Should you go to, or stay at, West Point?

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Classof2018, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. Classof2018

    Classof2018 Member

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    I've stumbled across a rather interesting article in my research of the service academies, and figured I'd drop it here to see what you all think about it.

    http://www.johntreed.com/gotousma.html

    It's rather long, but it puts a rather different spin on the typical "Should you go to West Point?" question.

    I would love to hear from other graduates or whomever if what Mr. Reed says still applies today, or if you agree with his statements.

    Just some food for thought!
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Interesting read/skim. Certainly a different perspective. Not a fair and balanced one, but then it doesn't profess to be that. I enjoyed the riff on "This is not the Real Army". That was kind of funny.

    I did not serve nor did I attend WP.

    All the above being said it is extremely one-sided. It is also quite old and it describes life in a conscript army, much of it in time of war although the author didn't see much of that. While I'm sure there is stuff in there that was relevant then, and definitely some that remains relevant (yup, you can still get killed or injured), I'm not at all convinced that many parts of it have wide application to today's Army. But then again I didn't serve.
     
  3. DHinNH

    DHinNH USMA 1989

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    100% correct.
     
  4. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    I stopped reading after a bit. Perhaps, my education at West Point didn't help improve my attention span. Since he mentioned it or someone in the article mentioned it, my qualifications are being a West Point grad, two Masters degrees, Ranger, and Iraq vet. if I had the time and desire, I could probably create a website similar to his saying stay at West Point.

    Until we master time travel or be able to create an alternate universe we will never know how our lives would have turned out if we did or didn't attendWest Point. A friend and classmate of mine is charged with hiring someone to murder his ex-wife, is this because he went to West Point. Would he have done the same thing if he went to a regular college?

    My personal opinion, certain things in life you just have to trust yourself that you will make the right decision and just do it.
     
  5. navygirl89

    navygirl89 Member

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    Considering that this is his reason for staying at WP despite realizing that it wasn't for him:
    It's hard to give much weight to most of his other arguments.


    He also wrote a review about Craig Mullaney's (C/o '00, Rhodes Scholar and Infantry officer) autobriography where he shot down a lot of things by saying "I don't remember doing that;" maybe he should have looked into that possibility that things change over the decades?

    But other than that I would say it's something you might want to read if you're thinking about a Service Academy - as long as it's not your only source of information.
     
  6. casnmas

    casnmas Member

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    I stopped reading this article after a few paragraphs... I knew where it was headed... "Don't go to WP and get out if you can" basically sums up the theme. Do your homework, and decide what is best for you... This is not summer camp... the whole point is to prepare the best and brightest candidates to become leaders to defend this county. You will likely have to participate in combat and lead soldiers into battle. If you haven't figured that out yet... what are you doing here? (not referring to anyone particular).
     
  7. Classof2018

    Classof2018 Member

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    How true is his stance on West Point's value in the civilian world? He seems to believe a West Point diploma doesn't have much sway for business or other professional fields. From what I've heard from other grads, the opposite is true.
     
  8. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    West Point is a good school with a good reputation. A degree from West Point will get some positive attention. That said, so much of life after service is what you do, and how well you do it. A service academy diploma may open some doors, but they biggest, more important doors, will depend on you.
     
  9. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Very true if you understand how the civilian world works.

    When someone asks me why they should attend West Point, my typical answer is that it will give them the foundation to be successful in life. Noticed I said "foundation," not a "guarantee."

    Would you pick a doctor/lawyer/dentist based on their undergraduate institution or their medical school/law school/dental school.

    I will definitely look favorably at hiring another grad for a position, but if the grad doesn't have the right skill sets I am not going to hire him or her.

    In the civilian word or in the military, there is no ONE magic bullet that will keep you moving forward - hard work, self improvement, and some luck will keep you moving forward.
     
  10. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    At the risk of sounding harsh... I see the John Reed site serving a useful purpose to weed out the gullible USMA candidates.

    IE: If that site's diatribe would convince you to not attend USMA, then it's probably for the best you did not waste a slot.

    It's clearly biased with an agenda. It's very out of date. It's a sample of one.

    And ultimately, there are so many other sources of information, including the most important: Visit, talk to cadets, talk to grads, make your own decision.
     
  11. BigNick

    BigNick Member

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    Every year someone "discovers" the John Reed article.
    In my opinion - save yourself time and read something that will be more valuable to your life and success. Reed's points are in general not respected or valued by the vast majority of people I know who are WP graduates and have had years in the military.
    Do not waste your time reading his articles.
     

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