Duty, Honor, Country
“And through all this welter of change and development, your mission remains fixed, determined, inviolable: it is to win our wars,” this statement embodies Douglas Macarthur’s Speech “Duty, Honor, Country”. It was given in 1962 in acceptance of the Thayer Award, “The Award given… citizen of the United States, whose outstanding character, … comparison to the qualities for which West Point strives, in keeping with its motto - Duty, Honor, Country.” (AOGUSMA) It has been presented to other distinguished leaders such as Former Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and Ronald Regan, all of who upheld American values and the pillars, Duty, Honor and Country of the US Army. General Douglas Macarthur was one of four Men to reach the position of General of the Armed forces while serving in World War One, World War two, and the Korean War. His Credentials are long including involvement in over 20 different campaigns. Throughout his career he was known as a decisive leader with a humanitarian mindset. Often referred to as the “Warrior as a Wordsmith,”(Duffy 86) he spoke in a convincing manner, playing to the audience and reusing effective statements from earlier speeches. The quotation cited at then beginning of this paper resonates on some of the strongest points in his speech, such as change, the strength and balance of a soldier, and war. Similarly, my thesis is: in his final deliberative yet demonstrative speech, General Douglas MacArthur re-instills pride, and balance in a morally, and politically damaged Army while providing a clear focus and guidance for all Americans to change by. By using parallel construction, constitutive rhetoric, and strong American ideographs, General Douglas Macarthur effectively creates a social cry for understanding and recommitment to the American dream. In this historical situation, he confronts what he calls the “ Unbelievers”, or the growing class of “civilian voices [who] argue the merits or demerits of government…and whether our personal liberties are as through.. as they should be.” General Douglas Macarthur’s open resentment for the Vietnam War, and involvement in Indochina is overshadowed by the misinterpretation of the Armed forces, and what this profession does for the nation. “Macarthur had long seen the United States’ role in Asia, for he had repeatedly warned, “It is here in Asia that the first guns of the next world war will sound.” (Kelly 172)” His focus is not only on the graduates, but also on the American people, to express the universality of our problems, and the unity needed to continue. General Macarthur establishes his ethos with a small joke in the beginning of his speech: ”As I was leaving the hotel this morning, a doorman asked me, "Where are you bound for, General?" And when I replied, "West Point," he remarked, "Beautiful place. Have you ever been there before?” In the recording he then interrupts the laughter, immediately switching to the concise rhetoric of the speech. This small instance has a huge impact on his image. He is now cast as a strong personality, with great knowledge of the armed forces, and with a huge message to send to these graduates. This knowledge base is present throughout the speech in his use of many highly recognizable Ideographs, such as: strength, sacrifice, America, and liberty. These words rhetorically link Macarthur to the West Point soldiers showing that the American Army has not deviated from the “Long Grey Line”. Macarthur truly connected with th younger generations of soldiers. “On his tour of the South Korean front Macarthur didn’t like what he saw. His troops were young and inexperienced, they were being outgunned by superior tanks, but they were not being outfought. They were fighting back with every weapon they possessed and with all the tenacity they could muster against a fierce, ruthless enemy.” Macarthur would go on the comment that this was the “long grey line”, the same one he had fought with years...
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