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Greenbaum ’97 Promoted to COO at Safeguard Properties

Michael Greenbaum has been promoted to chief operating officer (COO) at national asset management firm Safeguard Properties. Greenbaum, who previously served as vice president of operations, joined Safeguard in 2010. Prior to that, he held senior management and executive positions with Erico, Accel Inc. and McMaster-Carr. He also served in the U.S. Army, Ordinance Branch, specializing in supply chain management. He is a distinguished graduate of West Point where he majored in quantitative economics.

As COO, Greenbaum will continue to support Safeguard's clients and oversee the company's extensive vendor network. In addition, he will maintain responsibility for operational excellence, driving Safeguard's internal operations processes and procedures to further increase efficiency, effectiveness and compliance. Story

Jung ’08, Miller ’08 Trying to Cultivate Peace Through Saffron

When you think of saffron, dark red strands from Spain or Iran may come to mind. But the delicate spice, one of the most expensive and labor-intensive in the world, grows well in another country long plagued by conflict: Afghanistan.

Rumi Spice, a small, enterprising company in Brighton, Mass., is trying to build an Afghan saffron connection for lovers of the spice in the U.S., and cultivate peace through trade.

Behind Rumi Spice is a group of veterans, including USMA grads Kimberly Jung ’08 and Emily Miller ’08 who served in Afghanistan who are now business school students, a lawyer, an Afghan water specialist and farmers the vets met while serving there.

The idea for the fledgling company came about in March 2013, Jung was chatting with a fellow vet named Keith Alaniz. Alaniz told her about how when serving in Afghanistan, he met a local saffron farmer who had a warehouse full of the valuable spice, with no buyers lined up overseas. 

Read the Full Story.

Barrett ’07 Creates Sockwork Business to Support Vets

Texas native Mario Barrett ’07 is working hard to support veterans, but not in the way you might expect. His occupational specialty? Socks.

The 31-year-old runs the day-to-day operations for Sockwork, whose motto is “Socks With A Purpose.” Sockwork is a monthly sock subscription that Barrett and his wife started in February 2014 as a way to start a business and donate back to charities that support veteran causes. They devote their time to communicating with non-profits, handling customer service and packing socks for delivery.

Barrett says his time in the military gave him the opportunity to lead some of the best men and women he has ever met. “Every soldier I had the pleasure of working with taught me something new. I’ve taken all of these lessons with me today to help shape the person I’ve become,” Barrett tells Task & Purpose. Read More

MAJ Hull ’02 Awarded Soldier's Medal for Daring Water Rescue

CAMP RED CLOUD, South Korea — A 2nd Infantry Division aviation officer, Maj. Richard E. Hull ’02 who leapt into an out-of-control boat to save five people from drowning has been awarded the Soldier’s Medal. On leave from a tour to South Korea, Maj. Richard Hull, 35, of St. Petersburg, Fla., set out last Sept. 2 in a friend’s boat on a fishing trip from Nantucket Harbor, Mass. As they headed for open water, the pair spied a small, inflatable, hard-bottom boat approaching an opening in a rock jetty. The vessel struck the jetty, and three men and two women were flung into the water, Hull said.

“They were calling for help, and their boat was going around in circles with the engine running,” he recalled. To everyone’s horror, the pilotless boat nearly struck the people in the water, Hull said. “The adrenalin was similar to being in Iraq,” said the veteran of two desert deployments. Thinking fast, Hull’s friend, John Perone, maneuvered his boat to slow the stricken craft, allowing Hull to leap into it and bring it under control. Hull then maneuvered the inflatable boat to rescue the people in the water. He stayed aboard, bailing water, while the Coast Guard arrived and towed it to shore. Performing the rescue was similar to flying a Black Hawk, Hull said. Full Story »

BG Daniel L. Karbler ’87 Promoted to Major General

Brigadier General Daniel L. Karbler ’87 enjoys remarks by Lieutenant General (Ret) Robert P. Lennox ’77 during his promotion ceremony to Major General on April 20, 2015 at Fort Belvoir, VA. He is currently Director, Joint and Integration, Headquarters Department of the Army, Deputy Chief of Staff, G-8. Major General Karbler served as the Commanding General, 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command, Fort Shafter, HI and Commandant, Army Air Defense School, Fort Sill, OK. Among his assignments, he served as Architecture and Concepts Branch Officer, Joint Theater Air Missile Defense Organization, J-8 on the Joint Staff. His overseas tours include Germany, Israel, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Major General Karbler has M.S. degrees from Benedictine College (Business Administration) and the National Defense University (National Security and Strategic Studies). He worked for Lieutenant General (Ret) Lennox as his Brigade S-3 when he commanded the 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade at Fort Bliss, TX and when Lennox was Deputy Commanding General there. Lieutenant General (Ret) Lennox was Principal Deputy Director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation, Office of the Secretary of Defense and Deputy Chief of Staff, G-8.

Photo Credit: Marla Hurtado


BG John G. Ferrari ’87 Promoted to Major General

Brigadier General John G. Ferrari '87 was promoted to Major General on April 17, 2015 at a ceremony in the Pentagon Hall of Heroes. Presiding over the ceremony was General (Ret) Benjamin S. Griffin. He is currently assigned as the Director of Army Program Analysis and Evaluation, Headquarters Department of the Army, Deputy Chief of Staff G-8. Major General Ferrari previously served as the Commanding General of the White Sands Missile Range and was Deputy Commander for Programs in the NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan. In addition to serving in Afghanistan, his overseas tours include Germany, Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Major General Ferrari served in the National Security Division of the Office of Management and Budget and from July 1996 to June 1999 was an Instructor, later Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Sciences at USMA. He earned an MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. General (Ret) Griffin commanded both the 4th Infantry Division and the Army Materiel Command (AMC). Major General Ferrari and General Griffin worked together in the Army G-8 and at AMC. 

Photo Credit: Shameka Pollard

GEN Martin Dempsey ’74 will be 2015 Commencement Speaker

WEST POINT – West Point’s commencement address this year will be delivered by one of its graduates. Gen. Martin Dempsey, the 18th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a member of the West Point Class of 1974, will be the speaker at this year’s graduation ceremony, scheduled for May 23. About 1,000 cadets will be commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army at that ceremony. Dempsey became chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Oct. 1, 2011, after serving about five months as the Army’s chief of staff. Read More

Seymour ’86 Honored with 2015 Nuts & Bolts Award

FORT WORTH, Texas, Airline trade group Airlines for America honored American Airlines executive David Seymour with the Engineering, Maintenance and Material Council 2015 Nuts and Bolts Award, which recognizes exceptional service contributions in commercial aviation engineering or maintenance. Seymour, American's senior vice president, Technical Operations, received the award, now in its 49th year, at the annual MRO Americas Conference in Miami Beach, Fla. Seymour was this year's winner in the individual airline category.

"David was selected on the strength of his nomination and his reputation in the industry," said Robert Ireland, Managing Director, Engineering and Maintenance for A4A. "The EMMC had many great nominations this year, however, we were really impressed that David helped bring together two teams from two different airlines, all while improving operational performance and continuing to remain focused on safety." Read More

Alumni Soccer Reunion

Please join us, April 25th, as you get an opportunity to meet our staff and current players, as well as reconnect with old teammates and friends of Army Women’s Soccer! Please see the agenda for the list of scheduled events. After the completion of the MSOC Spring Match, all alumni are welcomed to play at their own risk, along with current ORs, players, and staff. We will have an ATC on site to assist with taping, bumps, bruises, ice, or other minor needs and to assist in an emergency situation. After the conclusion of the match, Alumni/familes of, ORs, players and staff are encouraged to mingle at a BBQ at our outdoor BBQ. We know you will enjoy getting to know the current team as we have a tremendous group of cadet-athletes. The generous support of alumni and friends of Army Women's Soccer continues to have a direct impact on the success of the players on the fields of friendly strife. More Info and Registration

Townes ’75 Named Chairman of SCAerospace

Steve Townes of Greenville has been named chairman of SCAerospace, a private-sector leadership group organized by the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness and the South Carolina Department of Commerce. He will serve a two-year term as chairman.

“Businesses serving a common industry naturally cluster in a geographic location, and that’s exactly what we’re seeing with aerospace in South Carolina,” said Ann Marie Stieritz, president and CEO of the SC Council on Competitiveness. “Proactive leadership is crucial to promoting the industry cluster, accelerating innovation and growing markets. Steve’s energy and expertise will do just that for aerospace in South Carolina.”

Townes is an aerospace entrepreneur and industry leader with thirty-five years in the aerospace sector.“Steve Townes is a respected, dynamic leader in the aerospace world and is the perfect fit to be founding chairman of SCAerospace,” said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. Read More

BG Carr ‘83 Next Adjutant General of Indiana National Guard

Indianapolis – Governor Mike Pence has selected Brigadier General Courtney P. Carr to become the Adjutant General of Indiana upon the retirement of Major General R. Martin Umbarger on May 31, 2015. “With more than three decades of devoted military service, Brigadier General Courtney P. Carr’s background and expertise make him an unmatched choice for Indiana’s Adjutant General,” said Governor Pence. “I am confident his leadership and vision will serve well the more than 14,000 men and women who make up the Indiana National Guard.” General Carr began his career in 1983 upon commissioning as a Regular Army officer from the United State Military Academy at West Point. From 1991 to 2011, General Carr served in a variety of roles around Indiana as a member of the Indiana National Guard. During this time, his service included serving as Commander of the 1st Battalion of the 151st Infantry, where he led several hundred soldiers and deployed with them to Bosnia just after 9/11 in February of 2002.  Read More

Founders Day Around the World

From the Cadet Mess at our "Rockbound Highland Home" to Kabul, Afghanistan, from Bagram to Washington, DC, from the Middle East to Colombia, and all over the U.S., West Point Cadets, Graduates and Societies came together in March to celebrate Founders Day and the 213th Anniversary of the founding of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Traditionally, each group hears from a guest speaker, and listens to remarks from the oldest and youngest grads present, who then cut the celebratory cake. Many societies observe the tradition of leaving an empty chair for fallen comrades. Everyone sings the "Alma Mater" and "The Corps." Every heart in gray remembers.

Photo: WPS of New York Founders Day 2015: Archie Elam '76 (center) shares a laugh with Medal of Honor Recipients Paul Bucha '65 (left) and COL(R) Jack Jacobs (right)

WWII Book Inspired by the Class of ’41

Bataan. North Africa. Sicily. Omaha Beach. The Ardennes. West Point 41: The Class That Went to War and Shaped America is an uplifting story of ordinary young men in extraordinary times, in extraordinary places, who graduated directly into the teeth of battle and displayed unwavering leadership, honor, duty, and determination. From Sandy Nininger, awarded the first Medal of Honor of World War II for his actions leading Philippine Scouts in the early days of the war, to Charlie Fletcher, Ed Rowny, Paul Skowronek, Herb Stern, and dozens of others who quickly found themselves leading companies, battalions, and regiments, these young officers struggled with the fog and terror of war and early command.

In a postwar era of unprecedented military latitude, they helped shape defense strategy, led development of America’s rocket programs, and created the theory and practice of helicopter airmobile combat that came to dominate in Vietnam. In Europe, Asia, and with the Soviets, 41ers practiced diplomacy and tradecraft as architects of American Cold War policy. All the while, they clung tightly to tenets of duty and moral courage inculcated at West Point: often tested, but holding firm to the bonds that make up the “Long Gray Line.”

Pictured is COL Henry Bodson ’41, now age 97, holding his humble bounty captured from Hitler’s “Eagle’s Nest” mountain chalet.

McMillian ’92 Hired as the VP of Spray Foam Products

ARLINGTON, Texas, ] -- Demilec, one of North America'slargest manufacturers of spray foam insulation and polyurea products, has named William McMillian Vice President of Spray Foam Products. In this position, McMillian will work to drive growth and profitability in Demilec's core business of building insulation.

"As our spray foam products continue to be a proven energy-efficient, eco-friendly solution for homeowners and businesses, the demand for our product is increasing rapidly. With his well-rounded leadership experience, William will take charge of this growing market by shaping product growth to influence value and profitability," said Zain Mahmood, President and CEO at Demilec.

With more than 15 years' experience in business development and leadership, McMillian was most recently Senior Director of National Accounts and Business Development at MSC Industrial Supply Company, one of the largest retailers of industrial products in the U.S. He's also held leadership positions at General Electric, the multinational appliance corporation, for over 15 years. Read More

22nd Annual Alumni Golf Outing!

The 22nd Annual Alumni Golf Outing is 11-13 June 2015.

Reconnect with alumni, former classmates, and your alma mater. 

Includes two rounds of golf, all meals, a boat cruise, and some great prizes!

All graduates and guests are invited​​​​​​.

Photo Right: Last years Gray Jacket winner Ritchy Vidmar

Photo Left: 2014 Alumni Golf Outing Group Photo

For information and a schedule of events please see the Alumni Golf Outing webpage, or click the link below for a printable PDF.

Schedule of Events

Click here to register

Registration closes 1 June

Like last year, there are several options for those who cannot participate in the entire event:

  1. Welcome dinner on Thursday and golf on Friday. Includes breakfast and lunch at the golf course.
  2. Golf on Friday, boat ride, and dinner on Friday. Includes breakfast and lunch at the golf course.
  3. Golf on Friday or Saturday. Includes breakfast and lunch at the golf course.

Unfortunately, the Cadet Barracks are not available. Click this link below for other lodging options in the area.

Ragsdale ’81 Joins Texas A&M as a Professor of Practice

Dr. Daniel Ragsdale ’81 has joined the Department of Computer Science and Engineering's faculty at Texas A&M University as a professor of practice. He comes to the department from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) where he has served as program manager since 2011. During his time at DARPA, he managed a $175 million research and development portfolio of classified and unclassified programs that addressed a diverse array of topics including cybersecurity, psychology, education, and training. In recognition of his DARPA service, he was awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service, the highest decoration for non-career federal employees. Read More

Class of ’86 Grads Lead Soldiers Fundraiser in Houston

Cannon '86, Guzzi '86, & Picciuto '86 Lead the Johnny Mac Soldiers Fundraiser in Houston. While Black-ish star Anthony Anderson served as master of ceremonies, it was Army Chief of Staff GEN Raymond T. Odierno, who delivered the compelling message of the importance of providing meaningful assistance to soldiers and their families. McHugh's daughter, Kelly McHugh, gave a moving presentation on her father who served as an Army aviator for 24 years.

Photo: Picciuto’86 thanking GEN Ray Odierno ’76 after his keynote address.

Additional important military figures in the house were Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Gary L. Littrell, retired Army Command Sergeant Major; Folds of Honor founder MAJ Dan RooneyMarcus Luttrell, retired Navy Seal and subject of Lone Survivor and retired COL Miguel Howe, director of Military Service Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute. Read More

Founders Day in Afghanistan

U.S. Forces Afghanistan officers and civilians who graduated from West Point-U.S. Military Academy, gather at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan to celebrate Founder’s Day 2015. West Point Grad COL Douglas Crissman '88, U.S. Forces Afghanistan Deputy, Deputy Commander-Support, was the highest ranking active duty Soldier at the event. The oldest and youngest graduates were chosen to cut the cake, their graduation dates were separated by 42 years.

Coach K ’69 Wins 5th National Championship

INDIANAPOLIS — It's John Wooden and Mike Coach K ’69 Wins 5th National Championship. Duke's Coach K won his fifth national championship Monday night with a 68-63 victory over Wisconsin. Only Wooden, who won an incredible 10 at UCLA, is above Krzyzewski on the list of champions. "Whenever you mention Coach Wooden, he's separate from everybody," Krzyzewski said.

When the buzzer sounded and No. 5 was official, Krzyzewski turned toward his bench with his hands high above his head. Then came the rush of assistant coaches — all former Duke players — for a group hug that included jumping up and down just like the players he led to a 35-4 record.

He didn't have to run around the court looking for someone to hug like Jim Valvano did in 1983 when North Carolina State shocked the college basketball world. Players ran toward Krzyzewski and one by one they got hugs, hard hugs, the kind of hugs men give each other after a hard-fought win that meant history. Full Story »

Hoang ’95, Joins Stimson Board of Directors

The Stimson Center is pleased to announce to the Board of Directors: Francis Q. Hoang. “This new cohort of Stimson trustees reflects both continuity and change,” said Stimson President and CEO Ellen Laipson. Francis Hoang and Courtney Banks Spaeth are dynamic rising players in the private sector, with deep national security experience. We know that they will each bring valuable skills and wisdom to our board.”

Francis Q. Hoang currently serves as Chief Strategy Officer of Momentum Aviation Group (MAG) and as a Partner at Fluet Huber + Hoang (FH+H). Mr. Hoang has previously served as a law clerk to the Senate Judiciary Committee, clerked for Judge Thomas Griffith on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and was appointed by President George W. Bush as an Associate White House Counsel and Special Assistant to the President in 2007. Read More

Caputo ’82 Appointed to Governmental Standards Board

NORWALK, Conn.--The Board of Trustees of the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) announced the appointment of Brian W. Caputo, chief financial officer and city treasurer of the City of Aurora, Illinois, to the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB). “The Board of Trustees is pleased to welcome Brian to the GASB”

The GASB is the independent, private-sector organization that sets accounting and financial reporting standards for state and local governments in the United States. The FAF is the independent, private-sector organization responsible for the oversight of the GASB and its sister standard setter, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB).

Serving the City of Aurora since 1998, Mr. Caputo is responsible for developing and overseeing the execution of the city’s $400 million annual budget, preparing the comprehensive annual financial report, and managing annual investment of public funds averaging $500 million.

Previously, as director of finance and treasurer of the Village of Mount Prospect, Illinois, he was responsible for all aspects of the village’s financial management. Prior to that, Mr. Caputo served as assistant finance director for the Village of LaGrange, Illinois. Read More

Father Paul Hurley ’84 Named Chief of Chaplains

A priest from the Archdiocese of Boston has been named the 24th US Army chief of chaplains, the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, said.

The Rev. Paul Hurley was promoted from colonel to major general after a US Senate voice vote Friday, the Archdiocese for the Military Services said in a statement.

“I am delighted that the Army Chaplain Corps will be led by Father Hurley, with whom I spent time last Holy Week in Afghanistan,” said Timothy Broglio, archbishop for the military services, in a statement. “He is both a fine priest and an excellent leader.”

Hurley serves as command chaplain for the XVIII Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, N.C.

He has previously worked with deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, the military archdiocese said. Read More

Porter ’81 Joins Korn Ferry

LOS ANGELES--Korn Ferry, the preeminent authority on leadership and talent, announced that Ronald Porter has joined the firm’s Global Human Resources Center of Expertise. He will be based in Korn Ferry’s New York office. Mr. Porter joins Korn Ferry from a global search firm, where for the past nine years he has served top-tier clients across multiple industries and markets recruiting Chief Human Resource Officers and assisting CHRO’s in building out high performance organizations.

Previously, Mr. Porter served as Vice President of Diversity and Talent Management, and ultimately Vice President of Corporate Human Resources at Pepsico, Inc. After leaving Pepsico, Inc. Mr. Porter was Chief Human Resources Officer of Polaroid Corporation.

“Ron is an experienced professional who brings to Korn Ferry a deep understanding of the leadership and talent management issues impacting today’s global organizations,” said Doug Charles, President, Americas, Korn Ferry. “His hands on experience working closely with many of the top global brands, as well his ability to navigate the human resources challenges facing companies today, will be a great fit for our firm and the clients we serve.” Read More

Fulton ’80 First USMA Graduate Selected BOV Chairwoman

Fulton ’80 First Usma Graduate Selected Bov ChairwomanWEST POINT – The U.S. Military Academy’s Board of Visitors on Monday named Brenda Sue Fulton as its new chairwoman. Fulton, a member of West Point’s class of 1980 – the first graduating class to include women – now becomes the first female graduate of the academy to chair the panel.

Fulton was a founder of Knights Out, a group of West Point alumni, staff and faculty who support gay soldiers; a founding board member of OutServe, an advocacy group for active-duty gays in the military; and currently heads SPARTA, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender military organization. Read More

Wray ’80, Appointed Senior VP at Washington Trust

Wray ’80, Appointed Senior VP, Risk Mgmt at Washington TrustWESTERLY, R.I., Washington Trust announced that William K. Wray has been appointed Senior Vice President, Risk Management, and will succeed Brenda H. Senak who recently announced her retirement, effective June 30th, after more than seven years with the Bank. Wray will join Washington Trust on June 1, 2015 and work closely with Ms. Senak through June 2015 to ensure a smooth and successful transition.

Wray most recently served as Chief Operating Officer for Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island. Prior to that role, he spent 15 years at Citizens Bank, culminating in the role of Vice Chairman and Chief Information Officer. In addition to managing technology and operations, his duties at Citizens included leadership of enterprise credit and risk administration. His early career in banking included a position within the real estate workout division of Shawmut Bank. Read More

Juergens ’82, Appointed Senior VP at Colt Defense

Juergens ’82, Senior VP, Gov't & Military Programs at ColtAs the head of Government & Military Programs, Ken has responsibility for sales and marketing to U.S. and international government and military customers. In this position, Ken will leverage his diverse expertise gained in both the private and military sectors.

Ken has held previous private sector leadership positions as Group Vice President of Global Logistics & Development Solutions at DynCorp International responsible for over 26 international programs in 20 countries and as Vice President & General Manager for Joint Programs at Oshkosh Defense. At Oshkosh, He led the capture efforts and program execution for the multi-billion dollar M-ATV program. In addition, Ken served 25 years in the U.S. Army, commanding at all levels before retiring at the rank of Colonel, Ordnance Corps. Read More

Ratliff ’88 Promoted to VP at Applied Research Associates

Ratliff ’88 Promoted to VP at Applied Research AssociatesAs the Division Manager for SED in Raleigh, NC, William "Brother" Ratliff has successfully taken the reins of the largest ARA division and has SED positioned for growth and success. SED offers broad expertise spanning many technical and programmatic areas, with an ability to conceive and implement novel, software-based, solutions to complex problems. Brother's responsibility includes offices located in Raleigh, NC, Suffolk, VA, Santa Barbara, CA, Nashua, NH, and Pinehurst, NC. He specializes in Military Operations Research and Engineering Management.

Mr. Ratliff joined ARA in 2008 as a member of SED's Information Exploitation Systems Group where he supported several military and government programs. In 2010 he was promoted to ARA's Intrarisk Group Leader where he had organizational responsibility for leading the group's risk management services and strategic initiatives. Mr. Ratliff was promoted to Division Manager of the Southeast Division in 2012. Read More

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.

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.

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."

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