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West Point drops hallowed Duty, Honor, Country for Army Values

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The U.S. Military Academy at West Point plans to drop its hallowed motto of “Duty, Honor, Country” from its mission statement.

While the motto won’t change, those words will no longer appear in the mission statement.

The change comes after leaders from across West Point along with external stakeholders spent a year and a half reviewing the academy’s vision, mission and strategy.

That review resulted in a recommendation for a new mission statement: “To build, educate, train, and inspire the Corps of Cadets to be commissioned leaders of character committed to the Army Values and ready for a lifetime of service to the Army and Nation.”

“Our updated mission statement focuses on the mission essential tasks of Build, Educate, Train, and Inspire the Corps of Cadets to be commissioned leaders of character, with the explicit purpose of being committed to the Army Values and Ready for a lifetime of service,” Lt. Gen. Steve Gilland wrote in a letter to cadets. “The Army Values include Duty and Honor, and Country is reflected in Loyalty, bearing true faith and allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, the Army, your unit, and other Soldiers.”

He noted West Point’s mission has changed nine times over the past 100 years.

“Many graduates will recall the mission statement they learned as new cadets did not include the motto, as Duty, Honor, Country was first added to the mission statement in 1998,” Gilland wrote.

He said West Point’s focus wouldn’t change.

“Our absolute focus on developing leaders of character ready to lead our Army’s Soldiers on increasingly lethal battlefields remains unchanged,” Gilland wrote. “Go Army! Duty Honor Country!”

West Point did not immediately respond to emailed questions on how the change had been received.