West Point cadet quits over religion

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posted on Dec, 6 2012 @ 09:28 PM
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inamerica.blogs.cnn.com...

I give this young man credit for his convictions...religion really has no place being used in a military academy. Separation of church and state is applied in many ways and is supposed to be applied at West Point.


Military development. Academics. Athletics. Three pillars of Army values that cadets at America's most prestigious military academy live by. But West Point cadet Blake Page says there is one other unspoken pillar at the United States Military Academy: religion. That's why, with just five months left before graduation, Page quit. And he did it in a most public fashion – in a fiery blog post. "The tipping point of my decision to resign was the realization that countless officers here and throughout the military are guilty of blatantly violating the oaths they swore to defend the Constitution," wrote Page, 24, in The Huffington Post.


Really? he wouldn't be discriminated against at all? How soon after he made a formal complaint would he have received a visit from his fellow cadets in the form of a "code red", if he had not resigned immediately?


However, spokesman Francis DeMaro Jr. said Page's claim that prayer was mandatory was not true. "The academy holds both official and public ceremonies where an invocation and benediction may be conducted, but prayer is voluntary," he said.


I have been in situations where my religion caused me to be discriminated against, even though it was illegal to do so.

BAW33




posted on Dec, 6 2012 @ 09:36 PM
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reply to post by BrokenAngelWings33
 

I would really note two things to consider here. First, West Point isn't just any school or even just any military facility....in terms of code reds. It's an interesting premise for a movie. It probably really happens in some units too.....I'd guess the more elite and out there on the edge they get? Maybe not even there. At any rate.... West Point, as I understand the place, is anal enough to produce a string of diamonds from coal. I can't quite picture cadets being trusted and allowed the freedom to determine when other cadets ought to get the stuffing beat out of them..... Besides... 5 months to graduation? He was the one DOING the hazing by that stage, if anything.

I will say he's got a lot for conviction..IF ...this is all it appears. It strikes me as near unbelievable that someone would endure what any of the Academies require and put a man through, just to quit on pure protest grounds THAT close to the end and full graduation. It's like someone putting in their 19 years and 11 months....just to go kick a General Officer in the family jewels. Errr...
Something seems off..?

I'd wonder if he wasn't having other troubles there?



posted on Dec, 6 2012 @ 09:37 PM
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I watched full metal jacket last night, it shows some scenes where the DI is seemingly very religious, it made me think of my times.
In 2007, the USMC(I can only speak for MCRD San Diego, and about 20 instructors, not the entire corps) still seemed a bit religious to me. There was a lot of talk about "Marines guard the pearly gates" and many variations of that. In the presbyterian church, on base, there were murals of these Marines in their dress uniforms at the apparent gates of heaven. I used to go to the church, and chose that because it was the largest turn out, to sleep. It was a bit difficult during all the singing, etc, but, it was the only place possible to do it during the day.
Nothing even remote to this though:

www.youtube.com...

I am very proud of that young man. He has some strong convictions.
We cant hope for change unless we start somewhere.
edit on 6-12-2012 by smashdem because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 6 2012 @ 09:44 PM
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May I say that it appears there is more to this than religion? There is a link in the source to a letter from a former cadet. I found it convincing and suggest you read the whole thing if this interests you.


3. You have failed at least two leadership details of which I am aware. For those not familiar with USMA's leadership system (included in the Academy's 'military pillar," one of three for grading purposes), a cadet, starting sophomore year, is given charge of other cadets, every semester (either directly or indirectly), and usually during two summers during their time at the Academy.

You have to do pretty bad or have some extraordinary circumstances to fail a detail. I can understand failing one. # happens, and sometimes, you have an incompetent rater (supervising cadet) who fails you for petty reasons. Failing mulitple details takes effort, the kind of dogged determination to go your own way (and not in the good sense) or be so completely careless or incompetent that those above you can't justify your performance with anything higher than an "F". Failing a detail usually means you have to repeat it, which takes another semester at the Academy or some generous leniency on the part of the senior leadership (commissioned officers) observing your progress.

So, when you state in your article that you could have made it to graduation in May, you'll have to forgive me if I express a high degree of skepticism. I'm simply not buying it.

Accordingly, here's my theory, and I'm quite confident in it: the Academy just wasn't a good fit for you. It's tough. It doesn't mean you're not going to have great success in life if you don't graduate (either through resignation or separation), but it's not for everyone.

Instead of cutting your losses and admitting it's not a good fit and likely separation or simply working harder and seeking out the help you need to get through it, you decided to co-opt an issue (that's usually controversial) as a front for your own failings. Rather than be separated for your performance, resigning in "the name of religious freedom" has provided you the opportunity to save face.
Cadet response

I'm also surprised that it took him this long to reach his conclusion. I can't accept his story yet, but I'm open to more information.



posted on Dec, 6 2012 @ 09:45 PM
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reply to post by smashdem
 


In 2007, the USMC(I can only speak for MCRD San Diego, and about 20 instructors, not the entire corps) still seemed a bit religious to me. There was a lot of talk about "Marines guard the pearly gates" and many variations of that. In the presbyterian church, on base, there were murals of these Marines in their dress uniforms at the apparent gates of heaven.


Ummm.... You make no sense. Are you saying you were IN the Marine Corps or were you simply on post for some other reason as a civilian? Your talking about Marines at pearly gates and on the streets of heaven as if the whole image is a mystery. You have to be sarcastic here?

I mean...You would know the Marine Corps Anthem, right?



I have to be misreading your confusion as humor, right?



posted on Dec, 6 2012 @ 10:05 PM
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reply to post by charles1952
 


This could be their way of trying to discredit him, if they wanted to fail him because of other reasons it would be easy to do so. I was framed for stealing because I revealed my religion by requesting a day off to observe a holiday, up until that point I was trusted and given more responsibility by the owner, once they found out they were shocked and felt deceived, so they did things to get rid of me.
edit on 12/6/2012 by BrokenAngelWings33 because: Edit



posted on Dec, 6 2012 @ 10:05 PM
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To Wrabbit:
Humor/disdain, I found it very childish. I went through recruit training there, not a civilian job.
Also, I am comparing my experience to the movie, Full Metal Jacket. Not this situation in the OP, as in I never got personally jacked up like that, nor did anyone I see, and never heard about it happening, in relation to anything religious.
edit on 6-12-2012 by smashdem because: (no reason given)
edit on 6-12-2012 by smashdem because: (no reason given)
extra DIV



posted on Dec, 6 2012 @ 10:23 PM
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reply to post by BrokenAngelWings33
 

DearBrokenAngelWings,

Thanks for the idea, but I'm not following it completely. If he failed at least two ledership positions, that would have happened before his complaint about religion. So, I can't see it as a response to his quitting.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Dec, 6 2012 @ 10:25 PM
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reply to post by BrokenAngelWings33
 


Absolutely Not, there are no 'code reds' at the academy, there are no religious persecutions going on there. As a Grad, I never once experienced or heard of one going on. The academy is not a place that someone that has not experienced it will easily understand. Nor is it an easy place to describe to an outsider. Outsider is not a negative term in this instance, just that you have to experience it to understand it.

I am not a religious individual, not once did I attend church while there or even mention religion in conversation. Not once was I demoted, insulted, restricted, or beaten by my 'lack of faith'. Not once, on the contrary, most cadets are not actually as religious as this article makes out. Why? because these cadets have proven to be some of the best all around American youth out there. Not only do they have stellar grades, but they are physical studs, and have proven integrity. Black, white or green, after beast training we learn that the individual to our left and right are the only ones we can rely on to survive graduation.

With regards to religion, I actually can say that most cadets slept through sunday service, most cadets were more interested in the catholic all girl colleges just up the hudson than in practicing the catholic faith. More importantly, we fought with our own internal faith demons on the account that we were wise enough to understand that religion and military don't really fit together. We separated the two and acknowledge that we had faith in God and Country, but that to do our job we needed to put our faith in a box during duty hours.

I will say again, there are no real physical hazings going on anymore, there are no 'code reds', the toughest thing at the academy is probably still the SOSH paper because we all blew it off till the last night. These are normal college kids that have to maitain high GPAs, physical standards on PT tests, retain military knowledge, AND earn a degree. I carried 22 credit hours a semester, was battalion adjutant, GM of a radio station, cadet entertainment advisory board, and rep for PA office. If anyone knew of a situation like this it would have come across my desk. From experience, I have seen a ton of nasty stories come out of West Point, and 9 times out of 10 there was a ton of other factors.

97 grad. Go Army

Oh, and we are brain washed on one point, you don't transfer from the academy to anther college, you quit or can't hack it. And winners never quit. On our first night, 'if you are here because your parents want you to be here or for someone else, you won't survive so quit now'. That rings to this day years later. When a failed cadet reads the writing on the wall, the ones without fortitude look for ways to save face. You cannot graduate without passing certain aspects, 5 months before graduation is the just after the winter military education courses. If he didn't pass those, he would not graduate on time. That is a HUGE insult, and everyone knows that you didn't cut it.....And it effects the rest of your military career.
edit on 6-12-2012 by pointr97 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 6 2012 @ 10:34 PM
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But later, he struggled after his father committed suicide. He was diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety and disqualified from being commissioned as a second lieutenant, the usual next step for West Point graduates.
reply to post by pointr97
 


That is inaccurate. Sophomores are Team Leaders, no higher. They are not allowed to be responsible for more than two cadets. Juniors are the lowest class allowed as a squad leader.

Edit-I just re-read the quote, and that was not the quote I pasted, BUT answers the question....This was what I initially was quoting



He said his tactical officer and mentor even tried to promote him to squad leader prematurely in his sophomore year.


If he was deemed not mentally sound, they are not going to give him a commission or place him back in uniform in a unit. He was Diagnosed with Clinical Depression.
edit on 6-12-2012 by pointr97 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 6 2012 @ 10:36 PM
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reply to post by pointr97
 


If there was no truth to this, why did they give him an honorable discharge?



posted on Dec, 6 2012 @ 10:42 PM
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Originally posted by BrokenAngelWings33
reply to post by pointr97
 


If there was no truth to this, why did they give him an honorable discharge?


There isn't, if you quit after returning for your junior year, you are locked in. You are not discharged, you are commented to fulfill your time as an enlisted for a specific period of time. If you do not do that, you receive a general discharge.

I will tell you what i think. re-read the story. This kid was prior service, meaning he came from the army, experienced soldier, and was older and more capable than his peers that came from high school. He was looked up to, trust me, my closest grad friend was a year below me and a prior service. I was his superior, but he was my better in experience. We have been friends for 16 years. This guy had an expectation by others, both peers and the tactical officers over him. They expected him to excel on the military skill side due to his experience. When he didn't, it was worse than if a 'straight from high school kid' failed something, due to this expectation.

I'm telling you again, we were NOT religious....very much the opposite, the religious group was very very small.

Wait, this is just happening......His summer time is just coming to a head, meaning he went for his summer assignment, didn't do so well, and now his appeals are over. So the Superintendent just sent down the order that he has to repeat his summer assignment in order to graduate, so in a huff, he is saving face. This is ridiculous.
edit on 6-12-2012 by pointr97 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 6 2012 @ 10:52 PM
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Originally posted by BrokenAngelWings33
reply to post by pointr97
 


If there was no truth to this, why did they give him an honorable discharge?





The U.S. Military Academy confirmed that Page's resignation had been accepted and that he was being honorably discharged.


This is the only quote from the academy, sorry, doesn't prove anything. If you are deemed unfit for duty, you receive an honorable discharge. The academy confirmed his status, nothing more.

I have a friend that received an honorable discharge when he was medically broken, I have another friend that received the same when he failed two academic courses.
edit on 6-12-2012 by pointr97 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 6 2012 @ 10:57 PM
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reply to post by pointr97
 


I bet for every story we hear telling us it is not true there are stories like this one that seem to substantiate that it could have merit...



Corpsman....

As a former medical corpsman in the Navy and Marines let me share a little of my military experience in regards to the reality of how the military really works. On paper, the military encourages its members to seek help for any personal/health issues they may be suffering from. No punitive measures are to be enacted provided it is not illegal according to the U.C.M.J. (Uniform Code of Military Justice). That is not the reality of what really occurs. The military is very punitive to its members that have issues that the military mindset does not approve of. And believe me, the list is long. I always told my patients that I thought might get screwed over, to inform me if such things were happening. I can't tell how many patients I treated in secret (nothing put in their medical records) so that their military careers were not put in jeopardy. Dozens of times I had to personally inform commanding officers and the patient's superiors that if they enacted any punitive actions against my patient(s) that formal charges would be filed against them. In my day, no one in the Navy could subvert a medical decision from any member of a medical department. Not even the Chief of Naval Operations. Don't know how it is these days. So yes, unfair/illegal treatment of military members has and does go on, and to a larger scale than most people realize. And no, I am not a atheist or agnostic. Whether this young man's story is 100% correct or not, remains to be seen. But rest assured, the military illegally discriminates/punishes on a daily basis. That's a fact. I know....I witnessed it hundreds of times in my military career.


If there are other issues concerning why he was honorably discharged concerning depression, so be it, but it is still very possible that there was an underlying issue involving his non-religious beliefs.



posted on Dec, 6 2012 @ 11:01 PM
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No, if he is not mentally stable, he is not commissionable, if he cannot receive a commission, they thank him for his efforts, give him an honorable discharge and send him on his way. that is it...nothing more, he failed a psych test.
edit on 6-12-2012 by pointr97 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 6 2012 @ 11:01 PM
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reply to post by pointr97
 


They did their job with you...brainwashed to the core...bleed army...hey, listen don't think for one minute the army is not capable of this behavior, religion or not, it is a good old boy network, if you don't do it the way they want...you get weeded out, or they make your life so miserable you either quit, resign or kill yourself.



posted on Dec, 6 2012 @ 11:03 PM
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reply to post by pointr97
 


Was that in the article? I must have missed it...please find this fact and post it for me.



posted on Dec, 6 2012 @ 11:04 PM
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Originally posted by BrokenAngelWings33
reply to post by pointr97
 


Was that in the article? I must have missed it...please find this fact and post it for me.


I missed this the first time as well, it was only the cut and paste error when i caught it.




But later, he struggled after his father committed suicide. He was diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety and disqualified from being commissioned as a second lieutenant, the usual next step for West Point graduates.


This is a huge red flag when commissioning an officer, they have a suicidal tendency, you do not want to give them a weapon and 30 souls that rely on them.
edit on 6-12-2012 by pointr97 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 6 2012 @ 11:08 PM
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Originally posted by BrokenAngelWings33
reply to post by pointr97
 


They did their job with you...brainwashed to the core...bleed army...hey, listen don't think for one minute the army is not capable of this behavior, religion or not, it is a good old boy network, if you don't do it the way they want...you get weeded out, or they make your life so miserable you either quit, resign or kill yourself.


Not a chance, I left the army because of a bad LT COL, had the highest suicide rate in the army during the 90s and he didn't care and made me an example for the rest. I know full well what the academy and military are capable of, and I'm saying there is no religious persecution at the academy and that this guy just failed out. Instead of being like his discharge, honorable, and accepting it, he is slinging mud.

Makes him look better that he was persecuted than just crazy.
edit on 6-12-2012 by pointr97 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 6 2012 @ 11:20 PM
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reply to post by BrokenAngelWings33
 


If the young man was diagnosed as clinically depressed he may have been on a downward spiral that caused him to feel discriminated against in how he was treated when he may not actually have been. Depression can cause the mind to play tricks on you, make you think people are out to persecute you. If you feel the world is against you (and with his father's death that is a real possibility) you perceive words and actions in ways that weren't intended.

Not saying that is a fact in his case, I don't know what was going on in his head, but it is a real possibility to consider.





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