October 12th, 2017

The West Point rot

Many people (me included) wondered how it was that the openly-Communist Spenser Rapone was allowed to graduate from West Point. It’s not as though Rapone was underground with his point of view as a proud Communist. And West Point isn’t Evergreen State College—is it? So how on earth did Rapone fall through the cracks?

Now the professor who had originally reported Rapone to West Point authorities (to no avail), retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Robert Heffington, has issued an open letter to West Point graduates with a word—actually, many words—of explanation:

Here is the text of the letter. After you’ve read it, you will understand that Rapone didn’t fall through the cracks. There weren’t any cracks. If what Heffington says it’s the truth—and I’m definitely inclined to believe it—then West Point has apparently become a standardless, permissive, PC, open (and perhaps bottomless) pit.

Honor hearings are rarely scheduled and reports of honor infractions actively discouraged, and students are rarely disciplined for violations even when admittedly guilty. Academic standards are non-existent; it seems nearly impossible to flunk out. Heffinton isn’t sure when all this started—he thinks about 10 years ago, but my guess is that it began at some point early in the Obama years, with their emphasis on a PC military.

And what education does occur seems to have been taken over by the HowardZinn/BillAyres school of pedagoguery:

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.”…

t seems that the Academy’s senior leaders are intimidated by cadets…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.

In other words, West Point has become the same as just about any other university, afraid of its students and subservient to the PC dictates. And the general public is only getting the chance to notice this now because Rapone felt so secure that he flaunted his views to the outside world. He’s not a one-off, he’s a symptom of the West Point (and general university) culture these days. It’s just more disturbing to find that it’s rampant at an institution such as West Point, usually thought to be one of the last outposts of discipline and standards, and—more importantly—one that sets the tone for the future of our military leaders.

It’s no accident, either; this was done purposely. Whether it began under Obama or earlier I don’t know, but it’s been going on long enough for a lot of graduates to have been trained under its umbrella. Heffington doesn’t directly say whether the lax standards are applied across-the-board, or whether certain groups are especially favored at West Point (he mentions several women getting passes at honor hearings, for example, but it’s hard to tell if women are being treated more leniently in general). He also makes reference to something called the “developmental model” that seems to be implemented at West Point, but doesn’t explain it. I’ve looked it up and found manuals such as this one, which appears to contain platitudes about training leaders and gives me no hint of what Heffington is specifically referring to (I only read a couple of pages; that’s all I could stomach of the empty claptrap).

More background:

All of this comes one week after Sen. Marco Rubio became aware of Spenser Rapone’s activism, calling the communist second lieutenant “a national security threat.” In a biting letter to Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, Rubio asked for McCarthy to investigate if West Point administrators were aware of his behavior, requesting a response within 30 days.

Now, proof has surfaced that Rapone’s chain of command was keenly aware of his radical anti-American “activism.” But judging by the viral praise for LTC Heffington’s open letter espoused by West Point graduates, his criticisms seem to evidence a much broader, systemic neglect of duty and standards — trickling down from some of the Army’s most senior leadership.

If all of this was an open secret, it’s shocking that there was a culture of silence around it till now. Reminds me a bit of Hollywood—or, if truth be told, most institutions. Maybe Spenser Rapone did us all a favor by being so flagrant that he drew greater public attention to the rot that’s been going on (not just in the military in general, which we already knew about, but at West Point itself) for a long time. The question is whether anything will be done about it.

58 Responses to “The West Point rot”

  1. SR Says:

    This does not seem like something President Trump would stand for. I would not be surprised if somebody in the army has not already been tasked with turning things around. Will we see Army football players kneeling for the national anthem?

  2. OldTexan Says:

    What a crock of crap.

  3. DNW Says:

    The IRS, The FBI, the Army.

    Every institution has been infiltrated by open enemies of freedom and constitutional government.

    Fellow citizens ? Horse s–t.

    No wonder little rocket man is so confident.

  4. vanderleun Says:

    We don’t need to drain the swamp. We need to bring in industrial pumps and empty the septic pool of the whole culture.

  5. skeptic Says:

    DNW: “Every institution has been infiltrated by open enemies of freedom and constitutional government.”

    AKA as the Left’s Gramscian march through our culture. This is obvious to anyone who can read and observe.

    The question is what are conservatives going to do about it? I am not an alt-right guy but I can see their contempt for conservatives when all we can do is clutch our pearls and tut-tut on websites such as this.

    Some, such as Dennis Prager, will openly state that we are in a civil war. I have not observed him doing much about the war but at least he states the obvious.

    What say you, Neo? Are we in a war and, if so, what do you suggest we do about it?

  6. I R A Darth Aggie Says:

    Don’t forget the Navy.

    They can’t avoid running into cargo ships.

  7. Camillo Ghiron Says:

    NO, It did not start with Obama! It started with Affermative Action in about 1965. At least that was my personal experience as a professor teaching at the University of Missouri school of medicine.

  8. Lizzy Says:

    So sad! Would hope Trump and Mattis can do something about this.

  9. Terry A. Hoover Says:

    I love West Point. Always have. Not a graduate, never attended, but I did have appointments from my then senator, and representative, but was turned down for reasons never adequately explained, but I accepted their decision. Now it comes to this. An open enemy of the country graduates but I was dismissed out of hand. The Point has had problems before and they were always rectified. Hopefully they will do so again this time. Military requirements need to trump political considerations and social theory.

  10. Matthew M Says:

    Obama seemed to have quite an army of czars and administrators ready to hit the ground running when he took office. The left really seems to have a talent for staffing (and stuffing) the bureaucracies with their type of activist; precisely placing them in just the right positions. Also, I remember more than a few news tidbits over the last 8-9 years about various generals and other officers pushed out to make room for the type who would change the priority of the armed forces from “breaking things and killing people” (or associating Islam with anything untoward) to becoming a hothouse for diversity or alternative energy initiatives. It makes me wonder just how much of the leadership at the US Military Academy have Obama imprimaturs.

    I have a vague memory of what it was like to be shocked by moral travesties. It has been triggered by the depressing notion that West Point has sunk to the level of Oberlin. What’s left to respect and admire seems more and more to be found in history books.

  11. Zigzag Says:

    At a not so future date One-way Helicopter Rides will need to occur.

  12. AesopFan Says:

    How many officers and enlisted men from Before are considering: do I really trust these people with my life?

  13. Artfldgr Says:

    There weren’t any cracks. If what Heffington says it’s the truth—and I’m definitely inclined to believe it—then West Point has apparently become a standardless, permissive, PC, open (and perhaps bottomless) pit.

    First there was a military, mostly men, and sanity in tasks
    Then came…

    Public Law 94-106 signed by President Gerald Ford on October 7, 1975

    It passed the House by a vote of 303 to 96 and the Senate by voice vote after divisive argument within Congress, resistance from the Department of Defense and legal action initiated by women to challenge their exclusion. [Feminists]

    The US Military Academy, US Naval Academy, US Air Force Academy and the US Coast Guard Academy, were the first to admit, and of course the men treated the women like untried men and gave them a hard time.

    Quote GMU:

    In 1980, 66 percent of the women in the first coeducational classes graduated—comparable to 70 percent of the men whose attrition rate due to academic failure was twice that of women. But women service academy graduates posed new issues for the armed services. Would gender-based law and policy limit the careers of these highly qualified new officers?

    No.. Quite the contrary. women didnt have to finish the same things, could be promoted easier, could end up in grades that prior could only be reached in combat, and on and on… this tended to demoralize the men..

    but more women passed their courses as the men, and we were having too many drug positives, and not enough enrollment giving leftists, and poli sci movements. and even though the feminist movement of that period is now VERY WELL established as communist and coordinated in several western state (including Britain)… it was ok to let women who were that way in. because like letting people in today, there isnt enough to choose and be picky. as more women joined, fewer men did because you cant compete with a system that does this (like academia where men have left the lower grades).

    As for west point July 7, 1976, 119 women joined the Corps of Cadets… As for the CITADEL was progressive and a hold out – The first black cadet enrolled in 1966 and women were admitted in 1996….
    But the last to fall to feminism was Virginia Military Institute – VMI was the last U.S. military college to admit women, having excluded women from the Corps of Cadets until 1997.

    War is a science
    With rules to be applied
    Which good soldiers appreciate
    When they go to decimate
    the other side

    and then, and gentlemen and then…
    Pippin (Broadway original version)

  14. Oldflyer Says:

    Very sad. It goes without saying that the Service Academies were never meant for everyone. The whole concept was to apply enough pressure so that all but the strong would fail; and go on to something else. The same philosophy applied to all military training; e.g., flight training, and was understood by all who entered.

    Faculty and Administrative positions at the academies were certainly not open to everyone. Administrators were graduates of their particular academy, and I trust that prospective faculty were vetted to insure philosophical congruence. Tradition was sacrosanct.

    It is shocking that those kinds of people let this situation develop.

    I just received an email that is circulating in active and retired Navy channels in which a retired Admiral lays out a damning assessment of the state of the fleet, using the latest ship handling debacles as a starting point. He cites the emphasis on multiculturalism, including devoting scarce training time to that subject at the expense of operational training. He also alludes to lower personnel standards to meet diversity goals. This was a well known Admiral, and somewhat noted for his contrarian positions. I don’t know if he is overstating but, I expect that he has good sources. It is discouraging.

  15. Artfldgr Says:

    And then came endless streams of protests and lawsuits and hate, and accusations and such, and a public whose most vociferous and in your face and constant till they get their way on it was which of the united fronts (that even get a hat tip from Nechyeve), was at the forefront of changing the overall military without actually knowing what would happen in a old style conflict, not big boy bops little boy games.

    Of course new articles leave out things today, that were key then. kind of how fox explored racism by asking kids, blm members, a poet in the park, and a feminist.. none who brought up Trotsky, and only one that played around hinting a bit IF YOU KNEW. [read the version at marxists org, otherwise no one believes its in there]

    you may hear of Elizabeth Hoisington, one of the first women to attain the rank of Brigadier General. But she came and commanded the woman’s corps…

    and she was against women in combat…
    “[W]e must consider the consequences of mixing men and women in units in a close situation like combat. Man-woman relationships become a problem, and they could cause costly distractions.”

    Hoisington also stated that most Americans were against the idea of women in combat units, with just “a small, nonrepresentative group of rather noisy women” advocating for the change. That argument is not commonly repeated today. According to recent opinion polls, attitudes on the subject have shifted dramatically during the last 45 years.

    well yeah, men were kicked out of the lower grades. the feminists made it very political to be in school and be told your smarter than your parents… yes, eventually the attitude would change in the quest to make sexes the same.

    [which is really easy on leaders as everyone becomes interchangable valueless leggo blocks you can move and use and do anything with with no distinction no having to juggle the differences and capcities and could dispose of and make more of at will… not like individuals… where talent, and merit, and all that stuff makes things very hard for the leaders… ]

    but at no time in history, has any nation fielded women in full combat rolls in a full on socialist total war concept fight…

    not only that, but the gender bending pandering is not something other places do that are or would be our opposition.

    take Russia… hazing is good, torture ok, whatever doesnt kill you makes you stronger… is a good way to think of it…

    take china.. you think the politburo cow tows to victim feminism changing things to suit them in their female military? Do you think that they don’t have enough men or such to be able at will not to use them and therefore they represent BAIT to entice imitation?

    Jeanne Holm, a Major General in the Air Force and the first woman to achieve the rank of two-star general in any branch – was similar in her “cant hurt the effectiveness” argument

    “The No. 1 criterion must be the ability of the unit to perform its combat mission. Everything else has to be secondary to that.”

    but no one EVER argues the DEMOGRAPHIC one of what extended combat could do to a population IF women start disappearing…

    Anyone remember old men and children at the end of WWII? Anyone remember Japanese women training with pitch forks to repell the enemy? Anyone remember HOW Stalin protected his city by using women and kids to build earthen bulwarks?

    and Hoisingtons opinion is the same
    and HERS does not match feminists

    General Hoisington – I have no personal experience in a combat unit, but my male colleagues tell me—and I believe—”War is hell.” Heads are blown off; arms and legs are maimed; suffering is so intolerable it affects men for years. It is bad enough that our men have to endure this. But do we want young women to suffer it, too?

    [yeah, but with the way they treat men in their society, why would they fight? if immigration is the solution to get babies for demographics that change when women don’t have them and work instead.. .then isnt putting women in the military a way to make up for the lack of motivation to care about defending a society that does and says waht about you and not uncommon derrision.. while she would get praise… ]

    Women cannot match men in aggressiveness, physical stamina, endurance and muscular strength in long-term situations. In a protracted engagement against an enemy, soldiers with these deficiencies would be weak links in our armor. We cannot build a winning Army if the soldiers in it have no confidence in the long-term mental and physical stamina of their comrades.

    and then there is the dirty secret no one much talks about
    WHAT happens?
    How many female soldiers are under the radar prostitutes?
    Dont believe that?
    Well, then there is the problem that they get pregnant so they dont have to deploy, then abort. and collect their honorable discharge.
    [90% of the women on a navy ship in the gulf war did this]

    Then the fights, rapes, resentment that they cant carry their share, and do not have to pass the same things or do the same things so can be promoted easier. and the more strenuous the area they go into, the more demoralized the groups get over it – but they follow their orders… damn straight.

    anyone other than me remember what happened to Kara Spears Hultgreen over this stuff?

    On 25 October 1994, Hultgreen died when her F-14A-95-GR, BuNo 160390, coded “NH 103”, crashed on approach to USS Abraham Lincoln. The incident occurred off the coast of San Diego after a routine training mission

    Women in the Military: Flirting With Disaster By Brian Mitchell
    details what wiki doesnt have, that all manner of rules were broken and reviews passed and such to let her do that when she couldnt do that and that men that had similar would not be allowed in a craft let alone a carrier landing.

    Basically her instructor noticed that when she got stressed she made erratic (desperate he would not say) moves. like the ones that she made when the stress hit her in the landing and things went a bit off and she then made it worse..

    There was a pilot B 🙁

    the big question is?

    considering that the people WERE willing to turn their kids over and have others values instilled post 1968… and considering all the things dismantled and the lack of a reason akin to those last century to fight.. and the ill health and softness and mental fragility.. and the lack of good education, and everthing turned political by the united fronts….

    will the people accept the experiment that if failed will result in a loss of their country, way of life, most of their friends and family, and a horrid period of hell unlike they could imagine?

    i guess so…

  16. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    SecDef Mattis has all the authority needed to fully investigate and correct this abominable betrayal of the public trust. Of course, Mattis reportedly supports Trump certifying that Iran is in compliance with a ‘deal’ that betrays America and who has yet to publicly dispute those reports.

    The very least that should happen is a dishonorable discharge for the West Point commandant, who has clearly been derelict in his duty.

  17. Ray Says:

    Remember the Navy tail hook scandal where some raunchy naval aviators got rowdy in a hotel? The feminists were outraged and the politicians decided the Navy culture needed to be changed so they did it and you see the result. Today the sailors can’t keep their ship from colliding with a freighter.

  18. J.J. Says:

    From Stars and Stripes:
    “NAPLES, Italy — Facing a staggering 74 percent unintended pregnancy rate, the Navy has launched a family planning awareness and information campaign.
    The Navy’s peer-mentoring program Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions is holding informational sessions on family planning throughout January covering topics that include parental leave, operational deferment and the best forms of birth control.”

    When you put young men and women in close quarters aboard a ship, you can be pretty sure sex is going to happen. Why are all these young women getting pregnant? I’m willing to bet a month’s pay that the Navy has not told them it’s okay. Blame it on lack of access to birth control, destructive decisions, or bad family planning and hold informational sessions on such. Yep, that’ll solve the problem.

    Read it all: https://www.stripes.com/news/navy-seeks-to-combat-high-rate-of-unplanned-pregnancies-1.203122#.Wd_2YrpFyVA

    Back in the day when I was at sea (1956-1968) we KNEW that having females aboard ships was NOT a good idea. I have nothing against women serving, but they should not serve aboard ships at sea. Just.too.much.distraction.

    The progressive idea that all jobs and opportunities in the military should be open to women (like in the corporate world) is just denial of the major problems women face in myriad military situations. When a female crewmember must be released from duty aboard ship because of pregnancy, it decreases the readiness and morale of the ship. Plain fact.

    Then there’s this from the Naval Institute:
    “All the military services face increased recruiting challenges because more than 70 percent of America’s youth do not meet Pentagon standards for enlistment, a member of the House Armed Services Committee said Thursday.”
    “Bacon said the reasons why so many young people cannot meet recruiting standards is because American “culture slowly changed… and not for the better.”
    John Bednarek, with Mission: Readiness and a retired Army lieutenant general, said, “It’s a problem [finding qualified recruits and youth interested in the armed forces] is a getting worse. They’re not eligible to join the military if they wanted to.
    “For 80 percent [of American high school students] there is no requirement for physical fitness [instruction] for graduation.” In the lower grades where recess is required, there often are no structured physical fitness programs, he added.
    Bednarek and Bacon also pointed to the need to improve basic education in reading and mathematics in elementary schools and put renewed emphasis on teaching citizenship, steps that would benefit not only the armed forces but also the nation as a whole.
    Using the oath that recruits take upon enlistment, Bacon said, “Many of our youth don’t know the Constitution” and 27 percent of high school students could not identify a single right under it.
    The challenges also range from the prescribed use of anti-depressants to treat youth with mental health concerns to a strong civilian economy, with unemployment rates running at about 4.5 percent.
    Bacon said youth and their families often have a skewed picture of the military from television and film, thinking of it solely in combat terms. Snow and others noted only seven percent of the United States’ population are veterans and the armed forces, for the most part, are not stationed in large metropolitan areas so there is little interaction with civilians.”
    Read it all: https://news.usni.org/2017/10/12/panel-pentagon-facing-future-recruiting-challenge-due-lack-candidates

    The problem besetting our military is much deeper than just West Point and Annapolis. The rot is pretty widespread.

  19. Cornhead Says:

    I know one young woman from Omaha who was admitted to USMA for the class of 2017. She was well qualified.

  20. Artfldgr Says:

    Hey J.J., what do you think of the new Independence-class littoral combat ships???

  21. Oldflyer Says:

    Cornhead, I am sure there are any number who are qualified. I have some in my family; athletic and tough minded. None of them want any part of it. I have reported before that I played a role in training the first three women who were jet qualified in the Navy. One was competent, a second was excellent.

    I have also reported before that one of Naval Aviation’s great warrior Admirals, 500 attack missions over North Vietnam and later the Commander of all Naval Force’s during the first Iraq war, and Commander 7th Fleet, was forced out because he simply signed off as the final reviewing authority on the failure of a woman flight student. That was the climate; and that was during the Clinton Admin. I have no doubt that it is much worse.

    Off topic; JJ, I have long wondered what you flew. A1s/A4s/B727s/B737s and odds and ends, including Lears and Hawkers here. ( USN 1955 (Navcad) until 1980)

  22. Cornhead Says:


    A set of twin swimmers from Omaha’s Duchesne Academy were admitted in 2012 or 2013. One graduated. She might be flying now. Three to the academies from a tiny school; under 100 per class.

  23. om Says:


    See Cdrsalamander.blogspot.com if you want information on the Little Crappy Ships (LCS). He also writes for the US Naval Institute so other topics are included besides the fiasco that floats (the LCS). It can’t really fight or defend itself against much of anything.

  24. Irv Says:

    When a person joins the military the first thing they do is overwork you and give you little sleep. They put constant pressure on you to take you down to a basic survival mode. This is intentional to get you ready to be reformed into an effective military unit.

    Once the building up process begins everyone is taught that the mission is the most important thing for any military unit. It comes before personal safety, family, friends and any other considerations. Every military person knows that he may be called on to give his life for the mission.

    The problem with mixed gender units is that it introduces the strongest primal element into the equation…sex! We are programmed to protect females as a matter of survival of the species. Admittedly this instinct is stronger in some males than in others but it’s present in all of us. This instinct is so ingrained in us and so strong that no training can remove it completely, and the more dangerous the situation the more it comes to the fore.

    When sex is introduced then the mission can become a secondary consideration. As any military person can attest, a military unit is only as strong as its weakest member and its dedication to the mission. When they don’t all pull together as one with the same objective then the unit becomes ineffective, the members can get killed and more importantly the mission fails.

    The Marines learned about this when they tested mixed gender units for a year before they changed their rules about women in combat. They found them less effective than single gender units. Unfortunately Obama’s primary mission was political correctness even more than mission effectiveness.

    Notice I haven’t said a word about women’s ability to do the physical tasks required. Some can even without waivers.

    There are many jobs in the military, including combat ones where the makeup of the unit matters little. I was a pilot and had an occasion to instruct a female combat helicopter pilot. She more than met the standards and was highly qualified. But in flying, sex is mostly irrelevant because even in a crew aircraft there is rarely an occasion when you might have to choose between the mission and saving a person of another gender.

    Jobs like flying are fine for either sex. But in units like ground combat, there’s no way to remove the problem. You can lie about human nature and say you can conquer it but when you get down to the survival level, instinct often takes over. You hope the only instinct present is for survival.

  25. AesopFan Says:

    Oldflyer Says:
    October 12th, 2017 at 6:44 pm
    Very sad. It goes without saying that the Service Academies were never meant for everyone. The whole concept was to apply enough pressure so that all but the strong would fail; and go on to something else. The same philosophy applied to all military training; e.g., flight training, and was understood by all who entered.
    * *

    I am not a veteran of any kind myself (being a Sgt. Rock fan probably doesn’t count), but I studied war and therefore military forces in college and as a hobby.

    One story that has stuck with me is from a young officer who, while in academy (he said), complained about the beat-downs and “harassment” that plebes, and all cadets, endured from instructors and older cadets, wondering why he had to memorize endless reams of trivia, recite it to multiple persons screaming at him simultaneously, have an immaculate uniform or better — always, do physical training until dropping from exhaustion, and then do it again the next day — you know the drill.

    Then (he continued), he was in his first combat fire-fight, trying to co-ordinate his platoon’s actions and communicate to HQ and stay alive all at the same time.

    Then, he understood.

  26. n.n Says:

    Silence? Privacy. It’s a progressive condition (PC).

  27. gpc31 Says:

    One comment and a question:

    I am fascinated by the phenomenon of open secrets.

    Where, oh where, is the source of regenerative power within our culture?

  28. Mr. Frank Says:

    Diversity and affirmative action are the order of the day in the services. All the academies have prep schools to boost academics for athletes and minorities and admission standards to the academies are much lower for minorities.

    An example of the cost of diversity as a high priority is the case of Army Major Hasan who killed 13 soldiers at Ft. Hood. His supervisors new he was a radical Muslim, but the feared turning him in because he was a Muslim.

    The Navy collisions at sea may be related to the emphasis on diversity and gender pressures.

  29. Mr. Frank Says:

    Naval Academy expose.


  30. J.J. Says:

    Egad, Oldflyer, we may have crossed paths. Heck, we may even have met somewhere along the line. Other than time at Pensacola/Corpus Christi, I was a Pacific Coast sailor.

    Graduated OCS, Newport, R.I. in May, 1955. Flight training in May of 1955 to July of 1956. A-1s, T-28s, T-34s, SNBs, and T-33s while on active duty. Released from active duty in 1968, I went to work for an airline, and stayed in the Reserves flying C-118s. Flew 737s, 727s, and DC-10s with the airline. Retired from the Reserves with 21 years in 1975. Retired from the airline in 1993.

    Not much of a career, but most of it was flying. I was never ship’s company – thank God! Made Captain on the 737 and stayed there until retirement. I hated flying the DC-10 – good airplane, but one takeoff and landing a day – drone, drone. 🙁 Multiple legs every day on the 737 and mostly in one time zone. My kind of flying. 🙂

  31. Oldflyer Says:

    Mr Frank, this one line pretty well tells us all we need to know, doesn’t it?

    “According to Admiral Gary Roughead, chief of Naval Operations, that’s a good thing because, he states, “diversity is the number one priority” at the school (Naval Academy).”

    The tab is coming due on this focus on diversity and multiculturalism that now permeates our society. I don’t think we have any idea of what the ultimate cost will be.

    How sad, because my understanding of the goal of M.L. King, and other pioneers of racial equality, was to achieve a color blind society. Somewhere along the way they were co-opted and their goals corrupted.

  32. J.J. Says:

    Art, I don’t know much about small Navy ships – carriers were where I sailed. What little I know about the LCS would make me agree with om. They’re fast and they can handle shallow water, but the firepower is pitiful. They’ve had corrosion problems and cost more than they should. Here’s and article with some details:

  33. The Other Chuck Says:

    Your comments sum up what we went through, and the valid reasons for it. From enlisted on up it was the same. If you couldn’t meet the grueling demands you were out.

    I’m appalled at this story about West Point. WTF?

    Here’s a possible and partial explanation – a picture of the author of Race Matters holding hands with Obama. One commie to another, so to speak:

  34. Stephen Ippolito Says:

    What is saddest is that this isn’t even the first time that the American people have woken up to find that those they trusted to command at West Point have sold it out to your enemies.


    The first time was to a foreign power; now it is to a foreign political and cultural philosophy – but one equally opposed to your core values.

    I was never a regular army officer but was a reservist for decades. As a single fellow I was able and willing to perform full-time service when called upon which is how I ended up, amongst other full-time assignments, filling in twice as the legal corps officer to our tri-service equivalent to Westpoint, The Australian Defence Force Academy, (ADFA).

    I had nothing to do with classroom teaching or the syllabus but mixed daily in the Mess at meal times with the many civilian academics who staffed the place as it is a degree conferring institution and technically a campus of the University of NSW, our largest state.

    There were so many more civilians on staff than I would have thought would be the case. I don”t know what the relative percentages of uniformed to civilian academics is at WP but would not be surprised to learn after all this that it may, like ADFA, favor the civilians numerically.

    I recall being especially struck by the number of earnest young progressive civilian female academics there who wanted to talk over tea and scones about how it was important for them to help “humanise” the military and to ensure that the staff cadets were “well rounded human beings”.

    I was never a career officer so am not an expert on such matters, but it did strike me as strange that about every second academic there, when asked by me what subject they taught, answered something to do with “human rights”. I recall hoping that this wasn’t all that the cadets were being taught.

    It also occurred to me at the time that unless held in check by traditional uniformed officers with the will to do so that such sentiments had the potential to blur the difference between ADFA and our civilian universities.

  35. SCOTTtheBADGER Says:

    J.J., Oldflyer, the Little Ciffin Ship is the most worthless surface ship ever bought by the USN. The engines are unreliable, the 57 mm gun has only optical fire control, there are no provisions for self maintenance, all maintenance to be done by contractors, so there is zero capacity for damage control.

    There are even claims that the 57mm has never been successfully fired at sea.
    A 75 year old BUCKLEY class DE would have a LCS for lunch.

  36. Stephen Ippolito Says:

    Something Oldflyer alluded to above struck a chord with me.

    As a lawyer, it seems that I am always reading of some recently-retired judge writing to a paper or giving a talk condemning the court system which he or she served for years as fatally flawed be it by reason of lack of adequate funding, protracted delays, unduly complicated and inefficient rules of practice and procedure, bad legislation or blow-outs in legal costs.

    These judges invariably claim that these problems they’ve identified are so serious as to constitute an existential threat to the legal system unless corrected immediately.

    That may all be true – but it occurs to me: why do these people never flag these issues while they are serving and when the impact of their complaints would have its best effect?

    Same with the generals – they only “get religion” and speak out about bad defence policies after they have retired and only after having played a part in implementing those allegedly poor practices for many years.

    I am constantly reading accounts of anonymous senior military officers who deplore current civilian-imposed defence policies such as sexually integrating combat units, lowering of physical standards to facilitate growth in numbers of female recruits, etc – but when has any one of these “deeply concerned” officers ever come out on the record about these important concerns whilst they were serving and said something to the effect of:”I cannot in good conscience serve under these conditions”.

    I know that a judge or general may not complain and continue to serve – but surely an honorable and respectful public dissent followed by a principled resignation would be in order were the defects they complain of only in retirement really as egregious as they claim.

    Sometimes one must take a stand on principle – even at a cost to one’s wallet. Why does this never seem to happen? Or am I just missing the reports of these principled dissenters?

  37. TBlakely Says:

    So how many of these wretched officers are in command positions in the army right now?

  38. Old Army Says:

    Having served with USMA grads for 22 years (’85 – ’07) I can emphatically state that the honor and academic standards were way down by at least ’85.

  39. George Atkisson Says:

    Stephen Ippolito – I was a fresh caught Navy Ensign tail end of Vietnam War. This same rot was evident throughout the Armed Services. Ticket punchers and yes men as senior officers who would throw anyone and anything under the bus to protect their careers.

    We junior officers frankly despised them and swore to be different when we were in their positions. It took a decade to rebuild discipline and morale. Our fathers were WW II vets and we understood to some degree what war was about.
    Now? There doesn’t seem to be a cohort at any rank that has that mind set.

    Like the first months after Pearl Harbor when almost every ship C.O. had to be replaced, it will take a massive shock to make change obviously necessary. With a much smaller Navy, and an order of magnitude increase in the tempo of combat, the future is uncertain. The purge and rebuilding will have to come from outside the existing bureaucracy, but is there the will and the time? Well, I’m still young enough that I will find out.

  40. Bandit Says:

    USMA was killed by the Vietnam War and liberal policies and the quest to continue D1 sports teams – I went on a sports visit my senior year in HS even though I knew I wasn’t going there. Also that little town is a dump

  41. CatoRenasci Says:

    The federal academies have always been under significant political pressure. From everything I’ve heard from Trade School graduates, things got progressively worse after the admission of women. That said, the dozen or so young women I’ve known personally who have gone to both the Trade School and the Boat School have been outstanding academically, excellent athletes, and mentally prepared for an adversive system. And have become fine officers. Other than a couple of pilots, however, none of them belong in Army or Marine combat arms. As I see the mission of the academies, it is first and foremost to produce combat commanders.

    From my perspective, however, the greatest failure of the federal academies has been the long term (since the ‘60s at least) deterioration of the honor systems.

    The basics of an effective honor code are simple: a cadet (midshipman) does not lie, cheat or steal, or tolerate those who do.

    The key to this kind of system is that it is the corps that owns it, not the administration, and guards its own honor jealously. That’s the role of the nontoleration clause: the honor of the corps itself requires one to report a violation. First, to confront the suspected violator, to give the person a chance to either provide information which explains why what appeared to be a violation was not, or to accept responsibility and resign without an honor court being convened.

  42. CatoRenasci Says:

    The federal academies haven’t hade that kind of honor system, with the single sanction of dishonorable dismissal, in at least 50 years. As far as I know, the only schools that still do, and take the nontoleration clauses seriously, are the Virginia Military Institute and The Citadel. At VMI, at least, the drums literally still roll in the middle of the night for those convicted of an honor violation.

    Where the senior military colleges modelled themselves on West Point in the nineteenth century, the federal academies must now turn to the few remaining senior military colleges which have been better able to resist political pressures and political correctness.

  43. Liz985 Says:

    I was in high school when West Point went co-ed and I had a short-lived daydream about getting accepted to the school. What held me back wasn’t what I understood were rigorous athletic requirements (at the time I was a 4′ 11″ and 110 pounds), it was the legendary academic requirements. I was a good student, but West Point good?! No way. So sad to see that tradition of excellence has been deliberately destroyed.

  44. Mike K Says:

    Ticket punchers and yes men as senior officers who would throw anyone and anything under the bus to protect their careers.

    Have you read Tom Ricks book on the problem of not relieving anyone from command? The rot has been there a while.

    A friend of mine was Marine group commander in Gulf War I. A group of Congressmen came through before the war kicked iff and asked if his men had everything they needed. He said no and gave them a list. The wing commander, who was later retired early for flying his girlfriend around in a Marine plane, damned him with faint praise on his OER and he retired a colonel.
    He went into business and sold his company for $23 million.

    He was a famous Marine fighter pilot, call sign Fokker.

  45. Jim Miller Says:

    neo – Do you mean Bill Ayers?

    Or is there a Bill Ayres I am not familiar with?

  46. Stephen Ippolito Says:

    What a shame that Spenser Rapone could graduate but that his moral and patriotic superior, Francis, couldn’t.


  47. Oldflyer Says:

    Stephen Ippolito, the Admiral I cited does not fit the mold you described. He was always something of a “maverick”, although I hesitate to use that word for fairly obvious reasons. He spoke loud and clear when he was on active duty, and it did not seem to hurt his prospects.

    In fact in my experience, 1955 to 1980, I did not see many senior officers, or officers in command, that I could not respect; and a number that I respected greatly (many of those were from WWII and/or Korea era).

  48. Stephen Ippolito Says:

    Yes, Oldflyer, I appreciate that.

    I should clarify that I wasn’t meaning to suggest that the chap of whom you spoke was, himself, one of the “keep silent till retired and can do nothing about it” brigade.

    That is why I described your post as merely having “struck a chord” with me. His actions as described by you prompted me to think of the far more numerous military officers, (or judges or Hollywood power players for that matter), who do not do as he did – but choose to come to the party too late and only when it is safe.

  49. Bill H Says:

    The Long March Through the Institutions has obviously wound its way through West Point. While Conservatives have focused on the small game of winning elections, the Left has focused on winning the culture.

    It is long past time for Conservatives to wake up and understand that once you have lost the culture, nothing else matters.

  50. DaveindeSwamp Says:

    I was a Sp5 ,55D, way back. I hated Hawkeye Pierce because that kind of officer got us killed . Now it looks like my Army, that of hard core NCOs , reasonably good officers and , a mission are gone. My NCOs weren’t nice guys but they made it in leadership, competence and courage.That was the nicest gift of all. God help us if the that has been destroyed .

    All I can see between Clinton’s and Obama’s evil is a huge Task Force Smith and the Left will cheer for it , every single loss, every atrocity committed by the enemy . I hope everyone connected to the aforementioned regimes burn in Hell .

  51. AesopFan Says:

    Bill H Says:
    October 13th, 2017 at 10:16 pm
    The Long March Through the Institutions has obviously wound its way through West Point. While Conservatives have focused on the small game of winning elections, the Left has focused on winning the culture.

    It is long past time for Conservatives to wake up and understand that once you have lost the culture, nothing else matters.
    * * *
    And so Trump wins an election – by trumping the Left’s culture aces (by playing the same game that they do).

    I just read every article at NRO on the Anthem Controversy, and the writers are literally all over the map, pro- and con- views on every position you can take. That’s a culture war in the microcosm.

    How does one “win a culture” anyway?
    I’m not sure we can go back to the 1950s — or would want to — but what would a conservative culture look like now?

  52. AesopFan Says:

    My own personal “fix” for all the service academies would be to totally scrap the college-comes-right-after-HS model and require that all cadet candidates come from the ranks after a minimum 2 years service, and then passing whatever academic and skills tests are deemed necessary.

    All applications must be stripped of personal identifying information and qualifications quantified, then accepted from the top-ranking on down to either the number to be admitted or some minimum qualification value, whichever comes first.

  53. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Wait until you see how many Black Panther BLM girls passed WP.

  54. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Some people have awakened, but the Great Awakening is yet to come. Not enough suffering for the exceptional super powered Americans.

  55. Ymar Sakar Says:

    This is part of that Military Purge some people considered paranoid, like Ymar, talked about way back in 2009 or even before.

    Did people believe that Hussein was purging the military for some sinister goal? Of course not, only paranoid people believe DC is sinister and out to get them…

  56. Ymar Sakar Says:

    How does one “win a culture” anyway?

    Methuselah, his death shall bring (the Flood/Judgment).

    There came a time once in human history that the Divine Counsel decided to hit the Reset Button on 99.9% of humans.

    Most of it was too corrupt to save, and the good along with the guilty were judged and condemned to the End. But Noah was prepared and saved to continue the Race.

    The good are condemned because they could not stop the evil. And the evil are condemned because they misled and deceived the good. Everyone all together, Die.

  57. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Elections are like winning a battle or a Tet Offensive. Strategy and logistics are the culture.

    Short term vs long term. Westerners like to talk about long term investment and proper risk management, but for conservatives that think they can plan long time to be stuck on stupid (winning elections) at the expense of the strategic/logistical front… maybe amateur generals need to go back to West point on that.

    Reposting that comment since that was actually the first thing I wrote here. But it should be here, as this is the WP thread.

  58. Jeff Says:

    The female enlisted “sailors” get pregnant on ships because sea duty is terrible duty.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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