Once again, thanks so very much for an awesome opening debut for my second book, “Hold Texas, Hold the Nation: Victory or Death.” For those of you who have your copy of the book, you know that I do a comparative analysis of Texas and California when it comes to economic policies.
There can be no doubt that California is getting it all wrong when it comes to tax, regulatory, and overall economic policies that encourage economic growth, prosperity, and success.
Along with that, there is a definitive culture that exists in California that represents the antithesis of the fundamental principles, and values, of our Constitutional Republic. I spent Tuesday, and Wednesday, in California. When you speak to the Conservatives there, the sense of hopelessness, and despair, is evident. I met a woman business owner who was flying from San Diego to Dallas Love Field to visit with her daughter in Ft. Worth. She recognized me, and we had a nice conversation. She was open and honest about her desire to leave California if Gavin Newsom becomes the next Governor. She said that she and her husband can do without the ocean. For her, it was all about the small business dreams of growth, and expansion, which she felt were not possible if Newsom takes the helm.
Now, you would think that I would return from my visit to California in a bit of a funk, but it’s quite the contrary. While in California, namely Carlsbad, I saw something that I want to share. I saw something that I believe should give every true American left in California hope that the Golden State can once again strike gold, and shun this embrace of progressive socialism. I saw something that is indicative of the Old School way, that which embraces, and is creating, future great American leaders: young men.
Wednesday morning I had the pleasure and honor to walk upon the immaculate, and spectacular, grounds of the Army and Navy Academy (ANA) in Carlsbad California. The last time I was in Carlsbad was back in 2014 when I did the Kyle Petty Charity Motorcycle Ride across the country, starting from there and ending in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Nestled away on the hills that overlook the Pacific ocean is this incredible place that has existed since 1910. For me, this was an example of something that California has gotten right, and I pray they continue to get it right. Per their mission statement, the focus of ANA is found on its homepage:
“Army and Navy Academy offers boys a life-changing and transformative experience. By igniting a passion for learning and personal development, adolescent boys forge their unique identities, set personal goals, and become motivated to excel as they move from boyhood to manhood. The Academy is the only school on the West Coast offering boarding school on the beach, stellar leadership training, character development centered on key virtues and values, and boy-friendly single-gender learning pedagogies. As a college preparatory military boarding school built exclusively for boys, everything we do is designed to help Cadets excel in all facets of life.”
Now, of course there are those progressive socialist detractors that would condemn and demonize this historic institution. They would denigrate it as some “reform” school for young men, or some right-wing militaristic indoctrination of “toxic masculinity.” Yes, they would, and why? Because something so very simple, honorable, and traditional, is a threat to the prevailing culture of the progressive socialist left.
When I asked what the uniting aspect is for these young men, grades 7-12, the Academy’s leadership responded without hesitation, “brotherhood.”
At a time when we are watching the decimation of masculinity in America, how great to have an institution that does not just focus on impeccable academic standards and achievement, but the development of the total person, the whole man.
See, young boys are looking to belong to something, a brotherhood. If they are not provided with a positive brotherhood experience, they will easily gravitate to a negative one — gangs.
You know what each Cadet receives? I was given a copy, and was tremendously impressed. It was the Army and Navy Academy “Manners for the Gentleman Warrior: A Guide to Gentlemanly Behavior.” Imagine young boys, grades 7-12, receiving a guidebook that addresses topics such as “the essentials of polite conversation,” “the necessity of civilized table manners,” or “the proper treatment of ladies.” Instead of the indoctrination crap our young people are receiving in public schools, that center on the hip culture, perhaps these are the points that will produce future generations of real American men. What a refreshing treat to not see pants hanging below the buttocks, or disrespectful attitudes. How grand it was to see these young men walking upright with a sense of purpose, healthy and strong.
See, somehow in this quest for über-feminism, we lost our way on teaching and training up young boys to be men. I am reminded of the foolishness at Brown University when the male Army ROTC cadets there were forced to wear high heels in their military fatigues. Too often in our schools, being a strong young man is castigated in a negative light, and students are taught that men are a problem. Well, at the Army and Navy Academy, we have an institution teaching and training the honor, integrity, and character that truly define American manhood, by way of understanding service, sacrifice, and commitment. And, to boot, they have their own beach along the Pacific ocean, and a freaking surfing team!
Imagine if we had more institutions such as this, that are not reform schools, but transformative centers of education.
As the mission statement of the Army and Navy Academy states:
“Our mission is to Educate, Mentor, and Develop Good Character and Leadership in Young Men.”
Now, who can argue with that statement, that commitment, that goal? And, yes, I am a product of high school Army Junior ROTC. It did great things for me, and I believe that now, more than ever, every major urban city in our nation needs to replicate what is happening at the Army and Navy Academy.
Consider the exposure these young men receive: to the south is Coronado Naval Base, where US Navy SEALS are made; to the north is US Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, where the few, the proud train; and to the east is Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar where Marine fighter pilots walk proudly, the home of “Top Gun.” What better examples of men, warriors (the team name of ANA), for which these young men are exposed. And, no, it is not about preparing them to enter the military; it is about preparing them to be productive members of our nation, and future leaders. The facts speak resoundingly loud, “the ANA Class of 2018 boasts a 98% matriculation rate to four-year universities/colleges and 1% to top service academies.”
I found hope for California in the city of Carlsbad, at the Army and Navy Academy.
I would encourage any and all of you to visit their campus, attend a football game, or just drop by and chat with the leadership, and the Cadets.
If you want to challenge your young son to “be all they can be,” this is the type of place that would do so.
I remember when Barack Obama stated that if he had a son he would have looked like Trayvon Martin. That’s nice. But, if God would have blessed Angela and I with a son, doggone, being modeled after what I saw at the Army and Navy Academy in Carlsbad, California would have been a blessing.
Yes, there is still gold in California: these young men represent that precious and treasured commodity. I found something that California has gotten right for 108 years, since 1910. We, from all over America must sustain and ensure institutions like the Army and Navy Academy thrive, and continue to exist.
Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Barry Shreiar, whose son is an ANA graduate, said it best, “ANA is built for a boy’s DNA. Its purpose is to fuse a single gender education, military training, and a boarding school environment to properly educate, mentor, and develop good character and leadership in young men.”
Hat tip to the men and women who are guiding these young boys into manhood.
Warrior Proud! Warrior Strong!
During his 22 year career in the United States Army, Lieutenant Colonel West served in several combat zones and received many honors including a Bronze Star, three Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Commendation Medals, one with Valor device, and a Valorous Unit Award.
In November of 2010, Allen was elected to the United States Congress, representing Florida’s 22nd District.
He is a Fox News Contributor, Director of the Booker T. Washington Initiative at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Senior Fellow at the Media Research Center, contributing columnist for Townhall.com, and author of Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Family, Faith and Freedom, and, Hold Texas, Hold the Nation: Victory or Death, published October 16, 2018, from Brown Books Publishing Group.