The head of the
U.S. Military Academy thinks it's time to replace the
''men'' and ''sons'' in West Point's two most beloved songs
with more gender-neutral lyrics.
Lt. Gen. Franklin
''Buster'' Hagenbeck, superintendent of the nation's
oldest military academy, told a congressional oversight
committee Wednesday that with more than 3,000 women
graduating from West Point since 1976, the change is
presentation Wednesday to the academy's board of visitors
meeting in Washington, Hagenbeck said he wants to change the
words to the military academy's alma mater and its
companion piece, ''The Corps.'' Both songs date back
about a century.
In ''The Corps,''
the proposals include changing ''The men'' to ''The
ranks,'' and ''We sons'' to ''The corps.''
superintendent said the changes aren't being pushed by
female cadets, but it's a commonsense move considering
the role women play in today's military.
''When are they
going to be recognized for what they're doing?'' he said.
Hagenbeck said he
got the idea for the revision two years ago at a
ceremony commemorating the 30th anniversary of women being
admitted to West Point. He listened as the female
alums sang lyrics from the songs that included ''We
sons of today, we salute you.''
spent the last few months discussing the possible changes
with alumni, Army brass, and cadets. He said he'll make the
final decision, possibly after graduation ceremonies
on May 31 and before the class of 2012 arrives this
board of visitors, made up of presidential appointees and
members of Congress, voted unanimously to back whatever
decision he makes. (AP)