As a West Point graduate—class of 1962, proud member of the Long Gray Line, and decorated two-year combat veteran, an opinion is that President Trump, Commander-in-Chief, chooses not to champion those in uniform and does not respect the core values of West Point and the military.
*Does not set a good example: during the global pandemic he has chosen not to wear a mask to protect others. “Leadership is the art of influencing and directing people to an assigned goal in such a manner as to command their obedience, confidence, respect, and loyal cooperation.” (Notes for the Course in the History of the Military Art, Department of Military Art and Engineering, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York, 1957, page 3)
*He lies to self-serve: this began with exaggeration of attendance numbers for his Inauguration as President of the United States, January 2017. The Honor Code at West Point: “I will not lie, cheat or steal nor tolerate those amongst us who do.”
*Has created unnecessary risks to 1000 graduating cadets because they must return to West Point, during the pandemic, most likely through New York City, to hear his graduation speech. To hear his “rally” speech the cadets will travel from locations around the world to West Point, quarantine for three weeks, be tested for the coronavirus virus and then assemble on June 13 in one space primarily for one purpose: so Donald Trump can bolster his ego and finally deliver a commencement address to graduating Army seniors.
*Suspiciously avoided the Vietnam War era draft as a privileged and athletic college student and claimed to have bone spurs in his heels.
*Dismissed as headaches the blast exposure soldiers received from a 2020 Iranian missile attack. Seven of these soldiers were recently awarded Purple Hearts.
*In three plus years in Office, Donald Trump has made only three visits to soldiers in war zones.
*President Trump has referred to military leaders as “dopes and babies” when being briefed about the value of allies and overseas commitments. “You’re all losers,” an irritated Trump reportedly said. “I wouldn’t go to war with you people.” (USA Today, Wednesday, May 5, 2020)
*Reversed punishments or convictions for troops accused or convicted of war crimes. Example: former Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher was acquitted of war crimes and hosted by President Trump at Mar-a-Lago.
*He has excoriated soldiers who have irritated him: Senator John McCain, a prisoner of war in North Vietnam for more than five years; Defense Secretary James Mattis: “…the world’s most over-rated general” for resigning because of President Trump’s policy in Syria. The United States withdrew protection of Iraq War, Kurd allies along the Turkey-Syria border; and turned re-drawing and control of the border over to Russia, forcing Kurds living along the border to re-locate. Combat-wounded Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman was “very insubordinate” and fired from the White House for testifying at Donald Trump’s impeachment.
USA Today, Wednesday, May 6, 2020 reports that since Trump’s election, the percentage of service members disapproving of his performance has gone from a third to half the nation’s fighting force. This soldier, West Point graduate, proud member of the Long Gray Line and decorated combat veteran, is disgusted with the performance of President Donald Trump as Commander-in-Chief and as President of the United States. He is an embarrassment to America around the globe. We need leaders not celebrity narcissists who are self-serving pansies. Reflecting on the Access Hollywood Tape, hush payoffs to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, 12 women filing sexual harassment claims, the Mueller Report (Russian interference in a Presidential election, nine counts of obstruction of justice and five persons in jail: Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, Michael Cohen and Carter Page), impeachment, and total, egotistical, dereliction of duty during a global pandemic help this combat veteran understand why we can do better in November 2020. When the bullets begin to fly, combat troops do not care whether you are a Democrat or a Republican! We just need good leaders who earn respect with exemplary character, personality, mentality, and leadership!!