The following article giving the attitude of a West Point man was written especially for this Issue of the Crimson by Cadet Milan G. Weber, 1930, United States Military Academy, Company G.
We have often envied you, men of Harvard. Walking guard up and down a gravel path at 3 o'clock on a summer's morning has sometimes caused us to wonder why we chose the military academy to a civilian institution. Bells ringing and bugles blowing with unceasing regularity make us sometimes wish that we had chosen the "dorms" of John Harvard to the barracks of West Point. Studying five or six hours a day for recitations makes us wish that we had the lecture courses of Harvard to attend. Leading the almost-convent-like existence of Cadets, we sometimes with that we, too, had the careless freedom of the Harvard Yard or the carefree, club-like atmosphere of the Union. Yes, men of Harvard, there are times when we envy you.
Why He Joined Corps
However, let me tell you why I joined the Corps in preference to being a Harvard man. First, there is pride of profession. We are proud of the fact that our profession is one of the oldest and the noblest of all. We are proud of the fact that our career is one that deals with the building of men. In the army, men are taken from all parts of the country, from all walks of life. They come largely from the drift, mostly in the raw. From this material of flesh and blood, we build an organization that must be, at all times, prepared to defend our country. Watching a group of green recruits grow in our hands into a smoothly-working organization which will in time of need be the mainstay of the defence of our country--therein lies the pride of our profession.
Then, too, there is the spirit of the Corps--something intangible, something which grows into one after one wears the gray. A lowly plebe has some of it--a first classman, quite a bit more. It is that attraction which our motto, "Duty, Honor, Country," holds for us. It stays with one long after his Cadet days are over. It is that spirit that we of the Corps are treading today "where they of the Corps have trod." It is somewhat different from that spirit of brotherhood and fellowship between men who say, "I am a Harvard man." It is not only distinctly military: it is more than that. It is the "spirit of old West Point." It is this spirit that makes us endure many a guard tour, many a day of studying, many of night of longing for "Furio," many a craving for collegiatism.
They Choose to Mould Men
We shall leave it to you, men of Harvard, to handle the glistening notes and bonds on Wall Street. We shall leave it to you to dissect anatomies and excavate ancient Egyptian tombs. We do not intend to pour forth stirring speeches at the bar or pleading editorials from the press. We will choose, instead, to mould men.
So, today, at the Stadium at Soldiers Field, we, in our sober gray uniforms, will envy you for your raccoon coats and gayly-colored scarfs. We well envy you for your dates after the game. In our staid military formation, we will envy you for the girl at your side. But these are merely passing fancies. Offer us all of the freedom in the world; offer us New England's culture; offer us John Harvard's learning and variety of courses: we would be tempted; but we would choose West Point