The United States Military Academies hold a special place in the hearts of Americans. While your average enlisted man may think otherwise, these prestigious institutions of higher learning produce some of the best and brightest officers the world has ever seen. This is why it is so disappointing to read the letter penned by Retired Lt. Col. Robert M. Heffington, who was not only a graduate of West Point but recently on the faculty at West Point as well. Despite an adamant defense by the current Superintendent Lt. General Robert Calsen, we are still left wondering; What exactly is going on at West Point?Given the recent attention of Spenser Rapone and the uproar regarding his blatant uniform violation, we're inclined to believe that Lt. Col. Heffington is telling the truth about what is happening at West Point.
The biggest problem that he mentions is the lack of standards. While the standards exist on paper, they are not enforced by the administration or anyone else for that matter. When it comes to academics, the standards are laughable at best. Lt. Col. Heffington states that several times he's had to teach students who were borderline illiterate. The honor code, which has been held in such high regard for cadets at the USMA, is not enforced and cadets know they won't be separated for violations in the honor code. What once was a key tenet at West Point has now been eroded into a joke. Instead of students being held accountable, rather the staff is put on trial and the students are let off without so much as a warning.The letter goes on. Go ahead and read the full version here. The statements, if true, are truly shameful for a once proud hallmark institute of higher learning.
Nobody is discounting the long and prestigious history of West Point. We definitely don't want to paint such an icon in a disparaging light. One of the hallmarks of service members is adherence to a standard. If standards aren't being enforced at West Point then it needs to be addressed--fast!We look forward to hearing Lt. Gen. Calsen address the claims made in the letter by Lt. Col. Heffington as he promises to do at a later time.
We're not going to cast judgment just yet, but one thing is certain: The United States Army deserves answers and transparency. If Lt. Col. Heffington is being genuine, then it is a sad day for America and a sad day for the storied institution.Read more military articles here.