All posts by Jim

What’s Happened at the USMA?

This is not being posted to offend any of my Army buddies, yes I do have Army buddies. For those of you that have not read my book (shame on you), I spent two wonderful years at the JFK Center for Special Warfare at Ft. Bragg, and it was a tour that changed my life for the better in more ways than one. This letter, written by a  retired US Army LtCol professor who resigned from the USMA gives a scathing review of what is going on at one of the country’s proudest institutions. SAD!

What Is Happening at West Point?

A recent West Point instructor charges that standards at the institution have been degraded to the point he questions ‘whether the institution should even remain open.’

12:59 PM, OCT 11, 2017 | By MARK HEMINGWAY

 

 

 

 

Cadets nap before the start of the U.S. Military Academy Class of 2017 graduation ceremony at Michie Stadium on May 27, 2017 in West Point, New York. Photo credit: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images.

Retired Lt. Col. Robert M. Heffington, who recently quit teaching at West Point, has penned an open letter about a series of disturbing developments that have taken place at the U.S. Military Academy, starting with the revelation that West Point graduate Spenser Rapone is an avowed Communist who has insulted Defense secretary James Mattis and Vice President Mike Pence on social media:

Dear Sir/Ma’am,

Before you read any further, please understand that the following paragraphs come from a place of intense devotion and loyalty to West Point. My experience as a cadet had a profound impact upon who I am and upon the course of my life, and I remain forever grateful that I have the opportunity to be a part of the Long Gray Line. I firmly believe West Point is a national treasure and that it can and should remain a vitally important source of well trained, disciplined, highly educated Army officers and civilian leaders. However, during my time on the West Point faculty (2006-2009 and again from 2013-2017), I personally witnessed a series of fundamental changes at West Point that have eroded it to the point where I question whether the institution should even remain open. The recent coverage of 2LT Spenser Rapone – an avowed Communist and sworn enemy of the United States – dramatically highlighted this disturbing trend. Given my recent tenure on the West Point faculty and my direct interactions with Rapone, his “mentors,” and with the Academy’s leadership, I believe I can shed light on how someone like Rapone could possibly graduate.

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.

Every fall, the Superintendent addresses the staff and faculty and lies.. He repeatedly states that “We are going to have winning sports teams without compromising our standards,” and everyone in Robinson Auditorium knows he is lying because we routinely admit athletes with ACT scores in the mid-teens across the board. I have personally taught cadets who are borderline illiterate and cannot read simple passages from the assigned textbooks. It is disheartening when the institution’s most senior leader openly lies to his own faculty-and they all know it.

The cadet honor code has become a laughingstock. Cadets know they will not be separated for violating it, and thus they do so on a daily basis. Moreover, since they refuse to enforce standards on each other and police their own ranks, cadets will rarely find a cadet at an honor hearing despite overwhelming evidence that a violation has occurred. This in tum has caused the staff and faculty to give up even reporting honor incidents. Why would a staff or faculty member expend the massive amount of time and energy it takes to report an honor violation-including writing multiple sworn statements, giving interviews, and testifying at the honor hearing-when they know without a doubt the cadet will not be found (or, if found, the Superintendent will not separate the cadet)? To make matters worse, the senior leadership at West Point actively discourages staff and faculty from reporting honor violations. l was unfortunate enough to experience this first hand during my first tour on the faculty, when the Commandant of Cadets called my office phone and proceeded to berate me in the most vulgar and obscene language for over ten minutes because I had reported a cadet who lied to me and then asked if “we could just drop it.” Of course, I was duty bound to report the cadet’s violation, and I did. During the course of the berating I received from the Commandant, I never actually found out why he was so angry. It seemed that he was simply irritated that the institution was having to deal with the case, and that it was my fault it even existed. At the honor hearing the next day, I ended up being the one on trial as my character and reputation were dragged through the mud by the cadet and her civilian attorney while I sat on the witness stand without any assistance. In the end, of course, the cadet was not found (despite having at first admitted that she lied), and she eventually graduated. Just recently a cadet openly and obviously plagiarized his History research paper, and his civilian professor reported it. The evidence was overwhelming-there was not the slightest question of his guilt, yet the cadet was not found. The professor, and indeed all the faculty who knew of the case, were completely demoralized. This is the new norm for the cadet honor system. In fact, there is now an addition to the honor system (the Willful Admission Process) which essentially guarantees that if a cadet admits a violation, then separation is not even a possibility. In reality, separation is not a possibility anyway because the Superintendent refuses to impose that sanction.

Academic standards are also nonexistent. I believe this trend started approximately ten years ago, and it has continued to get worse. West Point has stated standards for academic expectations and performance, but they are ignored. Cadets routinely fail multiple classes and they are not separated at the end-of-semester Academic Boards. Their professors recommend “Definitely Separate,” but those recommendations are totally disregarded. I recently taught a cadet who failed four classes in one semester (including mine), in addition to several she had failed in previous semesters, and she was retained at the Academy. As a result, professors have lost hope and faith in the entire Academic Board process. It has been made clear that cadets can fail a multitude of classes and they will not be separated. Instead, when they fail (and they do to a staggering extent), the Dean simply throws them back into the mix and expects the faculty to somehow drag them through the academic program until they manage to earn a passing grade. What a betrayal this is to the faculty! Also, since they get full grade replacement if they must re­take a course, cadets are actually incentivized to fail. They know they can re-take the course over the summer when they have no other competing requirements, and their new grade completely replaces the failing one. ST AP (Summer Term Academic Program) is also now an accepted summer detail assignment, so retaking a course during the summer translates into even more summer leave for the deficient cadet.

Even the curriculum itself has suffered. The plebe American History course has been revamped to focus completely on race and on the narrative that America is founded solely on a history of racial oppression. Cadets derisively call it the “I Hate America Course.” Simultaneously, the plebe International History course now focuses on gender to the exclusion of many other important themes. On the other hand, an entire semester of military history was recently deleted from the curriculum (at West Point!). In all courses, the bar has been lowered to the point where it is irrelevant. If a cadet fails a course, the instructor is blamed, so instructors are incentivized to pass everyone. Additionally, instead of responding to cadet failure with an insistence that cadets rise to the challenge and meet the standard, the bar for passing the course itself is simply lowered. This pattern is widespread and pervades every academic department.

Conduct and disciplinary standards are in perhaps the worst shape of all. Cadets are jaded, cynical, arrogant, and entitled. They routinely talk back to and snap at their instructors (military and civilian alike), challenge authority, and openly refuse to follow regulations. They are allowed to wear civilian clothes in almost any arena outside the classroom, and they flaunt that privilege. Some arrive to class unshaven, in need of haircuts, and with uniforms that look so ridiculously bad that, at times, I could not believe I was even looking at a West Point cadet. However, if a staff or faculty member attempts to correct the cadet in question, that staff/faculty member is sure to be reprimanded for “harassing cadets.” For example, as I made my rounds through the barracks inspecting study conditions one evening as the Academic Officer in Charge, I encountered a cadet in a company study room. He was wearing a pair of blue jeans and nothing else, and was covered in tattoos. He had long hair, was unshaven, and I was honestly unsure if he was even a cadet. He looked more like a prison convict to me. When I questioned what he was doing there, he remained seated in his chair and sneered at me that he “was authorized” because he was a First Class cadet. I proceeded to correct him and then reported him to the chain of command the next morning. Later that day I received an email from the Brigade Tactical Officer telling me to “stay in my lane.” I know many other officers receive the same treatment when attempting to make corrections. It is extremely discouraging when the response is invariably one that comes to the defense of the cadet.

That brings me to another point: cadets’ versions of stories are always valued more highly by senior leaders than those of commissioned officers on the staff and faculty. It is as if West Point’s senior leaders believe their job is to “protect” cadets from the staff and faculty at all costs. This might explain why the faculty’s recommendations are ignored at the Academic Boards, why honor violations are ignored (and commissioned officers are verbally abused for bringing them to light), and why cadets always “win” when it comes to conduct and disciplinary issues.

It seems that the Academy’s senior leaders are intimidated by cadets. During my first tour on the faculty (I was a CPT at the time), I noticed that 4th class cadets were going on leave in civilian clothes when the regulation clearly stated they were supposed to be wearing a uniform. 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. This anecdote highlights the fact that West Point’s senior leaders lack not the ability but the motivation to enforce their will upon the Corps of Cadets.

This brings me to the case of now-2LT Spenser Rapone. It is not at all surprising that the Academy turned a blind eye to his behavior and to his very public hatred of West Point, the Army, and this nation. I knew at the time I wrote that sworn statement in 2015 that he would go on to graduate. It is not so much that West Point’s leadership defends his views (Prof. Hosein did, however); it is that West Point’s senior leaders are infected with apathy: they simply do not want to deal with any problem, regardless of how grievous a violation of standards and/or discipline it may be. They are so reticent to separate problematic cadets (undoubtedly due to the “developmental model” that now exists at USMA) that someone like Rapone can easily slip through the cracks. In other words, West Point’s leaders choose the easier wrong over the harder right.

I could go on, but I fear that this letter would simply devolve into a screed, which is not my intention. I will sum up by saying this: a culture of extreme permissiveness has invaded the Military Academy, and there seems to be no end to it. Moreover, this is not unintentional; it is a deliberate action that is being taken by the Academy’s senior leadership, though they refuse to acknowledge or explain it. Conduct and behavior that would never be tolerated at a civilian university is common among cadets, and it is supported and defended by the Academy’s senior leaders in an apparent and misguided effort to attract more applicants and cater to what they see as the unique needs of this generation of cadets.

Our beloved Military Academy has lost its way. It is a shadow of what it once was. It used to be a place where standards and discipline mattered, and where concepts like duty, honor, and country were real and they meant something. Those ideas have been replaced by extreme permissiveness, rampant dishonesty, and an inexplicable pursuit of mediocrity. Instead of scrambling to restore West Point to what it once was, the Academy’s senior leaders give cadets more and more privileges in a seeming effort to tum the institution into a third-rate civilian liberal arts college. Unfortunately, they have largely succeeded. The few remaining members of the staff and faculty who are still trying to hold the line are routinely berated, ignored, and ultimately silenced for their unwillingness to “go along with the program.” The Academy’s senior leaders simply do not want to hear their voices or their concerns. Dissent is crushed-I was repeatedly told to keep quiet at faculty meetings, even as a LTC, because my dissent was neither needed nor appreciated.

It breaks my heart to write this. It breaks my heart to know first-hand what West Point was versus what it has become. This is not a “Corps has” story; it is meant to highlight a deliberate and radical series of changes being undertaken at the highest levels of USMA’ s leadership that are detrimental to the institution. Criticizing these changes is not popular. I have already been labeled a “traitor” by some at the Academy due to my sworn statement’s appearance in the media circus surrounding Spenser Rapone. However, whenever I hear this, I am reminded of 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. …that scorns to compromise with vice and injustice, and knows no fear when truth and right are in jeopardy.”

West Point was once special, and it can be again. Spenser Rapone never should have been admitted, much less graduate, but he was-and that mistake is directly attributable to the culture of permissiveness and apathy that now exists there.

Sincerely and Respectfully,

Robert M. Heffington

LTC, U.S. Army (Retired), West Point Class of 1997

Vietnam War – Unbiased

As I watched this power point presentation it conjured up all sorts of memories, none were good memories, but memories I am proud of. I’ve not finished watching Burns and Novick’s biased series, which I sure many Americans now firmly believe was an honest depiction of that war. Meanwhile those who had boots on the ground have a  completely different view. I probably won’t finish watching the series now that I have read so many reviews by people I trust because their boots were alongside mine – on the ground. But as I clicked on each slide, I was vividly reminded how we lived, how we fought, and how we bled. The I think of  the current state of affairs that Obama and his cronies like Mabus and “Ash and Trash” Carter have left our military. As you watch this, think about women in the infantry, transgenders serving in these hell holes, think diversity supposedly making our military more efficient.  And tell me, show me, introduce me to an 18-year-old woman who could live through that and if she did would not be scarred for life. What fools we are!

Vietnam_War SLIDE SHOW

Church, State, and Hatred

What’s always good for the goose is not always good for the gander. What a shame. I feel for this man. He goes to hear the word of God every Sunday and instead hear’s his preacher spew hated for our country and President.  Generation after generation; it will never end, at least not in mine, my children’s, or grandchildren’s lifetime.

Jerry said his pastor gave him the same blank stare he always receives from fellow blacks when he states commonsense views that are contrary to Democrat lies believed by that most blacks. Condescendingly, Jerry’s pastor said he understood his concerns. Meanwhile, his attacks on Trump from the pulpit continue. Jerry said every guest speaker at his church includes trashing Trump in their sermon.

Jerry’s church realizes there is a war on Christianity. Jerry said it is mind-boggling that his church has hired attorneys to defend itself from relentless infringements on its religious liberty. And yet, his entire church is loyal Democrat voters, the party leading the charge against Christianity. Jerry said it is as insane as giving your enemy a hammer to hit you in the head and then buying a helmet for protection.

Jerry challenged his fellow black church members to tell him what Trump has done to prove he is a racist. Remarkably, they believe Trump saying he wants to make America great again is proof of his racism. It is truly unfortunate that Leftists/fake news media have deceived many blacks into believing that a desire to make our homeland great again is code for white supremacy.

Jerry’s church members also thought it was racist for Trump to say he wanted to address the high murder rate in black neighborhoods. They argued that whites murder whites, Mexicans murder Mexicans and so on. Jerry and I discussed how blacks are undeniably murdering each other in record numbers in cities controlled by Democrats. Jerry thought blacks should be excited about Trump wanting to stop the violence, starting in black neighborhoods. Jerry said, “I tell you, Peanut (my childhood nickname), sometimes I feel like I am living in the Twilight Zone.”

Jerry ran into a black guy from the black community we grew up in. The guy went on and on praising our dad, Dr. Rev. Lloyd E. Marcus for being a powerful influence in his life. When their conversation went to politics, the pleasant mood dramatically changed. The guy stared Jerry in the eyes, “I bet you are a Republican and voted for Trump. My blood is boiling just looking at you!” Jerry said the guy was so enraged, he braced himself preparing for the guy to try to hit him.

Jerry said he feels all alone in his Baltimore urban environment. He called me in West Virginia for encouragement to stand strong in his political beliefs. I praised my younger brother for his courage. Jerry has always been an independent person and thinker. When we were in our twenties, I remember Jerry saying, “The only thing I want from the government is for it to get out of my way.”

Our black family is a tale of two mindsets. One side of our family is ripe with Christian preachers, doctors, lawyers and teachers. The other side of our family consisted of generational welfare recipients; out-of-wedlock births, drug and alcohol abuse. One cousin spawned 23 kids and grandkids all repeating their cycle of generational government dependency. Sadly, the majority of my relatives who spent their lives on welfare are dead. Ponder that, folks. Both sides of my family grew up in the same America. Their lives followed their mindsets.

My brother said his pastor relentlessly attacking Trump and church member’s irrational brain-dead loyalty to the Democrat party is becoming intolerable. Jerry laughed quoting Popeye, “That’s all I can stands and I can’t stands no more.” Still, he does not feel led to end his long-time membership at his church. I told Jerry God will tell him when it is time to leave.

St. Augustine said a minority of truth will prevail as long as it is heard. In other words, God only requires Jerry and me to continue faithfully spreading the truth. While most of our seeds of truth falls on stony hearts and minds, some will land on fertile soil in the minds of a remnant of black youths; take root, grow, and bear good fruit.

Lloyd Marcus, The Unhyphenated American

Author: Confessions of a Black Conservative: How the Left has shattered the dreams of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Black America.

Singer/Songwriter and Conservative Activist

http://LloydMarcus.com

Call The Number, I did

I have been saying all along to the silent majority to go after the money, follow the money if you want to get someone’s attention. Well, here is you chance. Do you realize what would happen to the scum-filled, money hungry NFL if Anheuser-Busch stopped advertising NFL games? WOW. And they’d probably sell more beer for doing that!

Call the number now and tell them what you think; I did, told them I have stopped drinking Bud Light and will not drink any of their products as long as they support an organization that allows politics to be displayed openly during something that is supposed to be America’s game.

 

This Company Needs YOUR Feedback On NFL Sponsorship. Act Now!

Anheuser-Busch is asking for your opinion on the company’s $1.5 billion NFL sponsorship. They know fans and customers are irate over the anthem protests and have set up a way for you to register your complaint directly!

Call the customer hotline at 1-800-342-5283 and choose Option 1 at the prompt.

Then, leave your message and tell Anheuser-Busch to stop sponsoring the NFL and the NFL Players Association if the anthem protests continue.

The NFL’s sponsors are realizing these protests are extremely unpopular with fans and the general public. Last week, DirecTV began offering refunds to customers who wished to cancel their premium package for out-of-market games. A company the size of Anheuser-Busch can exert considerable influence over the league’s corporate office.

Did you know?

Anheuser-Busch is also a sponsor of the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA). 2ndVote has uncovered the NFLPA’s direct financial support for a leftist group described as as “a prominent anti-Trump ‘resistance’ organization. Read the bombshell report here.

Tale of Two Friends

This is an interesting story (tale) of two hypothetical friends and the decisions they made based on their skill set, physical and mental gifts from God, and offered choices. Very well thought out and explains the NFL issue in terms any imbecile can understand, except perhaps the lamest of snowflakes and progressives who we all know only understand things in their terms, and that’s even doubtful.

You graduated high school in 2011.  Your teenage years were a struggle.  You grew up on the wrong side of the tracks.  Your mother was the leader of the family and worked tirelessly to keep a roof over your head and food on your plate.  Academics were a struggle for you and your grades were mediocre at best. The only thing that made you stand out is you weighed 225 lbs and could run 40 yards in 4.2 seconds while carrying a football.   Your best friend was just like you, except he didn’t play football.  Instead of going to football practice after school, he went to work at McDonalds for minimum wage to help support the family of five with no father.  You were recruited by all the big colleges and spent every weekend of your senior year making visits to universities where coaches and boosters tried to convince you their school was best.  They laid out the red carpet for you. Your best friend worked double shifts at Mickey D’s.  College was not an option for him.  On the day you signed with Big State University, your best friend signed paperwork with his Army recruiter.  You went to summer workouts.  He went to basic training.

You spent the next four years living in the athletic dorm, eating at the training table. You spent your Saturdays on the football field, cheered on by adoring fans.  Tutors attended to your every academic need.  You attended class when you felt like it. Sure, you worked hard.  You lifted weights, ran sprints, studied plays, and soon became one of the top football players in the country.  Your best friend was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division. While you were in college, he deployed to Iraq once and Afghanistan twice.  He became a Sergeant and led a squad of 19 year-old soldiers who grew up just like he did.  He shed his blood in Afghanistan and watched young American’s give their lives, limbs, and innocence for the USA. 

You went to the NFL combine and scored off the charts.  You hired an agent and waited for draft day.  You were drafted in the first round and your agent immediately went to work, ensuring that you received the most money possible. You signed for $16 million although you had never played a single down of professional football.  Your best friend re-enlisted in the Army for four more years. As a combat tested sergeant, he will be paid $32,000 per year.

You will drive a Ferrari on the streets of South Beach.  He will ride in the back of a Blackhawk helicopter with 10 other combat loaded soldiers.  You will sleep at the Ritz.  He will dig a hole in the ground and try to sleep.  You will “make it rain” in the club.  He will pray for rain as the temperature reaches 120 degrees.

On Sunday, you will run into a stadium as tens of thousands of fans cheer and yell your name.  For your best friend, there is little difference between Sunday and any other day of the week.  There are no adoring fans.  There are only people trying to kill him and his soldiers. Every now and then, he and his soldiers leave the front lines and “go to the rear” to rest.  He might be lucky enough to catch an NFL game on TV.  When the National Anthem plays and you take a knee, he will jump to his feet and salute the television.  While you protest the unfairness of life in the United States, he will give thanks to God that he has the honor of defending his great country.

To the players of the NFL:  We are the people who buy your tickets, watch you on TV, and wear your jerseys.  We anxiously wait for Sundays so we can cheer for you and marvel at your athleticism. Although we love to watch you play, we care little about your opinions until you offend us. You have the absolute right to express yourselves, but we have the absolute right to boycott you.  We have tolerated your drug use and DUIs, your domestic violence, and your vulgar displays of wealth.  We should be ashamed for putting our admiration of your physical skills before what is morally right.  But now you have gone too far. You have insulted our flag, our country, our soldiers, our police officers, and our veterans. You are living the American dream, yet you disparage our great country.  I am done with NFL football and encourage all like-minded Americans to boycott the NFL as well.

National boycott of the NFL for Sunday November 12th, Veterans Day Weekend. Boycott all football telecast, all fans, all ticket holders, stay away from attending any games, let them play to empty stadiums. Can you imagine the impact of no one showing up for an NFL game, an empty stadium, no $9.00 beers sold. WOW! Pass this post along to all your friends and family. Honor our military, some of whom come home with the American Flag draped over their coffin.

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