Famous Speech “Duty, Honor, Country”

On May 12 1992 Douglas MacArthur gave his famous speech “Duty, Honor, Country” at West Point. At this ceremony he was accepting the Sylvanus Thayer Award. MacArthur is a famous war general who served in the United States Military from 1903-1951.

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He was born on January 26, 1880 on a Army base in Arkansas. A lot of his family had been in the military. In high school he attended West Texas Military Academy. In 1903 he graduated with honors in the United States Military Academy at West Point. From that point on he began his military career.Though the speech he was trying to build courage in the American People by utilizing logos, pathos, and ethos.

Douglas MacArthur was commissioned as a junior officer in the ARmy Corps of Engineers. He spent the entire next decade fulfilling all of his duties there. Early in his military career we was given many promotions and those led him to many post in the Philippines, Japan, Mexico, and France. AT the beginning of World War I he was assigned to the intelligence and administrative units as a major. WHen the United States declared war on Germany MacArthur was put into command as colonel of the newly created 42nd division (some people called it the “Rainbow Division). He became known as a capable military leader in his offensives stands at St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne. When he returned from Europe he became the superintendent of West Point. He later was named the chief of staff of the Army, but in 1937 he retired from that position. When the conflicts in Korean happened he commanded the United NAtions forces. Finally he ended his active duty in the military in 1951. He passed away in Washington D.C., at the age of 84.

Within General MacArthur’s speech he uses logic, and who can argue with logic. Since it is nearly impossible to argue with it he chose to us this when talking to the cadets at West Point while accepting his award. One strong example of how logos is used in the speech.

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; to purify sea water for our drink…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.

With this quote he is stating that there are many thing that a soldier will go through throughout their career. Even though there are many thing they face they all need to be able to understand that no matter what it comes to there is one thing that does not change, and that is that it is there duty to protect the United States of America under any circumstance. Throughout Douglas MacArthur’s speech Duty, Honor Country he uses logos to establish what the American soldiers role is in society.

General Douglas MAcArthur’s Speech uses pathos very effectively. One of the main ways that he uses pathos it when he guarantees improvement of the values that the cadets have had instilled into them at West Point Academy. This can be shown in the speech when he says “Duty, Honor, Country: Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be.” He also uses pathos with his repetition. He continues to emphasize where the cadets are in the beginning and where they will be in the future, if they continue to go by the motto that West Point has thought them in there years at the academy. He also goes down the path of using religion to appeal the the cadets there, by stating “In battle and in the face of danger and death, he discloses those divine attributes which his Maker gave when he created man in his own image. No physical courage and no brute instinct can take the place of the Divine help which alone can sustain him.” With this he is able to pulling the ties that th cadets have to religion, so that way they can get rid of ant fear they have of entering battle. He also uses fear as another way of pathos. “The Long Gray Line has never failed us. Were you to do so, a million ghosts in olive drab, in brown khaki, in blue and gray, would rise from their white crosses thundering those magic words: Duty, Honor, Country.” With this MacArthur is putting a sense of fear in all of the young cadets that they will fail this charge. He is using a strong sense of imagery to show that the soldiers of the past will rise up and beat the words of duty, honor into the head of soldiers who fail this task. The most touching way that he uses pathos as a form of fear is when he states that “Yours is the profession of arms, the will to win, the sure knowledge that in war there is no substitute for victory; that if you lose, the nation will be destroyed; that the very obsession of your public service must be: Duty, Honor, Country.” With how emotional General Douglas MacArthur’s speech is it appears that this may he his final address to the United States and that he is leaving all of the cadets in the audience and all to come with the safety of the United States of America.

A major part of Douglas MacArthur’s speech is his use of Ethos. He is a well known military figure who throughout his career not only endured but was able to succeed in many wars, because of the values that West Point had instilled into him. He wished that the same values were instilled into the cadets that day. He used personal experience and other credentials as another way of ethos. This also shows that he has also been in the shoes of the cadets that where there that day and by following those values instilled to him he is the man is he. He was able to be associated with the audience like in this quote.

But this award is not intended primarily to honor a personality, but to symbolize a great moral code — the code of conduct and chivalry of those who guard this beloved land of culture and ancient descent…For all eyes and for all time, it is an expression of the ethics of the American soldier. That I should be integrated in this way with so noble an ideal arouses a sense of pride and yet of humility which will be with me always

Speeches are pretty much pointless unless there is a good tie with the audience, and this is who ethos is important, just like how it is the most common in General Douglas MacArthur’s speech Duty, Honor, Country.

General Douglas MacArthur’s speech Duty, Honor, Country gives the cadets at West Point Military Academy and all future soldiers a challenge and it is to keep the United States of America safe with the idea of duty, honor, and country in mind. Even though ethos takes a front seat in this speech pathos and logos all have a important role in the speech. This help us see that MacArthur main approach to the speech was to be athouritive with the audience but then follow it with emotion. With ethos and pathos they together form a speech that is mainly to address ever cadet as a solder while explaining to them that with duty, honor, and country before everything else. Duty, Honor, Country appeared to be his final addressed and he closed it by saying, “Always there echoes and re-echoes: Duty, Honor, Country. Today marks my final roll call with you, but I want you to know that when I cross the river my last conscious thoughts will be of The Corps, and The Corps, and The Corps. I bid you farewell.”

Works Cites

Agnew, Maestro. “Duty, Honor, Country | Douglas MacArthur | May 12, 1962 | West Point.” YouTube, YouTube, 2 Jan. 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?v=_42_aLGkRpg.

“Douglas MacArthur.” Biography.com, A&E Networks Television, 28 Apr. 2017, www.biography.com/people/douglas-macarthur-9390257.

General MacArthur’s Thayer Award Speech — Duty, Honor, Country (1962), www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/au-24/au24-352mac.htm.

“Rhetorical Analysis.” Samuel.andersonODU, samuelandersonodu.weebly.com/rhetorical-analysis.html.

“JSU 1877 Jackson State University.” Who Was Dr. Daniel Hale Williams? | Jackson Heart Study Graduate Training and Education Center (GTEC), www.jsums.edu/arotc/duty-honor-country/.

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