How to Write a Dressing Down

I think you're all familiar with the subject of this particular dressing down- the recently infamous commie Cadet- but this conclusion from a sworn statement from LTC Robert M. Heffington may just have you breaking out in applause.  I wouldn't change a word.

At best, Cadet Rapone’s online ideological screeds reveal the philosophical infatuations of a precocious adolescent, rather like a high school boy who cannot stop spouting off about Nietzsche.  The “misunderstood” and “persecuted” young genius shouts truth to power by cobbling together ideas and quotations popping up in chat rooms or on Facebook walls, certain that his provocative and shocking proclamations will, based solely upon their vehemence and sarcasm, demonstrate both the profound sincerity and the unassailable correctness of his viewpoints.  This phase tends to be ephemeral, the erstwhile young firebrand eventually emerging from the self-adulatory fog after eye-opening encounters with equally brilliant people articulating cogent, well-supported, and entirely contrary arguments, or having gained sufficient life experience to illustrate the fundamental interpretive emptiness that renders any strictly Manichaean worldview emotionally unfulfilling and analytically bankrupt.  At worst, however, Cadet Rapone’s statements bespeak either a severe mental or psychological disorder, or a genuine commitment to values and ideals wholly at odds with those of West Point and the Army.  If the former is true, he is dangerously unbalanced, and therefore not suited to military service.  If the latter, is true, he is a coward, and a hypocrite who refuses to discontinue his association with an institution that, as he sees it, is a tool of an inherently unjust, immoral, and imperialist state.  He may at some point grow out of this phase, but the Army does not have the luxury of allowing him the opportunity to sort out his beliefs while charged with the sacred duty of leading American Soldiers.
If you're interested in what led to this conclusion, the rest is available at Bring the Heat.


Assistant Village Idiot said...

Gee, I thought the military was filled with ignorant and uneducated people who couldn't get jobs in the real world. This essay doesn't seem possible.

Grim said...


Gringo said...

Is he eligible for time in Leavenworth?

Grim said...

Depends on if and how they choose to charge him.

Gringo said...

Here are some comments from the link:
Why the administration at the academy ignored, forgot, or dismissed taking action to promptly remove this cadet from the academy is beyond comprehension. Was the academy administration being too partisan or practicing political correctness? What an insult to the troops in the field for the West Point administration to somehow let this type of person be considered as a leader/officer! I would hold the red tape bureaucracy at West Point accountable and demote or fire anyone that had the power to remove this kid from the academy but was derelict in their duties and failed to do so.

This is all very bizarre. What kind of environment are they creating at West Point where a cadet can even *think* of ignoring protocols (standing when addressing an officer), being out of uniform, and blatant disrespect to an officer's face? How did this cadet not end up on his ass after ONE of these infractions, let alone all of them in one setting?
What does it actually take to get thrown out of a service academy anymore? Drugs doesn't do it (Annapolis), academic failure doesn't do it (Annapolis), conduct obviously doesn't do it (West Point) nor does actually getting a write-up from an instructor documenting full-on shit-headedness.
WTF? Seriously.

From the viewpoint of this civilian, Ramone is not the only one who should be punished.

jaed said...

My guess is that the fact that he was coming from the enlisted ranks, plus the Ranger tab, caused his instructors to interpret his behavior differently than they would have if he'd come in straight from high school. In other words, they may have read it as "no-nonsense soldier" instead of "snotnosed kid".

(When you look at his remarks and reports of his behavior all together, it sounds worse. But an instructor who saw only one outburst or comment, instead of all of them, might have misinterpreted the implications.)

douglas said...

Gringo, I agree. I heard somewhere that Professor Hosein has been suspended or something- clearly he needs to be looked into. I have to also wonder about the other three cadets in this 'discussion'. Just because they were disagreeing doesn't mean they aren't sympathetic- you get big fights between radical revolutionaries and their less enthusiastic comrades sometimes.

Jaed, I think that's part of it. I also think as a society, when working with youth especially, we've become rather reticent to come down on them for their first (so far as we know) violation of rules or misbehavior. We give second, third chances. We try to 'reach out', and understand them. When all that fails we come down on them, and they don't understand? 'Why are you coming down on me now?!?'
In the old days, your parents, teachers, cops, strangers even, would address misbehavior immediately and in certain terms. Nip it in the bud, kill it in the cradle, stop it before it starts. We don't do that anymore, we inadvertently fertilize it. I know even I've done it with other kids when I was coaching hockey- being too nice at early indiscretions turned into bigger problems later. Live and learn.

Of course, you'd think USMA would be the last bastion. Maybe it was.

Eric Blair said...

Maybe they thought they were cutting him some slack for prior enlisted and combat veteran. I dunno.

Just seems to odd for words.

Grim said...

In fairness, it wasn’t just a Ranger tab. It was a Ranger scroll.

He was kicked out for standards, but if you didn’t know that, you’d assume he was solid.

douglas said...

Well this over at SOFREP News sheds a little light. I'm feeling more certain that they've been carefully playing out the rope to him with which he could hang his career.

Note particularly his being given a day 1 recycle.

By the way, how does someone get assigned to a Ranger Battalion without having been through Ranger School? I always assumed there was an order to that.

Tom said...

If you make it through selection, you're assigned to a Ranger battalion. Generally before you make sergeant you'll be sent to Ranger school, or so I've been told.

E Hines said...

...address misbehavior immediately and in [no] certain terms....

Indeed, this is necessary for there to be a second chance. If the first chance isn't corrected promptly, there isn't a first at all chance because there's no understanding of the screwup.

Eric Hines

Ymar Sakar said...

This guy is only the tip of the iceberg of the institutional infiltration of the US military, West Point included.

There's a lot more people aren't telling you all.

Gringo said...

Ymar Sakar
This guy is only the tip of the iceberg of the institutional infiltration of the US military, West Point included.

I fear you are correct.