Defending America
25 March '97
David Hackworth

WEST POINT

Colonel James Hallums is a warrior's warrior. One of the best who ever wore Army green.

I pray that neither of my two sons ever go to war, but if our nation should call, I'd want them to serve under a leader like Hallums. I know he'd lead them by personal example, look after their welfare as if they were his own sons and never assign them a task that he'd not done himself and would not do again.

He would cherish them. But he'd train them till they fell and then pick them up and train them some more. He'd swear at them, kick their tails, make them do the impossible while teaching them every trick that's needed to make it through the worst horror of all horrors: close combat.

Under Hallums -- a proven leader who fought in Vietnam and El Salvador and skippered tough outfits from a platoon to a brigade -- my sons' chances of coming back alive would be all that I could hope for.

Sadly, Hallems, who represents a dying breed in the U.S. Army -- the warrior leader -- has been ambushed by the politically correct gang that is gutting the Army and destroying West Point.

He was knocked off in the line of duty.

He was not taken out by hot steel but cut down by disloyal and backstabbing pretenders who are insidiously doing to our Army what no foreign enemy has ever done.

He was ambushed at West Point by the very subordinates he'd been tasked to shape up. Shamefully, the generals there and at the Pentagon went along with this miscarriage of justice. The very generals who asked Hallums to shake up the academy's leadership department and get them to again produce lieutenants who know how to lead soldiers and win battles.

Hallums was picked from all the colonels in the Army to square away a limp leadership department that had been made soft and ineffective by tenured types who are living examples of the adage: "those that can, do; those that can't, teach."

For one year, he kicked butt, took names, made flabby clerks, who had forgotten what soldiering is all about, wear proper uniforms and hammered them for failing in their mission to turn out warriors capable of leading our sons and daughters.

The academics revolted. These touchy-feely turncoats ambushed Hallems, accusing him of creating an "intimidating, hostile or offensive environment."

Captain Sharon Bowers said he was guilty of "sexual haressment" because he walked through the department in his running outfit and flexed his biceps.

Lt Col Michael Hughes, another Perfumed Prince Leadership instructor, who prefers life in the Ivy Tower of West Point academia over the mud and sweat of being with infantry troops, whined to the generals that he "felt very awkward" when Hallums changed into running clothes while talking to him.

These reports exploded like a hand grenade. Hallums, who came to West Point with the promise of a star, was found "guilty" by a kangaroo court of "sexual haressment" and "abusive leadership" and drummed out of the Army after thirty years of distinguished service.

His sin was he was not politically correct.

If this can happen at West Point then America's Army is in deep trouble. For West Point is the heart and soul of our Army. It's produced the Lewises and Clarks, the Lees and Grants, the Pershings and Pattons and tens of thousands of other valiant warrior leaders who have led American soldiers in peace and war. These leaders have explored our country, built our bridges, fought our battles and served as great roles models for guys like me and countless other professional and citizen soldiers.

West Point has always set the highest standard for the Army and taught through repeated selfless examples the meaning of DUTY, HONOR AND COUNTRY. But now the brass there brag not about what great warrior leaders their graduates are but how "humanized" they've become.

What will our nation do when there are no more Hallums left to lead our youth in battle, the most dehumanizing horror show known?

When will our senior military leaders remember their oaths and that the mission of the Army is not to be politically correct, but to fight and destroy America's foes?

The end