The Honor Code: A Reason to Be Proud of VMI

by Brady Biller

Leadership is made, not born.

I have almost completed my cadetship at The Virginia Military Institute. In 22 days, I will be graduating with a Civil Engineering degree. I’m currently on my last ever guard shift as the Night Officer of the Guard while typing this thought. Its 03:41 on a Saturday morning and my shift ends at 07:00. All my hometown best friends at other universities just got done partying or going out to the local bars. After 4 years of being in barracks we’ve gotten used to “missing out” on a normal college experience.

Yet, every now and then I still have the thought on why I came to VMI, even 22 days until I graduate. I just ponder how badly I want to get out of here. I’m thinking on why the hell I’m walking around Barracks in the middle of the night with a flashlight while everyone is sleeping? I just want my life after VMI to start so I can finally have that freedom I’m craving so badly. With all these negative thoughts about this place and wishing time away, you would think I made a wrong decision signing the matriculation book on August 19, 2017.

Shortly after feeling sorry for myself, a cadet walks into the guard room with a one-hundred-dollar bill and tells me that he found it by a stairwell. Its pitch-black outside with no one around him and he had every chance just to walk away a little bit richer. I couldn’t help but smile, I’m not sure who was listening inside my head, but this was a moment where I was able to look past all the annoying aspects of being a VMI cadet and appreciate the bigger picture of what this Institution upholds. I’m sure that cadet was raised with good intentions, but I know for a 100% fact that any other person at another school in the world would’ve ran off with that hundred-dollar bill.

This is the reason why I became a VMI cadet.

I believe that VMI has instilled in him and all other cadets the character and integrity he displayed tonight. I believe it’s bred into all of us here at VMI. We are taught from day one here on how to lead others.

Now more than ever does this country need people like that cadet, they need all VMI cadets.

This historical masterpiece of a school has been getting its name slandered by media outlets all around the state. It hurts me to think that people on the outside think VMI allows people to survive here with bad characteristics. A cadetship is no easy journey and VMI has a weird way of ridding the ones who don’t display the characteristics and integrity that we here try to instill into every single one who signs that matriculation book.

A true VMI cadet supports all race, religion, and gender. VMI is the last of its kind, in my eyes it’s the Virginia Military Institute cadets who will shed light on this crazy time we are all living in. Not every person is perfect, and we can’t live to think anyone should be, but a VMI cadet is damn near close.

Brady Biller is a VMI cadet, class of 2021. This column is republished with permission from his Facebook post of April 26, 2021.

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8 responses to “The Honor Code: A Reason to Be Proud of VMI”

  1. partners42 Avatar

    As well documented already in Bacon’s Rebellion the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia under the orders of the governor issued a $1 million contract for a Equity Audit and Special Investigation of VMI. As Bacon’s Rebellion covered so well previously, the contract was awarded through a rigged process to a contractor ensuring the outcome received will fit the narrative of systemic racism at VMI. The contractor sought from the start to have VMI grant amnesty from the Honor Code to any cadets cooperating with their investigation. In the end, for $1 million of the taxpayers money the report investigation will produce nothing more than a report of the investigative findings it’s obvious are pre-determined. The words of this cadet, wise beyond his years, raises an interesting issue all Virginia Tax payers, regardless of their views on VMI should be asking. At an annual instate tuition of $29,470 per cadet (without subsidies) the $1 Million currently being spent on the investigation could have paid outright for 9 minority students to attend VMI tuition free for 4 years. Had the $1 Million been used to establish an endowment, a standard annuity calculator using a 10% return on investment and yearly withdrawals at $30,000 per year per student shows 3 minority students each year could have been funded indefinitely for the life-changing VMI experience. So other than political gain for the Governor and his political allies, couldn’t they money have been better spent actually helping minorities?

  2. LarrytheG Avatar

    more from Wapo:

    What Northam’s Black VMI schoolmates endured 40 years ago: ‘We don’t want you here’
    Virginia’s governor has ordered an investigation into racism at his alma mater, but he acknowledges that the bigotry at Virginia Military Institute didn’t register when he was a cadet

  3. Eric the half a troll Avatar
    Eric the half a troll

    “I’m sure that cadet was raised with good intentions, but I know for a 100% fact that any other person at another school in the world would’ve ran off with that hundred-dollar bill.”

    I disagree. It seems a poor view of humanity to think that every living human being, when given the opportunity to take something that is not theirs and get away clean, will opt to be dishonest. There is no question in my mind that many people (including college students) would do exactly what this cadet has done.

    Congratulations to Cadet Biller on his upcoming graduation. That is indeed an accomplishment to be proud of. Best of luck!!

  4. Moscow mule Avatar
    Moscow mule

    Nobody reads this site, but still, it’s hilarious that you all believe this is an organic occurrence. VMI staged the same kind of fake propaganda stunts to prop up the honor code when i was there. The used to do a similar bit at “Sweet Things” Ice-cream shop downtown. Yep, even some of the local business owners are in on the scam. They have to be….their livelihood depends on selling the lie that is the VMI Honor Code!
    People love fairy tales and VIRGINIANS REALLY LOVE FAIRY TALES. And believe you me, VMI is graduating a bunch of “part-time” fairies that’s for sure (and that’s 100% true, and all you alumni know it).

    1. John Harvie Avatar
      John Harvie

      I hope to God you are in the minority of alumni VMI, if indeed you are even one. Not even the guts enough to eschew the pseudonym.

    2. Wait. Does that mean you are a part-time fairy?

  5. JuniusQuercus Avatar

    Been there and done that. I was the Officer of the Day (OD) 35 years and some 22 days ago. Ready to take on the world with my own Civil Engineering degree. Chernobyl had just happened, and the fear of fallout was the big discussion. Thirty-five years ago in that lonely guard room, I never imagined how far we would let socialists go in destroying the very fabric of our culture.

  6. Moscow mule Avatar
    Moscow mule

    Well Mr. Bacon et. al. I see that “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!” Had to censor the facts from the gen pub. I don’t hold it against you. Only the “Elite” can handle the truth. Personally speaking, I preferred Rome when I was a pleb. Those were the days.

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