MacArthurís Prescient West Point Address

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On July 8, 1950, Gen. Douglas MacArthur was named commander-in-chief of United Nations forces in Korea.

On the same date in 2010, my colleague, Mark Hegarty was interviewed by the 2nd largest Korean newspaper about business opportunities in the US for Korean companies. Could Gen MacArthur have envisioned this level of cooperation, and the use of today’s information technology to conduct the interview?

In his address at West Point on May 12, 1962, Gen MacArthur told the cadets:

“You now face a new world, a world of change. The thrust into outer space of the satellite, spheres and missiles marked the beginning of another epoch in the long story of mankind – the chapter of the space age. In the five or more billions of years the scientists tell us it has taken to form the earth, in the three or more billion years of development of the human race, there has never been a greater, a more abrupt or staggering evolution.

We deal now not with things ofthis world alone, but with the illimitable distances and as yet unfathomed mysteries of the universe.We are reaching out for a new and boundless frontier.

We speak in strange terms: of harnessing the cosmic energy; of making winds and tides work for us; of creating unheard synthetic materials to supplement or even replace our old standard basics; of purifying sea water for our drink; of mining ocean floors for new fields of wealth and food; of disease preventatives to expand life into hundreds of years; of controlling the weather for a more equitable distribution of heat and cold, of rain and shine; of space ships to the moon; of the primary target in war, no longer limited to the armed forces of an enemy, but instead to include his civil populations; of ultimate conflict between a united human race and the sinister forces of some other planetary galaxy; of such dreams and fantasies as to make life the most exciting of all time.

And through all this welter of change and development your mission remains fixed, determined, inviolable. It is to win our wars. Everything else in your professional career is but corollary to this vital dedication.

All other public purpose, all other public projects, all other public needs, great or small, will find others for their accomplishments; but you are the ones who are trained to fight.”

Wow, maybe he did see the future we’re living today. Most of us remember the “Duty, Honor, Country” speech and his final moving conclusion “of the Corps, and the Corps, and the Corps” but the text of his speech is worth reading or listening to.

Comments (10)
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  • Brent Maxwell (2010-07-30 12:12:53)
    Wow! This was very interesting!
  • Anthony D Paul (2010-08-02 09:05:43)
    try again
  • Anthony D Paul (2010-08-02 09:09:02)
    see if i get an email
  • asdf1234123412341 (2010-08-02 09:19:58)
    did you get an email for this one?
  • asdf1234123412341 (2010-08-02 09:25:31)
    email maybne?
  • asdf1234123412341 (2010-08-02 09:26:48)
    you should get an email here too!
  • Anthony D Paul (2010-08-02 09:04:09)
  • asdf1234123412341 (2010-08-02 09:22:48)
    this is another test
  • asdf1234123412341 (2010-08-02 09:23:17)
  • asdf1234123412341 (2010-08-02 09:23:54)
    test this thing again
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