LTC Heffington's Open Letter

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by brovol, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. brovol

    brovol Member

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    I am not sure if others have seen this, but it is a very powerful commentary from a person quite qualified to express an assessment of the what is happening at West Point. LTC Heffington is the officer who gave the written statement about Rapone (the communist Cadet/officer), and recommending that he not be permitted to graduate or commission. My guess is that some here might dismiss what he says, as it certainly is not politically correct. Many good Cadets at WP, however, believe it is spot on in all respects, except the assessment that most cadets have behavior problems and a blatant disregard for the honor system. Here it is:

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/what-is-happening-at-west-point/article/2010027
     
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  2. Sledge

    Sledge Member

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    I posted that in the commie thread. I'm glad you posted it as a new thread as it will probably be seen by more people.

    Heffington's letter matches what I have observed from the outside as a parent, especially the part about not wearing uniforms and trying to turn it into a liberal arts college. I sent the link to my son, who had already seen and read it. He said it was "spot on."

    I eagerly await the apoplectic apologists from the West Point mom's page.
     
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  3. Capri120

    Capri120 Parent

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    Wow, sad, even if only a small percentage of what the LTC says is true.

    I wonder if Mad Dog Mattis has read his letter or taken note of the current environment. Maybe with the newer "top" leadership such as Mattis, corrections can be made?
     
  4. brovol

    brovol Member

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    I am sure everyone who needs to see it have already seen it. If they start attacking Heffington we know it wont be corrected. Standards for admission have been modified for some, and then standards of conduct get compromised for everyone.
     
  5. Ravens

    Ravens Member

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    Quotes like this from the article are exactly the cause of this problem -

    "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."

    This is just more evidence that the system is rigged.....the bar is not set at the same height for everyone applying. To all the "chance me" thread posters out there - put down your tuba and pick up a football. It drives me nuts when I see someone say they have a 1400 on the SAT or a 32 on the ACT and are repeatedly told to keep retaking the tests because you need a higher score. Did you read what the man said - ACT scores in the mid-teens and cannot read simple passages!

    It's all a bunch of nonsense. Geography, Race, Gender, and Athletics are the real determining factors in your possible admission. Unfortunately, these factors were never in your control for the most part.
     
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  6. davejean90

    davejean90 Member

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    This is the result of not being able to have honest conversations without being called racist, misogynists, etc. We never deal with the consequences of forcing a percentage of "under-represented" groups in terms of academy standards.
     
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  7. brovol

    brovol Member

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    It aint just athletes who get separate standards. Make no mistake, the vast majority of Cadets are qualified, and are squared away, but far too many are not, and falling out of line, be that academically or a ruck or run apparently gets you a free ride in the bed of a pickup truck till you get to the finish line. There are cadets who are horrendous, and it started in Beast, and continues, but get passed on. It is disheartening to those who work hard and stay in front. If you see that the slackers and the non-committed get the same degree and same commission as those who push hard towards the level of excellence that WP built its reputation on, the result is a less than stellar espirit de corps.

    Admission, conduct, academic and graduation standards need to be established and followed; regardless of race, gender, or athletic ability. If it means we go back to losing most of our football games, so be it.
     
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  8. VelveteenR

    VelveteenR Just gathering dust in the nursery...

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    Our son said he's been writing this letter in his head since he got there. Many cadets are grateful to Heffington for putting into words what "oft was thought but ne'er so well expressed."
     
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  9. bookreader

    bookreader Member

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    Thanks for posting this @brovol . It absolutely needs to be discussed. I've been talking to my cadet about 'how could WP graduate Rapone' and he had no trouble believing that he was allowed to graduate. He has also been very disappointed by the lack of standards being fairly applied. Some are absolutely immune from the standards.

    It also explains why WP has basically refused to address the problem of theft. Every year there are disturbing reports of theft of cadet property (even the taking of items in their own rooms - so it is clearly being done by other cadets) and I have not seen the leadership at WP address this in any meaningful way.
     
  10. Ag1999

    Ag1999 Member

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    I got to the part where Heffington talks about history and I could not stop laughing. It is very true that regional history focuses on gender role changes over time. Being here for a few months, and I hate to say I am very disappointed.
     
  11. jl123

    jl123 Member

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    I had not heard about a problem with theft, but it would explain the locks on individual rooms in the barracks. There was a time when there were no locks and if you forgot your wallet on your desk while rushing to class, you knew it would still be there when you got back (unless the Security Sergeant found it first).
     
  12. jl123

    jl123 Member

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    Timely thread. This came out today.
     

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  13. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe 5-Year Member

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    Well I guess that question has been answered.

    Reading that letter, it seems to me that the senior leadership at WP doesn't have to search to hard in their investigation, they can start by simply reading the Statement written a couple years ago.
     
  14. MemberLG

    MemberLG 5-Year Member

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    My two cents or more limited to the admissions related comments by LTC Heffington.

    First, if he can come up with a better system he should do so and actually suggest something better. Very easy to point out bad things. By no mean the current system is perfect, but I can't come up with something better. Coming up with a better system in part will require discarding a group of well deserving candidates. Say, every candidate needs to score X points on SAT or ACT, that will exclude most soldier applicants. Some of you might remember a couple years ago a graduating cadet crying during graduation - immigrant, regimental commander, NG soldier. Let me just say his SAT/ACT might or might not been high enough for a normal admission. How about combet vets? If we use strict metric based admissions system, the incoming class will be mostly white or Asian males. Perhaps there is nothing wrong with that. Some of my WP professors probably thought I couldn't read or write, as obivous from forum postings, but failing EN302 and taking it again to pass, and somehow manage to get several masters degrees to include one requiring a thesis proved some of my professors likely opinion about how I can't read or write. Perhaps we can discuss how SAT/ACT are biased. Much as many people like homogeneity, we live in a heterogeneous world.
     
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  15. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe 5-Year Member

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    Can't say I disagree with what you wrote about the SAT/ACT scores as a whole. I am one of those that believe these tests are only a benchmark while not taking into consideration many other factors. I do although think there was some truth in what he wrote when it comes to extremely low scores being overlooked for some applicants. This is not exclusive to the academies by any means. I agree with you that a blanket test score requirement would hinder those enlisted that apply, although those enlisted have had some time to put themselves in a situation where they can be recommended for an appointment, and that shouldn't change.

    It would be nice if that letter could have spelled out detailed recommendations, but sometimes the problems have to be identified before solutions can be worked out, I do however get your point.
     
  16. brovol

    brovol Member

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    There is no need to suggest a new system. The system that existed prior to a recent shift towards political correct adjustments so that the numbers for "underrepresented " groups could be increased both in terms of admission and graduation, worked brilliantly, and produced generations of outstanding officers. That is not to say that an effort should not be made to promote more interest and applications from underrepresented individuals, but the most highly qualified and accomplished applicants should be admitted, and once in all Cadets must be held to the highest standards in every aspect of their Education and training, and if for any reason they don't meet those high standards they should be dismissed. Exceptions for no one.

    As for the value of the ACT/SAT, that is a different debate, but while imperfect, the test scores are clearly the best standard for assessing readiness and predicting success at high level schools. Regardless, it should be applied equally to all in terms of whatever weight it is given. It is an objective exam. It may be unfair that some kids are more fortunate in terms of the environment the are blessed to be raised in, but others are less fortunate being born with physical handicaps which prohibit them from getting an appointment to an academy, serving as a soldier, or a professional football player for that matter. Some may say, "life ain't fair". I would suggest though that everyone has different blessings, and we are all challenged to do what we can with what we have. Service academies do not exist to provide equity to the less fortunate. They exist to train and educate the most qualified young men and women to serve and lead as officers in our armed forces and to serve and protect our country.

    I am disappointed that the Superintendent and other leadership at West Point does not seem to concede the problem, and take full ownership of it with an unambiguous commitment to immediate change.
     
  17. DrMom

    DrMom 5-Year Member

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    He isn’t Mad Dog. He is Chaos.
    The Secretary’s priorities came out last week. Becoming a more lethal force is #1.
     
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  18. mom3boys

    mom3boys 5-Year Member

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    Well, you're going to have to keep waiting.
     
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  19. Mountain_Mom

    Mountain_Mom Member

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    I always understood this to be one of the missions of the Prep Schools . . . a pathway that "brushes up academics" so a young man or woman could compete when they arrived to a SA. Is that not true? (Honest question - it may just be my assumption). There's helping people meet the standards and then there is lowering the standards. Very different approaches IMHO.
     
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  20. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American

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    Absurd and disrespectful. I doubt any poster on this board has any accomplishments to rival General Mattis.

    To call him names is more akin to what one might expect from the most liberal among the media.
     
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