How West Point Inspires Honesty

I love these little minions for their honesty!
Here’s one of their latest truisms:

Minion Money

Are you a cash stasher? I’m not. But if I was, I like to think I’d be a law-abiding cash stasher.

As a fiction writer, I do tons of research to make sure every detail in my books is definitely plausible. On my blog this week I revealed more details about the groups that help to quash corruption in the military. In one real-life case, a soldier accused of taking bribes had allegedly hidden cash in stereo equipment and shipped it back to the United States!

That, of course, is illegal as well as immoral.

Keeping the U.S. military corruption-free starts at the bottom, by attempting to instill values in soldiers early on in their training.

Take West Point, for example. Jack Reacher graduated from The United States Military Academy at West Point, where conduct and discipline are extremely serious. West Point demands a strong moral code, in part to train students to avoid incidents like those referenced in my newest Hunt for Jack Reacher thriller Jack and Joe, and Lee Child’s The Enemy.

How does West Point Demand Honesty?

  • For starters, they have an Honor Code: “A Cadet will not lie, cheat, steal or tolerate those who do.” If you’re accused of breaking the code, you must go before the Honor Committee, which is also in charge of investigating the infraction.
    West Point Honor Code

  • Table Rules in the Mess Hall are designed to reflect the highest of standards. Here’s a list of just a few of the rules New Cadets must follow while seated at the tables:

    (1) Sit upright, i.e., no slumping, back straight, without touching the back of the chair.

    (2) Keep head up, facing front, feet flat on the floor.

    (3) Confine vision to the physical boundaries of the table.

    (4) Cease eating and direct attention to the appropriate upperclass cadet when addressed.

  • There’s a rigidly structured, ever-present hierarchy. New Cadets, for example, must address upperclassmen as “Sir” or “Ma’am.” There’s always someone higher up the hierarchy, watching.

  • If you screw up, it affects the whole team. West Point’s rules require students to do the right thing, and to do it well.

Students at West Point are required to memorize this:

“He who feels the respect which is due to others cannot fail to inspire in them regard for himself, while he who feels, and hence manifests, disrespect towards others, especially his inferiors, cannot fail to inspire hatred against himself.”
-General John M. Schofield
Address to the Corps of Cadets, U.S. Military Academy
August 11, 1879

Upstanding moral character is the aim. Should we institute and enforce similar honor codes in our public schools to inspire strength of character in all our citizens?

Meanwhile —

Caffeinate and Carry On!

Diane Capri

p.s. Are you a member of the Diane Capri’s Exclusive Reading Group mailing list? It’s FREE! Just CLICK HERE to sign up and refer your friends, too. You’ll be glad you did, I promise. Can’t wait to see you there!


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