“Seeing The World More Clearly”: Challenging Biases And Helping People

Josh Foust


Josh Foust grew up in Kokomo, Indiana, with his parents and older brother. He always wanted to help people. In his predominantly white high school, biracial Josh learned that the racial construct is fluid. During his senior year, he joined the Army Reserve as a 68X, Behavioral Health Specialist, and reported for Basic Training at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, after graduation. From 2014 to 2015, he deployed to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, where toxic leadership created challenges. Returning to the United States, he enrolled at Indiana University – Purdue University, Indianapolis (IUPUI), an experience he calls “life-changing” and “formative.” While enrolled there, he lived in a marginalized community where his biases were challenged, and he realized that hard work alone is often not enough to improve one’s condition. He also completed a spring break trip to Appalachia in West Virginia, where he learned that even improvements in education often do not lead to upward mobility if there are no jobs available. During his sophomore year at IUPUI, Josh applied to the Military Academy, based on a recommendation from a mentor in Kuwait. During Beast, he felt that he remained “cool and collected” because he had experienced the training environment before. He chose Philosophy as a major because he likes the critical thinking aspect of the discipline. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, he was on a semester exchange at the Catholic University of Lyon in France. As the virus spread, West Point Cadets overseas were forced to return, and he quarantined back home in Indiana, waking up early every morning for online classes in France (3am local time). This year, he has been the Respect Development Officer, responsible for the SLDP-R (Special Leader Development Program for Respect), a job that complements the job he held in the Army Reserve. In this interview, he reflects candidly on his many life-changing and perspective-expanding experiences. He notes that while West Point is doing well attracting a diverse student body, he feels there is still room for improvement in terms of socio-economic diversity. He views West Point as his opportunity to make a difference in the world.


name Josh Foust
institution USMA
graduation year 2021
service Engineer
specialty 68X Behavioral Health Specialist
service dates 2013