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Friedlander '50: Man Behind the Scenes of Space Program

Chuck Friedlander '50Chuck Friedlander got to experience the American space program of the 1960s in a way that few could.  As Chief of the Astronaut Support Office at Kennedy Space Center during the Gemini and early Apollo programs, he worked behind-the-scenes with the astronauts that flew the vehicles and who eventually walked on the Moon.  His story, along with some personal, behind-the-scenes remembrances of the space program, were recently featured in the Volume 21#1 issue of “Quest: The History of Spaceflight.”

Taw North ’95

The Board of Directors of TLC Engineering for Architecture, Inc. announces Taw North ’95 has become a shareholder in the firm, recognizing his commitment and contributions to the firm's success to date and in the future.

Taw North, RCDD, LEED AP, Senior Project Manager, joined TLC in 2006 and has had increasing responsibilities in designing and managing projects in the firm's North Florida Regional Office. North is currently working on numerous projects for Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, along with managing the Fulton County Libraries Technology Upgrade. He is involved in the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME), the U.S. Green Building Council, North Florida Chapter (USGBC) and the Florida Healthcare Engineers Association (FHEA). North is a 1995 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, has served in the U.S. Army and excels in leadership capabilities. He, his wife Lisa and sons Parker and Dylan live in Jacksonville. 


Webster Bank Names Dawn Morris ’90 New CMO

Webster Bank, a leading regional bank serving businesses and consumers from metro New York City to Boston, Mass., today announced Dawn C. Morris ’90 as its new executive vice president and chief marketing officer. Morris reports directly to Jim Smith, chairman and chief executive officer, and is based in Webster’s corporate headquarters in Waterbury.

“Dawn’s strong background and expertise in community banking and marketing will prove valuable as Webster grows and deepens its relationship with consumers and businesses across our markets,” Smith said. “She will guide our differentiation as a values-guided, community-focused bank that delivers exceptionalcustomer service.”

Most recently, Morris was with Citizens Bank where she served in a variety of roles, including head of Customer Segment Management, Product and Segment Marketing, and Business Banking Product Management. Earlier in her career, Morris worked in a number of business line and marketing roles at RBC Bank in North Carolina.

At Webster, Morris will be responsible for Brand Marketing, Product Management, Database/ProductAnalytics, Marketing Services, Corporate and Government Communications, and Corporate Giving.

Morris is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and served as a captain in the Army’s 530th Supply and Service Battalion at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. She has supported her community by serving asa board member and volunteer for several non-profits involving child development and the arts including as aboard member for Marketing EDGE, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to educate, develop, grow,and employ college students in the field of marketing.


Robert Dean ’53 Spends his 84th Birthday Asking for the Gift of Life

Last fall, Bob Dean ’53 needed a new kidney. Eight relatives and friends lined up to give him one of their kidneys, but none were a match. In desperation, Bob thought outside of the box and decided to do some advertising. He bought a marker and two wooden boards and wrote twelve simple words on the front and back:

“I need a kidney donor for a transplant. Can you help me?”

On Saturday, October 12, 2013, Bob took to the streets and donned his board on the corner of one of Oklahoma City’s busiest intersections. As drivers passed by, many rolled down their window to speak with Bob, and within 45 minutes, a TV producer from the local ABC affiliate appeared with a camera crew. The producers asked Bob to return to the same intersection the next day, which was Bob’s 84th birthday. Bob was filmed once again conversing with motorists, as he asked the people for help.

That Saturday evening after his first day on the street, and continuing on Sunday and Monday evenings, Bob received calls from over 200 volunteer donors from Florida to Alaska. One of those volunteers was a perfect match, and happened to be a retired US Army Ranger & Green Beret. Today, Bob and the donor are in the process of preparing for the transplant, which Bob expects to occur within the next 4 to 5 weeks.

Bob Dean is a sculptor, painter, composer and pianist, and playwright, but this demonstration of self-help and determination appears to top all. In his gentle and gentlemanly manner, Bob uniquely sought the gift of life, relying on the generous goodness of the American people.

See the video of Bob here.


Mario Barrett ’07 Pioneers New Business Model

After being asked by a recruiter at a job fair what he was going to do to help military Veterans, Mario Barret ’07 started thinking.

He found the answer in a new business model he hopes more Veteran entrepreneurs will adopt. Barrett and his fiancé founded a sock subscription company, Sockwork: Socks With A Purpose. They send subscribers new pairs of socks every month and donate a percentage of profits to several Veteran charities they’ve partnered with. They hope to pioneer a new business model where Veteran entrepreneurs start for-profit companies with a percentage of profits earmarked to donate to a rotating base of Veteran charities. By teaming up, they create a community effect and can provide valuable donations over the long-term. Barrett expects monetary donations to drop for Veteran causes as our nation moves further from its recent wars. When the model catches on, he envisions new streams of donations coming in from Vets who start their own companies.


Lee '81 Collaborates on Family Memoir

The WaitingShortly after defense engineer Brian Lee retired from the Army in 2003 his mother Ruth had open heart surgery to repair a heart valve.  During her recovery, Brian and Ruth discussed the possibility of requesting that her adoption file be unsealed so she might gain some knowledge of her birth parents along with medical history.  In March 2006 the search began and through legal proceedings they were able to obtain her adoption file from 1929.  In late June all 272 pages of the file were provided to Ruth.  After a short internet search, Brian was able to obtain enough contact information and a call to his grandmother was made.  Finally, 77 years and one day later, his mother (now 85) was able to talk to her birthmother Minka Disbrow (102) and they were reunited after what might be the longest known mother-daughter separation. Brian collaborated extensively on the writing of this story with cousin Cathy LaGrow, author of  the upcoming memoir  scheduled for national hardcover release from Tyndale House in May entitled The Waiting. Members of the family will appear on NBC’s Today Show and other media outlets.

Alexander '74

On March 28, 2014 GEN Keith B. Alexander retired from active duty and relinquished command of the U.S. Cyber Command and Director, NSA/Chief, Central Security Service. Alexander holds the distinction of being the longest-serving director of the NSA as well as the first Commander of USCYBERCOM. Classmate GEN Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, presided over the ceremony.

Full Story





Young '86 Returns to West Point

Eleven years after she was kicked out of the military under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, veteran aviator Lissa Young has returned to West Point. Armed with a 2013 Harvard doctorate, at the age of 52, Young is finishing her first semester as an assistant professor teaching general psychology.  Continued



Walt Brinker ’66 Provides Low-Tech Solutions to Automobile Breakdowns

Walt Brinker ’66 has published a unique, short book, "Roadside Survival: Low-Tech Solutions to Automobile Breakdowns.” He is not a mechanic, and most vehicle breakdowns do not require a mechanic. His solutions, with some 56 illustrations, are simple, low tech, easily understood, and permit a disabled vehicle to be driven off an interstate highway or parking lot. Anecdotes from actual assists, several humorous, introduce, illustrate and reinforce concepts and techniques.

There are two kinds of drivers: 1) those who have experienced a disabled vehicle, and 2) those who will. Generally, good luck comes to those who help themselves; this book is for those in that group. Some folks learn only by experiencing inconvenience, embarrassment, and potentially serious risks.  Others make the proactive choice to learn how to prevent problems and the methods to counteract them should they occur. This book provides the opportunity to avoid the negatives associated with becoming stranded.

The book also inspires readers to help others. Along the way, helpers help themselves. Walt says, "I can make any good day better by performing a roadside assist. For me, the rush begins when I first see a disabled vehicle, and the feeling lasts for hours after I am done."

Clint Moore ’11 Called Up From Minors

Clint Moore ’11 was selected in the 31st round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft after graduating from USMA. During his 60 days of leave after graduation, Moore appeared in 21 games at short-season Class A Eugene, hitting .222, before resuming his military obligation. Now Clint is back with the Padres for the 2014 season, and last night was brought up from the minors to play in his first Major League Baseball game against the Chicago Cubs.

Read the full story from MLB.com here.


Photo: Clint with former Army baseball volunteer coach John Mellon and John's girlfriend Jamie Lawless.


Laura Law-Millet ’94 Hosts GI Film Festival

Laura Law-Millet ’94 is the co-founder and director of the GI Film Festival, a non-profit educational organization dedicated to sharing the military experience through film. She is a former Military Intelligence officer with more than 18 years of service and majored in Systems Engineering at the Academy.

Last Night, Laura and the Department of English and Philosophy hosted the GI Film Festival with the screening of four short films and followed with a panel of speakers, including a director and producer. On Thursday, March 27, at 7 p.m., in Arnold Auditorium, the GI Film Festival is presenting a special advanced screening of “Walking with the Enemy,” starring Ben Kingsley and Jonas Armstrong. A Q&A will follow with the film’s director and producer and Dr. David Frey, director of the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies from the USMA Department of History. 

These events fall under the department’s Creative Arts Project, which kicked off Tuesday night inside the Haig Room with the “Graffiti of War” art exhibit, available for viewing during normal business hours until March 27. All events are free and open to the public.

(Photo Courtesy of USMA) Laura Law-Millet, Class of 1994, with Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen (left) and Col. Scott Krawczyk (right), professor and head of the Department of English and Philosophy.


Oldest Grad at Founders Day

Of course, it's customary to have an "oldest grad" and a "youngest grad" at Founders Day celebrations. The West Point Society of San Francisco had the distinction of having THE oldest living graduate present. BG(R) Robert C. Tripp '33 and his wife, Liliane, were in attendance! Looking good, Sir!



Ellen Houlihan

Ellen Houlihan, Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of the West Point Association of Graduates, has been nominated by Texas Civilian Aide Secretary of the Army (CASA), Randy Pais, as a White House Champion of Change for Women Veteran leaders. She will visit the White House on 24 March to receive the recognition. 

John Moberly ’92

Hughes Network Systems, the global leader in broadband satellite solutions and services, and a leading provider of managed network and application services, announced that John Moberly ’92 has joined the company as senior director.  In this position, Moberly will lead strategy and business development for the Defense and Intelligence Systems Division.

Prior to joining Hughes, Moberly served a significant portion of his career with the military and the Intelligence Community. He served as Chief of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance with the Office of Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, & Logistics in the Space and Intelligence Office, where he was responsible for oversight of major systems acquisitions in space and intelligence.  He also served as Chief of the U.S. Army Space and Ballistic Missile Team Chief.  Moberly spent a significant part of his career with the National Reconnaissance Agency (NRO), serving as project manager and systems engineer for the Advanced Systems and Technology Directorate and as the Deputy for National Systems Support on the CENTCOM Team.  Moberly also served as Space and Ballistic Missile Defense Team Chief for the U.S. Army.  He retired from the military in 2012.

Moberly received an executive certificate in Science and Technology Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and holds M.S. degrees in Aeronautics & Astronautics from Stanford University and in Engineering Management from the University of Missouri - Rolla.  He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he received a B.S. degree in Systems Engineering/Mechanical Engineering.


Herman Bulls ’78

On March 5, Tyco announced that it has nominated Herman Bulls ’78 for election to its Board of Directors. Mr. Bulls is Chairman of Jones Lang LaSalle's Public Institutions specialty practice, which he founded, and also serves as International Director of Global Markets for the company, focusing on client relationships and mergers and acquisitions. Mr. Bulls is Chief Executive Officer of Bulls Advisory Group, a real estate consulting and advisory firm, and co-founded and served as President and CEO of Bulls Capital Partners, a commercial mortgage banking firm. Before Jones Lang LaSalle, Mr. Bulls completed nearly 12 years of active duty service with the United States Army and retired as a Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves in 2008. He is a member of the Executive Leadership Council, an organization of senior African American business executives from Fortune 500 companies, and former Chairman of the Executive Leadership Foundation. Mr. Bulls is on the board of directors of Comfort Systems, USA, Inc., a provider of heating, ventilation and air conditioning services; Rasmussen Inc., a post-secondary for-profit educational services organization; USAA, a provider of banking, insurance and investment management services to the military community; and Exelis Inc., an aerospace and defense firm. Mr. Bulls received a bachelor of science degree in engineering from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and a master of business administration degree in finance from Harvard Business School.

"We are delighted to nominate Herman to join our Board of Directors. Herman's experience in leadership and operations will be valuable in providing oversight and guidance for Tyco" said Tyco Chief Executive Officer George Oliver.


Alumni Glee Club Performs at Army Men's Basketball Game

Members of the Alumni Glee Club performed the National Anthem at the final regular season Army Men's Basketball home game on March 1. The Club conducted the first-ever joint performance with the Cadet Glee Club at Eisenhower Hall on February 28.




Paul D. Tomlingson ’53 Publishes Collection of Short Stories

Paul D. Tomlingson ’53 has published "I'm Just a Mutt," second edition - a new group of 20 short stories that offer tales of intrigue, humor and irreverance. Among them: Proof that second lieutenants can do (almost) anything; or How a monkey was decorated for valor in Vietnam; or Why West Point cadets carried out an undisciplined meatball fight in Washington Hall. And then there's a horse named Buck who helped end an 'Occupy Denver' stand-off, and A decorated career soldier who escapes the ravages of alcohol only to sacrifice his life as duty calls. A New Zealand couple sailing to Sydney board an adrift freighter only to be stalked by the lone, starving survivor as he crosses the line from civilization to madness. 


General Edward L. Rowny ’41

General Edward L. Rowny ’41 was recently interviewed on leadership and decision-making.

Watch the interview here.

General Rowney is also a contributing autor to West Point 41: The Class That Went To War and Shaped America, due out in May. 



Gregory A. Daddis ’89 Selected for CSA Professional Reading List

Gregory A. Daddis’ ’89 new book Westmoreland’s War: Reassessing American Strategy in Vietnam has been selected for the Army Chief of Staff's professional reading list.

A half century after the United States committed ground combat troops to Vietnam, Americans still have a lot to learn—or unlearn—about the nation’s first war that it lost. In this stimulating reappraisal of the conflict, Daddis argues that America’s failure owed less to the much maligned “strategy of attrition” than to broader flaws in national policy, to include the belief that America could transform South Vietnam. In taking a fresh look at U.S. strategy during the Vietnam War, this book enhances our understanding both of the war itself and of the challenges that continue to face Soldiers and policy makers when intervening in the internal conflicts of foreign countries.


Don't Get Tapped Out

The clock is ticking for those grads wanting to pre-order a copy of the 2014 issue of TAPS, a publication of Memorial Articles submitted during the last year in memory of deceased graduates. TAPS will print in May and ship in early June, but those wanting a copy must place a pre-pay order by March 30. The 2014 edition of TAPS promises to be another outstanding testimony to the experiences of members of the Long Gray Line. Subscribers can expect approximately 150 articles exemplifying the values of Duty, Honor, Country in each entry, such as the one for Ambassador John Sheldon D. Eisenhower ’44. The earliest Class represented in this year’s volume is that of 1934, and the Class of 1962 has the most representation in this year’s TAPS with 13 articles (the Class of 1956 is right behind them with 11).
Once TAPS has been printed and delivered to WPAOG, there may not be additional copies available for sale, so place your order online or send payment ($20 per copy) with mailing instructions to the address below.

    West Point Association of Graduates
    TAPS Subscriptions
    698 Mills Road
    West Point, NY  10996
And, in case you were wondering, there’s still time to submit a Memorial Article for one of your deceased classmates. The deadline for submission is February 28, 2014. Contact Marilee Meyer, WPAOG’s Memorial/Archivist Coordinator, for more information on writing and submitting a Memorial Article or visit WPAOG’s TAPS: Memorial Articles web page.

T. Merritt Bumpass, Jr. ’65

Frantz Ward LLP is pleased to announce the creation of the firm’s first-ever Management Committee. T. Merritt Bumpass, Jr. ’65 has been elected as one of three Committee members. 

Bumpass’ practice is focused on Labor and Employment matters, and he represents employers in federal and state courts, federal and state administrative agencies, arbitration proceedings and collective bargaining negotiations.  In addition, he counsels and trains employers on a wide variety of employment matters, including union avoidance and campaigns.  He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy, Wake Forest University School of Law and Columbia University School of Law.The Management Committee consists of three partners who have primary responsibility for establishing the firm’s strategic direction and its day-to-day operations for the growing needs of the firm and the expanding needs of the firm’s clients. The firm serves a national client base, which includes individuals and professionals, small and medium size businesses, and Fortune 500 companies. 

Since its founding by fifteen lawyers in 2000, Frantz Ward LLP has grown to become one of the premier law firms in the Midwest.  Frantz Ward has over 60 attorneys, placing it among the 15 largest firms in Northeast Ohio. For further information, visit the firm's website. 


Robert D. Boyd ’73

Boyd Collar Nolen & Tuggle is pleased to announce that Robert D. Boyd ’73 has been honored as one of five Super Lawyers for 2014. Only five 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 here.

Boyd has practiced exclusively in family law since 1988. He was recently named Atlanta Family Law Lawyer of the Year for 2013 by Best Lawyers in America, the oldest and most respected lawyer rating publication in the U.S., in which he has been listed annually since 2001. He has also earned accolades from his peers and clients with inclusion among lists published by Super Lawyers and Georgia Trend. He is actively involved in the State Bar of Georgia’s Family Law Section, of which he has previously served as chair. Boyd is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and the West Virginia University College of Law.

Collar Nolen & Tuggle is an Atlanta-based preeminent divorce and family law firm, serving clients throughout the state of Georgia. The firm’s attorneys serve as trusted legal counsel to clients involved in a range of family law matters. For more information, visit the firm’s website. 


Be Thou At Peace - Seth F. Hudgins Jr. '64

Following a courageous battle with cancer, Colonel (Retired) Seth F. Hudgins Jr. '64 passed away on February 8th at his home in Cornwall, New York.

A highly decorated Army aviator who saw duty in Vietnam, Seth also served many years at West Point to include two years as Deputy Commandant of Cadets.  However, he is probably best remembered for serving first as Executive Vice President from 1990 to 1993 and later as President of The Association of Graduates from 1993 until his retirement in 2007.  During his tenure in these transformative years, the staff relocated into Herbert Alumni Center, West Point's Bicentennial Campaign was conducted, and major service improvements for cadets and graduates were implemented. It is hard to overstate Seth's positive impact on the Long Gray Line of today, and for generations to come. 

Please keep Joy and the Hudgins family in your thoughts and prayers. Services will be held Friday, February 14th at 1330 in the Old Cadet Chapel at the West Point Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, he asked that donations be made to the Long Gray Line Endowment or to The Hospice of Orange and Sullivan Counties, NY.

Matthew J. May ’92

Banner & Witcoff, Ltd., a national intellectual property law firm that procures, enforces and litigates intellectual property rights throughout the world, announces the election of six shareholders. 

Matthew J. May ‘92, Elected, Shareholder, Chicago, joined the firm as a law clerk in 2007 and as an attorney in 2009. Mr. May prepares and prosecutes utility and design patent applications for a variety of technological areas, including athletic equipment, medical devices, and food and beverage processing systems. He also prepares and prosecutes trademark applications, and has been a member of litigation teams for both patent protection and trademark protection cases. He previously worked as an engineering manager with Baxter Healthcare and as a project engineer for Avon Products. He earned his B.S. in mechanical engineering from the United States Military Academy, and served with the U.S. Army and Illinois National Guard, and is currently a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserve. He earned his M.B.A., with distinction, from DePaul University, and J.D. from The John Marshall Law School.


Barak Cohen ’92 Joins Perkins Coie Law Firm

Perkins Coie is pleased to announce that Barak Cohen '92 has joined the firm’s Washington, D.C. office as senior counsel in the firm’s White Collar & Investigations practice. Cohen was most recently a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Criminal Division, in Washington, D.C.

In jurisdictions throughout the country, Cohen tried numerous federal cases to verdict before juries, argued and drafted appeals and complex motions involving issues of first impression, managed sensitive grand-jury investigations that necessitated coordinating the efforts of multiple law-enforcement agencies, and conducted parallel investigations with other government regulators.

Prior to his DOJ service, Cohen was in private practice, defending high-profile clients against such allegations as violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), environmental crimes, and financial fraud. Immediately following law school, he served as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Loren A. Smith of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.Cohen received his J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center, his M.A. in National Security Studies from Georgetown University, and his undergraduate degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point. After graduating from West Point, Cohen rose to the rank of captain and led two platoons in the 18th Airborne Corps’ 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized), the U.S. Army’s sole rapidly deployable mechanized unit, through numerous deployments, including operations along the Iraqi border. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army's Ranger School and was hand-picked to serve on the regimental staff of the Old Guard, the U.S. Army’s Presidential escort and ceremonial unit.

Outside of the courtroom, Barak instructed law-enforcement officers and prosecutors in the laws regarding the search and seizure of electronic evidence.  He also guest lectures on criminal justice at Harvard College and volunteers in the Wounded Warrior Mentor Program.


Robert McDonald ’75 Cadet Leadership Conference 2013

In October 2013 the West Point Leadership Center conducted the second annual McDonald Cadet Leadership Conference (MCLC). The event brought together 84 exemplary undergraduate and graduate students from around the globe, along with 13 distinguished senior leaders, to conduct a three-day exploration of leadership topics on the themes of Education, Media, Global Economy and Preparedness. The conference was made possible by a generous endowment from Robert and Diane McDonald.

2014 Distinguished Graduates

WPAOG is pleased to announce the 2014 recipients of the Distinguished Graduate Award.

LTG(USAF,R) Robert E. Pursley '49
COL(R) William B. DeGraf '50
Frederic V. Malek '59
Paul W. Bucha '65
LTG(R) Franklin L. Hagenbeck '71

The award presentation will take place on May at West Point. All graduates are welcome to register for the DGA Luncheon in Washington Hall immediately preceding the ceremony.

Katie del Castillo's ’09 Washington DC Apartment Tour

United States Army Captain Katie del Castillo attributes her growing passion and appreciation for interior design to several years spent with mess halls, barracks, and military uniforms. “My brain was starved for some creativity and color!” Katie is one well-travelled woman, and she’s got the home décor to prove it. She’s lived in Hawaii and been deployed in Afghanistan; the 27-year-old has managed to collect a ton of unique gems during her travels. These goods have found a home in one very eclectic Arlington, Virginia loft that’s brimming with patterns and textures. By finding a way to breathe new light into old furniture, she managed to take a free couch (you read that correctly) and flip it into a piece of art that you’ll never find in any store.

Read the full story here.


McNary Provided Advertising Army and NFL Couldn't Buy

A USAA commercial aired during the 2013 football season that featured three service academy alums that have served their country as military veterans and now NFL players.

They “took the road less traveled,” as they put it in the commercial. In this age of the overpaid and entitled athlete, the NFL couldn’t ask for better advertising from its own marketing division.

And Army — from recruiting West Point Cadets to attracting enlisted men — couldn’t buy better advertising than Tennessee Titans second-year fullback Collin Mooney '09 and Indianapolis Colts rookie inside linebacker Josh McNary '11 earned for the Army on Sundays this season.

Read the full story here.

Class of ’88 Raises Funds for Children

The Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation (CFPF) raised over $4.2 million during their 5th annual Greenwich Event. CFPF was founded by David Kim '88 with the mission of to providing college scholarships to children who have lost a parent in the line of duty. Learn more about CFPF here.

(Pictured left to right: President & Founder of CFPF David Kim '88 with wife, Cynthia, Aly Rohling, COL Andrew Rohling, COL Mike Gould '88, Kellie Mennes, COL Brian Mennes '88, CDT Matthew Burleson '15)


Memory of Army Pitcher Turned ‘Lone Survivor’ Pilot Unites Community

Stephen Reich '93 who was killed in 2005 in Afghanistan, was one of 16 Special Operations Aviation regiment Soldiers killed on a mission to extract SEAL team members, an event depicted in the film "Lone Survivor." Read more about how the memory of this brave grad continues to unite a community.


Invitation to Attend RMC vs. West Point Hockey Game

On Jan. 25, the Royal Military College of Canada and the United States Military Academy at West Point will face off for the 78th hockey contest between the two institutions. The longstanding rivalry resumed in 2012 after a five-year gap.

The series dates back to 1921, when the Commandant of RMC, Sir Archibald McDonnell, and the Superintendent of the United States Military Academy, Brigadier General DouglasMacArthur, first proposed a game of hockey between the two colleges. The inaugural game was played on Feb. 23, 1923, at West Point and marked the first presentation of the “ChallengeTrophy.” The series now stands at 41-29-7 in favour of West Point’s Black Knights.

The Royal Military College of Canada has extended an invitation to West Point grads for their pre-game Tailgate. $25 includes access to Fort Frontenac, sausage on a bun, game ticket & RMC thunder stick. To make a reservation, call 613-541-6000 x6849 or RSVP to rmcclub@rmc.ca. The mess will be open after the game as well. Tickets are issued at the reception.

Maintaining the Long Gray Line

"You remembered your first day [and] your last day. Everything in between was a blur."

That's how Ken O'Sullivan recalls his cadet experience at the United States Military Academy at West Point in the early 1960s. The Long Gray Line—a phrase used to symbolize centuries of academy graduates—was more an idea than a feeling fostered among cadets. The few graduates O'Sullivan recalls encountering during his days at West Point were instructors or administrators at the New York institution.

But that's changing, he says, in part through the West Point Association of Graduates' 50-Year Affiliation Program.

"The academy wants you to see the Long Gray Line in everything you do," O'Sullivan says.

West Point established its 50-Year Affiliation Program in the mid-1990s, when the academy and its alumni association expanded interaction between cadets and graduates. Several institution leaders, including General John Abizaid, West Point's commandant at the time, recognized the importance of involving alumni when cadets reached key milestones.

"There has always been cadet-alumni interaction during homecoming and the alumni exercises [before graduation and commissioning as officers], but there had not been as many opportunities for developing personal relationships as the affiliation program has accomplished," says Lt. Col. Jim Johnston, the Association of Graduates' vice president for alumni support.

West Point's affirmation ceremonyWest Point's 50-Year Affiliation Program is similar to the U.S. Naval Academy's Another Link in the Chain program in its basic functions. Representatives of the alumni class are expected to host a Reception Day event to speak with the parents of incoming West Point cadets. They provide speakers for significant academy traditions, such as the affirmation ceremony (when cadets renew their commitment to the Army) and the branch-notification ceremony (when fourth-year cadets learn what part of the Army they will join after graduation). The alumni also present a class flag to the cadets.

When O'Sullivan's Class of 1963 began its relationship with the academy's Class of 2013, the alumni were invited to work with West Point's William E. Simon Center for the Professional Military Ethic. The center recruits members of the 50-Year Affiliation Program's alumni classes to serve as guest leaders of seminars that cadets needed to attend. The seminars cover important but difficult-to-articulate academy values such as honor and leadership. Alumni help stimulate discussions with the cadets, using real-life examples from their academy days and as soldiers and military and civilian leaders.

O'Sullivan enjoyed watching initially hesitant cadets deepen their relationships with alumni as they progressed through the academy.

"Once these young men and women get past their first year, when everything they're doing is scrutinized, they open up—whether it's about the seminar subject matter or more personal things," he says. "Some of my classmates were like a dad to these cadets."

The combination of traditional 50-Year Affiliation Program highlights and involvement in the Simon Center's seminars was "a great shot in the arm" for the Class of 1963, O'Sullivan says. "We were trying to do something for the cadets, but I think we got as much out of it as they did. Maybe even more."

Photos: USMA cadets and alumni from their 50-Year Affiliation Program class gather often throughout the cadets' time at West Point. Highlights include the affirmation ceremony (top and middle photo), when cadets receive honor coins (bottom) from the alumni class, and the Ring Melt ceremony (bottom photo) when several alumni-donated rings are melted to become part of the younger class's mementos.

(Publication and photography credits courtesy of CASE Currents Magazine)

Christopher Molaro ’10 and Garrison Haning ’09 Ring the NASDAQ Closing Bell

On December 26, Things We Read co-founders Christopher Molaro '10 and Garrison Haning '09 had the honor of ringing the NASDAQ closing bell in Times Square, New York. Things We Read, Inc. is a nonprofit that provides an intimate look at the bookshelves of the most influential and interesting people of our time. Things We Read aims to reinvigorate the modern reader with collections of people’s favorite books. As a dedicated non-profit, their proceeds go towards donating these books to soldiers deployed overseas and communities in need.

Learn more about Things We Read here.


1LT Charles Nadd ’11 Returns Home to a Surprise Parade

On Wednesday, Jan. 7, 1LT Chuck Nadd ’11 arrived home to Winter Park, FL after an 8-month tour in Afghanistan. But this was no ordinary homecoming. After Nadd’s fiancée picked him up from the airport, she drove him directly to downtown Winter Park, where he was greeted by surprise with a spectacular welcome home parade. Hundreds of local residents lined the streets of New England Avenue, waving signs and sprinkling confetti, as Nadd and his fiancé climbed atop a Budweiser wagon pulled by the legendary Clydesdales. 

Nadd’s homecoming was sponsored by Budweiser, and numerous camera and sound crews followed the parade route to capture the event on film. Nadd – a Blackhawk helicopter pilot – was selected to be featured in a documentary about veterans. However, he was completely astonished by the welcome parade his fiancée and Budweiser had arranged for his homecoming. And with the Clydesdales in attendance, one can only speculate that this surprise welcome might be seen in a commercial during Super Bowl XLVIII, which airs Feb. 2 on Fox. 

Budweiser representatives would not specify where or when the footage may be used.

Many service men and women were in attendance, including Dave Carroll, a 69-year-old Vietnam veteran from Winter Springs.

"It makes me tear up," said Carroll, who stood in his Marine Corps dress blues. 

"We should never forget our soldiers that are still serving," added Master Sgt. Amy Lugo of Ocala, who attended the parade with three Army colleagues. "We should keep supporting them until the last service member returns home."

As Nadd got the surprise of a lifetime, it was clear that he was truly moved by the welcome he received from his community. 

"So many have given so much more than me," said Nadd. "They're the real heroes."

Watch the video. 


BG William O. Darby ’33

William Orlando Darby, Class of 1933, will be recognized for his many contributions to the U. S. Army and in particular for his formation and leadership of the first Army Ranger Battalions to be activated during World War II. BG Darby received many awards including two Distinguished Service Crosses, Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Legion of Merit, three Purple Hearts, as well as the British Distinguished Service Order.

A new statue in his honor is to be unveiled in his hometown of Fort Smith, Arkansas, in 2016 after funding has been completed.  This statue in the local Cisterna Park will depict BG Darby on his typical mode of transportation while checking on his Ranger Battalions in North Africa and Italy – a 1942 Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

Those interested in more information on BG William O. Darby and this memorial monument can visit the website for the project or contact the local project manager Liz Armstrong at (479) 561-0493.


Son of Bob Celski '78 Heads to Second Olympics

J.R. Celski, son of Bob Celski '78Bob Celski's son, J.R. Celski, is heading to Sochi as America's best hope at the short track. 

Celski won the 1,000 meters at the U.S. Olympic trials Sunday, assuring he'll compete in all three individual events in Russia.  This will be the young Celski's second Olympics, and he is  looking to add to the pair of bronze medals he won at the 2010 Vancouver Games.

Read more here.