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Griffin ’01 Co-Founder of Combat Flip Flops on Shark Tank
2/10/2016

Afghanistan veteran Matthew Griffin can count on a standing ovation when he talks about his dream of propelling a manufacturing company in the country where he once fought. He ends his tale with an invitation to join him in the “unarmed forces,” preventing conflict by spurring industry in troubled places. This past Friday the company that he co founded Combat Flip Flops won support from the name-brand investors who sit on the panel of ABC’s “Shark Tank.” His Issaquah-based company was one of four businesses picked to compete in a special veteran-themed episode of the show. Griffin and his partners have been building their company since 2011. They had a few setbacks, such as air strike in Pakistan that led to restrictions on travel in the region. Read More

COL(R) Camp ’68 Unanimously Voted President & COO of the National Infantry Museum Foundation
2/8/2016

COLUMBUS, GA - One of the architects of the National Infantry Museum Foundation, Ben Williams, will soon step down as president and COO. The statue of an infantry soldier was a key component of the museum foundation, and it has become quite the focal point. The Army's newest soldiers are brought here after graduation, and just about everyone wants a picture made in front of the statue. Williams is being replaced by Retired Col. Greg Camp, who's been serving as Executive Vice-President and Chief Development Officer. He was selected in a unanimous vote last week. Read More

2016 Annual Fund Campaign is Underway
2/4/2016

Last year’s successful fundraising campaign provided a platform on which we must build. We need to press forward and sustain this important support. Throughout the year, you may be asked to contribute to the following funds, each of which meets the immediate, annual needs of the Academy and Association:

Superintendent’s Annual Fund/ West Point Parents Fund (unrestricted funds for cadets and USMA)
Long Gray Line (unrestricted funds for graduates and WPAOG)
Army A Club (unrestricted gifts for intercollegiate athletics)
Class Gift Funds/Restricted Gifts (restricted by classes in reunion campaigns/specific programs)

Campaign Donor Profile: Bill Song ’98
2/4/2016

Growing up as a first generation immigrant from South Korea, Bill Song ’98 witnessed his parents’ hard work and understood the value of a great education. To him, West Point was the perfect place, in that it offered a rigorous academic program and allowed him to serve the country that offered his family a new life. Today, Mr. Song credits his West Point education for his career and skill set and sees his contributions as a way to show his gratitude and invest in our country’s future leaders.  Read more.

Flor ’02 Fighting for Those Who Fought for Our Country
1/28/2016

Attorney Leo Flor ’02 was working for the Northwest Justice Project when an unusual case came in. A veteran who had been injured by an IED blast was being told to repay benefits he had received from the VA. An oversight in paperwork was threatening this soldier’s livelihood and his ability to take care of his family. Although it took more than a year to clear up the matter, Flor was able to get the agency to forgive the veteran’s debt and for him to keep his home. Read the entire story here.

Tomlingson ’53 Publishes 11th Industrial Textbook
1/27/2016

Paul D. Tomlingson published his 11th industrial maintenance management textbook: Maintenance in Transition – The Journey to World Class Maintenance. Mining Media International is currently publishing a series of six articles based on the book in both Engineering and Mining Journal and Coal Age. In his 44 year management consulting career, Tomlingson has published over 100 trade journal articles in Engineering and Mining Journal, Mining Engineering, Coal Age, Plant Engineering, Maintenance Technology, Uptime Magazine, Production Engineering, World Coal, Coal, Better Roads, Public Works and Ski Area Management. His short stories have been published in The Monterey County Herald (California), The Vermont Sunday Magazine and the Grand (County) Gazette (Kremmling, Colorado).

McBrayer ’74 Named President & CEO of ACell, Inc.
1/25/2016

ACell, Inc. announced that it has named Patrick (Pat) McBrayer President and Chief Executive Officer. McBrayer has more than 20 years of healthcare senior management experience. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Misonix, Inc. and was President and CEO of AxioMed Spine Corporation. "Pat has strong executive experience in regulated healthcare environments, a track record of maximizing the potential of early-stage technology, and a proven commitment to improving patient care," said Kerbawy. 

He received the Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award in 1998 for a biological implant for bone repair that is now a market leading product. McBrayer held positions of increasing responsibility for Johnson & Johnson, Inc. He has over 20 years healthcare senior management experience and served as an Infantry Officer Company Commander in the U.S. Army prior to beginning his business career. Read More

Coogan ’91 New Executive Director at the Folded Flag Foundation
1/22/2016

The Folded Flag Foundation, a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization focused on raising and awarding money in the form of educational scholarships to surviving family members of military and government employees who have lost their lives in combat while serving our country, is pleased to announce John Coogan has joined the Foundation as Executive Director. Coogan has more than 20 years experience in the non-profit and technology sectors, specializing in strategic fundraising planning, fundraising infrastructure management, donor operations management and fundraising data analysis. In his previous roles as Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer for Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation and as Director of Technology and Fundraising Infrastructure for Wounded Warrior Project, Coogan helped raise millions of dollars in charitable gifts from individuals, corporations and foundations.

"I am pleased to be a part of the Folded Flag Foundation and to lend my management and fundraising skills to this very worthy cause," said Coogan. "The mission of the Folded Flag Foundation is unique in that it provides substantial educational grants to children and spouses of our fallen heroes. Another factor that attracted me to this great organization is that all of its administrative costs are underwritten by two companies -- Black Knight Financial Services and ServiceLink, so all of the money we raise goes to the families. I look forward to helping the Folded Flag Foundation grow so we can provide even more educational grants to the families of our fallen heroes." Read More

Knowles ’79 Appointed Veterans Community Alliance CEO
1/19/2016

The Tristate Veterans Community Alliance (TVCA) Board of Directors has appointed Dan Knowles as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective January 1, 2016. Dan is an Army veteran who served 7 years on active duty before accepting a brand management position with Procter & Gamble in 1986. He left P&G in 2000 to become chief marketing officer of Reynolds & Reynolds in Dayton. In October 2002, he started his own consulting firm and over the past 13 years has worked with both multi-national and regional companies in pharmaceuticals, healthcare delivery, information technology, construction, and banking.

This appointment is an acceleration of plans to formalize the TVCA organizational structure in July 2016. The decision was made in recognition of faster progress than anticipated toward achieving our goals. Board Chairman Maj Gen (ret) Leonard Randolph, Jr. MD said, “Recent feedback from key stakeholders indicated that this was the right time to make this move. As a co-founder, Dan has been instrumental in creating the vision, building the organization, and helping us recruit and align key donors and partners to better serve veterans and their families in the Tristate. The progress achieved to date has been extraordinary and has exceeded our very high expectations.” Read More

Achtzehn ’94 Appointed VP of Mortgage Origination at 1st Advantage
1/13/2016

1st Advantage Mortgage, a Draper and Kramer company, one of the top 100 Mortgage Bankers in America, announced Craig Achtzehn has joined the company's Chicago office as Vice President of Mortgage Origination. Achtzehn has been a top performing mortgage originator throughout his career. With 14 years of experience in mortgage banking, Achtzehn has held management and sales positions at both regional and national mortgage lenders. He proudly served our nation as an Officer in the U.S. Army for 2 years and holds an MBA in Finance from the University of Notre Dame.

"I chose 1st Advantage because I believe they provide the best resources and support to grow my business. I am amazed by the company's technology and excited by their vision for growth," said Achtzehn.Achtzehn has a structured, disciplined and consistent business style which has helped him to grow as a leader in his field. His primary focus throughout his career has been to provide world-class service and he feels that he is only as successful as his last transaction. By going the extra mile to ensure his clients receive the best available rate and terms, Achtzehn has earned an exceptional reputation with his past clients and referral sources. Read More

LTC Jancek ’77 Joins American Systems as VP/Dir of Constructive Training
1/13/2016

American Systems, a leading provider of government IT and engineering solutions and one of the top 100 employee-owned companies in the U.S., announced the addition of Jeff Jancek to its executive team. Jancek, with more than 30 years of experience in providing military, civil, and business leadership, will serve as the vice president and director of the Live, Virtual and Constructive Training (LVC) Directorate and oversee this group's business development, financial management, and workforce management goals.

Jancek will be responsible for the identification and prosecution of new business opportunities and the execution of the programs within the LVC Directorate within American Systems' Custom Solutions offering. In addition to business development, Jancek will oversee all activities related to program, project, and technical performance and contract, financial, and personnel management. "In his new role as vice president/director of the LVC Directorate, Jeff will pioneer new opportunities and elevate existing programs, and we expect that he will act as a significant growth catalyst for an important and long-standing facet of the company," said Pete Pflugrath, vice president and GM of Custom Solutions for American Systems. Read More

MG Moffett ’71 Appointed First District Chancery Judge
1/12/2016

MG T.K. Moffett was appointed chancery judge in Northeast Mississippi’s First Judicial District Gov. Bryant announced. Moffett, who owns Moffett Law Firm, PLLC, in Tupelo, has practiced law for 35 years, while pursuing a dual military career. In 1974, he received a master’s degree from the University of Hawaii in Honolulu. He graduated with a juris doctorate from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1979 and completed a National Security Fellowship at Harvard University in 1996.

“I appreciate the confidence Governor Bryant has shown in me by appointing me chancery judge,” Moffett said. “Judge Mask, Judge Malski, Judge Hatcher and the attorneys of the First Judicial District all do a great job, and I consider it an honor to work with them. Judge Littlejohn was a hard-working, capable judge, and I hope to serve the attorneys and people of the First Judicial District by following that same tradition.”

His military career spanned more than 37 years and included assignments with the 25th Infantry Division, the 155th Armored Brigade and the 66th Troop Command of the Mississippi National Guard, the 91st Division and the 104th Division. He commanded at every level from platoon leader to division commander. Read More

Visiting West Point - Security Update
1/11/2016

Effective January 10, 2016, people using a driver's license from the states of Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico or Washington will have to use another approved form of identification in order to enter West Point and all other military installations. If you possess a valid Department of Defense issued identification card this new requirement does not affect your ability to enter military installations.

Acceptable alternate forms of identification are a US passport, a permanent resident card/ Alien Registration Receipt Card (form 1-551), a foreign passport with a temporary I-551 stamp or visa or an employment authorization document that contains a photograph (Form I-766).

Visit the Homeland Security website more information on the new requirement.

Edwards ’88 Wins Louisiana Governor’s Race
1/8/2016

NEW ORLEANS - Democrats in Louisiana rejoiced as they reclaimed the governor’s mansion for the first time in eight years, while the state’s GOP leader insisted “our Republican brand is strong” even amid the defeat of a one-time political powerhouse, Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter.

John Bel Edwards’ victory in Saturday’s runoff election was once-unthinkable in the conservative state and a stunning turn of events for Vitter, who started his campaign nearly two years ago as the race’s front-runner. With his 12-percentage point loss, Vitter announced he wouldn’t seek re-election to the Senate in 2016.

Edwards’ win offered a rare pick-up of a governor’s seat for Democrats in the conservative Deep South, but Republican leaders insisted it was a one-time fluke that didn’t suggest the GOP was on the ropes in Louisiana. Read More

Merhar ’69, Clark ’75 & Rost ’77 to Have Jerseys Retired
1/7/2016

WEST POINT, NY - Army Hall-of-Famers Dave Merhar ’69, George Clark ’75 and Dave Rost ’77, will be honored in a jersey retirement ceremony prior to the Army hockey game against Holy Cross on Feb. 6 at Tate Rink. The trio is set to become the first hockey players to have their jerseys retired and raised above Tate Rink. The numbers will not be "officially" retired, so future players are allowed to wear each number.

The celebration is a two-day event that will feature a cocktail reception on Friday, Feb. 5, for family members at Anderson Rugby Complex. Saturday's events will start with a dinner with members of the hockey community, teammates, coaches and family on the fourth floor of Kimsey Athletic Center, followed by the uniform retirement ceremony and banner unveiling prior to the game against the Crusaders. Read More

BG Diana Holland ’90: USMA’s First Female CMDT
1/6/2016

The change of command ceremony for the 76th Commandant of the U.S. Corps of Cadets (USCC) was typical in nearly every respect. There was the ceremonial passing of the organizational colors. There were nods of recognition to general officers and distinguished guests in attendance. There was the playing of the Army Song. Yet, this was no ordinary change of command ceremony. This one was historic. For the first time in its history, a woman, BG Diana M. Holland ’90, was assuming the position of Commandant at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point (USMA).

Photo: Courtesy of Staff Sgt. Vito T. Bryant/ USMA Public Affairs

Time magazine got it wrong,” said LTG Robert L. Caslen ’75, USMA Superintendent, recognizing the accomplishments of the three female grads who graduated from Ranger School in 2015, the selection of MG Nadja West ’82 as the Army’s surgeon general, and now Holland’s promotion. “It should have recognized the women of the U.S. Army as its ‘Persons of the Year.’”

During her remarks, Holland noted that the historic nature of the ceremony had more to do with her height than her gender. “The significance stems from the fact that I’ll be the first Commandant who is too short to see over the Poop Deck,” Holland joked, “but apparently seeing over the Poop Deck without a stepstool is not a minimum requirement for the position.”

But, as her Howitzer entry foretold, gender and height have never been obstacles to Holland, who was most recently serving as the Deputy Commanding General (Support), 10th Mountain Division (Light), Fort Drum, NY before replacing MG John C. Thompson ’86 as Commandant. “We knew Diana was destined for greatness when she won the drill-off in Beast,” wrote her roommate of three years, Beth Richards ’90. “Look for her 5’1” frame in her pick-up truck back at West Point in a few years as a History ‘P’ and many years later as Supe.”

“As her neighbor on Post, I can personally vouch for the pick-up truck,” said Caslen, “and she did come back to teach History, and there is still time left to fulfill the rest of her Howitzer prophecy.” For now, Caslen anticipates Holland keeping the “M” in USMA strong: “The Commandant is the ‘M,’ the ‘Military,’ in the U.S. Military Academy, responsible for the military, physical, character and social development of more than 4,600 cadets.” As a member of “The Proud and Mighty, Class of 1990,” the Class that also gave the West Point Kristin Baker as USCC’s first female First Captain, Holland is no doubt be ready for the challenge.

Trombley ’93 Appointed Executive VP of Parsons FBU
1/6/2016

Parsons is pleased to announce that Gina Trombley has joined the firm as Group Executive Vice President of its Federal Business Unit. In this position, she will lead Parsons’ project development in the mining and international heavy haul rail segments. Trombley has more than 14 years of experience in the railroad, marine, and mining industries. She is an accomplished executive in heavy industry who has delivered impressive performance and forward-thinking strategies based on global customer perspectives.

Prior to joining Parsons, Trombley worked for GE Transportation in various operational and commercial positions, most recently as the commercial leader for its locomotive service business. While there, she led strategy, product management, and the after-market parts business. She brings significant knowledge of rail and mining equipment, heavy haul operations, rail signaling and communication, and a proven track record of developing new businesses and markets. Trombley also served for six years in the U.S. Army as an intelligence officer. “Gina’s depth of experience across multiple industries will enhance Parsons’ transition back into mining and will help us increase our worldwide presence within this growing market sector,” said Todd Wager, Parsons Group president. “We are glad to have her join the Parsons team.” Read More

Dr. Cavise ’72 a Non-Fiction Account of USMA
1/5/2016

Dr. Paul Cavise presents a non-fiction account of four years at the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point. USMA: Universally Simple Minded Approach: The West Point Experience. The author evokes a new and different detailed perspective of the inner workings of the institution that is very revealing. This very close and personal portrayal of that time is absolutely genuine and engaging.

COL Holliday ’48 Publishes Victory: Defeating Islamists
1/5/2016

COL Sam Holliday publishes Victory: Defeating Militant Islamists. In light of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, Lebanon, and Mali, there is a critical need for ways to counter the threat, danger, and fear caused by the world-wide Islamic movement. Islamist Militants, those who use violence and terror, must fear America. Islamic terrorists must know they have a ticket to Hellfire-not to Paradise. Modern Muslims must know they can trust America. Americans must know that Islamist Moderates are wolves in sheep's clothing. Victory tells how to eliminate Islamists before they endanger the future of America. It points out past errors of diplomats working through failed governments and the use of conventional War forces. Focusing on security at the local level, Victory describes Warfare actions needed to defeat Islamists throughout the world while their political networks and armed forces are still weak. It suggests that Warfare requires greater use of sanctions, covert operations, deception, propaganda, human intelligence, strategic communication, organizing and motivating, 48-hour tribunals, insurrection, assassination, satisfying aspirations, and network building. A book much needed today and tomorrow, Victory provides a conceptual framework of change. Sam C. Holliday fought as an infantryman in Korea and Vietnam, was a force planner in the Pentagon, and the first Director of Stability Studies at the Army War College. After sixty years of research and reflection on conflict and cooperation, he presents his ideas on how to defeat the Third Jihad.

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