Pentagon Sued for Removing ‘Duty, Honor, Country

( – On Thursday June 20, the legal watchdog group Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit for the documents and emails regarding the U.S. Military Academy at West Point’s mission recent changes to their mission statement. Judicial Watch had already filed FOIA requests which the Military Academy failed to respond to. There is great interest in exactly how and why West Point decided to remove the phrase “Duty, Honor, Country” from their mission statement.

General Douglas MacArthur used the phrase in 1962 during a brilliant speech at West Point emphasizing that the words were not just a motto, but a way of life. The words were incorporated into West Point’s mission statement in 1998. U.S. Military Academy Superintendent Lt. General Steven Gilland asserts that was only one of the nine times the mission statement has been changed over the years. The overall syntax of the newly revised statement has been simplified, but the change from “Duty, Honor, Country” to “Army Values” is perhaps the most dramatic change.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton believes that the changes to West Point’s mission statement may be cause for concern due to what he refers to as the “woke virus” infecting the military academy. He further expressed frustration at the “unlawful stonewalling” regarding the release of the records detailing the change. In the public announcement of the changes, General Gilland said the new wording was the result of a year and a half joint effort from leaders from across West Point and external stakeholders. He did not specify who these stakeholders were, nor whether they were military, governmental or even American.

While periodic changes to language in official documentation in schools or other organizations are common, it is vital that the process in which those changes are made is transparent. The U.S. Military has been falling short of their recruitment goals which some believe is due to the intensifying left-wing bias in official military culture. Many are concerned the current changes may be part of a progressive agenda to politicize and weaponize the military. It is difficult to balance modern needs against the importance of honoring tradition, but making abrupt alterations to central mission statements in secret is a recipe for suspicion not unity.

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