Lt. Col. Robert Heffington recently wrote an open letter advocating the closure of West Point because of collapse of discipline, academic standards, dishonesty and apathy of the leadership, and the pervasiveness of identity politics and anti-Americanism in its curriculum.

The catalyst to his letter was a recent Twitter post by a 2016 West Point graduate in which the young man openly advocates communism.

As a graduate myself, I read Heffington’s letter in anger and astonishment. I could not have imagined how far from its ideals the military academy has fallen: from being a buttress of timeless values for the nation to a corrosive vector of the rancorous ideas of the totalitarian left.

The superintendent of West Point, Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen, wrote a response defending West Point’s senior leadership. Sadly, the letter uses cadets and junior officers as human shields to cover the cynicism and careerism of the colonels and generals. It’s rather shameful and tawdry.

The matter at hand is not about these young people, but rather what they are being taught, who is teaching them and how their lives are put in peril by the political cowardice and self-interest of those in charge. It is about the fundamental dishonesty of the enterprise.

What is one to make of the Honor Code when the generals say things they know to be falsehoods? When they mouth a party line because they made a cynical calculation that to dissent would damage their careers and bring them opprobrium? One might say they truly believe all the diversity and multicultural claptrap, but that only points to a lack of intelligence or ignorance, which is hardly more admirable. I suspect there is a mix of both self-interest and ignorance to the matter.

If there were a Medal of Honor for moral courage, I would recommend it be awarded to Lt. Col. Robert Heffington.

Christopher Reimer

Class of 1985, U.S. Military Academy