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

West Point Military Academy is under fire for eliminating the key words of “duty,” “honor” and “country” from its mission statement.

The New York-based Army training institution made the controversial change on March 12, announcing it through a press release issued by the school’s superintendent, Army Lt. Gen. Steve Gilland.

In the statement, the educational leader said that “duty, honor, country” is a key component of all American military training and “will always remain our motto” at West Point.

Gilland pointed out that the “responsibility to produce leaders” for the United States military also comes with the responsibility to “assess ourselves regularly.” He explained that the mission statement has been reconsidered for the “past year and a half.” The updated statement “focuses on the mission essential tasks of Build, Educate, Train and Inspire” instead of spelling out the commitment to duty, honor and country.

West Point’s new mission is said to include these core values under the broad term “Army Values,” according to the release. Gilland added that the institution’s “absolute focus” and approach to its development of military leaders “remains unchanged.”

Previously, the mission statement at West Point emphasized a goal “to educate, train and inspire the Corps of Cadets” with the intention of commissioning leaders who are “committed to the values of Duty, Honor [and] Country.”

Under the new statement, the three key words are removed in the shortened mission declaration, replacing them with the term “Army Values.” Both statements included stipulations that military leaders trained at West Point will be well equipped to work with “professional excellence and service.”

The mission statement’s change comes as the military faces its worst recruitment issue in recent years. Additionally, the announcement stands in stark contrast to West Point’s 2022 emphasis on duty, honor and country. Two years ago, it released a video of the same name that presented highlights from a 1962 acceptance speech given by Gen. Douglas MacArthur when he received the Thayer Award, which recognizes a service member’s commitment to West Point’s motto.