Monday, January 19, 2009

Unexpected, but encouraging

I've been faithfully scanning the news and the blogosphere, but not much has managed to penetrate my fog of illness to generate a response or interest worth blogging about. (Yes, I am both busy with a cappella and sick, now.) However, via Andrew Sullivan, I was surprised to see the Cadets' Choice Award:

WEST POINT — Cadets at the U.S. Military Academy Thursday announced the nominees for the 2nd Annual Cadet Choice Award for the movie character that best exemplifies West Point leadership.

The nominees are:

* Bruce Wayne in “The Dark Knight”
* Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg in “Valkyrie”
* Dr. Henry Walton "Indiana" Jones, Jr. in “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”
* John Hancock in “Hancock”
* Harvey Milk in “Milk”
* James Bond in “Quantum of Solace”

“West Point is all about producing leaders of character,” said the cadet public affairs officer Cristin Browne. “Leaders influence people to accomplish the mission and improve the organization. A leader of character seeks to discover the truth, decides what is right, and acts accordingly. Furthermore, West Point values are Duty, Honor, Country. That leadership, those values, are what this award celebrates.”

One of these things is not like the others, hey? I think it's great.

To abandon the "OMG gayz teehee!" angle, I must say I hope that neither Bruce Wayne, Indiana Jones, nor James Bond wins this one. They're badasses, and they're very skilled and, arguably, disciplined, and they're highly successful--but I'd never say they're examples of leadership of any kind. They're lone wolves, all of them. We don't want our commanding officers to be like them. Milk is, in fact, a fine example of a great and honorable leader. I can't speak as to the other two nominees.

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