This is Brian (👋) with a special announcement.
We are honored that Heroic has been introduced to the cadets, faculty, and staff at the United States Military Academy at West Point.
More details below including my brief thoughts on why this is one of the most sacred honors of my life.
But first...check out the recording above of my discussion with my dear friend Dr. Scott Parsons, the Character Development Integrator for the Military Program at West Point.
Scott is a retired US Army Military Intelligence Officer who served for 21 years, including three tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan.
He is a Professor of Philosophy and Ethics at West Point who specializes in Character Education and neo-Aristotelian Virtue Ethics. His PhD was entitled “Virtuous Soldiers.”
Fun fact: As part of his PhD, Scott created a measure to assess virtue development in soldiers.
You know what he named the research measure? ARETÉ.
In this context, ARETÉ is an acronym for the “Army Reasoning and Ethical Training and Education” test.
Yes, Scott and I are soul brothers.
We had a philosophical chat about Aristotelian ethics, eudaimonia and ARETÉ while discussing why Scott was so excited to introduce West Point’s cadets, faculty, and staff to Heroic.
Scott is also an advisor on another Top Secret Heroic Military project we’re working on that I’ll share another time.
I hope you enjoy.
With Heroic love and service,
P.S. As promised, here’s a little more about West Point and why this initiative is so profoundly meaningful for me (and for our movement).
The United States Military Academy is an elite public college located in West Point, New York. It was founded in 1802 as America's first college of engineering and continues today as the world's premier leader-development institution, consistently ranking among the top 1 or 2 top public colleges in the country. Approximately 80% of graduates are placed into a combat arms branch (Infantry, Armor, Field Artillery, Air Defense Artillery, Engineers, and Aviation). Notable grads include Dwight D. Eisenhower, Douglas MacArthur, George S. Patton, and Ulysses S. Grant.
Note: Every time I look at the Heroic portrait of Eisenhower on my wall, I think of this initiative and the soldiers, sailors and airmen and women protecting our freedoms.
Further, as you may know, West Point is where Angela Duckworth did some of her formative research on the science of grit.
Check out our Philosopher’s Notes on Grit in which we discuss that research and HOW to build your grit.
Note: The fact that Scott believed Heroic could help our soldiers become more virtuous while developing their grit is one of the many reasons this initiative is such a sacred honor.
I’m also a very proud American. My father enlisted in the Navy when he was 17. My grandfather served in the Marines in WWII.
And, I know that, if we have a shot at helping create a world in which 51% of humanity is flourishing by the year 2051, we MUST protect the freedoms on which our flourishing depends.
It’s very easy to take our freedoms and those who give their lives to protect them for granted. I do not. I see their commitment as an extraordinary gift of service and I am fiercely committed to doing everything we can to support them in their noble missions.
Also: Here’s me getting emotional talking about it in one of our 1:01s: