West Point Removes ‘Duty, Honor, Country’ From Mission Statement

by State Brief

West Point Military Academy has announced a major change in its mission statement with the removal of the words “Duty, Honor, Country.”

In a letter to cadets, West Point Superintendent Lt. Gen. Steve Gilliland wrote, “Our responsibility to produce leaders to fight and win our nation’s wars requires us to assess ourselves regularly. Thus, over the past year and a half, working with leaders from across West Point and external stakeholders, we reviewed our vision, mission, and strategy to serve this purpose.”

Gilliland advised that those “three hallowed words” would remain the Academy’s motto, but that the mission statement binds the Academy to the “Army in which our cadets will serve,” and as a result necessitated a revision of the mission statement.

West Point recommended to senior Army leadership a new mission statement that reads: “To build, educate, train, and inspire the Corps of Cadets to be commissioned leaders of character committed to the Army Values and ready for a lifetime of service to the Army and Nation.”

Both the Secretary of the Army and Army Chief of staff approved the recommendation.

Critics have accused the Academy of “going woke” with its updated language, removing the words “Duty, Honor, Country,” which were added to the mission statement in 1998.

“Our updated mission statement focuses on the mission essential tasks of Build, Educate, Train, and Inspire the Corps of Cadets to be commissioned leaders of character, with the explicit purpose of being committed to the Army Values and Ready for a lifetime of service,” Gilliland continued.

“The Army Values include Duty and Honor, and Country is reflected in Loyalty, bearing truth faith and allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, the Army, your unit, and other Soldiers,” he explained. “In the past century, West Point’s mission has changed nine times. Many graduates will recall the mission statement they learned as new cadets did not include the motto, as Duty, Honor, Country was first added to the mission statement in 1998.”

Gilliland ended his message to cadets by reassuring them, “Our absolute focus on developing leaders of character ready to lead our Army’s Soldiers on increasingly lethal battlefields remains unchanged.”

In a thread posted on X, former soldier Mark Hertling said that changes to mission statements are not uncommon, and are not a signal of a shift in core values, political or otherwise.

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