bad ones become prevalent, or they are pushed through DUE to the environment, not in spite of it, that’s an entirely different situation

      • AnotherPat says:

        Yes. You are correct.It was just amazing to me when those grandsons posted on FAKEBOOK that they ALMOST became “Third Generation West Point” and when asked “Well, why don’t you just join the Military” there was silence..and then excuses.

        And the parents and granparents probably out of guilt enabled their behavior.

  17. 11B-Mailclerk says:

    One of the -absolutely- most important standards held by the US Armed Forces has been “Stay out of politics. The civilians run the government.”

    If no other standards are upheld, if the Cadre at West Point cannot bring themselves to enforce -haircut- regulations, let alone their long-cherished -Honor Code-, why on earth would anyone expect that the essential bulwark of Liberty, “Military – stay out of politics”, would remain in effect?

    Lose a war over the rot? We shall be very lucky if we do not lose the Republic. The next President may decide to order military enforcement of unconstitutional edicts. “The election is not legitimate! Russia! -I- am President because the Military supports me!” How likely is the person receiving the order to reply with the correct “NO, sir, we do not do that sort of thing”. Or will they say “Sure thing sir!”, having already compromised every shred of standards and honor?

    I cannot stress enough just how -damning- is that letter, and how -damning- is that response. I would expect him to have said “I did not lie”, or at least “The allegation is not true”.

    Don’t mince words and hide behind “investigations”. Answer the charge. Did you -lie-? Did you -cheat-? Did you -tolerate- those who -do-? That is what you -swore- to uphold, right?


    I think we have something -far- more dangerous here than poor ship handling and the resultant deaths. Moreso than one treacherous nincompoop which hostile foreign loyalties and poor grooming habits. The body count is not immediate, but left uncorrected, the butcher’s bill for this is going to be appalling when the bill is posted. If the accusation is even -slightly- proven, the chain of command of West Point -must- go. Examples -must- be made, even if it means whole classes get recycled or boloed.

    And sadly, I rather suspect this rot will be found at the other Academies. This mess did not grow in a vacuum. It cannot be unique.

    In a way, we may someday be thankful this treacherous idiot was a so lacking in self control. He just exposed the whole rotten mess. I am also greatful that one Officer decided that Honor actually meant more to him than anything else. That gives me hope.

  18. Ex-PH2 says:

    It’s kind of strange how timing works itself. I received the article at the link below in my e-mail this morning. It’s about fragging incidents during the Vietnam War. Is it a coincidence that it shows up today, or is something else afoot? In view of the business with Rapone and others like him, as well as the undisciplined atmosphere now at large at West Point, maybe it isn’t a coincidence. The only difference between then and now is that there is no draft any more.

    Read it, and then you decide.

    • rgr769 says:

      Contrary to media reports, fragging was extremely rare among actual combat troops. When it occurred it was by troops in the rear who were in conflict with the officers/nco’s in charge of them. Every infantry battalion had a barracks full of them awaiting court martial or BCD’s. My men may not have liked me, but they respected me because I could read a map, could adjust artillery fire, and didn’t ask them to do things that would get us killed unnecessarily. They knew they needed me as much as I needed them. I took care of them but accomplished the mission at hand. Competent combat leaders didn’t get “fragged.”

      • Ex-PH2 says:

        Competent combat leaders didn’t get “fragged.”

        Exactly. But what is the quality of those people now by comparison with their predecessors? I would say it’s better, but then we run into people like that fellow from UC/Brkly and arrogant jerks like those coming out of the academies now, and I wonder, reasonably, how long it would be before it started up again.

  19. Slick Goodlin says:

    “Duty, Honor and Uh…like do your own thing man!”

  20. 1610desig says:

    As I’ve mentioned before, a large part of this rot is that all academies are competing in Division One level sports…the prep schools and the academies are taking academically inferior (if not hopeless) people, particularly minorities…I don’t think even Mattis can tackle that sacred cow…anecdotally here, but I served with a lot of officers through my career and the ones that went the distance were decidedly not on the USNA football or basketball teams…I think the one dude I actually knew that was on a team was a backup quarterback and he got out as a LT…about the dumbest fucker that ever graced an officers mess…

  21. AnotherPat says:

    In fairness to LTG Caslen, USMA Class of 1975, he has a Chain of Command as well and might have been directed to write that letter to current Cadets as well as to former and cutrent Graduates of West Point.

    Who knows…one of his Staff might have composed a draft that went thru the JAG, PAO, other members of his Staff before it came to him for any changes, then was sent to his Chain of Command for final approval, where that Staff reviewed it. Perhaps President Trump’s Staff reviewed it as well (and yes, I am a strong supporter of President Trump).

    In fairness to LTC (Retired) Heffington, USMA Class of 1997, he did not have to go thru a Chain of Command with his letter, because what can DoD do to him? He firmly believed in upholding the Honor Code and the Cadet Prayer after he retired and most likely was fed up/frustrated that Rapone was allowed to graduate, especially after Rapone got his 15 minutes of fame in the Media.

    Three West Point Graduates. One a Baby Boomer. One a Generation X. One a Millenial. Each doing what they thought is correct.

    Just as this Blog has different Generations posting their opionions. We all have different perspectives based on our upbringings. I respect everyones comments here, because who is right? Who is wrong? Or as HRC once stated “Does it really matter?” 😉 ( HAD to throw in that comment).

    Agree with what the first two wrote.Definitely do not agree on Rapone’s behavior

    Wishful thinking on my part that the focus in the media would be more on Rapone instead of the other two. His days in the Army may be cut short (I wish, but that is my opinion), but then again, it may not. Time will tell.

    Ok, I’m open for INCOMING! FIRE FOR EFFECT! so go for it…😎

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      See the article on fragging that I posted in this comment, up above:

      The concern should be that the officers coming out of the academies are not dead weight idiots whose brains are mired in politics instead of doing the military’s business. A strong example this would be the persona non grata UC/Berserkley grad who annoyed large numbers of us with his politics, and showed an unwillingness to accept differing opinions.

      • AnotherPar says:

        That was an excellent article you posted, Ex-PH2. 11B-mailclerk said the same. Those currently serving should keep their political views to themselves.Should not mix politics with Service, but unfortunately, it does happen and has happened in the past. At least that was what I was taught when serving. It was condisered taboo and a kiss of death for ones career.

        Is UC/Berk now retired or drilling or anything? Have to admit I did enjoy reading the exchanges between you both (and Hondos as well).

        I remembered the ruckus when WJC was elected. We were told to keep our personal beliefs at home (those of us who did not want him as our CINC). As painful as it was, we hung on to him for 8 years. Course, we all had the right to leave if we did not care for him.

        I imagine you went thru a similiar experience when you served, just as those who served under BHO and did not care having him as a CINC.

        BTW, was in K when that fragging took place during OIF. Have lost track of the culprit since it took place 14-15 years ago.

        Thanks for the good read.

        • Ex-PH2 says:

          You’re welcome, Another Pat.

          Before I set out to write anything related to combat (watching over shoulder for Dave Hardin), I asked people I knew who had been in combat in Vietnam what was the most important thing. They said, universally, that the boot hershey bar officers (brown rank pins instead of shiny metal) who did not listen to their sergeants were more likely to get people hurt/killed than not.

          That made a lot of sense to me.

          • AnotherPat says:

            Well, maybe Dave is still waiting for that sammich…😎

            Read rgr769 comment to you about Viet of the Nam and fraggin incidents. Heard something similiar, that it only took place in the rear and not in the field. But I was not there.

            Was always taught that young Officers should always listen to their NCOs, which makes sense to me.

            And as the Officer and NCO progress in rank and experience, they should work together as a team for the sake if their troops.

            Hope Rapone is listening to his NCOs…

          • rgr769 says:

            Butterbars were a rare commodity when I was in RVN (6/70-10/71). 2LT to 1LT required only 12 months of AD. The first 6 months of AD was consumed with training schools and leave, etc. All my platoon leaders that were officers were 1LT’s. As an RA officer I was required to have one year of troop duty before the Army would send me to RVN. I think the Army had a policy of not sending brand new 2LT’s to RVN even with reserve officers. I am not saying no 2LT’s went to RVN; just that they were few and far between.

      • AnotherPat says:

        Durn it. I replied to you, but most likely hit the red button or typed in the wrong email address.

        Oh, well. It was not important. Thank you for posting the frag aricle. It was interesting to read..and hopefully, will not happen in the near future (last fraggin I recalled took place about 14-15 years ago).

  22. Sparks says:

    Today MacArthur would have ended his final speech to the cadets, with, “I always come back to…The Corp, The Corp and…hey there’s a Queer!”.

  23. MCPO NYC USN Ret. says:

    Someone has a lot of spainin” to do!

  24. Jus Bill says:

    I’ve been hearing the very same complaints about ALL the service academies for decades. The same atmosphere exists to some degree at each of them. It began (IMO) when they replaced the actual warfighter COs with pencil pushers and desk jockeys. They subsequently caused their commands to lose sight of their missions.

    Pisses me off no end!

    • AnotherPat says:

      Well, you have to admit that Eisenhower was a pencil pusher and desk jockey for a long time before WW2 (due to no fault of his own).

      Pershing and MacArthur were even Cadre at West Point. Trying to remember if Patton was there as well.

      Someone has to push those pencils (now computers) and be the jockeys because of their Military specialties. Heck, during OEF/OIF, some of the “Warfighters”, that is, GOs, stayed behind with their Staff and very rarely went into the field to fight a battle.

      Didn’t Marshall do the same thing during WW2?

      • Reddevil says:

        Well, Marshall was the Chief of Staff of the Army during the war, so he spent most of his time in the Pentagon designing and building the Army and shaping the grand strategy of the war. He is arguably the American military man who bore the most direct responsibility for victory.

        The CSA is responsible for organizing, training, and equipping the Army, and at that time he was also responsible for grand strategy, there being no Chairman of the Joint Chiefs or Secretary of Defense. Marshall worked with the Chief of Naval Operations and the Secretary of War to figure out how to win the war. He led the process that figured out what ind of units we would where and when, and how to organize, train, and equip them. He was figuring out how we would occupy Germany when we were still in Africa, and he was figuring out how we would invade Japan and face the Soviets starting on D+2.

        So, not much of a combat record, but without Marshal we would have had a very different war. Part of the problem now is that we don’t have a Marshal, but instead GOs that never really rose above the tactical fight.

        This isn’t about standards at West Point, it is about the Professional Ethic of the military- which of course reflects the ethics of the Nation.

    • OWB says:

      Yep. Something had to be amiss when a few years ago someone for whom I have the utmost respect turned down the opportunity to become commandant of the Air Force Academy. The conversation apparently went something like – take command or you will never see that star, so he retired as an 0-6. He never really said exactly why, but reading between the lines, it was fairly obvious that “fairness,” PC crap in general, and the lefty agenda were at play.

    • SSG E says:

      Caslen was a BN XO during Desert Storm, had a trip to Haiti, was at the Pentagon on 9/11, Afghanistan in 2002, another Afghanistan trip, and then-MG Caslan commanded all forces in northern Iraq when I was there. He’s got a CIB. He may be many things, but I don’t think it’s fair to say he isn’t a warfighter.

      • AnotherPat says:

        Agree. He did make LTG..and it has nothing to do with him being a West Point graduate. Nothing.

        Personally know lots of West Point Graduates that retired as O6s, even after spending 30 years in the service. Nothing wrong with that. Also know several GOs that stayed passed 30. One GO who graduated in 1966 from the Point was truthful when he said he received his 2 Stars because he was in the right place at the right time.

        US Army Officers have to spend their time in TO&E units as well as TDA/Garrison units, no matter how they got their commission if they want to be promoted. The nature of the beast.

        West Point is not the only military academy to be rocked by scandels throughout the years ( as pointed out by others). As repeatly stated ad nauseum, scandels at Military Academies have been going on for years (check out the video from 1951 on a West Point scandel) and will probably continue.

  25. Perry Gaskill says:

    Why is any of this a surprise? The country has just come off eight years of being led by a Commander in Chief who made no secret of his disdain for the military. When the one who leads an institution has no regard for it, the institution risks losing regard for itself.

    Once upon a time, if you were a high school kid admitted to West Point, it was something to be proud of. It meant you were among the very best of what the country had to offer. It also meant, more often than not, that you were destined for a career in the long line of a profession of arms responsible for keeping the barbarians away from the gate. It was to have your character forged in a way to make it acceptable to those you would lead in harm’s way.

    All of which was, of course, unacceptable to the prior organizer-in-chief because it meant recognizing as exceptional a group who posed a threat to the every-child-gets-a-prize rainbow-diversity mantra. If institutions such as West Point can’t be completely eliminated for daring to choose exceptionalism, apparently the one-world progressive thinking goes, the next best thing is to marginalize those institutions by relaxing standards.

    West Point is not Columbia or UCLA. A degree in interpretive dance to prepare someone, badly, for middle management at an insurance company is not the same as preparation for a world in which our bitter enemies need to wet their pants whenever they hear the sound of our name.

    • David says:

      At least when I was in high school, a National Merit Scholar received an invitation to apply to USMA. Even a Merit Scholar still had to compete to get in. (In the days of the draft, getting a letter from the Army when you are still only 16 or 17 is attention-getting.)

      • Angry B says:

        And sadly, a current USMA cadet who was in high school with my kid was pulled in front of the honor council a couple of times and even lied about his extracurriculars in his USMA application. When the USMA Rep reminded the graduation audience that the kid was the captain of the ___ team, the kids who were on that team–and knew who the actual team captain was were astounded.

        I told my kid “if [your classmate] pulls that sort of crap at USMA, he’ll Be out on his ass”

        I guess I was wrong. Seems like that cheating and lying kid will fit in just fine at West Point. How sad.

  26. Skippy says:

    This is the same westpoint were we had African American member doing the black panther salute
    A year ago right ??
    If so why would this surprise anyone now, the rot started under bush and continues today at a faster pace
    No big surprise here

  27. jonp says:

    I wonder how deep this is and if it’s affected other Military Academies and Schools such as Norwich, The Citidel, Great Lakes, Maine Maritime etc

  28. AnotherPat says:

    As previously stated, scandals at West Point have been going on for years (video from 1951) as well as in the 1970s.

  29. AnotherPat says:

    Comment to me from a 1977 West Point Graduate:

    “Although the Supe is ultimately resposible for the Corps and must approve recommendations to dismiss a cadet, the Commandant of Cadets…Brigadier General…is responsible for cadet discipline and disciplining cadets”

  30. FatCircles0311 says:

    When I did my enlistment I was under had 4 different platoon commanders. All but 1 were shitbags and that 1 I wasn’t around long enough to know if he was good or not. This is far from just a military academy thing.

  31. Young Bud Fox says:

    If LTG Caslen was an In the Navy, I bet many of the ships under his command would be running aground or involved in ship-to-ship collisions based upon his demonstrated standards of leadership.

    • AnotherPat says:

      I know LTG Caslen…IMHO, I feel you are incorrect in making that statement since I am aware of his leadership style. but I respect your opinion.

      Please read the comment posted above that I shared coming from a 1977 USMA Grad.

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