Duty, honor, communism: Open letter to West Point graduates slams ‘embrace of mediocrity’

by WorldTribune Staff, October 12, 2017

” ‘Duty, Honor, Country’ — those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying point to build courage when courage seems to fail, to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith, to create hope when hope becomes forlorn.” — Gen. Douglas MacArthur, speaking at West Point on May 12, 1962.

The politicization of the curriculum at West Point and the superintendent’s refusal to enforce the cadet Honor Code has led to a “malaise that pervades the entire institution,” retired Army Lt. Col. Robert Heffington said in an open letter to West Point graduates.

Second Lt. Spenser Rapone is seen in an undated photo holding a cap with a sign inside that reads ‘Communism will win.’ / Twitter

Heffington said systemic failures at West Point have led to a decline in honor, standards and meritocracy. The end result, he said, is a current “embrace of mediocrity.”

Heffington noted that “an entire semester of military history was deleted from the curriculum,” which has shifted its focus to “the narrative that America is founded solely on a history of racial oppression.”

Cadets refer to one American history course as the “I Hate America” course, Heffington wrote.

“The Superintendent refuses to enforce admissions standards or the cadet Honor Code, the Dean refuses to enforce academic standards, and the Commandant refuses to enforce standards of conduct and discipline,” the letter charges. “The end result is a sort of malaise that pervades the entire institution.”

Heffington told The Daily Caller he wrote the letter to the USMA Class of 1963 when several of its graduates contacted him asking how Second Lt. Spenser Rapone, a cadet espousing radically anti-American views, was allowed to graduate.

Sen. Marco Rubio became aware of Rapone’s anti-American activism, calling the communist second lieutenant “a national security threat.” In a letter to Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, Rubio asked for McCarthy to investigate if West Point administrators were aware of Rapone’s behavior, requesting a response within 30 days.

Rapone reportedly tweeted “F–k this country and its false freedom.”

“I cannot reconcile the image of a first class cadet at West Point with the things he has posted online for the world to see,” Heffington said. “To me, these are red flags that cannot be ignored, and I fail to see how this individual can possibly graduate and become a commissioned officer in six months.

“From his various online rantings and posts, it appears that DCT Rapone is an avowed Marxist, which is completely out of line with the values of this nation and its Arm. He also… even implicitly justifies the actions of ISIS and blames the United States for terrorist attacks.”


Heffington said he has personally taught cadets who are “borderline illiterate.”

“Cadets routinely fail multiple classes and they are not separated at the end-of-semester Academic Boards,” Heffington said. “Their professors recommend ‘Definitely Separate,’ but those recommendations are totally disregarded. I recently taught a cadet who failed four classes in one semester (including mine), in addition to several she had failed in previous semesters, and she was retained at the Academy.”

“As a result,” Heffington continues, “professors have lost hope and faith in the entire Academic Board process. It has been made clear that cadets can fail a multitude of classes and they will not be separated. Instead, when they fail (and they do to a staggering extent), the Dean simply throws them back into the mix.”

Heffington’s letter was posted on the website of American Military News.


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