Walking Hours

Merced Perez-Hall 


© Copyright 2006 by Merced Perez-Hall


 Schofield’s Definition of Discipline

 The discipline which makes the soldiers of a free country reliable in battle is not to be gained by harsh or tyrannical treatment. On the contrary, such treatment is far more likely to destroy than to make an army. It is possible to impart instructions and to give commands in such a manner and in such a tone of voice as to inspire in the soldier no feeling but an intense desire to obey, while the opposite manner and tone of voice cannot fail to excite strong resentment and a desire to disobey. The one mode or other of dealing with subordinates springs from a corresponding spirit in the breast of the commander. He who feels the respect which is due others cannot fail to inspire in them regard for himself; while he who feels, and hence manifests, disrespect toward others, especially his inferiors, cannot fail to inspire hatred against himself.

 -Major General John M. Schofield, in an address to the Corps of Cadets, August 11, 1879.

 Just when I thought I’d cleared the hurdle of boot camp, or Beast as they like to call it around West Point; I find that things are getting even more difficult. I have to prove myself all over again to a new group of upperclassmen, and it is going horrible. I am constantly getting hazed, and it seems the more I try to get out of trouble, the more trouble I get in. The other day, Cadet Lieutenant Treatola ordered me to report to his room at 1800 for remedial action, while Cadet Lieutenant Glonek ordered me to report to his room at 1830 for the same thing. I didn’t make it to Glonek’s room before dinner because I was too busy getting chewed out by Treatola. Not only did I have to report to Glonek’s room the next day, as well as to two of his friends who were pissed off because they heard about ‘how I disrespected their friend’, but I had to write Schofield’s Definition of Discipline by hand over one hundred times. With all the other things I had to do, I only managed to get two hours of sleep that night. I can’t ever remember feeling that tired or miserable.

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