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Point/Counterpoint: West Point is outdated and aristocratic vs. Why is this enlisted man speaking in my presence?

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The following is a discussion between Army Spc. Travis Bales, an 11B infantryman with 3 combat deployments, who will present the point. The rebuttal is offered by Maj. Jack Rogers, a 2006 USMA graduate.

POINT: West Point has long upheld itself as the standard bearer for the U.S. Army officer corps. However, in the 21st century our nation faces a diverse array of threats and situations that require outside-the-box thinking, varying life skills, and other extraordinary factors that can’t be obtained through a core curriculum of military study that aims to generate an entire class of officers trained to think alike.

COUNTERPOINT: Excuse me, Lieutenant? There seems to be an enlisted man speaking in my presence. Is it yours? Please keep a better eye on him. This is a professional space. You know better.

POINT: ROTC should be standardized as the commissioning source for the military. Unique backgrounds, schools of thought, and regional differences can all be used to create a mentally agile and academically diverse pool of officers prepared to take on the threats of the modern battlefield

COUNTERPOINT: It’s still speaking, but I can’t quite understand. WHAT. DO. YOU. WANT? Food? Water? Lieutenant, what the devil do these things eat? I believe there may be a half-empty tin of dip in the trash there. Would you like that? Or perhaps you want a Rip-It? I hear you all like the red ones, yes?

POINT: Better yet, maybe we should reevaluate the entire process for selection and creation of military officers. With the availability of online training and real-life experiences, does a four-year degree really matter in terms of national defense?

COUNTERPOINT: I believe it’s trying to offer some sort of opinion. Fascinating. I need a bloody translator. Can someone tell it “Thank you?” We need to make them think their wants and desires matter.

POINT: I’ve met numerous senior-enlisted personnel without so much as an associate’s degree capable of planning and executing brigade and division-sized operations in a combat zone, absent any assistance from the so-called “professional officer class.” At some point can’t we all just admit West Point is an anachronism that needs to be done away with, like the blanket-sized 1st Cav patch , or the 82nd Airborne Division?

COUNTERPOINT: Thank you for whatever those words were specialist. I’m sure you thought they were very important. Should I need advice on marrying a prostitute or soiling myself when blackout drunk at a unit function I will gladly seek you out. You’re dismissed.

POINT: Sir, this is an interview. I can’t be dismissed. This is exactly the kind of arrogance and disrespect I’m talking abo-

COUNTERPOINT: It’s still speaking. Lieutenant, take the specialist outside and have it horsewhipped for insolence.

POINT: .

At the conclusion of this interview Maj Rogers climbed into his 2019 Lexus, chauffeured by his battalion sergeant major, and careened through a formation of privates, wounding six on the way to the officer’s club. Spc. Bales was given a Field Grade Article 15 for disrespecting a senior officer.

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