Page was born in 1988 in San Jose, California, then spent most of his
childhood in Stockbridge, GA. Immediately after high school he enlisted
in the Army where he experienced a great deal of success, which
ultimately led to his Commander endorsing him to attend West Point and
pursue a career as an officer. As a cadet he has met and overcome
several considerable challenges, personally and professionally. His
most passionate work as a cadet has been as the President of the West
Point Secular Student Alliance and the first Director of Military
Religious Freedom Foundation Affairs at West Point.
The title West Point Graduate carries a great deal of weight in this world. Those
who earn it are given a “golden ticket” and wear a “ring of power”
which will certainly carry them to successful careers with doors flung
open in the military, in business, even in personal relationships; as so
many are seduced by the historic prestige of the United States Military
Academy. All of these things seem enticing, but for me personally they are not worth it.
While there are certainly numerous problems with the developmental program at West Point and all service academies, the
tipping point of my decision to resign was the realization that
countless officers here and throughout the military are guilty of
blatantly violating the oaths they swore to defend the Constitution.
These transgressions are nearly always committed in the name of fundamentalist evangelical Christianity.The
sparse leaders who object to these egregious violations are relegated
to the position of silent bystanders, because they understand all too
well the potential ramifications of publically expressing their loyalty
to the laws of our country. These are strong words that I do not use
lightly, but after years of clear personal observation I am certain that
they are true. The following excerpt is from my official letter of
resignation from West Point:I do not wish to be in any way
associated with an institution which willfully disregards the
Constitution of the United States of America by enforcing policies which
run counter to the same. Examples of these policies include mandatory
prayer, the maintenance of the 3rd Regiment Shield, awarding extra
passes to Plebes who take part in religious retreats and chapel choirs,
as well as informal policies such as the open disrespect of
non-religious new cadets and incentivizing participation in religious
activities through the chain of command.
The existence of decades of legal precedent and policies
prohibiting this pervasive religious bigotry has not stopped it from
happening in the past, and will most certainly not stop it from
happening in the future so long as the many who oppose it remain too
timid to stand up and be counted. I am making this stand in the hope
that others will follow by whatever means they must. Perhaps now some of
the 136 cadets, faculty and staff at West Point that are represented by
the MRFF may find the courage to make themselves heard.
It is pathetic that so many leaders in the military are comfortable
with both subtly and brutally discriminating against non-religious
members. Perhaps with enough external pressure brought to bear
by continued civil rights activism, America’s military leadership will
one day soon be forced to realize that non-religious soldiers are not
enemies of the state to be shunned, ridiculed and marginalized, but rather patriotic, honorable Americans to be respected as equals.