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Order Now to Guarantee Your Copy of Taps

The 2015 issue of TAPS is going to the printer soon. If you would like to receive a copy of this year’s TAPS, you must pre-order and pay for it in advance. Payment must be received by May 29th to ensure that your copy is reserved and printed. The cost of TAPS is $20 per copy, which includes postage. The magazine will be mailed in late June.

Click here to pay online

or mail your check* to:
Memorials Coordinator
West Point Association of Graduates
698 Mills Road
West Point, NY 10996

*Please do not mail credit card information.

Distinguished Graduate Award Alumni Exercises & Luncheon

May 19, 2015
12:15pm - 1:15pm

Cadet Mess Hall (Washington Hall), West Point, NY 10996

Alumni Exercises: 10:20am - 10:50am*
Alumni Review: 11:00am - 12:00pm*
Alumni Luncheon: 12:15pm - 1:15pm*

*All alumni are invited to participate. Registration is required for the Alumni Luncheon.

In the event of inclement weather, call the USMA Hotline at (845) 938-7000 for an update on the Review. If the Review is cancelled, the luncheon will begin at the scheduled time.

Army, Bruins Alumni Skate to Support Families of Veterans

WP Alumni vs Bruins Alumni Charitable Hockey GameMarlborough, MA -- The West Point Society of New England sponsored an alumni hockey game between West Point Alumni and the Boston Bruins Alumni for the Fisher House Boston.

Alumni hockey players from 20 different USMA classes joined together over the weekend to face off against the NHL's Boston Bruins Alumni. Former Army hockey great Ed Collazzo '83 served as the alumni team coach leading a team of players from USMA classes 1979 to 2010. Richie Sheridan '90 put the team together.

The event featured honored guest Medal of Honor recipient SSG Ryan Pitts of NH who dropped the puck for the ceremonial first face-off with Bruins great Rick Middleton and Army's Richie Sheridan '90.

As the puck dropped and play began with a blistering pace, it was clear that it wasn't your typical charity game. With a squad featuring 13 former Army hockey team captains, including Tim Murphy '02, Mike Symes '85, and Kevin Keenan '87, the Army alumni team adapted quickly to the fast pace despite many players meeting for the first time before the game.
Captain Jeff Fearing '09 started the scoring with assists from Brody Howatt '99 and Sheridan to give the West Point alumni team a 1-0 lead.
After two quick goals from the Bruins, Army alum TR Coccaro '98 redirected a cross ice pass from classmate Tony Felice '98 to even the score at 2-2.
Two more goals put the former NHL players up 4-2, before Sean Hennessey '95 zipped a rink long pass to send Seth Beamer '06 in alone for a highlight reel finish.
Just before half time, the Bruins John Carter was awarded a penalty shot, but an incredible blocker save by Army alum goalie Scott Boyle '93 kept the Old Grads within one goal.

The second half picked up in intensity and featured fast-action with constant Army pressure. Army's defensive corps limited Bruins scoring chances in the second half with stellar play by former team captain Zach McKelvie '09, Colonel Jon Braga '91, David Yancey '79, LTC (Ret) Scott Williams '91, Bob Ness '86 and Marlborough's own Mike Landers '95. With 15 minutes remaining Captain Ken Rowe '10 scored the tying goal with assists from Tim Fisher '03 and Fearing. The Bruins answered quickly after a shifty move by 10-year NHLer Bob Sweeney setup Tom Songin with 12 minutes to go in the game and a 5-4 Bruins lead. The Army alumni controlled play for much of the time remaining and valiantly pushed the former professionals for the tying goal, but the Bruins Mike Krushelnyski scored an empty net goal with :39 seconds left to seal the game for the Bruins, 6-4.

After the game, Army's TJ McMeniman '00 summed up the experience, "I was honored and humbled to see the the hockey community support the Fisher House Boston, an organization that does so much for our military families. It was an amazing experience." Said Ted Moran '86, "I felt incredible pride several times throughout the day. I feel very lucky to be part of our West Point and Army hockey alumni."

The event's organizer Dale Kurtz '73, President of the local West Point Society of New England, noted it was easy to “support such a great organization. Our goal was to raise money to support the Fisher House and the great work that they do. I am very proud of our West Point Alumni and our Hockey Alumni for the support they have generated for the Fisher House Boston. We had a very successful event."

Registration is Open - West Point Diversity Leadership Conference May 5-7, 2015

Registration is now open for the West Point Diversity Leadership Conference, May 5-7. This conference is open to all alumni. The theme is Today's USMA - Tomorrow's Leadership for a Diverse Army.

This conference is the first in a five-year series supporting U.S.M.A’s strategic plan. This year, we will focus on Diversity and Inclusion Principles and Practices, Diversity Education, Developing Inclusive Leaders, Outreach, Recruiting, Advocacy, Alumni Support, and the Diversity & Inclusion Strategy Progress.

Visit our website for event information and to register, as well as to learn about sponsorship opportunities for the conference.

If you have any questions regarding the conference, please contact the Alumni Events Department at 845.446.1649 or AlumniConferences@wpaog.org.

European Hideaways – Oceania Cruises

Riviera October 22-30, 2015 Barcelona to Rome (7 nights) From $2,299 per person, double occupancy (Airfare included from select cities) GoNext http://www.gonext.com/ From quaint villages fringed by sparkling blue seas to cosmopolitan cities graced with enchanting architecture, experience classic European destinations as you cruise aboard the graceful Oceania Cruises Riviera to Spain, France, Monaco and Italy. Depart Barcelona for the glorious island of Mallorca and the lovely city of Palma. Marvel at its massive Gothic cathedral and circular castle overlooking the harbor, relax amid the windmill-dotted countryside or stroll the cobbled streets of Old Palma. Next, take in the colorful French city of Marseille or explore the rich Provençal countryside dotted with quaint villages and medieval towns. Then stop in glamorous Monte Carlo, a small, affluent enclave famous for its casino and its stunning locale on the Riviera’s winding Grand Corniche. Sail to Italy and visit the fishing village turned resort town, Portofino, a modern playground of villas and yachts, and see the charming Cliffside villages of Italy’s renowned Cinque Terre. Explore the magnificent Renaissance museums and architecture of legendary Florence, stand before Pisa’s famous Leaning Tower, or admire the picturesque rolling hills of Tuscany, before disembarking in Civitavecchia, the port of Rome.


Board of Living Superintendents

USMA has invited all former superintendents of the Academy for a series of updates provided by LTG Caslen ’75 and USMA senior leaders from April 27-29. 

The highlight of the "Board of Living Superintendents" festivities will be a panel discussion entitled "Years of a Century Told" held in Eisenhower Hall 4:30pm-6:00pm on April 28. The panel, moderated by nationally known journalist Chris Wallace, will consist of LTG's(R) Christman, Lennox, Hagenbeck, Huntoon and the current Superintendent, LTG Caslen.  LTG(R) Palmer is unable to attend. The discussion will chronicle 100 years of living history from the celebrated Class of 1915, which featured such national heroes as Generals Eisenhower, Bradley and Van Fleet, to our soon to be graduated Class of 2015. The panel event will be hosted in part by the Class of 1965, the 50 year affiliation Class of both 1915 and 2015. In attendance will be the Class of 2015, members of the Class of 1965 and descendants of members of the Class of 1915. This unique, first of its kind event is open to USMA staff and faculty and graduates are especially welcome to attend.

Williams ’80, Kopra ’85, Kimbrough ’89 Heading to Space

Three retired colonels, all U.S. Military Academy graduates, will head skyward starting in November, with Tim Kopra (Class of 1985) off to the station for the more standard visit of about six months. Before Kopra returns to Earth in May 2016, Jeff Williams ('80) will launch in March, returning that September.

The same month Williams lands, Shane Kimbrough ('89) will head into orbit, scheduled to be gone until early 2017. It'll mark the first extended stay in space for Kimbrough, who flew on a 16-day mission aboard the space shuttle Endeavour in 2008 that assisted in ISS assembly. Kopra visited the station for two months in 2009, and Williams will be making his fourth trip to space and his third long-duration ISS stay. He'll also pass a major milestone, entering the flight with more than 362 days off the planet. Full Story »

Watkins ’12 Soldiering on in Pursuit of Dream

FORT MYERS, Fla. — When the Red Sox drafted J.T. Watkins three years ago, it wasn’t just as a favor for his father Danny, an amateur scout with the team since 2004. J.T. was an accomplished college catcher with a strong arm who twice led his team to a berth in the NCAA Tournament. His school happened to be the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Understand that no West Point graduate has ever played in the major leagues. Seventeen Army players have been drafted over the years, 11 since 2005, but none have advanced beyond Triple A. Missing time because of a mandatory military commitment has so far been a hurdle impossible to overcome.

“We play a good brand of baseball here and I’m proud of what we’ve done. But West Point is producing officers, not baseball players,” coach Matt Reid said. J.T. Watkins, now 25, is out to change that. Which is why an expert in field artillery tactics puts on a different uniform these days trying to convince the Red Sox their pick wasn’t wasted after he spent two years in the service away from the game. Read More

Rice ’60 Reelected To NH House of Representatives

Frederick C. Rice, ‘60 has been reelected to a third two-year term in the New Hampshire House of Representatives. As a Republican candidate, Rice was the the top vote getter in a field of eight candidates for four seats representing the Town of Hampton, a summer resort community on the New Hampshire seacoast.

Representative Rice serves on the House Resources, Recreation and Development Committee, where he is involved with issues that concern his district’s major business of tourism. He previously served two terms on the House Commerce and Consumer Affairs Committee, where he sponsored and supported legislation to benefit and support small businesses throughout New Hampshire. He has also sponsored numerous bills supporting veterans’ issues, from property tax abatements to improved veterans medical care.

The 400-member New Hampshire house is the third largest legislative body in the world, and its members serve on a volunteer basis, receiving a stipend of only $100 per year.

Rice is a retired consultant. Prior to his election to state office, he served in numerous elected and appointed positions at the local level. He is a former member of the West Point AOG Board of Trustees and the WPAOG Advisory Council, and served a total of 35 years on the boards of West Point Societies in Orange County, CA and New England. Rice was active in West Point Admissions for 35 years, including 18 years in southern California, where he served as Orange County Regional Admissions Coordinator and Southern California Area Coordinator, followed by 15 years as New Hampshire State Admissions Coordinator.

Representative Rice and his wife, Joan, live in Hampton, NH. His son, Fred (USMA ‘88) lives in IL, and his daughter Janelle lives in CA.

Henry O. Flipper, Class of 1877 Fence Dedication 3/21

On Saturday March 21, 2015 at 11am there will be a Fence Dedication Ceremony at the Old Magnolia Cemetery in Thomasville GA. Henry O. Flipper is the First African American Graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. Mayor Max Beverly will be leading the dedication. Ron Salter ’59 will be speaking. Kenneth Whitaker, President of the Thomasville GA Buffalo Soldiers 9th & 10 Calvary will be placing the Memorial Wreath. Click here for the Fence Dedication Program.

There is also an annual community service/Grave site maintenance coming up that was started by David Rich ’78 about 10 years ago. Since 2010 other members and friends of the Long Gray Line began to join him. If you would like to be apart of this email David.

"It started as a feeling years ago, probably 2004 or 2005.  Describe it as a compulsion, a tug across time, the harder right instead of the easier wrong -- or describe it any other way you like. Hearing that Henry O. Flipper, West Point’s first black graduate, was buried in nearby Thomasville, the need to visit, to connect, and to make sure he understood somehow that he had mattered flicked my consciousness for several months until I finally jumped in the car one Saturday and took the short ride to that nearby Georgia town. More info on joining.

There, I found the cemetery to be in universal, gently neglected disrepair. After a short visit to pay respects and perform a solitary vigil for a brother in gray, it was time to drive home. I returned the following weekend, with hand tools, scrub brushes, and enough sweat equity to make a (very) small difference. But it was the beginning and, somehow, I felt that Flipper knew. Similar solo trips followed every six months for several years. Upon hearing about my efforts, other WPST members and friends began joining me for the effort in 2010. With additional backs and good ideas came more and faster progress. Now a single annual visit suffices to keep the site in very good repair." Read The Quill Article.

Earls ’15 & Hickey ’09, Everest Expedition for PTSD Awareness

WEST POINT, N.Y. - Army senior baseball player Harold Earls plans to help lead a team of current, former and future U.S. Soldiers to the summit of Mount Everest in the spring of 2016. Earls has partnered with former Army hockey player CPT Matthew Hickey '09 in hopes of directing the first Army team to climb Everest, while also raising money and awareness for service members suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

"I have always wanted to climb Mount Everest," Earls said. "In the fall of 2014 I decided I was going to do everything I could to make that happen and we are very fortunate to be in the position we are in now. There have been tremendous mentors and a great support team here at West Point who has helped to move this dream of climbing Everest into a tangible goal."

Earls and Hickey have created a not-for-profit organization called U.S. Expeditions and Explorations to serve as the foundation for the quest. Their vision is "To inspire service-members - past, present and future - to challenge themselves or a small team with a lofty, focused endeavor in the field of exploration, philanthropy or science to promote healthy and inspirational lifestyles." Hickey will document the fundraising and preparation efforts of the USX Army Everest Expedition Team through a blog located at www.armyeverest.blogspot.com

Story courtesy of GoARMYsports

The expedition to the summit of Mount Everest, Nepal, which is the world's tallest mountain at 29,029 feet, will be the first USX endeavor. The goal is to raise awareness and funds for service-related mental illnesses in order to reduce suicide rates and improve quality of life for U.S. Veterans. Additionally, the team will conduct research and tests with its USX Expedition Soldiers and their equipment in the rugged environment.

"I had no idea how serious of an issue Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder was in the military," Earls continued. "The numbers are staggering in terms of how many people are affected by PTSD and our goal is to help soldiers cope with this problem."

To learn more about the USX Army Everest Expedition or to make a donation to the cause, visit www.USX.Vet

Story courtesy of GoARMYsports

Chipman ’80, Service on a New Battlefield

In the fall of 2013, U.S. Army three-star general Dana Chipman faced a disorienting dilemma: He was 55 years old, and his career was over. Chipman, JD '86, had served in the Army for 33 years, a journey that began as a cadet at West Point in the 1970s and culminated in his appointment as the judge advocate general (TJAG), the Army's highest-ranking legal officer. During the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, he had advised the Army's top commanders and overseen some of the military's most sensitive criminal cases. He had attained the rank of lieutenant general, a designation held by fewer than 60 other Army officers. And now, having finished his four-year tenure as TJAG, he was done.

The sharp-tongued Gowdy and decorous Chipman may seem like an unlikely match, but the two have developed a close partnership. Gowdy says they speak several times a day. "[Chipman's] very humble, which is a quality that's not often found in Washington. He lets everyone else in the room speak first—and just when you think there's someone in the room who knows more than him, he makes his voice heard. He'd be a lousy politician, because he doesn't brag and try to make everyone see how smart he is in the first 30 seconds you meet him." Full Story »

Fortier ’96 Leads U.S. Naval Test Pilot School During 70th Anniversary

NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, Md. Students and staff of U.S. Naval Test Pilot School (USNTPS) gather to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the school's establishment at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. One of four major test pilot schools around the world, USNTPS instructs pilots, flight officers, and civil service engineers from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force as well as international aviators and engineers in the techniques of aircraft and systems test and evaluation. (U.S. Navy photo by Kelly Schindler/Released)

March Parent Review Newsletter

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O’Neil ’90 Appointed Barclays L.A. Managing Dir & Regional Mgr

Barclays announced the appointment of Jay O’Neil as a Managing Director and Regional Manager for Wealth and Investment Management in Los Angeles. Mr. O’Neil will be responsible for managing the office in Los Angeles and implementing Barclays’ strategy in the LA area as the firm continues to grow in the United States.

“Jay’s extensive wealth management and leadership experience underscores our continued commitment to hiring experienced professionals to support our clients in the region and our colleagues in the Los Angeles office,” said Tom Lee, Head of Wealth and Investment Management Americas. “We are thrilled to have Jay lead the Los Angeles office.”

Mr. O’Neil has over 14 years of wealth management experience. Prior to joining Barclays, he worked at Macquarie Bank where he was most recently the Head of the Private Bank. Prior to that, he spent several years with Merrill Lynch in a number of roles, including managing the Foreign Office where he supervised a team of financial advisors who supported clients in 92 countries. He also served as an Associate Director for Merrill Lynch’s North Texas region, managing 600 financial advisors, and as a Market Leader for the Private Banking & Investment Group in New England and the Mid-Atlantic regions. Mr. O’Neil also worked as Director and Regional Branch Manager for Credit Suisse Private Banking in South Texas. Read More

First Call March 10th

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Smith ’06 Named Director of Survivor Assistance at AAFMAA

AAFMAA has announced that Ian D. Smith, West Point Class of 2006, has joined the American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association as Manager, Survivor Assistance Services. Ian will oversee survivor benefits and services for over 10,000 Association widows and widowers.

AAFMAA selected Smith because he brings to the job eight years of active duty Army leadership, combat deployments in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and most recently work with the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. He remains in the service in the U.S. Army Reserve. “We are delighted to have Ian working with AAFMAA to assist our military members and their families,” said AAFMAA’s President and Treasurer, Walt Lincoln (West Point 1972). Read More.

West Point AOG Welcomes Richard S. Huh ’94 as New VP for Alumni Support

The West Point Association of Graduates (WPAOG) is pleased to announce that Richard S. Huh ‘94 will join the organization as its new Vice President for Alumni Support.

Mr. Huh brings twenty years of experience in program management, strategy, sales, and consulting, working at all levels in the commercial, non-profit, and government sectors.  He most recently worked as Business Development Manager at Wyle, Inc. a leading provider of specialized engineering, professional, scientific, and technical services to the U.S. Department of Defense, NASA, and a variety of other federal agencies.  Since 2007, Mr. Huh has served on the Board of Governors of the West Point Society of the District of Columbia (WPSDC), the largest society of West Point graduates worldwide.  In his most recent role as Executive Director of WPSDC, Mr. Huh provided strategic direction and operational oversight while also restructuring the Society’s marketing and public relations efforts to better communicate with alumni, parents, and affiliates.  Prior to his work with Wyle, Mr. Huh worked at Sparta, Inc., a provider of technical products and services to the defense, intelligence, and homeland security sectors, where he served chiefly as Program Manager for the International Programs Directorate.

“The WPAOG staff and I are excited to have Rich join our ranks,” said Colonel (Retired) Robert McClure, President and CEO of WPAOG. “His energy, broad background and experience in serving the West Point Graduate community will enable him to make immediate and lasting improvements in how WPAOG fulfills our mission of serving West Point and its graduates.”

At WPAOG, Mr. Huh will lead the Alumni Support department’s mission and work closely with the WPAOG Board of Directors, the Alumni Support Committee, the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and the Thayer Award Committee.  He will also oversee the delivery of reunion, career assistance, memorial and organizational support programs for graduates.  In addition, he will develop and execute strategies to create and sustain dynamic programs that inspire increased graduate involvement and commitment to the United States Military Academy.

Mr. Huh received an MS in Project Management from The George Washington University and a BS in Russian Studies from the United States Military Academy.

NOTE:  Mr. Huh is succeeding Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Jim Johnston ’73, WPAOG Vice President for Alumni Support since 2007.  Jim will remain a member of the senior leadership team at WPAOG, serving as the Association’s corporate secretary and performing other designated tasks.

The West Point Association of Graduates is dedicated to furthering the ideals and promoting the welfare of West Point, and supporting and serving its graduates. As a non‐profit, tax‐exempt corporation, its philanthropic pursuits maintain a margin of excellence for Cadets attending the Academy.

Watkins ’99 Attempting the Iditarod and Everest

Watkins ’99 Attempting the Iditarod and Everest[Washington Post Excerpt] WASILLA, Alaska — Out here Steve Watkins is alone — alone with a past that haunts him and a future that drives him. But otherwise, as the frigid, muted morning slowly stirs to life and the layers of gray begin to separate, he’s alone. His dogs are especially eager to get going, leaping and barking and begging to be among the eight harnessed together to Watkins’s sled, the one outfitted in camouflage. Soon, they all pull away from the kennel and disappear into the snowy Alaskan wilderness. Watkins, 38, has spent the past year training for two perilous pursuits, exposing himself to risk that is both a seduction and a distraction for a military veteran in need of both.

This weekend, he will be perhaps the least likely musher in the famed Iditarod, which bills itself as the “last great race on Earth,” 1,000 raw and rugged miles from Anchorage to Nome. If all goes well, he’ll finish in 10 to 12 days. Then, barely one week later, Watkins will board a flight to Kathmandu, Nepal, where he’ll embark on an expedition to climb Mount Everest, the tallest mountain on the planet. If Watkins’s body and mind hold up over two grueling months, he hopes to be standing on top of the world on or about May 20, the first person to complete — or even attempt — the Iditarod race and an Everest summit in the same year. Full Story »

Wielkoszewski ’71 Appointed to American Leisure Holdings Board

Arthur Wielkoszewski, who have extensive business management and consulting experience, were added to the Board. Scott Wroblewski was designated to be the Chairman of the Board. Charles Yawn, the AMLH CEO and Director prior to the sale, retained his seat on the Board and became the Chief Operating Officer (COO) reporting to Eric Wroblewski, CEO.

Skip Wheeler, a large AMLH shareholder before the transition, and John Driver, an aviation expert knowledgeable about air cargo operations, were designated as Advisors to the Board of Directors. Read More

Long ’78 Appointed Penhall Company CEO

ANAHEIM, Calif., Penhall Company, the market leader in concrete cutting, coring and removal services, announced the appointment of Mr. Jeff Long as Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Long will succeed Mr. C. George Bush, who is retiring from active leadership in the Company and will transition to serving as Senior Advisor to the Company.

Mr. Long brings a wealth of experience to this role and a deep knowledge of Penhall and its industry, after having served on the Board of Directors of the Company and worked closely with the senior leadership team of the Company since 2010. Mr. Long was most recently Senior Managing Director at Centerbridge Partners, L.P. from 2010 until 2015, where he focused on improving portfolio company operations. Prior to joining Centerbridge, Mr. Long was a Managing Director at Vestar Capital Partners, where he was similarly responsible for portfolio companies across a variety of sectors. Before that, Mr. Long was a Principal at McKinsey and Company, Inc. where he consulted for CEOs in the aerospace and defense, energy, engineering and construction and diversified industries. Mr. Long served on active duty for fourteen years as a Cavalry Officer of the U.S. Army and graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point.

"I am excited to join Penhall, which has a great brand, a rich history, a nationwide footprint and highly skilled operators, and customer-focused management," said Mr. Long. "Penhall is the market leader in concrete cutting and grooving and grinding services, and I look forward to working with our exceptional employees on further strengthening and growing the business." Read More

Ring Melt 2015: The Golden Gift

Traditionally, crystal is the gift associated with a 15-year anniversary, but at the 15th annual West Point Association of Graduate’s West Point Class Ring Memorial Melt ceremony, held on Monday at Pease & Curren, Inc., in Warwick, RI, the gift was gold. It has always been gold.

Since 2001, gold from West Point class rings has been donated, melted and later added to the rings of next year’s First Class cadets. This year, the Class of 2016 received gold from 34 West Point class rings, the oldest belonging to LTC (R) Reeve Douglas Keiler from the Class of 1924. In addition, they received a class ring belonging to LTC (R) John Hamilton Boyd III from the Class of 1966, which is the Class of 2016’s 50-Year Affiliation Class.

LTC (R) Ron Turner ’58 developed the idea for the Ring Melt in 1999, believing that such a program would provide a tangible as well as symbolic link between the members of the Long Gray Line. “Hopefully, this program will make West Point class rings of the future more meaningful than those of the past,” Turner wrote in the May/June 1999 issue of ASSEMBLY, “because all the new rings will contain traces of the rings of West Pointers who have gone before.”

These traces come from gold shavings that are added to the crucible at the end of the ceremony. The shavings are drilled from the ingot formed at last year’s Ring Melt and include gold dating back to the inaugural one. Because of this annual process, the rings for the Class of 2016 will have gold once belonging to Colonel Percy Myers Kessler, Class of 1896, who fought in the Philippine Insurrection; gold from the ring of 1LT Frank S. Reasoner ’62, who posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his actions in Vietnam; gold that was taken into space by Astronaut (Colonel) Bill McArthur ’73 on NASA’s 100th mission, and gold worn by eight 4-star generals—in total, gold representing 356 West Point Graduates.

All the rings and shavings were melted in a 2,300-degree-Fahrenheit furnace to create a single gold bar, representing the service and sacrifice of all the graduates who once wore the gold. In presenting this gold bar to 2016’s class officers (who then turned it over to a representative of Jostens, which will manufacturer their class rings), WPAOG and all the ring donors ensured that the tradition of “Duty, Honor, Country” will remain in the gold of the next generation of the Long Gray Line. There’s a feat that crystal could have never pulled off. View photos from the ceremony.

First Call March 4th

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Follett ’83 'IGARI' Theory on the Disappearance of Flight MH-370

Follett ’83 'IGARI' Theory on the Disappearance of Flight MH-370Although he got a C in his language class when he was in school at the United States Military Academy at West Point, Searcy resident Scott Follett’s first book has created a stir since it was released in December. Fusing his knowledge of airplanes with some investigating and a little speculation, in his book IGARI: Where MH-370 and the World Changed Course Forever, Follett explores a possible scenario that could account for the disappearance of Malaysian Flight 370.

Follett grew up in Michigan, and when he graduated from high school in 1979, he joined the military. He went to West Point, where he studied engineering.

“West Point was the hardest school,” he said. “It’s very prestigious. There were opportunities there, and it was challenging.”

As news started to break on the plane’s mysterious circumstances, Follett was examining the evidence through the lens of his experience with aircraft and engineering. Some of the speculations out there simply did not add up, Follett said, and he started forming his own theories.

“The biggest theory was that the pilots did it,” he said. “In order for the pilots to do it, I knew that from my experience in aviation, it would have to be the entire flight crew, not just the pilots.”

Follett said the theory he has developed started with the passengers, not the pilots. Two passengers in particular captured his attention, and he believes they tie the plane’s disappearance to the Middle East. Read More

Adams ’83 Appointed CEO of PaySpan

Adams ’83 Appointed CEO of PaySpanPaySpan, Inc., the leading provider of health care reimbursement and payment automation, today announced the appointment of Rex Adams as Chief Executive Officer, replacing Kevin Arner. Mr. Adams' extensive operational experience and senior leadership roles in organizations including Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, CareCentrix, WellCare Health Plans, AT&T and BellSouth are well suited to continue PaySpan's rapid growth and expansion. Mr. Adams' breadth of experience crosses operations, information technology, product development and management, and strategy and corporate planning. Mr. Adams is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and Harvard Business School. PaySpan's leading health care payment and financial services solutions are utilized by over 950 health plans and over 700,000 health care provider payees, representing the largest health care payment connectivity network in the nation. Read More

Babb ’89 Named in the Top 50 Indiana Super Lawyers

Babb ’89 Named in the Top 50 Indiana Super LawyersBryan Babb is the chair of the firm's Appellate Services Group, and a member of the Litigation Group. He is a member of the firm’s Diversity Committee. Before joining the firm, Babb served as a judicial law clerk for Indiana Supreme Court Justice Frank Sullivan, Jr. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point (B.S., 1989), Boston University (M.S., 1994), and Indiana University Maurer School of Law – Bloomington (J.D. cum laude, 1999). Babb has been named in the Top 50 Indiana Super Lawyers since 2012 and has been included in the Best Lawyers in America® 2008-2015 for appellate law. In 2014, he was named the Best Lawyers 2014® Indianapolis Appellate Practice Lawyer of the Year.

Spieth ’85, Publishes Award Winning Fiction Book!

Spieth ’85, Publishes Award Winning Fiction Book!Susan I. Spieth has published the Award winning book Gray Girl: Honor isn’t always black and white, 2014 Eric Hoffer First Horizon Award! 2014 Eric Hoffer e-book fiction winner!

Years before the Army’s Zero-tolerance policy on sexual assault and shortly after the United States Military Academy allowed women cadets, Jan Wishart must defend herself at a West Point Honor Trial. When a friend is raped during the Army/Navy football weekend, Jan suspects the predator is also her accuser. Jan is determined to prove her innocence and, if possible, reveal his guilt. Yet, two hundred years of fraternal bonds stand in the way.

The worst is yet to come when Jan and her roommate sneak out after Taps one night. Their discovery in an unauthorized area is more likely to get them kicked out—or killed.

Jan realizes the grayness of West Point is not only in its buildings and uniforms. Even honor isn’t always black and white. Relying on her wits and a few friends in the hostile environment of the U.S. Military Academy, Jan discovers the value of friendship, the genuine marks of leadership and her own inner warrior.

Gray Girl II, Area Bird—Duty doesn’t always follow the rules. Jan Wishart is back in her second year at West Point. Triggered by her former roommate’s sudden resignation, Jan's mission becomes finding out what's happening to women at the academy. She discovers a systemic problem that has been ignored and perhaps cultivated at the highest levels. In order to fulfill her duty, Jan must break with tradition and the longstanding culture of the United States Military Academy. Her coming-of-age year is thrown into further chaos by the death of a classmate. Yet not everything is as it seems. Once again Jan's worldview is about to be upended by the secrets of West Point.

Boyd ’73 Honored Among Georgia Super Lawyers for 2015

Boyd ’73 Honored Among Georgia Super Lawyers for 2015Robert D. Boyd honored among Georgia Super Lawyers for 2015 in the area of family law. Boyd, who has been included in the guide annually since 2004, is also included among the Top 10 List of all Georgia Super Lawyers, an elite group of lawyers who received the highest number of votes during the research process. For the seventh consecutive year, and eighth time, Nolen has been included in the elite Top 100 List.

Only 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers, and no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state are named as Rising Stars. The complete list of honorees is available at http://www.superlawyers.com/georgia.

The selections forSuper Lawyersare made by Law & Politics, a division of Key Professional Media, Inc. of Minneapolis, Minn. Each year, Law & Politics undertakes a rigorous multi-phase selection process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, independent evaluation of candidates by the Law & Politics’ attorney-led research staff, a peer review of candidates by practice area, and a good-standing and disciplinary check. Rising Stars are attorneys who are 40 years old or younger, or who have been practicing for 10 years or less.

First Data Appoints Charron ’86 as Executive VP

First Data Appoints Charron ’86 as Executive VPATLANTA--First Data Corporation, the global leader in payment technology and services solutions, today appointed Dan Charron as Executive Vice President, Global Business Solutions. “Dan Charron is a legendary leader in payments who has worked creatively and tirelessly throughout his distinguished career to build one of the outstanding organizations in our industry,” said Chairman and CEO Frank Bisignano. “We’re honored to have Dan on our team, working to strengthen our client and partner relationships and to greatly expand our business solutions footprint around the world.

Before joining First Data, Charron spent 14 years at Chase Paymentech, the global payment processing business of JPMorgan Chase & Co. He joined that company in 2000, taking on roles of increasing responsibility until being named president in 2013. Prior to Paymentech, Charron was a managing partner at US Web-CKS, a global internet consultancy, and served in multiple executive roles at Total System Services (TSYS), a credit card processor, merchant acquirer and bank credit card issuer. Read More

First Call February 25th

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Class of 1965 50th Reunion!

Registration is now open for the Class of 1965 50th Reunion, May 17-20. Registration and Details

Bowdish ’01 Appointed as MagMutual Regional VP

Bowdish ’01 Appointed as MagMutual Regional VPATLANTA -- MagMutual Insurance Company, the Southeast's largest policyholder-owned professional liability insurer, announces Bryan Bowdish will serve as regional vice president for Florida. He will lead sales and policyholder services for the largest state in the company's footprint, and marshal resources to support independent agents in growing their book of business.

His role is part of MagMutual's focus to align sales, claims, underwriting and patient safety at a regional level as well as provide greater presence and influence within Florida's medical, legislative, legal and regulatory communities.

Prior to joining MagMutual, Bowdish served as national director of business development with Capson Physicians Insurance Company and as national sales and marketing director for NORCAL Group and Medicus Insurance Company. In his military career, Bowdish earned a Bronze Star for service during Operation Iraqi Freedom after rising to the rank of Captain at Ft. Hood, Texas. He earned an engineering degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he was captain of the Army football team. Read More

Kyler ’10 Inducted into District 9 Wrestling Hall of Fame

Kyler ’10 Inducted into District 9 Wrestling Hall of FameKyler, now a Captain in the US Army stationed in Fort Benning, GA, graduated from Clearfield in 2006 as the all-time win leader with a career record of 136-16. Kyler won PIAA gold in 2005 at 103 pounds, and sandwiched that with two third place finishes in 2004 and 2006. Kyler continued his wrestling career at West Point, where he finished there as the all-time win leader as well with a career record of 146-31. Kyler claimed two Eastern Inter-Collegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) championships and was a four-time NCAA national qualifier, earning All-American status in 2008 with his sixth place finish at 141 pounds. Story

Cummings ’93 & Kopser ’93 Establish RideScout Veterans Fund

Cummings ’93 & Kopser ’93 Establish RideScout Veterans FundVeterans make great innovators, if given the opportunity, say RideScout co-founders Craig Cummings and Joseph Kopser. Most of the early money put into RideScout, an app that compares local transportation times and costs, came from fellow veterans. "We're huge believers in veterans, and we want to support them becoming entrepreneurs," says Cummings, the company’s chief operating officer.

After Cummings and Kopser sold RideScout in September 2014, they decided to invest some money from the sale to help veterans launch their own startups. Two months later, Cummings and Kopser introduced the $70,000 RideScout Student Entrepreneurship Endowment."As a 20-year Army veteran and an entrepreneur myself, I understand the challenges out there for service members looking to start businesses, but I also understand the huge opportunity," Kopser says. "We have been trained as leaders, and as veterans we have thick skin, a necessary trait for any entrepreneur."

Cummings and Kopser put $2,000 of the endowment toward creation of the James Pippin Veteran Entrepreneurship Award, an award named for the first veteran (after Cummings) to invest in RideScout. A program where competing teams of MBA students compete with startup business plans, Texas Venture Labs Investment Competition (TVLIC) awards the scholarship to the most promising startup with at least one veteran creator. Last week, the Texas VLIC announced that Blackbox Trainer had won the veteran award.

Adam Burke, ’04, is the founder of Blackbox Trainer, a website that provides personalized diet and exercise plans to those who cannot afford a personal trainer won the veteran award. Full Story »

Purchase a Brick, Leave a Legacy

The Brick and Paver program allows graduates and friends of West Point the opportunity to etch a meaningful inscription on a brick or paver that will be placed on the historical grounds surrounding the James K. Herbert Alumni Center.  These paths serve as a permanent, elegant, and recognizable remembrance to visitors entering the building from Mills Road and surrounding areas.The submission deadline for the Herbert Hall brick and paver spring installation is March 1. For more information about the program, visit westpointaog.org/brickandpaver to learn more.

Richkowski ’92 Appointed Vice President of Operations at UAM

Richkowski ’92 Appointed Vice President of Operations at UAMNorth Canton, Ohio-based United Architectural Metals (UAM), a designer, manufacturer and fabricator of unitized curtainwall systems, named Richard Richkowski its new vice president of operations.

“I am excited to have Rick on board with us,” says Tom Nesbitt, president and chief executive officer of UAM. “We took our time with this search to find the right person that has the qualities to oversee our operations and Rick surely met and exceeded all expectations.”

Richkowski, who brings years of experience in program management, continuous improvement and lean manufacturing, is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and has a master’s degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from The Ohio State University. Story

Eberle '04 Receives the Distinguished Service Cross

Eberle '04 Receives the Distinguished Service CrossFor their actions in Afghanistan spanning more than two years, soldiers from 3rd Special Forces Group on Tuesday were presented with 68 awards. Among them was Capt. William Eberle, who earned the Distinguished Service Cross, which is second only to the Medal of Honor. Eight other soldiers from 3rd Group received the Silver Star, the third-highest award for valor.

In all, Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, presented one DSC, eight Silver Stars, 21 Bronze Star Medals with Valor device, 16 Army Commendation Medals with Valor device, and 22 Purple Hearts during the ceremony at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. "These warriors set the example in everything they did, and they did it in the moment that mattered the most," Votel said during the ceremony. "They acted often times without regard for their own safety because they knew the job had to be done." Full Story »

Kiper ’67 New Book, Spare Not the Brave

The Special Activities Group (SAG) and its subordinate companies have received little attention from historians. Rarely receiving more attention than a footnote, their story usually begins and ends on the night of September 12, 1950, with an amphibious raid near Kunsan. Until their inactivation on March 31, 1951, SAG simply disappears from most Korean War histories. Spare Not the Brave corrects this omission. The book tells the story of a group of soldiers who were recruited primarily from the Far East Command headquarters. After six weeks of training, they were thrust into combat in Korea. Boarding rubber boats in the Yellow Sea and paddling to shore far behind enemy lines, they conducted a diversionary landing near Kunsan, then landed at Inchon, and sailed to the Wonsan area of North Korea. They then conducted counter-guerrilla operations until overwhelming Chinese intervention forced all Allied units to withdraw from the North. Those critical operations continued into the difficult fighting of early 1951. Much of this volume is based upon the words of the participants themselves. Using previously obscure primary sources, oral histories, and official records, the author tells the tale of this unit. Drawing upon his twenty-six years of infantry and special forces experience, the author brings critical analysis and insight to this previously untold story.

Horn ’01 Named as New DIR of the ME Bureau of Veterans Svc

Horn ’01 Named as New DIR of the ME Bureau of Veterans SvcAUGUSTA, ME -- The Adjutant General and Commissioner of the Department of Defense, Veterans and Emergency Management announced today that Ms. Adria O. Horn has been selected to replace Mr. Peter W. Ogden as the Director of the Maine Bureau of Veterans' Services.

Horn will begin working with Ogden for the transition and officially take over the position after Ogden's scheduled retirement in June.

Horn, a West Point graduate, currently serves as a US Army Reservist with US Pacific Command. She has deployed in support of the Global War on Terror five times in her 14-year career. She will be leaving the office of Senator Susan Collins where she served as a State Staff Member. Read More

Melson ’03 Fight to Walk and Pushups for Paralysis

Melson ’03 Fight to Walk and Pushups for ParalysisLONG ISLAND, NY - For Boyd Melson, professional boxer and Captain in the US Army Reserves, being co-founder of the non-profit organization Team Fight to Walk is a labor of love. The group’s mission is to raise awareness and to make all possible efforts to fund a cure for spinal cord injuries in the United States.

In 2002, while a junior at the United States Military Academy at West Point, Boyd Melson met Christan Zaccagnino. Christan was paralyzed in 1993 at just ten years old when she broke her neck after diving into a backyard pool. It didn’t take long for the two to fall in love.

“She shared her dream of walking again,” Melson said. “That dream became mine. I told her, ‘I’ll never stop fighting unless you stop fighting.’” Full Story »

Parent Newsletter, February 2015

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Van Trees ’52 Elected to National Academy of Engineering

Van Trees ’52 Elected to National Academy of EngineeringGeorge Mason University engineering professor Harry Van Trees has received one of engineering’s highest honors––being elected to the National Academy of Engineering. His influential work in “detection, estimation, and modulation theory and leadership in defense communications systems” prompted the honor, according to the independent, nonprofit academy.

Van Trees also won the IEEE Kilby Gold Medal for Signal Processing, named after the Nobel Prize winner who invented the transistor. “Being elected to the National Academy of Engineering and receiving the 2015 IEEE Kilby Gold Medal represent the culmination of my professional career,” Van Trees said. “Both citations refer to my contributions to detection, estimation, and modulation theory, which were based on my books first published in 1968. The first volume had 30 printings and was used to educate several generations of engineers. Read More

Ostrander ’91 AP Exhaust Technologies New CEO and President

Ostrander ’91 AP Exhaust Technologies New CEO and PresidentGOLDSBORO, N.C. – AP Exhaust Technologies has announced the appointment of Chris Ostrander as CEO and president. Evangelos “Vange” Proimos will continue as executive chairman working directly with Ostrander on developing the company’s strategic vision, organic and acquisition growth initiatives, and customer relationships.

Ostrander joins AP Exhaust with more than 16 years of experience in the automotive aftermarket and OEM industries. In his most recent role, he served four years as senior vice president and president of the Americas at Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. Prior to Cooper, Ostrander led multiple business units and sales organizations at Eaton Corp., including its global commercial vehicle and aftermarket sales group, torque control products division, performance products division, fuel emissions division and mirror controls division. Read More

Dean ’53 to Receive Distinguished Alumni Award

Robert L. Dean, Jr. USMA 1953, has been selected to receive a 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award from the Oklahoma Military Academy which he attended before West Point. The award will be presented on June 6, 2015 in Claremore, Oklahoma. Dean is a world renowned sculptor, playwright, and musician. He is most noted for his statues of distinguished military heroes to include Eisenhower, MacArthur, Bradley, Patton, and DE Gaulle. His statues of Eisenhower on the Plain at West Point and the American Embassy in London are two of his more famous works. Some of his other works are in the West Point Library’s Haig Room. Dean continues to sculpt, and to compose and write for the theater from his home in Oklahoma.

Bellis ’46 Honored by Wyoming Governor

On January 27, 2015, Governor of Wyoming, Matt Mead, read and signed a Governor’s Proclamation which proclaimed January 27, 2015 as Lieutenant General Benjamin N. Bellis Day in Wyoming in recognition of General Bellis’ game changing contributions to aviation and national defense. The ceremony was held in the Governor’s conference room at the Wyoming Capitol in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Among those in attendance were a number of Wyoming officials, United States Air Force leaders from Francis E. Warren Air Force Base, the Mayor of Wheatland, Wyoming (the General’s home town), the Kiwanis Rocky Mountain District Governor, Stephen Plank, and members of General Bellis’ Monument Hill Kiwanis Club located in Monument, Colorado. His Kiwanis club annually provides approximately 20,000 service hours and grants over $100,000 for many worthy community needs.

General Bellis graduated from West Point in 1946 with a Military Engineering degree. He began his career with the Strategic Air Command and served in the Special Weapons Project related to atomic weapons. He later was the project officer for the Matador and MACE missiles and served on the Thor and Atlas ballistic missile programs. His greatest achievement for the nation was as the System Program Director for the successful development of the SR-71 “Blackbird” strategic reconnaissance aircraft and F-15 “Eagle” fighter aircraft.

Among General Bellis’ many military decorations is the prestigious Defense Distinguished Service Medal. He is also a Command Pilot, was awarded the Master Missleman Badge, and holds Masters Degrees in Aeronautical Engineering and Business Administration. General Bellis retired in August 1981 from the United States Air Force as Vice Commander in Chief of U.S. Air Forces in Europe.

Following retirement he was President of the Falcon Foundation for eighteen years – this organization provides one hundred prep school scholarships annually to young men and women interested in Air Force careers and ultimately competing for entry into the Air Force Academy.

WPAOG Welcomes New Vice President

WPAOG is pleased to announce that Elizabeth A. Barrett has joined us as Vice President of Communications & Marketing. Prior to joining WPAOG, Ms. Barrett was Senior Director of Marketing, Communications, and Events at Fordham University Graduate School of Business Administration. At Fordham, she worked to transform institutional branding and increase program enrollment for the MBA and 13 graduate MS business programs. Prior to Fordham, she worked at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Lally School of Management & Technology as Director of Marketing and Communications and Director of MBA/MS Programs. Ms. Barrett received her BA from Harvard University, an MBA from Yale School of Management, and a Diplome d’Etudes Francaises from the Universite de Grenoble.

Lennox ’71 Named President of Saint Leo University

Lennox ’71 Named President of Saint Leo UniversitySaint Leo University has announced the ninth president to head the private catholic school in rural Pasco County. William J. Lennox Jr., already a member of the Board of Trustees, will start his new role this summer. He replaces outgoing President Arthur K. Kirk Jr., who is retiring after 18 years at the school.

The board of trustees selected Lennox because of his experience leading soldiers, veterans, faculty and students, as well as his familiarity with Saint Leo, according to a Friday statement. "We are so pleased that Dr. Lennox will assume the presidency of Saint Leo University," said Cindy Brannen, Chair of the Board of Trustees, in the statement. Read More

Baum ’86, Starts Church With Help of Fellow Grad

Baum ’86, Starts Church With Help of Fellow GradDavid Baum ’86 has started a church with the instruction and support of Brad Evangelista ’93, the pastor of CrossPointe Church in Columbus, Ga. David had previously served 5 years as an infantry officer and then 17 as a chaplain, retiring in November of 2012. David credited his fellow grad’s assistance in launching Fountain City Church in Columbus, Georgia,  “It has been an invaluable training experience observing Brad’s leaders at CrossPointe Church in order to learn how to be a local church pastor these last 18 months. Brad and his team practice excellent leadership principles in a church setting. It has been extremely helpful to see his team selflessly serve, motivate, and lead their flock.” 

First Call February 4th

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Distinguished Graduate Award 2015

WPAOG is pleased to announce this year's recipients of the Distinguished Graduate Award.

LTG(R) Max Noah '53 LTG(R) Max W. Noah '53

Mr. Roderic B. Vitty '55 Mr. Roderic B. Vitty '55

LTG(R) John H. Moellering '59 LTG(R) John H. Moellering '59

Mr. William F. Murdy II '64 Mr. William F. Murdy II '64

Mr. Jodie Glore '69 Mr. Jodie K. Glore '69

LTG(R) Thomas F. Metz '71 LTG(R) Thomas F. Metz '71

Brown ’81 Heading to Next Challenge in Army Career

Brown ’81 Heading to Next Challenge in Army CareerMG Heidi V. Brown has spent her three-decade-plus career breaking down barriers and being a trendsetter for women in the Army. Brown, a 55-year-old El Pasoan, is about to embark on the latest challenge in her ground-breaking career.

In mid-February, she will become the director of global operations for U.S. Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. U.S. Strategic Command oversees the U.S. nuclear arsenal, space operations, cyber operations, missile defense and joint electronic warfare, among other missions. The command also is responsible for combating weapons of mass destruction.

Brown will be the first Army general officer to serve as operations officer with Strategic Command, a position normally occupied by a two-star Air Force general or a two-star admiral. Brown has also been told that she is the first woman to serve as operations officer for any combatant command, of which there are nine across the Department of Defense. Full Story »

(Photo courtesy of U.S. Army)

Wince ’88 Gets Wounded Warrior Executive Position

Wince ’88 Gets Wounded Warrior Executive PositionThe Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team announced that Monessen native Dennis Mark Wince will be joining the organization as its executive director. Wince, 50, is a graduate of West Point and served in the Army for 22 years, retiring as a lieutenant colonel. Since his retirement in 2014, he has been a consultant at Deloitte Consulting.

A resident of Manassas, Va., he starts his executive position with WWAST on Feb. 9 and his office will be located in the corporate offices of the WWAST in Alexandria, Va. He will be involved in the day-to- day operations of the organization. Story

CenterPoint Energy Announces Rogers ’82 as CFO

CenterPoint Energy Announces Rogers ’82 as CFOCenterPoint Energy, Inc. announced that the board of directors approved the appointment of William (Bill) D. Rogers, 54, as executive vice president of finance and accounting, effective Feb. 9. He will succeed Gary L. Whitlock as executive vice president and chief financial officer, effective March 3. "Weare excited to have Bill join our company and senior leadership team,"added Prochazka. "With his vast knowledge of the utility industry, priorcapital markets experience and proven financial expertise, Bill is anideal fit for our executive team."

With more than 20 years of financial experience, Rogers was mostrecently vice president and treasurer at American Water Works Company,Inc., the largest investor-owned U.S. water and wastewater utility.American Water Works provides drinking water, wastewater and otherrelated services to approximately 16 million people in 35 states and Ontario and Manitoba, Canada. Previously, he served as chief financial officer for NV Energy, Inc., an investor-owned utility headquartered in Las Vegas. The utility serves approximately 1.5 million electric and gas customers in Nevada and has annual revenues of approximately $3 billion. He had previously served as vice president of finance, risk and tax, as well as corporate treasurer. Read More

Class of 1955 60th Reunion!

Registration is now open for the Class of 1955 60th Reunion, May 17-20.  Registration and Details.

First Call January 28th

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Tronsrue ’78 to Sponsor USMA Pistol & Combat Weapons Teams

Tronsrue ’78 to Sponsor USMA Pistol & Combat Weapons TeamsBattle Ready International™, the exclusive tactical products brand of MFSI Government Group (MFSI) announced its sponsorship of the USMA’s Army Pistol and Combat Weapons teams. Battle Ready has agreed to donate five M5 Government (9mm) pistols to each team for their use in training and competition. “We have partnered with Israel’s premiere firearms manufacturer, Bul Transmark, Ltd, to import the M-5 line of tactical, high capacity 1911 pistols, used extensively by special operations, military/SWAT, law enforcement and competitive shooters around the world,” said George M Tronsrue III, MFSI’s Founder/Owner and President. “Our family has a long history with competitive marksmanship, especially at West Point and we felt this was another great opportunity to add value to these top quality, highly competitive Army programs,” Tronsrue said.

“Battle Ready’s M-5’s are built on a fiber-reinforced polymer/steel frame and come standard with a match-grade heavy ramped bull-barrel, full length guide rod, fiber optic front sight, lowered and flared ejection port, extended ambidextrous thumb safeties, match-grade hammer, high-ride grip safety, and an integral magwell,” said Evan Bailey, MFSI’s VP of Business Development. “We felt West Point Cadets would be proud and eager to have BUL pistols in their competitive arsenal and that it would help them continue to dominate in intercollegiate competition.” Bailey said. Full Story »

New Book from Arnhym ’53 - Start Everything Finish Nothing

New Book from Arnhym ’53 - Start Everything Finish NothingIn what is being recalled as the largest peacetime troop movement of its time, retired U.S. Army Lt. COL Rolfe G. Arnhym successfully transferred more than 10,000 officers, men, cadets,midshipmen, relatives, supporters and officials when he conceived andexecuted the first relocation of the Army-Navy football game across the nation from Philadelphia to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA.

In his new book, "Start Everything Finish Nothing: The curse of modern management," Arnhym documents for the first time a full case study of the inaugural movement of the Army-Navy game out of Philadelphia in 1983 – a tradition that continues to this day when the game is played in a venue outside Philadelphia every five years.

"It had never been done before," commented Arnhym, a 1953 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, NY. "But, as military officers are taught, that did not mean it could not be done. So, we did it." Read More

Glee Club & Alumni Glee Club to Perform First Joint Concerts

Glee Club and West Point Alumni Glee Club to Perform First Joint ConcertsThe West Point Glee Club will be in concert starting at 2:30 pm, Saturday, February 14th at the Historic Christ Church of Philadelphia in Old City (2nd Street above Market). Doors will open at 2:00 pm. Sponsored by the West Point Society of Philadelphia, the cadets will be joined in this special performance by the West Point Alumni Glee Club from Washington, DC, in a salute to the “Greatest Generation,” in this the 70th anniversary year of the end of World War II. The concert will also commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the end of the Civil War. Click here for more info on the Philadelphia concert.

The two clubs will also appear in a rare Northern Virginia concert starting at 4 pm, Sunday, February 15th at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on NOVA Alexandria Campus (4915 East Campus Drive, Alexandria VA 22311). Click here for more info on the Northern Virginia concert.

For more than a century, the cadets of the West Point Glee Club have touched audiences around the world as musical ambassadors for the United States Military Academy, the U.S. Army and the nation. Through live performance, recordings, TV and film, the Cadet Glee Club is recognized for its exceptional standards of vocal excellence across a broad repertoire of music, and is always in high demand for public appearances.

Comolli ’82 to Receive Military Service Award

Comolli ’82 to Receive Military Service Award

Bret Comolli is being honored by the Stanford Graduate School of Business for his commitment to the Stanford community and especially for his generous support of military veterans at the GSB. He is "proud to represent West Point given the list of previous honorees" which includes Paul "Bud" Bucha '65, Medal of Honor Recipient (MBA '67).

Bret serves as the Chairman of Asurion overseeing the growth and success of Asurion’s strategies and business operations. He brings more than thirty years of proven leadership, business management and consulting experience to Asurion’s executive team. Bret’s prior business experience includes CEO, COO and General Manager positions at companies such as Excite@Home, Kendara, Risk Management Solutions and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

He also worked at McKinsey & Company, consulting to Fortune 500 companies on strategic, operational and organizational issues. Bret graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a Bachelor of Science in engineering and earned an MBA from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. He serves as an officer of the Board of Directors for CTIA - The Wireless Association. He sits on the Board of Directors of Stanford Hospital and Clinics, as well as serves on the Stanford Business School Management Board.

Maples ’14 is Saluted by City Council

Maples ’14 is Saluted by City CouncilRaymond Jamal Maples, a product of West Philadelphia, has something in common with U.S. presidents and the nation's most honored war generals: As of Dec. 19, he became a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

The journey gave Maples, 23, yet another distinction: He's one of the few African-Americans from Philadelphia to have graduated from the prestigious university in West Point, N.Y. "It's a pretty big accomplishment and I feel grateful that I'm the one that had the privilege to do it, coming from the area that I'm from," Maples said yesterday. Read More

Esposito ’90 Appointed New President And CEO of Amune BoScience, Inc.

Esposito ’90 Appointed New President And CEO of Amune BoScience, Inc.David A. Esposito has been named President and Chief Executive Officer of Armune BioScience, Inc. to succeed the founding and outgoing President and CEO, Eli L. Thomssen. The Company also completed the first close on a $2.5 million Series A financing round designed to underwrite the launch of Apifiny™, its innovative, non-PSA blood test to aid in the early detection of prostate cancer.

"As Armune prepares to launch Apifiny, it is pleased with the financial support it has attracted and the growing interest from the Urology community in the utility of its prostate cancer risk assessment assay,” said Thomssen. Board Chairman Donald R. Parfet stated, “The Company is grateful for the years of service provided by Eli Thomssen in overseeing the development of our technology and capabilities.” As part of the transition, Thomssen will now become the Chief Business Officer for the company. Parfet continued, “We are excited to have David assume the CEO role at the Company. His extensive experience in the industry will serve our commercialization efforts very well.” Full Story »

Coach K ’69 Becomes 1st Div. I Men's Coach to Reach 1,000 Wins

Mike Krzyzewski earned his 1,000th career win Sunday, making him the first NCAA Division I men's coach to reach the milestone, when No. 5 Duke surged past St. John's in the second half for a 77-68 victory at Madison Square Garden.

Tyus Jones scored 22 points and the Blue Devils (17-2) went on an 18-2 run down the stretch to put Coach K in four figures on his first try. "I'm not sure I've ever been a part of a game like that. That's kind of nuts, huh?" Krzyzewski said. "It just seemed like three different games." "It just, boom! It was great," Krzyzewski said. "It was beautiful, really, to see them fight today and win." Read More

Parent Newsletter, January 2015

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Plebe Parent Weekend 1

Clifford ’80 and Wife Rescued by Plebes

"My wife & I were the two people rescued by these two great young men. We were hit by an out of control rental car who was exiting RT 279 while we were entering the highway. The rental car was coming up the exit ramp and without slowing down it crossed over 4 lanes a traffic and hit my Suburban at the gas tank. My car did a complete barrel roll and landed on the driver's side. My wife had put her hands on the ceiling of the car as we were rolling and her hand became lodged inside the car door. We were both hanging by our seat belts. We smelled gas. I released my seat belt and kicked out the windshield. I started to yell for help. My wife released her seat belt and was now dangling with her hand stuck in the door. I yelled for help again and out of nowhere came these two good Samaritans and asked me what they could do.

"With my wife screaming, I pleaded with them to climb on top of the car and try and open the passenger door. The smell of gas was getting stronger. With total disregard for their own safety one of the boys jumped up on the car. He started to pull on the car door as it had been crushed in the roll over. On his second pull the door opened and my wife was able to pull her hand out. The other fella helped me and my wife away from the car. They both started to check us of injuries and helped remove glass from my head and back. They stayed with us until the police and EMT should up. I wrote the attached letter to the Supe and am very happy to hear the school has recognized their actions.

"Luckily we were not seriously hurt, and as I got a good look at our good Samaritans I knew immediately that they were military. I asked them if they were Army or Navy and they informed me that they were plebes from B1 at West Point. My wife later learned their names were Liam Lynch and I believe James Vogel. I wrote a letter to the Superintendent and am very happy to hear the school has recognized their actions.

"As a graduate from the Class of 1980 and a father of a member of Class of 2015, I cannot be more proud of these two future members of the Long Gray Line. As my wife says fate had us in this terrible accident, it was fate that put these two special cadets in our path on Sunday morning. We thank God they were there and we thank you for training them so well. Thank you and the Academy Staff for doing a great job inspiring our future leaders of character. These two young men definitely have it."

Terrazas ’99 Named Partner for Weisbart Springer Hays Law Firm

Weisbart Springer Hays LLP has two new partners in attorneys Kevin Terrazas and Tim Cleveland, the Austin law firm announced Tuesday. Terrazas also joined the firm in 2013 after practicing as a partner in Austin firm Yetter Coleman LLP. He has experience representing clients involved in intellectual property, antitrust, employment and contract cases, among others. He is a 2007 graduate of Harvard Law School, and is a graduate of West Point. He also was a field artillery captain in the U.S. Army with combat decorations. Story

Holton ’87 Named NCFI Polyurethanes New President

Holton ’87 Named NCFI Polyurethanes New PresidentNCFI Polyurethanes, and its parent company, Barnhardt Manufacturing Co. (BMC), said the board of directors has named Chip Holton as the company’s president. Holton joined NCFI as director of operations in 2012.

Holton is a former serving US Army infantry officer. His work career began with Alcatel (now Alcatel-Lucent) fiber optics division where he served in multiple capacities from line supervisor to plant manager in Claremont. Holton joined GE Plastics in 2003, where he served as Southeast region operations manager, overseeing logistics, distribution, and manufacturing for up to 13 facilities. Read More

Opsens Appoints Harrington ’83 to its Board of Directors

Opsens Appoints Harrington ’83 to its Board of DirectorsOpsens Inc. is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Denis Harrington as a Director of the Company. Denis Harrington owns a management and strategy consulting firm he founded in 2012. Prior to managing his own company, he worked for several medical companies and, among other things, led BridgePoint Medical, Inc., as Chief Executive Officer, from the development stage through commercialization and to a successful acquisition by Boston Scientific Corporation in October 2012.

He joined Boston Scientific Corporation in 1993 and worked for them for 18 years in various roles of increasing responsibility in the U.S. sales organization. Some of his most impressive achievements included managing over 1,800 people and US$3 billion in revenue as Senior Vice-President Cardiology, Rhythm and Vascular Sales. He also played an integral role in the launch of Boston Scientific's Taxus Stent platform as Sr. Vice-President Cardiology Sales – driving unprecedented revenue growth for the corporation. Read More

Cavise ’72 to Green Global Technologies Board of Directors

OXFORD, Conn., Go Green Global Technologies Corp. "Go Green", an innovative water and fuel technology company announces that Mr. Paul J. Cavise Jr., Esq. will join its Board. In December of 2014, the board decided to expand the number of directors to include a fifth member. Mr. Cavise showed his entrepreneurial nature early on in his career when he founded the Computer Law Corporation in 1980, which he later sold in 1987. He then held senior level positions at Goldman, Sachs & Co., UBS Financial Services and the AIG Advisor Group. Mr. Cavise brings a wealth of experience with early stage companies and will help Go Green with its financial and legal requirements as a publicly traded company.

Go Green's Interim Chairman of the Board, Mark Del Priore, commented, "On behalf of the other directors, I would like to welcome Paul to Go Green's board of directors. The board set out in early December to add a new director that would provide our executives with additional entrepreneurial perspectives, as well as provide insight into many of the issues we face as a public company. With Paul's legal and financial background, combined with his extensive experience with early stage companies, he was the perfect fit for Go Green." Read More

Cooper ’81 Named Senior VP of Mission Support Services at Cubic

Cooper ’81 Named Senior VP of Mission Support Services at CubicMission Support Services, a business segment of Cubic Corporation, announced today that Keith Cooper has been named senior vice president of its Operations Support and Education Group (OSEG), reporting to Bill Toti, president of Mission Support Services. Cooper will be responsible for all programs within the OSEG business area, including business development and driving partnerships with key customers.

Cooper joins Cubic from Raytheon, where he served as a business development executive and director of Logistics and Training for the Mission Support Operations product line, serving customers in all branches of the U.S. military, Department of Energy, Defense Threat Reduction Agency and Transportation Security Administration.

“Keith is a proven leader and knows what it takes to grow a business and deliver on what our customers need,” Toti said. “His distinguished Army career and industry experience supporting Army and Air Force programs uniquely positions him to lead Cubic’s Mission Support Services OSEG business development efforts, and I am confident he will be a great addition to Cubic.” Full Story »

Jeffries ’98 Appointed Director of Illinois Dept of Veterans’ Affairs

Jeffries ’98 Appointed Director of Illinois Dept of Veterans’ AffairsGovernor Bruce Rauner announced he has nominated Erica Jeffries, 38, as the Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Jeffries is a former Captain and Black Hawk pilot the United States Army, with more than ten years of additional experience in government and private sector.

Jeffries served in the military for five years as a Captain in the United States Army. She was a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter pilot, and provided operational support to senior military leaders. She also received her bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the United States Military Academy at West Point. Story

Toftoy ’58 Inspirational Book 'Amazing Fireside Talks'

A Compelling & Visionary Approach to Finding Motivation & Inspiration

Based on extensive research, Dr. Toftoy provides practical, rubber-meets-the-road thoughts to INSPIRE us. The ALPHA TEAM, characters from his first two novels, gathers weekly to discuss important topics of life. This book is written TO you and FOR you, the reader, providing insights to help you cope with personal difficulties, make self-improvements, and assist or care for others. It will be beneficial to teenagers, young adults, seniors, men and women. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Mentor Program. Dr. Toftoy is a Professor, Emeritus at the George Washington University, a disabled veteran, and the recipient of TWO purple hearts.

Millar ’70 Restoring Quality and Style to American Hardware

Upon graduation from West Point, Tom Millar ‘70 became a platoon leader in the storied 101st Airborne during Vietnam. After receiving an honorable discharge from the Army, he earned his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1977 and joined the McKinsey & Company consulting firm. Recruited to run a struggling aluminum-grill manufacturing firm in the City of Industry in California, Millar diversified the company’s product output and put it on a profitable course as a manufacturer of decorative hardware to order.

That company, Emtek, is the one Millar continues to lead today, successfully bringing together and excelling in product leadership, operational excellence and customer intimacy.

Millar has taken the company from a handful of employees to nearly 400 at the end of 2014. Emtek’s facility, once a mere 40,000 square feet, is five times that today. Millar accomplished this by building the proper management team, starting with plant and sales managers who could keep up with his strategic innovations, and by foreseeing a trend in the marketplace for customer interest in finish and handle options.

Emtek is dedicated to bringing interesting, well-made hardware back into American homes. Millar made it Emtek’s mission to restore quality and style to American hardware by providing a broad, interesting range of quality products. Since he took over the leadership of the company in 1981, Emtek has become a leader in outsourcing of components. Importing as many as 9,000 different components from around the world, Emtek provides a clean-industry environment in the City of Industry, where more than 300 employees assemble the custom ordered hardware.

Elevated from Emtek president to head of Emtek parent company Assa Abloy’s U.S. Residential and Latin America Group in 2006, Millar resides in San Marino, California, and continues to work from Emtek’s City of Industry headquarters when he is not traveling for business. He is active in the alumni associations of Harvard Business School and West Point.

Hill ’00 Named Chair of the Senate VMHS Committee

Hill ’00 Named Chair of the Senate VMHS CommitteeSen. Hunter Hill (R- Smyrna) has been named chair of the Senate Veterans, Military and Homeland Security Committee for the 2015-16 legislative term.“With approximately 800,000 veterans in our state, this committee will work to assure our courageous men and women returning from overseas are taken care of,” said Hill. Read More

Mullin's ’97 New Film to be Screened at USMA Film Forum

The USMA Film Forum, the Cadet Fine Arts Forum, and the Department of English and Philosophy announce the pre-release screening of an original film by Sean Mullin (USMA Class of ’96). The screening is 28 January in Robinson Auditorium from 1900-2100hrs. Admission is free. Q&A with Sean Mullin will follow the film. "AMIRA & SAM" is a story about a U.S. Army veteran attempting to assimilate back into society when he falls in love with an Iraqi immigrant who faces deportation. This is a compelling story about the civilian-military divide and cross-cultural understanding.

As Sean Mullin explains: "While most ‘soldier-coming-home-from-war’ films deal with a soldier battling PTSD, I wanted to flip that well-worn premise on its head to ask: what if the soldier who returns is fine, but it's his country that's lost its mind? America was built on the backs of Immigrants and protected by the courage of Veterans—yet both of these groups have grown increasingly marginalized in today's society. I felt like the best way for me to explore such big, complex issues in the context of a small, independent film was to create an intimate love story with universal implications."

Picciuto ’86 Named President of Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund

Picciuto ’86 Named President of Johnny Mac Soldiers FundHOPKINTON, MASS - The Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund recently announced selection of twelve members to its Board of Directors. As are the organization's current Board members, the new Board members are distinguished veterans (All Class of ’86) and leaders in business and their communities. With the Fund's mission of giving back to military veterans and their immediate family members through education assistance, the new Directors will support the organization by increasing outreach and expanding programs.

Tony Guzzi, Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund co-founder and President & CEO of EMCOR Group, Inc., commented, "There's no doubt that the addition of these twelve leaders to the Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund Board of Directors will significantly contribute to and broaden the awareness of the organization's mission and meaningfully contribute to raising the critical funds needed for education programs for veterans and family members." Read More

DeRienzo ’14 First Female to Tackle Ranger Course

DeRienzo ’14 First Female to Tackle Ranger CourseFORT SILL, Okla. -- Second lieutenant Kelly Derienzo shed her long hair Jan. 11 to be one of the first women allowed to go to Fort Benning's Pre-Ranger Course. It's one of many steps the Army is taking to integrate women into combat roles.

"With the Army now saying females are leading combat arms Soldiers, it wouldn't be right for them not to go to Ranger School. It's a leadership school," said Capt. Jonathan Worswick, Fort Sill Pre-Ranger Course officer in charge. "If they can't be afforded the opportunity to get the best leadership training the Army can give then we've done a disservice to all the people we're asking them to lead."

"It's almost a bit of a shock. I didn't come into this expecting this at all. I guess things line up and I'm really lucky I'm granted these opportunities and I've just got to run with it," she said. Full Story »

Dusenberry ’88 Awarded Regions Bank’s Top Associate Honor

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Regions Bank today announced that Jackson, Tenn., City President James Dusenberry is the January 2015 recipient of the Regions Bank Better Life Award. The Better Life Award is the top honor given to a Regions associate for outstanding dedication and job performance, as well as exemplary involvement and commitment to the community.

In addition to the recognition, Regions donates $1,000 in the name of the recipient to a charity of the winner’s choice. Dusenberry chose Mission of Hope-Haiti, a U.S. charity that supports the orphanage his church founded in Williamson, Haiti, in 2011. Read More

Benoit ’73 Reappointed in the MA Industrial Accident Board

Benoit ’73 Reappointed in the MA Industrial Accident BoardThe Honorable Paul F. Benoit has been reappointed the Administrative Judge in the MA Industrial Accident Board for a term of 6 years. The Industrial Accident Board, a component of the Department of Industrial Accidents, constitutes the trial court that adjudicates all workers' compensation claims in Massachusetts.

Fouser ’83 Named President & CEO of ESP

Fouser ’83 Named President & CEO of ESPThe Board of Engineering Solutions & Products, LLC announced today the hiring of Douglas N. Fouser as permanent President and Chief Executive Officer. Douglas brings with him 31 years of strategic planning, business development and government contracting management experience. Most recently, Douglas was Group Vice President and General Manager at Engility Corporation, where he was responsible for approximately 3,000 personnel and $470 million of annual revenue, supporting worldwide Training & Mission Support customers.

Prior to his two years at Engility Douglas spent eight years in Senior Vice President and General Manager positions for L-3 Communications, before moving to Engility during its spin-off from L-3. Previously, Douglas served as Executive Vice President for ManTech International, where he was responsible for their Information Technology Solutions Group. Douglas has also worked for Cubic Defense Systems in a variety of senior management positions, culminating with his assignment as Vice President of their Tactical Electronic Products Division. Douglas holds a Bachelors of Science Degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point and a Master's in Business Administration from the University of San Diego. Read More

Phillips ’77 Named VP of Administration and Finance at NIU

Northern Illinois University announced today the selection of Alan D. Phillips as vice president of Administration and Finance, reporting to NIU President Douglas D. Baker as a member of the university’s senior leadership team. The appointment is subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees of Northern Illinois University and is scheduled to begin March 1, 2015.

“It is an exciting time to be at NIU, and with my background and experience, I believe I will be able to help contribute to NIU’s continuing success,” said the 59-year-old Phillips, who will join NIU after serving the past three years at the Illinois Board of Higher Education, most recently as the executive deputy director. Full Story »

Meier ’66 Best Senior Essay on Constituting America

Meier ’66 Best Senior Essay on Constituting AmericaFORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. - One local man is a devoted patriot, and he now has the award to prove it. History is something that has inspired Meier for years. He said his inspiration comes from more than a half-dozen years of studying the U.S. Constitution and other founding-era documents, the Founding Fathers, the events of America's founding era and the history since the Constitution was written.

"I first became interested in learning more about our Constitution and founding era as I listened to and read commentaries, opinion pieces and news reports about current events," Meier said. "These commentaries and articles often included references to our Constitution. I realized I didn't know as much as I thought I should know about the Constitution to be able to objectively evaluate what I was reading and hearing; so I looked for courses of study that I could do on my home computer." Read More

First Call January 13th

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Scott ’76 Appointed to Epiq Systems Board of Directors

Scott ’76 Appointed to Epiq Systems Board of DirectorsEpiq Systems, Inc., a leading provider of integrated technology solutions for the global legal profession, today announced the appointment of Brad D. Scott, president and chief operating officer, to Epiq's Board of Directors, effective January 12, 2015. "Brad is an exceptional executive with a proven leadership record that spans legal and eDiscovery settings," said Tom W. Olofson, chairman and chief executive officer. "He has made significant contributions across our global operations and his appointment further strengthens our Board as we focus on delivering value for our clients and shareholders."

Mr. Scott was appointed president and chief operating officer in May 2014. He joined Epiq following the acquisition in December 2011 of De Novo Legal LLC, a leading international document review and eDiscovery provider where he served as president. Since joining Epiq, he has served in various executive roles including executive vice president, chief of staff and chief human resources officer. Story

Langenegger ’96 Made Managing Director & COO of Conrex

Langenegger ’96 Made Managing Director & COO of ConrexMr. Langenegger comes from Marvin & Palmer Associates, a global equity fund where he was a Senior European Equity Analyst and Portfolio Manager. Prior to M&P, he worked as the Regional Head of Equity Derivative Operations at Goldman Sachs. In addition, he was a Captain in the United States Army. Among his military assignments and qualifications were Battalion Fire Direction Officer for the 3-29th Field Artillery Regiment, Assistant Brigade Fire Support Officer for the 3rd BCT, 4th Infantry Division, Airborne, and Air Assault.

Mr Langenegger cpmments “I am excited to be a part of Conrex as we grow nationally and become a pre-eminent firm in the single family rental space.” Read More

BG McGuire ’87 to Command Fort Polk

BG McGuire ’87 to Command Fort PolkBG Timothy P. McGuire, currently deputy director for operations at the U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida, will replace BG William Hickman at Fort Polk, Army officials said. A date for the change of command was not announced.

This will be at least the second assignment at Fort Polk for McGuire, who as a colonel served as deputy commander of the JRTC's operations group in a tour that ended in January 2008, when he was named commanding officer of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, at Fort Bragg. Full Story »

Two Members of the Class of 1952 Among Vietnam's Most Highly Decorated

In its August and October 2014 editions, the VFW Magazine featured articles: Vietnam War: COURAGE UNRIVALED.

Two members of the Class of 1952, COL (USA ret) Robert S. McGowan and MG (USAF ret) James E. McInerney, Jr., were honored as being among the top 50 "most highly decorated heroes earning multiple awards for valor."

Each recipient was ranked by the value of the highest multiple awards he received -- (1) the Medal of Honor; (2) Distinguished Service Cross (DSC), Navy Cross or Air Force Cross; and (3) the Silver Star. To be included in this most honored list, a serviceman must have been awarded one of the two top awards. Then, only these three above awards were counted in the overall totals.

Then-LTC Robert S. McGowan, CO, 4th Cav Regt, 25th Infantry Div, earned the Distinguished Service Cross and four Silver Stars. In addition, but not included for the VFW ranking, Bob earned six Bronze Stars with "V" device, plus three purple hearts.

Then-LTC James E. McInerney, Jr., Commander, 13th Tactical Fighter Squadron, earned the Air Force Cross and three Silver Stars.  Jim also earned seven Distinguished Flying Crosses, Bronze Star and fifteen Air Medals -- all of which also were not counted for the VFW ranking.

Hundreds of thousands of servicemen and women served honorably in Vietnam. For two members of the West Point Class of 1952 to be honored in the top 50 most highly decorated is unprecedented.


A former Class of 1952 President, then-LTC William T. Leggett, earned five Silver Stars for combat valor in Vietnam. Tom also earned a Bronze Star, Purple Heart and five Air Medals.  Another remarkable honor, but unfortunately not included in the VFW criteria.


Blomquist ’78 Named APWA Public Works Leadership Fellow

KANSAS CITY, MO – The City of Edmond, OK Public Works Director, Herb Blomquist, PWE, was recently designated a national Public Works Leadership Fellow (PWLF) by the American Public Works Association (APWA). Blomquist received the APWA service designation in recognition of this highest level of commitment to the public works profession. The APWA PWLFs mentor other public works professionals in three of the APWA Leadership and Management professional development programs.

“The APWA Public Works Leadership Fellows have pledged to assist those who aspire to become public works directors, executives, managers, and supervisors through APWA’s focused mentoring program” said APWA Executive Director Peter B. King. “All of the Fellows are experienced public works professionals, and they have committed their time and talents to advise public works professionals who are enhancing their professional skills and careers,” said King. Read More

Knowlton ’82 Named Air Force Academy Athletic Director

Knowlton announced his resignation Tuesday morning after seven years as athletic director at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to replace Hans Mueh, who will retire effective Jan. 31. Knowlton was an associate athletic director for the Black Knights and has served on several national athletic committees, with a focus on hockey.

"(He) demonstrated the right level of intensity and experience, while still understanding the unique military culture at our United States Air Force Academy," Air Force superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson said in a press release. Full Story »

Turner ’96 Promoted to Partner

Turner, a registered patent attorney, is a member of the Intellectual Property & Technology Transactions practice group. Turner represents clients across a broad spectrum of intellectual property disciplines, including the procurement, analysis, and enforcement of utility and design patents, trademarks, copyrights, and other forms of intellectual property. Turner earned his law degree from the University of Illinois College of Law and his undergraduate degree from the United States Military Academy. Read More

Eggleston '61 Marks Half Century of the Start of U.S. Involvement

Exiting Vietnam book by Michael Eggleston 61Eggleston reminds us that it has been fifty years since the first U. S. combat units entered Vietnam and forty years since the fall of Saigon. His book entitled Exiting Vietnam. The Era of Vietnamization and American Withdrawal Revealed in First-Person Accounts covers the start, our exit, the history between, and includes memoirs of people who fought there. It starts with the involvement of the French in Indo China and ends with the collapse of the South Vietnamese government and the flight of the refugees in 1975. Biographies of the key players such as General William Westmoreland are included. This book is available from Amazon and other booksellers. Other books by Eggleston, his biography and reviews of his books are also on Amazon.

First Call January 7th

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If You Didn’t Get One for Christmas, Use WPAOG’s

As you probably know, at Christmas time no mall is complete without at least two calendar kiosks. Calendars, you see, are an extremely popular Christmas gifts. It seems a lot of people think nothing makes a better Christmas gift than a 365 Kitty-a-Day desk calendar or a retro Dukes of Hazzard 18-month wall calendar. If you didn’t get a calendar as a gift this year, you could visit the mall and buy one getting a 75-percent after New Year’s discount, but the pickings are pretty slim by now. Instead, why don’t you just sign up for the WPAOG online calendar? True, you won’t have a cute Scottish Fold or Tom Wopat staring back at you with the WPAOG calendar, but you will get a useful system for announcing and marking Academy, Army Athletics, WPAOG events and a whole lot more. 

Want to know which alumni events are happening in your region? WPAOG’s online calendar can be customized to tell you. Interested to know what your local West Point Society has planned for the next quarter? Check out WPAOG’s online calendar. Just interested in Army sports? No problem, just click the “Athletics” box, and WPAOG’s online calendar will give you the date, time, and location of all Black Knight sporting events. Drop-down menus are also available if you are only interested in a particular sport or cadet club activity.

Best of all, you can create your own personalized calendar based on the events that interest you. Simply check the box to the left of an event, and that event will be transferred to your preferred Facebook, Google, Apple iCal, or Microsoft Outlook calendar. There’s even an option to have event reminders emailed or texted to you. You’ll never be out of the loop on a West Point event again thanks to WPAOG’s online calendar, and best of all you didn’t have to step foot in a mall a Christmas time (*shudder*) to get it!

Adam ’68 Named President and COO of Stanson Health

Rick Adam has been named the new President and COO of Stanson Health, a next generation clinical decision support and analytics company. He was Chief Information Officer at Goldman Sachs and Baxter International.  He was the Founder and CEO of Recondo Technology, a health care revenue cycle company.  Rick grew Recondo from a "start-up" company to 750 hospital customers. Prior to Recondo, he was the founder and CEO of New Era of Networks (NEON). Rick took NEON from a "start-up" company to a large publicly traded company with 3,000 customers.

Scott Weingarten, MD, Chairman of the Board of Stanson Health, said, "Rick is a health care executive with a proven track record of delivering value to customers. He has successfully guided companies from "start-up" phase to a large publicly traded company. We believe that Rick's exemplary leadership, operational, and commercial skills will enable Stanson to continue its remarkable growth trajectory and enable Stanson customers to achieve significant improvements in the value, quality, and efficiency of patient care." Read More

Whenever Two or Three Shall Meet…

By Lieutenant Colonel Mike Sullivan, USMA 1994

From left to right: LTC Mike Sullivan USMA ’94, LT Darek Marino ’09, Abigail Watkins and the Falcon, LCDR Jeremy Watkins ’03, ADM James Stavridis ’76. Photo courtesy of LCDR Watkins.This year’s Service Academy football tradition was commemorated in grand fashion at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Medford, Massachusetts. A “treaty” signing marked the commemoration of this tradition. This treaty will ensure continued amity and rivalry among the handful of graduates located here at The Fletcher School.

The signatories of this treaty from West Point included LTC Michael Sullivan USMA’94, USA, and CPT Joel Tolbirt, USMA’04, USA The signatories of this treaty from Annapolis included The Fletcher School Dean, James Stavridis ’76, Admiral, USN (retired), LCDR Jeremy Watkins ’03, USN, LT Darek Marino ’09, USN, and Matthew Keller ‘09. A “mighty falcon” represented Air Force; or maybe it was just a rubber ducky that Jeremy Watkins’ daughter Abigail allowed us to use since no Air Force Academy Graduates are currently at The Fletcher School Masters or PhD program.

It was once again bittersweet for those of us from the Long Grey Line. Again, we suffered a defeat on the gridiron to Navy. Regardless, the traditions we learned as Cadets and Midshipmen were alive and well as we took a few moments to celebrate our shared heritage across Service Academies and generations. BEAT NAVY!

Lieutenant Colonel Michael Sullivan is pursuing a PhD in International Relations as part of the Advanced Strategic Planning and Policy Program through the School of Advanced Military Studies at The Fletcher School.

Gerlinger ’90 Leads Study of Knee Replacements and Soldiers

Knee injuries are among the most common musculoskeletal injuries in the Army and are typically caused by rigorous physical training. These injuries can have a significant impact on a young soldier’s military career and threaten the loss of their occupation. Studies show that military personnel over age 40 are more than twice as likely to develop osteoarthritis as civilians.

But, there is good news for servicemen and women who struggle with joint problems. Modern advancements in technology and total joint arthroplasty (knee replacement), offer a viable solution for injured soldiers looking to continue their military careers.

A study conducted at the San Antonio Military Medical Center, spearheaded by Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush (MOR) joint replacement surgeon Tad Gerlinger, MD, explored the likelihood of soldiers returning to duty following total joint arthroplasty surgery. The study found that an overwhelming 86 percent of patients returned to duty. Of those, 70 percent were deployed to the combat zone and completed a full tour as assigned.