Bing West delivers Greater Issues address at The Citadel

On Thursday, March 28, Bing West spoke to the South Carolina Corps of Cadets during a Greater Issues address held in McAlister Field House. West spoke to cadets about who they are as individuals, his own experiences as a Marine and what sets The Citadel apart from other institutions.

“You all worked hard just to get here. You’re in the top public school in the South. You’re in great physical shape, you’re self-discipled and you’re serious about learning. You’ve failed at some things; you’ve done well in other things. You study, you strive and you compete in an atmosphere of integrity. At The Citadel, you’ve learned how to lead and how to follow. As a result, you now have the ingredients for success in your DNA,” said Bing as he addressed the Corps. “Your odds of succeeding are very, very high.”

Bing is the co-author of the New York Times #1 bestseller, ­Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead, written with General Jim Mattis. A graduate of Georgetown and Princeton Universities, he fought as a Marine grunt in Vietnam. He later served as Assistant Secretary of Defense under President Reagan. His ten books include The Village, that has been on the Marine Commandant’s Reading List for 40 years; The Strongest Tribe, a history of the Iraq war that was a New York Times Bestseller; and The Wrong War, a history of the Afghanistan war.

He is the recipient (twice) of Marine Corps Heritage, the Colby Military History Award, the General Goodpaster Prize for Military Scholarship, the Free Press Award, the Father Clyde Leonard Award, the Marine Corps Russell Award for Leadership and the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Media Award. His articles appear in The Wall St. Journal, The New York Times, The Atlantic, The National Review and The Washington Post. He is a member of the Hoover Military Historians Working Group at Stanford University, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Infantry Order of St. Crispin. He and his wife Betsy live in Newport, Rhode Island and Hilton Head, South Carolina. Bing has four children and eight grandchildren.

The Greater Issues Series was founded in 1954 to engage Citadel cadets’ interest and knowledge in important topics of the day. Since it was established by the Mills B. Lane Memorial Foundation, the series has brought presidents, heads of state, scholars, diplomats, journalists and distinguished business and military leaders to The Citadel, its cadets, students, faculty and staff and the Charleston community.