HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Former Army Secretary Lou...

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 11:12 AM

Former Army Secretary Louis Caldera's STUNNING, SCATHING open letter to West Point graduates. WOW!

Caldera's letter is a lengthy, perfectly written condemnation of Trump, "a lesson in the kind of leader not to be, no matter what rank, office or reward it might lead to."



Found this thanks to a tweet from Pete Buttigieg today:








"Take better care of our nation’s sons and daughters whose lives will be in your hands, than the President’s example demonstrates."

Powerful words from former Secretary of the Army @louiscaldera to the West Point Class of 2020 on graduation day.

https://medium.com/louiscaldera/an-open-letter-on-leadership-to-graduating-west-point-cadets-60f7c81732f1




That was an understatement by Buttigieg, calling this open letter powerful.

More from the letter:

https://medium.com/louiscaldera/an-open-letter-on-leadership-to-graduating-west-point-cadets-60f7c81732f1


As you assemble to graduate and receive your commissions as U.S. Army officers, consider this day an opportunity to reflect on what you have learned about leadership at West Point and what it means to be a leader of character. While you must stay above partisan politics, take a moment and use the critical thinking skills you have developed to assess whether the conduct, rhetoric and values of your graduation speaker, President Donald J. Trump, live up to the Academy’s motto of “Duty, Honor, Country” and the Army’s high expectations for leaders of American soldiers.

The Naval Academy and virtually every college and university in America reluctantly decided to cancel their spring in-person commencements in light of the Covid-19 risks. The president short-circuited the Military Academy’s assessment of whether an in-person graduation was advisable. Despite the health risks to you, your families, the West Point community, and the traveling public, the president declared he would indeed be your speaker — so he could see you in a “nice, tight formation” — unwilling to pass up the opportunity to link himself with a military he avoided serving in.

You were taught to “take care of your troops.” Is that what the president does today in taking unnecessary risks with your lives? The president’s disregard of the well-being of those who serve under him is not limited to you on this day. This president has destroyed the reputations and careers of countless public servants, ambassadors, military officers and civilian alike, demoralizing and depleting the ranks of government and reducing its effectiveness. To use and abuse people in this narcissistic and unprincipled manner is the antithesis of leadership that inspires loyalty and devotion among those you are privileged to lead. Doing your “Duty” requires accomplishing the mission with integrity regardless of the cost to you. It means putting the interests of your people before your own. Take better care of our nation’s sons and daughters whose lives will be in your hands, than the President’s example demonstrates. Put their welfare and needs before your own, and you will be better able to accomplish your mission.

You were taught the value of “Honor” and to respond with an unequivocal “No excuse, sir!” when your personal or your team’s performance was substandard. President Trump frequently takes the rhetorical position that everything that came before him was a failure since transformed into “the greatest.” He also is quick to claim that whatever goes wrong on his watch is someone else’s fault for which he accepts “no responsibility,” even when these claims are plainly not true. These are not the values of the Cadet Honor Code. You will not succeed as a leader if you walk into your first unit as a braggart, excuse maker and liar. Accept responsibility and accountability cheerfully. Acknowledge when things go wrong and work to fix them. Develop a reputation for candor and honesty, and it will serve you well the rest of your life.

-snip-



Much more at the link.



Wikipedia article on Caldera:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Caldera

59 replies, 14379 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 59 replies Author Time Post
Reply Former Army Secretary Louis Caldera's STUNNING, SCATHING open letter to West Point graduates. WOW! (Original post)
highplainsdem Jun 2020 OP
global1 Jun 2020 #1
highplainsdem Jun 2020 #2
sarge43 Jun 2020 #17
soothsayer Jun 2020 #3
highplainsdem Jun 2020 #4
brush Jun 2020 #40
plimsoll Jun 2020 #44
brush Jun 2020 #51
plimsoll Jun 2020 #57
brush Jun 2020 #59
oldsoftie Jun 2020 #55
plimsoll Jun 2020 #58
CrispyQ Jun 2020 #5
highplainsdem Jun 2020 #8
highplainsdem Jun 2020 #6
highplainsdem Jun 2020 #7
sop Jun 2020 #9
helpisontheway Jun 2020 #12
highplainsdem Jun 2020 #53
sarge43 Jun 2020 #18
Sgent Jun 2020 #26
Auggie Jun 2020 #10
Paladin Jun 2020 #11
packman Jun 2020 #13
Hekate Jun 2020 #46
panader0 Jun 2020 #14
sarisataka Jun 2020 #15
ewagner Jun 2020 #16
onetexan Jun 2020 #25
Girard442 Jun 2020 #19
AJT Jun 2020 #20
Tanuki Jun 2020 #21
Grasswire2 Jun 2020 #22
Jarqui Jun 2020 #23
jmowreader Jun 2020 #24
Jarqui Jun 2020 #29
CatWoman Jun 2020 #30
fierywoman Jun 2020 #27
CatWoman Jun 2020 #28
lunatica Jun 2020 #37
COL Mustard Jun 2020 #45
MyOwnPeace Jun 2020 #49
EleanorR Jun 2020 #31
Alliepoo Jun 2020 #32
Cyrano Jun 2020 #33
Hermit-The-Prog Jun 2020 #34
BigOleDummy Jun 2020 #35
chia Jun 2020 #36
lunatica Jun 2020 #38
chia Jun 2020 #39
mtngirl47 Jun 2020 #43
crickets Jun 2020 #41
democrank Jun 2020 #42
hopeforchange2008 Jun 2020 #47
Cha Jun 2020 #48
malaise Jun 2020 #50
Nitram Jun 2020 #52
LittleGirl Jun 2020 #54
Layzeebeaver Jun 2020 #56

Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 11:15 AM

1. You Mean Like Our President?.....

You will not succeed as a leader if you walk into your first unit as a braggart, excuse maker and liar.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to global1 (Reply #1)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 11:16 AM

2. That's exactly what Caldera is saying.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to global1 (Reply #1)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 12:26 PM

17. Every commander you loath and fear.

"That SOB will get us killed."

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 11:21 AM

3. Wowza

Pretty stern stuff.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to soothsayer (Reply #3)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 11:23 AM

4. Yes. This needs to go viral.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to soothsayer (Reply #3)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 02:12 PM

40. That's going to lose trump tons of votes. The momentum is...

building. Everyday someone else comes out publicly against the orange turd. His time is limited and I think he's starting to feel it.

He just meekly said he would leave the WH if Biden beat him. What happened to the blustery braggart four months ago who would've tore into anyone for suggesting that he could lose?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to brush (Reply #40)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 04:13 PM

44. While I agree it should, I don't think it will matter one little bit.

Who would take it to heart?

It might make officers hesitate to perform dishonorable acts.
It might make officers question if their duty is to obey his orders without question.

But I suspect that even among veterans the lines are pretty well drawn. I have also long suspected that some of the most ardent "support the troops" folks would develop bone spurs if asked to serve. So those concepts of duty and honor just don't mean very much. They are pretty traditional (one might say conservative) values that most Americans profess, but they don't seem to be values that today's conservatives are all that interested in living.

So the only votes it could strip would be the ones who call themselves "independent," and have actually voted for a Democrat.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to plimsoll (Reply #44)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 06:09 PM

51. I don't think those newly minted officers are loyal to trump.

Just as many senior officers are speaking up, they know that the regular army is not to used against the American people like trump is trying to do.

I doubt they'll be voting for him. trump is going to lose big. The tide is turning.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to brush (Reply #51)

Sun Jun 14, 2020, 10:06 AM

57. Probably not,

And that is a good thing. My point is that for some portion of the population (apparently between 30% and 40%) it doesn't matter what negative thing someone else says about Trump, it doesn't matter what norm smashing thing Trump does they will support him.

I think we need to get past the "partisan" divide storyline. That exists, but the motivation for supporting Trump is only partially partisan at this point. I'm pretty sure many of the moderate but highly partisan Trump '16 voters have already bailed, but that core of support is fully into the cult of personality.

It's not even really worth calling them "conservative," conservatives should be most interested in preserving those institutional and societal norms. This is something else. Conservatives would have followed those norms, not cheered on breaking them when it suited their purposes. I'm not sure it's one motivating thing, it's just grievance. A banding together of all the people who have a grievance with whatever.

In that respect the the GOP is a big tent, if you hate some group because they got more popsicles than you in third grade, Vote TRUMP. Repeat ad infinitum. Trump offers to hurt the people you hold a grudge against, all of them. It's clearly organized around whiteness, but any grievance will do. If you think about it it's impossible to have a coherent movement based on grievance unless you purge your ranks of all deviation, or you don't think about the inconsistencies of supporting people who openly say they want to hurt you. And it's that latter reality that makes me think very little will change in the Trump support.

You are assuming that it is based on reason, logic, in short enlightenment values. It's not, it's an advertising gimmick, to fill an emotional need, in this case to lash out at something. Having it pointed out that Trump is a completely loathsome person won't change their minds about him because he'll make YOU hurt, and that's what they want.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to plimsoll (Reply #57)

Sun Jun 14, 2020, 12:29 PM

59. I agree his core base remains loyal, but even some of them are...

beginning to peel away. There have even been several threads here on DU of life-long repugs swearing off trump. And I would venture many right-leaning indies are now erstwhile right-leaners. Also we have to factor in the never trump repugs, who I welcome with their Project Lincoln ads.

I know I might attribute logical thinking skills to too many repugs but I still think it all ads up to a repug shellacking coming up. At least let's hope so.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to plimsoll (Reply #44)

Sun Jun 14, 2020, 07:49 AM

55. Trump has already lost many '16 voters. Just a question of how many new voters he gets.

And how many skip that line.
I know of a couple who have said they will do just that. They will not vote for Biden because they simply dont like a lot of what the Democratic platform has. But they are sick of trump & wont support him either. Thats still a win, because those types have never voted "D" anyway. But they're lost "R" votes.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to oldsoftie (Reply #55)

Sun Jun 14, 2020, 10:08 AM

58. See #57 this thread.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 11:24 AM

5. "...unwilling to pass up the opportunity to link himself with a military he avoided serving in..."

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CrispyQ (Reply #5)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 11:35 AM

8. Hell, today Trump suggested God chose to have Trump born on the Army's birthday.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 11:26 AM

6. Tweet from EJ Dionne about the letter, and the response from Caldera:

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 11:29 AM

7. Tweet from Caldera thanking Buttigieg for his tweet:

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 11:55 AM

9. Trump has completely lost the military.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to sop (Reply #9)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 12:05 PM

12. I hope so..nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to helpisontheway (Reply #12)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 08:34 PM

53. I do, too.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to sop (Reply #9)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 12:27 PM

18. From your monitor ... n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to sop (Reply #9)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 12:57 PM

26. He's lost the officer corp

for sure -- although college educated, especially graduate degree educated (upper ranks) tend to favor D anyway.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 12:01 PM

10. Wow, indeed!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 12:01 PM

11. Outstanding! (nt)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 12:06 PM

13. "nice, tight formation"

Wow, I read a lot into that

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to packman (Reply #13)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 04:16 PM

46. I kind of did a double-take on that phrase, too. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 12:08 PM

14. Excellent statement. Eat shit donnie.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 12:13 PM

15. Holy. Fuck.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 12:15 PM

16. Wow!

Stand tall...

remember this always:

DUTY

HONOR

COUNTRY

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ewagner (Reply #16)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 12:47 PM

25. Beautiful words. Braggart, excuse maker & liar aren't exactly compliments

Thank you Gen. Caldera you are a true patriot

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 12:29 PM

19. Trump has actually executed his mission brilliantly.

You know, the one he was tasked with by Vladimir Putin — to fuck up this country beyond recognition.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 12:30 PM

20. 45 must be seething. I'm sure his Twitter fingers will be going strong later today.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 12:33 PM

21. Incredible letter! Everyone should read this.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 12:41 PM

22. pompeo first in his class at West Point forgets the cadet honor code


"A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do so."

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 12:41 PM

23. Going to be pretty hard for the media to cover

President Bone Spurs campaign hijacking the West Point Graduation without mentioning that outstanding letter based in facts and relevancy.

I suspect that letter is headed for the history books.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Jarqui (Reply #23)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 12:47 PM

24. Unfortunately, I think Secretary Caldera is history too

Donald Fucking Trump is not going to stand for this.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jmowreader (Reply #24)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 01:02 PM

29. What can Trump do to him?

It seems to me that he'd have to win reelection to make anything stick.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jmowreader (Reply #24)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 01:03 PM

30. he is not in the position anymore

trump can't touch him

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Jarqui (Reply #23)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 12:58 PM

27. I suspect the letter is going to the Lincoln Project or the Republican voters against Trump.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 01:02 PM

28. anyone check Trump to see if Caldera's foot isn't still dangling out of his ass?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CatWoman (Reply #28)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 02:00 PM

37. He kicked Trump so hard in the ass that

his shoe got stuck in there.

Hahahahahahahaaa! The visual is priceless! Thanks!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to lunatica (Reply #37)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 04:15 PM

45. That's Why It Was Called The Brown Shoe Army

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CatWoman (Reply #28)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 05:27 PM

49. Ask Lindsey or Moscow Mitch

they're both always "in the neighborhood."

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 01:09 PM

31. K & R!

Outstanding letter. Thanks for posting.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 01:16 PM

32. Holy shamoley!!!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 01:17 PM

33. Wow. Just wow.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 01:23 PM

34. Now that's the kind of caldera we can applaud rather than fear.

Looking forward to the aftermath.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 01:26 PM

35. Yay!

As a former enlisted veteran I am so pleased to see so many of my fellow veterans and their officers and leaders speaking out. My brother retired from the Navy and his highest compliment is "I'd follow him into battle". Now, he's ....... pretty right wing I suspect (we studiously avoid political talk) but that's a sentiment I agree with. And Mr Caldera, I'd follow you into battle.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 01:51 PM

36. WOW, this is perfect

How many open letters have gone out to Trump and his administration? From:

National Security officials

Judges

Prosecutors

Scientists

Defense Dept.

State Dept.

Ambassadors





Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to chia (Reply #36)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 02:02 PM

38. Trump's presidential library is getting full!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to lunatica (Reply #38)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 02:04 PM

39. Good observation!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to chia (Reply #36)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 03:03 PM

43. You forgot good old "Anonymous!" n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 02:34 PM

41. Feel the heat!

That's some scalding hot criticism. It's so good to see so many veterans speaking out against trump. He deserves every single burn he's getting, and more.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 02:42 PM

42. Caldera blistered Trump's worthless ass.

No salute, no “Sir”, just a statement of fact and a rapid forward march. Hope someone reads this to Trump.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 04:46 PM

47. That's gonna leave a mark! eom

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 05:02 PM

48. So much Gratitude to former Secretary of the Army Louis Caldera!

I& Thanks to Pete Buttigieg!


TY, hpd!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 05:54 PM

50. The Military are finished with Commander in Chief Bonespurs

https://medium.com/@louiscaldera/an-open-letter-on-leadership-to-graduating-west-point-cadets-60f7c81732f1

The Naval Academy and virtually every college and university in America reluctantly decided to cancel their spring in-person commencements in light of the Covid-19 risks. The president short-circuited the Military Academy’s assessment of whether an in-person graduation was advisable. Despite the health risks to you, your families, the West Point community, and the traveling public, the president declared he would indeed be your speaker — so he could see you in a “nice, tight formation” — unwilling to pass up the opportunity to link himself with a military he avoided serving in.

This is a brilliant letter.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 06:09 PM

52. Wow!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sun Jun 14, 2020, 06:42 AM

54. Wow! So happy to read that! nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sun Jun 14, 2020, 08:32 AM

56. Very powerful. Yet In the comments...

There is a very powerful counterpoint to his reference to McCain.

Other than that, well played Sir!!!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread