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Summary: The academies have proud traditions and high reputations. This case argues that their traditions are empty and their reputations are unfounded.
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About "Abolish Military Academies (AFF)"
The military service academies are undergraduate colleges directly owned and operated by the federal government. Their graduates are commissioned as officers in the armed forces and are required to commit to several years of service in return for being given a free college education at taxpayer expense. The academies have proud traditions and high reputations. This case argues that their traditions are empty and their reputations are unfounded.
Many of the students, far from being the “best and brightest,” are in remedial classes to try to get them up to where most normal college freshmen should already be. The military’s “proud traditions” have devolved into a militaristic spirit that perpetuates a warlike mindset in our public policy, and then backfires, since the caliber of officers they produce are not capable of actually winning any major wars (just look at the news and ask yourself how the last several wars have turned out). Unlike standard universities, a very large percentage of service academy professors don’t have doctorates in the fields they’re teaching, resulting in lower quality education that flies in the face of their reputations. The military could get just as many (some say better) qualified officers, at much lower cost, by simply expanding ROTC scholarships and enrollment of existing military personnel or college graduates in OCS (Officer Candidate School). It’s time we closed the service academies and did just that.
Negatives will argue that the academies do, indeed, live up to the high reputations they have attained. The students make superior officers and are essential to strengthening our nation’s military and providing it with quality leadership. With the military on the brink of serious deficiencies in the status quo, now is no time to weaken it further by depriving it of the quality of leaders who come from the academies.
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