Where is Sam Damon?

A blog dedicated to debate and commentary on national security, foreign affairs, veterans' issues, and a whole host of other topics. If you are not familiar with who Sam Damon is, click here. Feel free to post comments or contact Onager via e-mail at whereissamdamon@gmail.com.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Cool on Honor: Sadism, Cruelty, and Character Development at West Point

I'm so lucky to have been brought up in Georgetown Army ROTC. This certainly didn't happen there and, in my opinion, our program molded some of the best officers of my generation. This article deals with how "cadetland" actually works in some places. Even coming from my ROTC program, I was shocked that "cadetland" was really a fantasy land different from the real Army... I could only imagine how West Pointers feel when they graduate. Don't get me wrong, for the most part USMA produces great officers, but the type of behavior described in this paper is unacceptable.

Commissioning programs need to harness the idealism of the cadets that, in part, made them sign a blank check endorsed with their life to the military and this country. I know I became frustrated with the bureaucracy of the Army and left because I felt I could do more for my country in other areas of life than staying in for 30 years with the faint hope that I never slipped up, didn't piss anyone off to make general officer, and then try and make the changes to improve the organization from within.

1 comment:

Onager said...

I've received some hate e-mails about this post, so I wanted to address them here. First of all, my time in the Army was a fantastic chapter in my life. I don't know of any other job where you can be given so much responsibility as a 22-year-old college graduate, get paid well, and get to travel the world (and party in Europe when your training schedule permitted). Yes, the possibility of deploying frequently was a factor in leaving the Army. Yes, the possibility of losing my limbs, burning my glowing baby soft skin, developing a mental disorder, or losing my life played a role in my decision (you can only touch the dragon so many times before he burns you). And, finally, yes, I was very lucky for only having served one year in Iraq from 2005-2006. I thank the less than one percent of the American population that found it in them to keep serving - with guaranteed multiple combat tours... they are better men (and women) than me.