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Dean's Weekly, August 29th

Colonel Ty Seidule visited Apple Headquarters in Cupertino, California to discuss Apple’s support of the digital textbook initiative in Military Art. He then visited the company Unity 3D in San Francisco. Unity makes a video game engine that the Department will use to create apps for Gettysburg and Normandy to support cadet education in Military Art and on staff rides.

Cadet Agyapong & COL NaessensAward Recognition: On 20 August, COL Ed Naessens presented a PANE Department Coin to Cadet Paul Asare-Agyapong (NENO 2015) for his recognition of being one of the top 7 student interns of nearly 1300 students from across the country at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). In the long history of cadet AIADs at ANL, this is the first time any cadet has gained this level of recognition. Cadet Asare-Agyapong's work is also published in a LANL technical report.
Cadet Agyapong & COL Naessens

Astronomy Club participates at Club NightAstronomy Club participates at Club Night: On 19 August, the first Tuesday night of the new school year, the leadership of the Cadet Astronomy Club consisting of Cadets Alberto Squatrito, Oliver Di Nallo, William Maier, Samuel Hartford, Jonathan Roche and Spencer Collazos along with club OICs Dr. Paula Fekete (PNE) and LTC David Harper participated at Club Night held at Ike Hall. Club night is always a great opportunity to recruit new club members. This year’s event proved to be a great success as well, as more than 100 additional cadets signed up to join the club. We had several of our telescopes showcased at the event. For the first time in many years, the weather decided to cooperate! We were able to take a look at prominences and sunspots visible on the setting Sun courtesy of LTC Harper’s new 60-millimeter Lunt hydrogen alpha solar telescope (the club requested the 100-millimeter version as part of DCA’s last year mid-year funding). The first meeting of the club was its organizational meeting on 25 August, attended by club leaders only. Weekly Astronomy Club meetings will resume on 2 September. The Astronomy Club is looking forward the move to its new observatory, located in the newly renovated part of the Science Building, expected to take place no later than 1 October 14.

Symposium: During 25-28 August, CDTs Ian De Mallie, Steven Vollmer, Melissa Yasnowski, and Christopher Wink will travel to the Directed Energy Professional Society's (DEPS) Annual Symposium in Monetary, CA to present research conducted using the High Energy Laser (HEL) in the Photonics Research Center (PRC). CDTs Yasnowski, Wink, and now 2LT Phil Corbins explored the effects of beam angle on burn-through time in an attempt to answer questions related to engaging UAVs with HELs. CDTs De Mallie, Vollmer, and now 2LT Frank Arnold explored the effects of rotation and conductor-doped surface coatings the heating rates of steel in an attempt to answer questions related to defeating mortars HELs. Work on these projects is ongoing, the status of which will be presented at the symposium. PNE and PRC faculty COL Kraig Sheetz, LTC Louis Florence, and Dr. David Kashinski are session chairs of the employment portion of the symposium in which the cadets will present.

Women's Tennis Welcome Six

USMA Women's Tennis Coach Paul Peck The Army women's tennis team has announced its 2014-15 freshman class, welcoming six newcomers, announced by head coach Paul Peck.

Hannah Dahlem, Victoria Falk, Leslie Frankland, Bridget Geurnard, Alyssa Hall and Julian Mok have each joined the Black Knights for the 2014-15 season.

Dalhem, a native of Avon, Conn., played at Avon High School. A four-star recruit, she has been ranked as high as No. 83 by the Tennis Recruiting Network. She was the All-Courant Player of the Year for the Hartford Courant in 2011 and earned all-state, all-conference and scholar-athelte honors in 2011 and 2014.

Hailing from Lake Forest High School in Illinois, Falk is a two-star recruit who has been ranked as high as No. 322 by the Tennis Recruiting Network. She boasts an impressive academic history with a 4.9 GPA (on a five-point scale). She was the Lake Forest High School women's tennis team captain in 2013 and contributed to two Illinois State Team Championships in 2010 and 2012. Read More

Dean's Weekly, August 22nd

Cadets discuss memory of war at the grave of Rudyard Kipling’s son, JackFrom 30 May to 12 June, the Department of History and the Department of English and Philosophy conducted an AIAD staff ride, “World War I in Memory and Literature” in France and Belgium. Following preparatory studies during the spring semester, fifteen cadets participated along with COL Mike Stoneham, LTC Jason Musteen, LTC Dave Siry, MAJ Deb Daley, and 2LT Niki Boyda in an in-depth examination of the conflict as well as the literature and poetry it generated. Through the study of history and literature, the cadets gained a greater appreciation for the conduct of the war, the individual experience of warfare, and the individual and national memories that emerged from the war. Battlefield studies included the 1st and 2nd Battles of the Marne, Verdun, Loos, the Somme, the Ypres Salient, Passchendaele, the 1918 German offensives, Château-Thierry, and Belleau Wood. At each location, cadets presented historical analysis and examined literature and poetry from soldier-authors such as Robert Graves, Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, Ernst Jünger, Henri Barbusse, Herbert McBride, Alan Seeger, and others. To conclude the study, the cadets will prepare academic papers for presentation at the West Point conference, “Literature, Memory and the First World War” to be held in September.
Photo: Cadets discuss memory of war at the grave of Rudyard Kipling’s son, Jack.

CDT Kiana Frick briefs AIAD Capstone at East-West Institute – NYCCDT Kiana Frick briefs AIAD Capstone at East-West Institute – NYC
On 06 AUG, CDT Kiana Frick (’16), briefed her capstone at the completion of her AIAD with the East-West Institute (EWI) in NYC. Kiana, given an independent project, analyzed a real time problem set and offered her recommendations to GEN (Ret) Moseley, 18th Chief of Staff, USAF; COL (Ret) James Creighton, EWI Chief Operating Officer; David Firestein, EWI VP of Strategic Trust-Building Imitative and Former US Diplomat to China and Russia; MAJ Christina Fanitzi, West Point Negotiations Project OIC. Kiana’s work set the stage and enabled East-West Institute to make decisions regarding the way-forward in pertinent real-world mediations. The East-West Institute is an international not-for-profit, non-partisan "think and do" tank focusing on international conflict resolution through a variety of means, including track 1.5 and 2 diplomacy (conducted with the direct involvement of official actors), hosting international conferences, and authoring publications on international security issues. The West Point Negotiation Project is a USMA faculty effort to improve the ability of military leaders to negotiate and is an activity within BS&L's West Point Leadership Center. POC: MAJ Christina Fanitzi, BSL, x3295.

FBI Crisis Negotiation CourseFBI Crisis Negotiation Course
On 04-08 August 2014, BS&L's West Point Negotiation Project hosted the FBI’s Crisis Negotiation Unit in an educational course for approximately 32 participants, including 20 cadets, 8 Officers, 4 NCOs, and 2 Civilians. Participating leaders came from BSL, BTD, Center for the Study of Civil-Military Operations, New York Police Department (NYPPD), USCC, and the West Point Provost Marshall’s Office. During the course, cadets learned the importance of negotiation in crisis situations, were introduced to a framework for active listening, analyzed real FBI footage of 1993 Waco Crisis and the 2014 Dothan Kidnapping to apply concepts learned, and practiced negotiating in a series of role-playing exercises, including a team competition. Cadets observed members of The Department of Foreign Language (DFL) conduct practical exercises in the use of an interpreter in negotiations, which they later applied in practice during a hostage role-play, mirrored after the event’s following the Boston Marathon bombing. Supervisory Special Agents (SA) Mark Flores and Michael Yansick, of the FBI Crisis Negotiation Unit served as primary trainers who shared with cadets how they used negotiation to meet the FBI’s mission to successful mitigate situations without undue, and excessive, force. Cadets also heard from 5 Supervisory SAs from the FBI Crisis Negotiation Unit-New York Office and Orange County Behavioral Health Professionals on frameworks to identify suicidal behavior. Participants received 40-hour training certificates to apply to their permanent records. The West Point Negotiation Project is a USMA faculty effort to improve the ability of military leaders to negotiate and is an activity within BS&L's West Point Leadership Center. POC: MAJ Christina Fanitzi, BSL, x3295.

CDT Lewis Black presents “Your Community, Leadership, and You” to students at the Raffles Institution, SingaporeCDT Lewis Black presents “Your Community, Leadership, and You” to students at the Raffles Institution, Singapore
As a part of a Minerva research grant to Dr. Luke Gerdes, CDT Black participated in network science research being conducted at Raffles Institution (RI) and he was invited to give a talk to over 250 RI students. Following a lively introduction by LTC Matt Clark, CDT Lewis Black gave a talk on his personal leadership journey to date to the student leaders of RI in Singapore. RI is a prestigious college preparatory school in Singapore that has educated several important Singaporean leaders, including Lee Kuan Yew, the first Prime Minister of Singapore. CDT Black gave an inspiring talk on the need for continual self improvement, the importance of leading ethically, and the value of service in our lives. As part of this AIAD, CDT Black also participated in meetings with senior leaders in the Singapore Armed Forces with Dr. Gerdes and LTC Clark. Specifically, they met with the Singapore Armed Forces Training Institute on the topic of leader development and with the Defense Psychology Department on the topics of critical thinking and research methods.
POC: LTC Matt Clark, ext. 5644.

On the grounds of the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond Cadets Miller, Baggett, and Tonetti, Townsend, Golonka, and Reynolds pose with the Hon. John Charles Thomas (left), and the Hon. Roger Gregory (right)The 2014 West Point Civil Rights Staff Ride: Teaching Diversity, Commemorating Freedom Summer and the Civil Rights Act of 1964
The West Point Civil Rights Staff Ride was focused on the events of 50-years ago which shaped the nation and moved us closer to true equality. This intensive AIAD program combined interdisciplinary study in the classroom with a two-week staff ride through the Deep South to understand diversity and immerse cadets in the culture of the Civil Rights Movement of the post-WWII era. Cadets were competitively chosen and went through a rigorous week of classes in the law, politics and history of the Movement. All rising Yearlings, Cadets Lance Baggett, Michelle Golonka, Jazzmyn Miller, Adam Reynolds, Nathan Townsend, and Leah Tonetti were well versed in those subjects by the date of departure for the trip south.

The Staff Ride was sponsored by the West Point Center for the Rule of Law and the Department of Law, as well as the Departments of History, Social Sciences, English & Philosophy, and Behavioral Science & Leadership. Truly interdisciplinary, the participating faculty included period literature, music and culinary appreciation to supplement cadets’ recognition of the importance of diversity.
Civil Rights Staff Ride Cadets and Faculty Meet Legendary Civil Rights Attorney Fred Gray in Tuskegee, Alabama
Escorting cadets on this exciting journey were Maj. Andrew Forney from History, Dr. Rachel Yon from SOSH, and Dr. Robert J. Goldstein from the Department of Law who led the Staff Ride. Each day of the journey was filled with encounters with storied veterans of the Civil Rights Movement, their children and grandchildren.

In Richmond, VA they were met at the State Capitol by Judge John Charles Thomas, the first African-American on the VA State Supreme Court, and federal Judge Roger Gregory of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. The judges led a lively discussion which prepared cadets for their meetings, and posed questions that would resonate as the group travelled to the Deep South. Judge Gregory raised the issue of whether it might be useful in the current day to focus on the “equal” part of the mandate of “separate but equal” in the case of Plessey v. Ferguson.

West Point Cadet Activities

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USMA, West Point, #1 fittest American University

The United States Military Academy, West Point, has topped the list of fittest American Universities by "The Active Times".

Only academically good and physically fit individuals can secure admission at USMA. West Point applicants must also pass the Candidate Fitness Assessment, which comprises of six tasks including a basketball throw, cadence pull-ups, a 40-yard shuttle run for time, abdominal crunches, push-ups and a one-mile run for time.

USMA students are required to participate in a sport and mandatory classes include "Military Movement", Boxing, Combatives, Fitness Leadership, Survival Swimming and Lifetime Sport among others.

USMA is followed by the United States Naval Academy. Similar to USMA, candidates are also required to pass CFA to gain admission into the college.

The ranking is based on "the number, success and involvement of sports programs (both varsity and intramural), the quality of athletic facilities, the healthfulness of campus dining options, quality of life ratings", among other things. Read More

USA Basketball's Men's National Team Visits USMA

Coach K takes team USA to West Point, AP photo The United States Military Academy at West Point hosted a visit by USA Basketball's Men's National Team on Monday as the team prepares for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

The team and its coaching staff, led by 1969 West Point graduate Mike Krzyzewski, arrived at West Point Monday morning and toured the Academy prior to holding a practice at Christl Arena. The practice, open only to the West Point community, was televised live on ESPN2 beginning at 2 p.m.  Watch Coach K's ESPN interview here.

The group traveled to West Point from its headquarters in New York City and was greeted upon arrival by Superintendent Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen. After meeting with Lt. Gen. Caslen, the team visited the West Point Cemetery where it went to four gravesites and heard a historical overview given by Lt. Col. Dave Siry. Read More

“A” Day to Remember

A Day Class of 2018Every graduate is likely to remember what it was like to lose the “new cadet” moniker and be officially welcomed into the United States Corps of Cadets. After enduring six weeks of Cadet Basic Training, March Back and the rigors of Re-Orgy week, the Class of 2018 found out what that experience was like when it took part in the A-Day ceremony and parade on the Plain. The Corps opened its ranks to welcome 1,198 new members on Saturday, 22 percent of whom are women and 14 percent of whom are African Americans, the highest numbers in these categories ever for the United States Military Academy.

The Class of 2018 also brings in a record number of designated scholars, making it both the most competitive and the most diverse class to ever enter West Point. The Class features 82 valedictorians, 109 class presidents, 765 team captains, 1,055 varsity letter winners, 17 combat vets and 14 international cadets. According to Colonel Deborah McDonald ’85, Director of West Point Admissions, “The Class of 2018’s overall performance in academics, leadership, athletics and in the Army has been exceptional and provides the foundation for successful completion of the challenging West Point experience and for service to our Nation as commissioned leaders of character.” So, welcome “plebes.” West Point and your country expect great things from you! See photos here.

Class of 2016 Affirmation Ceremony

Affirmation Ceremony

On August 17, the Class of 2016 affirmed their commitment to complete their final two years of study at West Point and serve at least five years in the U.S. Army. In Robinson Auditorium, the 50-year affiliate Class of 1966 presented each Cow a commemorative coin bearing their class crest and motto, “With Honor We Lead.” See photos here.


Dean's Weekly, August 15th

Department of Law: For the fifth and final year, West Point cadets traveled to Liberia for an AIAD to study the rule of law in a post conflict country. Law Majors CDT Colton Giordano ’14 and CDT Betsy McCracken ’14, spent three weeks interviewing Liberians, U.S. State Department officials, U.S. Aid officials, and the Senior Defense Officer, COL Timothy Mitchell ’87, to get an understanding of the challenges the rule of law faces after Liberia’s gruesome 1989-2003 civil war.

The Liberian Supreme Court Chief Justice and Marshal with CDTs McCracken and GiordanoCDTs Giordano and McCracken quickly learned how complex and intertwined Liberia’s problems are, all affecting the rule of law in the world’s third poorest country. While Liberia’s constitution, court system, and one law school are modeled on the United States’, Liberia’s formal legal system is not able to provide justice for most its 4 million citizens. For example, the cadets heard how for the 3 million Liberians who live outside Monrovia, the capital, calling the police to report a crime does little good. This is because what few police there are either don’t have vehicles to come to a crime scene, or don’t have fuel for their vehicles.

Then when the cadets visited Monrovia Central Prison, the prison deputy superintendent told them how the vast majority of the prison’s 1,300 occupants were pre-trial detainees, as the country only has 30 public defense attorneys. So pre-trial detention can last for months or years.

The cadets heard more about how traditional leaders try to settle disputes from the Chairman of the National Traditional Council, the chief of all the chiefs. He described how elected chiefs try to reconcile the problem by talking to villagers, but how some chiefs also use customary, less unscientific methods, to determine who is telling the truth in a dispute.

Since the end of the Liberian civil war, the U.S. military has been mentoring the newly formed Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), a force that has adopted the Uniform Code of Military Justice as its legal code. Yet the AFL does not have any lawyers. The AFL enlisted soldier who is currently acting as both a defense and prosecuting attorney met with the cadets to describe the challenges the rule of law faces in keeping good order and discipline in the AFL.

CDTs Ashley Mohr '15 and Carissa Pekny '16Cadets Complete AIAD at Pentagon, One Presentation Sent to Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, Upon His Request: Cadets Ashley Mohr '15 and Carissa Pekny '16, both Environmental Science majors worked their AIAD at the Pentagon from 14-25 Jul 14 within the organization of the Hon. Katherine Hammack, Assistant Secretary of the Army, Installation, Energy and Environment (ASA IE&E). Cadet Mohr’s project was to evaluate the pilot Net Zero Energy modeling framework used by IE&E and compare that framework to the pilot Net Zero models used by installations in the US and Europe. She was then to recommend a final model for IE&E that better specifies the Net Zero approach. Cadet Carissa Pekny applied the systems engineering decision making process as developed by the United States Military Academy, West Point to compare seven different huts: B-hut, Concrete B-hut, SIP hut reinforced, rigid wall shelter, concrete masonry unit, and two energy efficient shelters. She then used this analysis to determine which of these huts had the highest stakeholder value in comparison to its cost. The Structural Insulated Panel hut had the highest stakeholder value at the 2nd lowest cost per soldier. Cadet Pekny’s project was sent to the LTG John Campbell, Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, upon his request. Point of contact is LTC Mark Smith, D/GENE, mark.smith@usma.edu

CDT Michael Westrom with Honduran trainees preparing to jump out of the 34 foot tower at the Honduran Commando School near TegucigalpaCenter for the Study of Civil Military Affairs (CSCMO) AIAD to Honduras: (20 July – 08 August) Cadets visiting Joint Task Force Bravo (JTF-B) at Soto Cano Air Base in Honduras over the summer received briefs from several Honduran military schools to include the Commando School located just outside of Tegucigalpa. This school, dedicated to training special tactics, is quivalent to the US Army Airborne and Ranger Schools. Graduates of the prestigious school are known throughout the Honduran military as elite troops specialized in jungle warfare and night operations. Cadets also participated with JTF-B personnel in community service projects oriented toward improving conditions at orphanages in local Comayagua, and organizing special projects and trips for the children. POC is MAJ Gavin Schwan at gavin.schwan@usma.edu.

Yearlings Molly Prins, Jacob Moffatt, and Charlie Braman joined Network Science Center Senior Researcher, Dan Evans, on an AIAD trip to Dar es Salaam Tanzania for a data collection effort supporting the Network Science Center's research project entitled, “Developing Network Models of Entrepreneurial Ecosystems.” The project has previously collected data in Uganda, Ethiopia, Zambia, Liberia, and Ghana.

Yearlings Molly Prins, Jacob Moffatt, and Charlie BramanNSC AIAD Trip to Dar es Salaam: The team immersed themselves into the burgeoning tech scene in Dar es Salaam. They visited 4 tech incubators/tech hubs: the Dar Teknohama Business Incubator, the Buni collaboration hub, the KINU incubator, and the Mara Foundation. In addition to interviewing tech entrepreneurs and administering surveys, they shared their expertise by teaching a class on performance management and counseling to a packed house at the KINU collaborative space. The team also briefed members of the US Embassy Staff on the project and even participated in the military section's Hail and Farewell at the Defense Attache's home.

Class of 2018 March Back

Grads know what August is supposed to be like at West Point: hot and humid. How grateful they must have been to have had sixty-degree weather and a cool breeze for the 2014 March Back with the new cadets of the Class of 2018. Two-hundred and forty three “Old Grads” participated this year, the most ever. Most of these made the 12-mile trek from Buckner starting at o-dark thirty. The rest, including 88-year old COL (R) Roger Conover ’48, the oldest grad participating, joined the group at the ski slope and marched the remainder of the way to Quarters 100. Throughout the March Back, grads had several opportunities to interact with the new cadets. “They asked us a lot of questions such as what we branched and what re-orgy week is like,” said Ted Russ ’91. But Georgina Biehl ’92 said that she asked just as many questions of the new cadets, who surprised her by being willing to talk about themselves. “I wanted to know things like what brought them to West Point and what they did before coming here,” Biehl said. Luke Leineweber ’18, a new cadet in Delta Company, came away impressed with grads from the Class of 1968, the soon-to-be plebe’s 50-Year Affiliation Class. “I learned that two ’68 grads who marched with us were roommates during their own Beast Barracks,” said Leineweber. “It just shows that the friendships I’ve formed these past few weeks suffering through Cadet Basic Training will likely stand the test of time.” In fact, the Class of 1968 tangibly demonstrated the bond between its members by featuring 76 participants in the March Back, nearly a third of all the grads marching. “We are all here to support the Class of 2018, gripping hands across the Long Gray Line,” said Dutch Hostler ’68, Class President.  Read More.

See Photos

75th Commandant Stresses Cadets

Brigadier General John Thomson ’86 assumed command of the United States Corps of Cadets on August 11, 2014 at a ceremony in Crest Hall. During his remarks to the audience after the passing of the colors, Thomson cited cadets as West Point’s “raison d’etre.” “I am excited to serve cadets as their 75th commandant,” Thomson said. Afterward, in an interview, Thomson said that he is looking forward to spending time with individual cadets in a variety of venues. His message to them will be simple and direct, emphasizing both values and standards: “Do what is right and do it excellently. Lead the way you want to be led and follow the way you’d want to be followed.” Before his assignment as Commandant, Thomson commanded at the battery level, battalion level and brigade level. He also served as a Tactical Officer at West Point in the mid to late nineties. Prior to returning to West Point, Thomson got input from the last five Commandants. “There was a common theme to their advice—have fun,” Thomson said. “If you are not having fun, then there are 4,400 cadets not having fun".

Your Financial Support Enhances Cadets Experience

For the last two years Partners has hosted a cadet from West Point for several weeks in the summer as part of their introduction to civil-military relations. The internship placement is facilitated by the Center for the Study of Civil-Military Operations (CSCMO) at West Point, which is dedicated to creating a foundation of understanding of civil-military operations among junior officers.

Cadet Kilner had this to say about the experience, "I felt that I accomplished COL (Ret) Mike Hess’ goal for this internship. He was one of the first to develop the concept of civil-military relations in the early 90s and learned through trial and error while deployed. His goal for cadets interning with NGOs was to understand the general concept of civil-military relations before actually having to put it into practice as officers in the military. I feel that after spending these three weeks at Partners and attending various events centered around global security I am able to think about any situation from many different perspectives, not just from a military perspective."

Read More about CDT Kilners experience.

Learn how you can financially support Cadet Academic Development Programs

Dean's Weekly, August 8th

CDT Theriot tries out the biomechanical testing equipmentCadet Conducts Biomechanics Research at Army Research Laboratories (AIAD): CDT Christal Theriot ’15 participated in an AIAD at the Army Research Laboratories’ Dismounted Warrior Branch, a part of the Human Research and Engineering Directorate (HRED).   Working with Dr. Courtney Webster of HRED, CDT Theriot performed a validation study on improved methods for tracking the motion of the pelvis when external devices such as rucksacks limit the visibility of the typical marker-based camera methods.  Tracking the motion of the body segments is a key method of assessing how the body reacts to internal and external interventions and stimuli.   The outcome of this work will be important for future protocol development for three-dimensional biomechanical testing.  CDT Theriot constructed a final PowerPoint presentation that described the outcome of the research.  Several slides are shown below.  POC is Dr. Becky Zifchock, Center for Innovation and Engineering, rebecca.zifchock@usma.edu

CDT Meyers posing in front of the United States Disciplinary Barracks in Fort Leavenworth, KSGENE AIAD with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region VII Office in Kansas City, MO.  CDT Andrew Meyers (Class of 2016) interned with the FEMA Region VII office located in Kansas City, MO where he worked on projects and initiatives within the mission support division of the regional office (20 July – 09 August).  CDT Meyers was able to visit other federal and state agencies and entities that FEMA works with to include the Kansas Department of Emergency Management, US Army Corps of Engineers, Defense Coordinating Office/Element, and the Kansas Adjutant General office.  CDT Meyers was able to see how closely FEMA works with state and other federal governmental agencies and the importance of cooperation among governmental agencies.  POC is MAJ Cristian Robbins at cristian.robbins@usma.edu.

West Point Rankings

Cadets on Parade FieldWest Point on Forbes Top 10 list
The U.S. Military Academy was placed ninth in Forbes list of the top colleges for 2014. The academy listed at seventh among schools in the Northeast and fourth among best liberal arts colleges.
For details, visit http://www.forbes.com/top-colleges/.

USMA scores high in Princeton Review

The Princeton Review ranked West Point in its “Top 10” in nine categories and “Top 20” in five others, including first in “Most Accessible Professors” and “Everybody Plays Intramural Sports” in their annual college guide “The Best 379 Colleges.”

Other notables include: third in “Best College Library” and “Most Politically Active Students,” fifth in “Best Health Services” and sixth in “Best Athletic Facilities.” The new 2015 edition profiles only about 15 percent of America’s 2,500 four-year colleges and four outside the U.S.

Rooms with a View, Coming Soon

By JoAnne Castagna
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, N.Y. District
Courtesy of Pointer View

Not too long ago, dozens of cadets at the U.S. Military Academy became very ill and missed classes. According to the academy, what caused this is the fact that almost half of the cadets are living in uncomfortable, crowded dorm rooms and that additional barracks are needed to relieve this situation.

They tapped the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District, to construct a new barracks since the agency has already successfully built numerous structures on the historic campus.

Presently, the District is blasting over 100,000 cubic yards of rock to make way for the new barracks. The look of the new structure will fit in well with the rest of the 200-year-old campus, will be energy efficient, and will save taxpayers approximately $44,000 annually.

“A new barracks that meets current Army standards is needed to relieve overcrowding in the existing barracks,” Richard Mandra, project manager, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District, said. “Right now, the entire first- year class and part of the second-year class are housed with three cadets in rooms designed for two cadets. This project will allow assignment of two cadets per room.”

The new cadet barracks is being designed and constructed by Army Corps contractor Walsh Construction Company of Chicago, and its subcontractor, Clark Nexsen.

The barracks will be 287,000 square feet in size and have six floors. Each floor will accommodate 130 cadets in two-person rooms. The entire barracks will provide living space for 650 cadets.

Cadets will be provided with latrines and showers, a laundry area, day rooms, office areas, study and collaboration rooms, trash and recycling areas and offices and storage rooms for the cadets.

The barracks, like the surrounding buildings, will be constructed in military Gothic revival architecture.
The design will include granite veneers or overlays, Gothic arches, sally ports or secure entryways and crenellated parapets with embrasures and limestone accents. Parapets are structures that were constructed on the tops of castles and forts centuries ago that have openings for shooting from the top of the structure.

“The project is located at the Central Post of the main campus which was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960. The barracks will be constructed of granite from a local supplier to match the existing buildings,” Matthew A. Ludwig, team leader, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District, said.

In addition, the design will also incorporate modern architectural features such as a curtain wall in the center of the façade. A curtain wall is an outer covering of a building that keeps the weather out, such as precipitation.

Unlike the other buildings constructed at West Point, the barracks will be leading the way in Energy and Environmental Design Silver certified. What will make it energy efficient are a solar hot water system and a radiant heating and cooling system.

During the heating season, the radiant system that is being installed at the new barracks works by circulating heated water through tubing in the floor, while during the cooling season the radiant system works very much the same way, except the water is chilled and circulated through the same tubing.

The construction of the barracks is expected to be completed in the summer of 2016 and cadets will be able to use the new facility by the end of December 2016.

Gymnastics Team Members Earn All-America Academic Honors

Kip WebberThe United States Military Academy men’s gymnastics team along with Connor Venrick and recently commissioned 2nt Lt. Kip Webber have been honored with All-America Academic honors.

Venrick landed on the first team with Webber earning second team honors and the Army gymnastics squad receiving an honorable mention as All-Amercian scholar athletes from The College Gymnastics Association.

As a team, Army received an honorable mention with William & Mary taking the top spot.

Venrick is one of 77 gymnasts from across the country to earn first team honors. The senior has earned the All-America recognition each of his three season as a Black Knight.

A pommel horse and still ring specialist, Venrick was an NCAA qualifier in 2014. He set career highs in both categories during the 2014 season, recording a score of 14.65 on the pommel horse against Springfield (March 2) and a 14.05 on still rings against Temple (Feb. 28).

This is the fourth All-America nod for Webber who landed on the first team in 2010 and 2011 and on the second team in 2013. Webber graduated in May and earned the Army Athletic Association’s highest honor as the top male athlete in the class of 2014. A civil engenieering major, Webber received his degree from President Barack Obama during commencement on May 28. Read More

Arctic edge: Battling cold

cadets northern warfare trainingServing in the cold doesn’t just include the temperature.

A summer day on a glacier can feel like winter, but if that’s where Alaska soldiers are called to fight, they have to be ready.

That’s where the Northern Warfare Training Center in Black Rapids excels, training soldiers for every mission.

West Point Military Academy Cadet Jeff Steiner is one of the soldiers taking part in glacier training.

He says he’s surprised by the rapid temperature change from the ground to the glacier.

“We put on cramp-ons and our harnesses and learned how to walk around on the ice which I thought, sounds kind of self-explanatory, but it’s a little harder than it seems,” Steiner said.

The ice becomes a classroom and the soldiers, students, but the lesson is potentially life-saving.

They form rope teams, the best defense against some of the glacier’s deadly hidden dangers.

“Glaciers have crevasses and a few other obstacles or other dangerous areas that we wanted them to be able to navigate safely,” said training officer Capt. Justin Lynch. Read More

‘Can Do’ mortarmen familiarize cadets with indirect fires

United States Military Academy Cadet’s form during training July 7, 2014WEST POINT, N.Y. – From July 7-13, 2014, the mortar platoon of 3rd Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, introduced United States Military Academy cadets on the functions and capabilities of 81mm and 60mm mortar systems at West Point, New York.

The training consisted of learning various specifications of the systems as well as their uses, capabilities and roles in warfare. The cadets, most of whom had never seen a mortar system fire before, began the training by watching the mortar platoon execute a fire mission with the speed and precision that is needed to effectively destroy the enemy with indirect fires.

The cadets were also briefed on the roles of the various Soldiers that comprise a gun team. Pfc. Rudolph Verbose, a mortarman from Bessemer, Michigan, and a gunner for gun team 2 in the mortar platoon enjoyed showing the cadets what his role and responsibilities were. Read more

USMAPS R-Day 2014

Two Hundred Thirty-Four cadet candidates reported to the United States Military Preparatory School today to begin Cadet Candidate Basic Training (CCBT) and the one-year USMAPS program in military science and remedial academics. According to Cadet Leo St. Amour ’15, CCBT battalion commander, it took approximately three hours to in-process the cadet candidates—15 percent of whom are women and nearly 20 percent of whom are prior service—once they arrived at “the bubble” (USMAPS indoor practice facility). After in-processing, cadet candidates learned how to stand at attention, salute, execute an about face and march and then displayed their new skills during the Oath Ceremony on USMAPS’ football field. St. Amour and his 79-member cadre will now spend the next three weeks training the cadet candidates on marksmanship, crew-served weapons, land navigation, medical readiness and other areas related to military training. CCBT will culminate with the Smith Challenge, named for 1LT James L. Smith ’59, USMAPS Class of 1965—2015’s 50-Year Affiliation class—who was killed in a helicopter crash on February 15, 1971 in Vietnam during a mission to evacuate a severely wounded member of his Ranger team.

See more USMAPS R-Day pictures here.

Walker Challenge Ends CBT-I

The first half of Cadet Basic Training for the Class of 2018 came to an end today with the six-site Walker Challenge. Named for 1LT Laura Walker ’03, who was killed in action in 2005 while serving in Afghanistan, this squad challenge tested new cadets on the skills they have acquired since R-Day: plebe knowledge, military ethics, medical training, basic rifle marksmanship, communication, incident response and physical training. Site #4, for example, had the new cadets performing pull-ups, carrying weighted items, flipping a LMTV’s tire, and executing flutter kicks while passing an ASSLT pack between squad members. “Teamwork is the key to this site,” said CDT George Ozga ’15, Delta Company Commander, the CBT company running the site. Squads were also timed on how long it took them to run from site to site on a course totaling 2.5 miles. At the end of the challenge, squads reflected on the accomplishments of 1LT Walker at a makeshift memorial along the Hudson River. The memorial emphasized four aspects of 1LT Walker’s life: athlete, scholar, soldier and leader. “That’s USMA’s complex mission in four words,” said a new cadet from Delta 1-1, “and that’s what each one of us will be developing into as we continue here over the next 47 months.”

Click here for more photos.

Cadet troop leader training gives USMA cadet taste of officer life

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany – A cadet from the U.S. Military Academy recently participated in a 20-day mentorship program with junior officers of the 212th Combat Support Hospital, 30th Medical Brigade at the Miesau Army Depot from June 23 to July 13.

Cadet Richard Price, who is currently between his junior and senior year at West Point, worked alongside multiple lieutenants in the 212th CSH through the cadet troop leader training program in an effort to experience leadership and learn about the various staff functions he could work in as a newly-commissioned Army lieutenant.

“My experience here has been really good so far,” said Price, a native of Tyler, Texas. “I’ve never been around the real Army before so it’s been good to see what the military is like and how it functions on a day-to-day basis.” Read More

Vanguard soldiers train, mentor West Point cadets

WEST POINT, N.Y. – Task Force China, a task force comprised of soldiers from throughout 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, has been at Camp Natural Bridge, a training area at the United States Military Academy at West Point for the past few months, assisting with USMA’s summer cadet training program.

Task Force China is named for 3rd Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 4th IBCT, 3rd ID, who provide more than half of the soldiers, as well as the command team for the mentoring and training mission. There are also soldiers from 1st Battalion, 76th Field Artillery Regiment, and 703rd Brigade Support Battalion providing support and expertise in their fields, not only for the cadets, but also for each other.  Read More

Class of 1976 Cultural Immersion Scholars


The Class of 1976 has launched a $2-million class reunion campaign to establish the Class of 1976 Cultural Immersion Scholars Endowment. This endowment will support cadets working with non-governmental organizations in 

non-Western, non-English speaking countries, providing cadets with the unique opportunity to live and work in a community with a culture and environment far different than their own. The experience takes cadets out of their comfort zones, strengthens their leadership skills, and increases their cross-cultural competence.  Read More

Dean's Weekly, July 12

Systems Engineering Capstone:  The Capstone team including Cadets John P. Crowley, David Park, Jonathan D. Nguyen, and Anthony T. Kotoriy were recognized on The Army website in an article published by client PEO C3T (Command, Control, Communications - Tactical). They worked on a project that helped Project Manager Mission Control's systems shift from multiple, standalone mission command systems to an integrated, web based environment under the Command Post Computing Environment (CP CE). With powerful and user-friendly apps merged onto a common operating picture of the battlefield, implementing the CP CE will decrease system complexity; Soldiers will train on one desktop, one time, across the entire Army.

Dean's Weekly, July 4th

Sustainable Engineering in the Developing World AIAD to Uganda: Cadets help place concrete for the cistern foundation and excavate a trench for a drainage pipe. Four cadets western Uganda from recently to construct rainwater harvesting systems at two primary schools. These systems will provide a clean source of water for the schoolchildren, and consist of a set of gutters that channel water into a large cistern on a brick and concrete foundation. In addition, they used sophisticated samplers to determine the impact of open fires vs. wood-burning cookstoves on indoor air quality in the local community, and collected field data that cadets could use next year to design and build a water treatment system for a local farm. The topics of sustainable water resource management and indoor air quality link directly to the course work the environmental engineering cadets explore in EV397 (Air Pollution Engineering), and EV481 (Water Resources Planning and Design). Additionally, these topics are integrated into the environmental engineering sequence as recent case studies to highlight global concerns in the developing world. These projects were in support of the non-profit Kasiisi Project, a non-governmental organization (NGO) whose mission is to conserve Kibale National Park via education, health, and conservation programs. Working with the NGO, the schools, and local contractors enabled cadets to learn about engineering and construction techniques in the developing world, to be immersed in Ugandan culture, and to gain first-hand experience of civil-military teamwork in sustainable community development. This AIAD was generously supported by the Center for the Study of Civil-Military Operations (CSCMO).

Welcome 2018: Your Next 4 Years in 4 Pages

ArrivalHere’s a snapshot of what the plebes can expect at the Academy of their next four years.

After enduring the six rigid weeks of Beast Barracks last summer, John Rogers ’17 welcomed the change that was to come. “I’m looking forward to the freedom offered by the academic year,” he said moments after completing the A-Day ceremony on the Plain. “Getting into a routine of my own choosing will be nice.” Routine—yes; freedom—not so much.

The 2012 spring issue of West Point magazine details a day in the life of a cadet from each class year. In all four years, each cadet’s day will begin before the sun is up. By the time most people get to work (and get their coffee and chat about last night’s TV episode with their co-workers), West Point cadets will typically have attended two classes. Then, when most people are looking forward to “happy hour” after work, the typical cadet will be spending 90 minutes to 2.5 hours participating in some type of athletic activity. Lastly, while most people are watching TV or googling around the web after dinner, cadets will be partaking in club meetings or doing homework until lights out (at 11pm). Take heart, new cadets of 2018—each cadet seemed to find 50 minutes in his or her roughly 17-hour day to take a nap or a study break.

If this seems like it will be a daunting schedule, well, it will be! This is West Point, after all. Cadets didn’t earn their reputation as “busiest college students in the nation” by sleeping in and playing hacky sack. But there will be moments of fun too. Many cadets report finding plenty of enjoyment in their “every-cadet-an-athlete” duties. And for those who don’t take pleasure in sports, there will be more than 100 fun and fulfilling extracurricular activities through the Directorate of Cadet Activities with which cadets can be involved (such as the radio station, the film forum, or the flying team).

The bottom line is that cadets are so busy that they don’t have time to worry about filling gaps in their schedules. But should there be a soon-to-be plebe who is longing for a Saturday without a SAMI (Saturday morning inspection) and who would rather count down the minutes to their favorite TV show than call out the minutes until formation, don’t worry: A four-day Thanksgiving Break is only about six months away and the nearly two-week (!) Christmas Break follows closely behind that.

We will be there to capture all the action on R-day so check out our FACEBOOK page and tag your cadet.

Dean's Weekly, June 21

JINSA (Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs) AIAD to Israel:  Nine cadets joined other service academies in an inspiring 16-day cultural immersion experience in Israel. The JINSA-hosted event offered cadets the opportunity to experience many of the academic concepts explored at West Point, challenge their preconceptions, and better understand why our two nations are allies. During world-class lectures and activities, cadets compared democracy in the USA and Israel, discussed an Israeli model for innovation with the CEO of a government-backed incubator company, and grappled with Israel's security challenges from the perspective of IDF members, scholars, an Arab journalist, a Sufi Sheik, and kibbutz members. A highlight of the trip was visiting Israel's Naval, Air Force, and Army Officer training schools. 10 IDF officers spent a week with the cadets, offering cadets unparalleled access to their insight, experience, and world-view.

Cadet Outreach with The Tiger Woods Foundation:  Cadets Austin Wilding, Thomas Matty, Marco Zamora, Brian Harvey, and Joshua Simpkins were part of a West Point Contingent that traveled to Los Angeles, California to conduct a week long STEM Workshop with a 120 5th grade students. The STEM Outreach is being held at the Tiger Woods Learning Center. During the week-long event, Cadets were mentoring the students as they designed virtual bridges using the West Point Bridge Designer, interpret construction plans to build standard bridges with K’NEX sets, learning about cantilever bridges, flight and fitness USMA style. The cadets also have the opportunity to discuss cadet life, their West Point experience, and the importance of STEM education with the students.

USMA Dean Summer Newsletter

To view the USMA Dean Newsletter Summer 2014, click here.









Kristen Waagbo Named First Army Women's Lacrosse Head Coach

Kristen Waagbo has been named Head Coach of the Army Women’s Lacrosse team, Director of Athletics Boo Corrigan announced Friday. Waagbo will begin building her staff and recruiting cadet-athletes immediately in preparation for Army’s inaugural 2016 season.

Waagbo is the first hire for the women’s lacrosse program, which was unveiled as Army’s 26th NCAA Division I sport on Feb. 24.

For the full story, click here.

Geography & Environmental Engineering Newsletter

On behalf of the Department of Geography & Environmental Engineering, please view the Annual Department Newsletter.

If you would like to receive this annual newsletter via email please let us know by emailing WebGal@wpaog.org and we will add you to our email list. 

If the above link does not work please copy and paste this URL  ~www.westpointaog.org/file/GENENewsletterSummer14.pdf

R-Day & WPAOG Events

R-Day is almost here!  Parents are invited to join WPAOG from 6 - 10am on the second floor in Ike’s Riverside Café to enjoy complimentary coffee and donuts and meet members of the Class of 1968 (2018's 50-Year Affiliation Class).

Take advantage of the free shuttle bus service to look around West Point. Don’t miss the stop at Herbert Alumni Center to see the home of the West Point Association of Graduates. We are hosting a catered BBQ Luncheon from 11am – 2pm. You can find more details and register for the BBQ online now! Our Gift Shop will be offering a 10% discount to all visitors on R-Day (Main Store and at our table in Eisenhower Hall), as well as on Tuesday, July 1st, from 10am – 5pm if you want to pick up some West Point gear early!

Network Science Center Newsblast

In the current issue of the Network Science Center Newsblast Dan Evans and Louis Boguchwal discuss and evaluate different methods for comparing networks. This is critical in their research which seeks to compare entrepreneurial environments. You can also find a link to a recent article on, ‘Power Grid Defense Against Malicious Cascading Failure’. To read their article in this issue of the Network Science Center’s Newsblast, click here.



Dean's Weekly, June 6

Essay Published:  Cadet Zach Thompson had a paper featured in the History Matters Undergraduate Journal, a publication of Appalachian State University. Zach’s essay, entitled "Send in the Dummies!Operation TITANIC’s role during D Day", was one of five papers selected from more than 110 submissions.  The on-line version is accessible at http://historymatters.appstate.edu/issue/spring-2014.

G&EnE Award CeremoniesPicture: Class of 2014 Environmental Program GraduatesThe Geography program recognized three cadets for excellence in Geography.  James “Jake” Link received the “Duke” Winters Memorial Award for Excellence in Military Geography and the Excellence in Geographic Research Award, John Szott earned the Congressional Medal of Honor Society Award for Excellence in Geography, and Raziel Shields was recognized as the top Human Geographer. The Environmental Program recognized all Environmental Engineering and Environmental Science majors with the coveted “Dirtman” Patch along with Cadet Will Anderson who graduated from the Environmental Science Major with honors. The Geospatial Information Science Program also recognized two cadets for excellence within the major: Michael Williams was recognized as the top GIS graduate and presented the ESRI Award for Excellence in Geospatial Information Science, and Pierce Wasdahl was presented the BAE Award for Excellence in Photogrammetry.

C&ME Cadet Award Ceremony:  The department hosted its cadet awards ceremony and open house for the graduating C&ME majors from the Class of 2014.  Cadets with parents, family members, and friends attended the ceremony in Arnold Auditorium during which the department recognized the many award winners and honors majors.

The Sounds of Summer

What better way to spend a warm summer evening than laying on blanket, catching the cool breeze of the Hudson River, and listening to the majestic music of the West Point Band? The band’s Trophy Point summer concerts commence on June 22 with a performance titled “Are You Ready for the Country?” “An Evening at the Movies” follows on June 29 before the annual “Independence Day Celebration” on July 4, culminating in a fireworks display. There’s a kids’ night on July 13, a military music night on July 20, a night of soul on July 27, and a night of dancing on August 3. The Trophy Point schedule concludes on August 31 with the traditional “Labor Day Celebration,” complete with fireworks.

The West Point Band is the Army’s oldest musical organization, tracing its lineage back to a single drummer and fifer who was left to perform military music at the West Point installation after the Revolutionary War. Today, the band fulfills more than 1,600 official missions each year, including parades, patriotic ceremonies, and TV performances—but its primary mission is to provide world-class musical support to the United States Corps of Cadets.

Check out the West Point Band’s entire summer schedule (including off-Post sites) by clicking here.

Can't get to West Point? Check out the West Point Band YouTube Channel | See Photos on Flickr

Orders from the President: Graduation 2014

Today was a historic day for West Point and the Nation. For West Point, the Class of 2014, with its 1,064 members, extends the Long Gray Line beyond 50,000 living graduates. This is the first time in history the Long Gray Line has reached this milestone. For the Nation, President Barrack Obama gave a commencement speech that made several proclamations regarding 21st century U.S. foreign policy, while at the same time defending several of his Administration’s past foreign policy decisions, namely Syria and Ukraine. This is the second time in his presidency that Obama gave the commencement address at the United States Military Academy. As he himself noted in today’s speech, much of the national landscape has changed since he last spoke at West Point. In 2009, more than 100,000 troops were still in Iraq, the surge in Afghanistan was still being planned, and the Nation was still trying to climb out of the economic crisis. Now, building on his recent announcement to remove all troops from Afghanistan by 2016, the President told the graduates from the Class of 2014, “You are the first class to graduate since 9/11 who may not be sent into combat in Iraq or Afghanistan.” While most of his 45-minute speech was aimed at his foreign policy critics, he did address the Class of 2014 in a few key instances. First, he challenged the graduates to lead the world, seeing it as it should be seen—“a place where the aspirations of individual human beings really matters, where hopes and not just fears govern; where the truths written into our founding documents can steer the currents of history in the direction of justice.” Then, in his conclusion, he gave the Class of 2014 his official charge: “…[to] not only to protect our country, but to do what is right and just.” Whether Obama’s policy on diminished military force lasts or not, only time will tell. But as LTG Robert L. Caslen ’75, the Military Academy’s 59th Superintendent, told the members of the Class of 2014 before the President spoke, “You have the trust and confidence of the American people.” USMA graduates always have and always will. Congratulations Class of 2014: “Forever One Team!”

View photos here.

Soldier Design Competition

Soldier Design Competition:  Drew Stanley atop the Heavy Lift airbag system; photo taken from the articleCadets from six USMA teams competed against MIT at the 12th annual Soldier Design Competition (SDC) sponsored by the Institute for Soldier Nanotechnology at MIT. MIT took the top two prizes, but one USMA team claimed the Director’s Prize ($3,000) from the Civil and Mechanical Engineering Department.

Additionally, reporters from Popular Mechanics magazine have been tracking several of the cadet project teams since March, when the magazine published their initial web article focused on the USMA teams vying to become finalists for the SDC.  The magazine followed with a second article that showcased the final competition, and highlights Cadet Drew Stanley (pictured here, photo curtsey of Popular Mechanics).

Fireside Chat with LTC Caslen:  The Excel Scholars Program held their final fireside chat LPD of the academic year with LTG Caslen and CSM Byers.  Over the course of an hour, the Excel Scholars engaged the USMA command team on a myriad of topics including leadership, organizational change, authenticity, and professional relationships.

Cadet Activities Update, May 23

Team HandballTeam Handball returns from Reno, Grappling club placed third in the Nation at the World Team Trials, and NSBE hosts 4th Annual Engineering Expo.

Read more here.

Athletic Director's Update, May 23

Army wins Patriot League conference's Men's President's Cup.  The Cup is awarded to the member institution with the highest cumulative sports point total .  Read more about it here.

Cadet Activities Update, May 17

Glee Club opens NFL Draft.Glee Club opens NFL Draft, Women's Varsity Crew has best finish time in 15 years, and West Point hosts a Peace Powwow.  Read all about it here.

Dean's Weekly, May 17

The Corps was focused on Term End Exams (TEEs) this week as they wrapped-up the semester.

Cadet Tutor Program:  During the last week of classes, 220 cadet volunteers from the Cadet Tutor Program provided TEE prep sessions to approximately 350 Plebe and Yearling cadets in preparation for final exams.  Historically, the TEE prep sessions have recorded attendance of over 700 students, with more than 200 peer tutors participating to help cadets achieve more on their final exams.

ERDC Award:  Cadets Peter Fugate, Robert Jolly, Elaine Gill, and Grace Hamilton were all awarded a certificate of appreciation by the Environmental Laboratory of the Engineering Research and Development Center (ERDC). Their work on life cycle costing of environmental remediation techniques for waste water effluent from the manufacturing of insensitive munitions was used to fund major capital investments at an Army ammunition plant. This research will be published as an ERDC technical report later this year.

Athletic Director's Update, May 14

Catch the AD's wrap-up here.

Cadet Activities Update, May 11

Men's Rugby "Old Grey Match" 2014Connor Wernecke becomes first cadet to earn qualification spots to both the Ironman 70.3 World Championship and the Ironman World Championship, Men's Rugby welcome alumni to the "Old Grey Match", and General Vincent Brooks '80 shares insights with Cultural Affairs Club.

Read these stories and more here.

Dean's Weekly, May 9

Academy Idol:  Cadet Micah Petersen (’17, I-1) as Bottom from A Midsummer Night’s Dream.The Department of English and Philosophy held its annual Academy Idol competition in which plebes currently enrolled in EN102 Literature perform monologues from Shakespeare’s plays. Featuring the top nine performers from the Class of 2017, this year’s competition included monologues from such diverse plays as 1 Henry IV, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Winter’s Tale, and Richard III. Prizes were awarded for first, second, and third place to Class of ’17 Cadets Micah Petersen (I-1), Danielle DiUlus (G-4), and James Grays (B-1), respectively.

Pre-release Film Screening of "The Burden":  Cadet club Engineers and Scientists for a Sustainable World (ESSW) hosted an exclusive pre-release showing of "The Burden". The film tells the story of the serious national security challenges posed by our fossil fuel dependence, and why the U.S. military is uniquely suited to innovating our way to a clean energy economy. Cadets then discussed their reactions with Roger Sorkin, the film producer, and Jon Gensler, West Point Class of 2000, who plays a prominent role in the movie. The film allowed cadets to consider the roles junior and senior Army leaders will play in developing effective energy solutions and how these solutions will ultimately increase national security, improve the environment and stimulate the U.S. economy.

5th Annual Inter-Academy Chemistry Symposium (IACS):  USMA, USNA, USAFA, and USGCA participated in the 5th Annual Inter-Academy Chemistry Symposium (IACS) at the U.S. Air Force Academy to enable an Inter-Academy level exchange of ideas and a broadening experience between chemistry, life science, and chemical engineering faculty, cadets, and midshipmen. This year the events included a research poster competition between Cadets and Midshipmen.  Cadet Joon and Cadet Brown were 2 of the five finalists in the research poster session.

DARPA Service Academies Innovation Challenge:  Cadets from the Department of Chemistry and Life Science placed second in the DARPA Service Academies Innovation Challenge with their Power Patch project. Cadets Samuel Lowell, Andrew Pribble, Katherine Gross, Alex Parra, and Dave Brown developed flexible nanowire-nanotube films that were used in a lithium rechargeable battery. The battery as assembled in the form factor of an IR flag patch for the ACU uniform and is intended as a chassis for an environmental sensor suite.

Athletic Director's Update, May 5

Get team season wrap-ups and more here.

Coach K Awards

Last week, the annual Coach K awards were presented to West Point athletes and coaches for their outstanding commitment to the development of noble character through athletic participation and leadership. For the full story and list of recipients, click here.

“Forever One Team”— Graduation 2014

Cadets sign the Alma Mater at Graduation 2009After 47 months, or 204 weeks, or 1,430 days, or 34,320 hours (their Facebook page even provides minutes and seconds!), the members of the Class of 2014 are ready to walk across the stage to get their diplomas, signifying their graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point. They arrived on June 28, 2010, as mere cadet candidates who were expected to follow orders, and now they are leaving as commissioned second lieutenants who are expected to lead America’s sons and daughters in the U.S. Army.

To welcome them as members of the Long Gray Line, the West Point Association of Graduates will be hosting a Firstie Social for the Class of 2014 on May 6 and 7, 2014 (two Regiments per night). Sponsored by the Class of 1996, this event provides a night for First Class cadets to socialize in a relaxed environment, enjoy the amenities of Herbert Alumni Center, meet representatives from WPAOG, and learn about WPAOG’s mission to serve cadets, graduates, and the Long Gray Line.

WPAOG will also welcome the parents and family members of the Class of 2014 at its annual Graduation Breakfast on May 28, 2014. From 6:30am to 9:00am, WPAOG will be serving delicious baked goods (muffins, Danishes, cinnamon rolls, etc.) and warm breakfast dishes (bacon, eggs, French toast, etc.) to guests who registered for this special event. Best of all, Herbert Alumni Center, the venue for this breakfast, is only short walk from Michie Stadium, so guests will have plenty of time to find their seats before the graduates march in. Please register online at www.westpointaog.org/2014GraduationBreakfast.  Contact alumni-events@wpaog.org or call 845.446.1649 for more information.

Projects Day Recap

Academics--Projects DayEach year, hundreds of cadets from all academic departments participate in Projects Day by presenting a design project or thesis. Whether individually or as a team, cadets demonstrate their ability to integrate academic and military knowledge and skills, as well as demonstrate presentation and communications skills. The event also gives cadets a chance to explore majors, learn from examples, and fulfill an integrative experience requiremen.

read more

Dean's Weekly, May 3

ASCE’s Regional Competition: Steel Bridge Team with Cadets Matt Shinkwin, Cody Bye, Tyler Roden, Alex Cansler, and Bruce Merrill. Hosted by Cornell University, the annual event is the regional qualifier for the ASCE national competition for the concrete canoe team and the steel bridge team. The teams consist of first class cadets who designed, built, and competed against students from the other universities in the region. Additionally, three cadets competed in the Mead Ethics Essay competition with a written essay and an oral presentation. ASCE club representatives competed in a series of mystery events, which included an AutoCAD competition and a photo scavenger hunt on the Cornell campus.  West Point performed exceptionally during the three days of competition, winning awards in all categories including Steel Bridge Presentation, Concrete Canoe Design Paper, Mead Paper Presentation (Mackenzie Vaughn), Mystery Event, and Sportsmanship.

ME490 Trip to General Electric’s Global Research Center:  Cadets travelled to the GE Global Research Center (GRC) and  received a number of briefings about general areas of research within the GRC’s Aero-Thermal and Mechanical Systems (ATMS), and other research divisions.

SAE Mini Baja Competition:  The thirteen cadets on the 2014 Mini Baja team with their off-road vehicle prototype.A team of twelve mechanical engineering majors and one systems engineering major competed in the Society of Automotive Engineers Baja Competition in El Paso, Texas.  This is the culminating event of two semesters of engineering design and building for the cadets. The competition includes a sales brief, design brief, thorough technical inspections, and four dynamic events: acceleration, hill climb, maneuverability, and suspension and traction. The final event at the competition is a four-hour endurance race. On a course that rendered many cars inoperable with broken components, the cadets had only two minor issues needing repair, and a major component failure with less than 3 minutes of the race remaining.

Innovation Cadets and Technology Visionaries:  A group of EECS cadets conducted interviews of forward thinking technology leaders and innovators as part of XE492 – Disruptive Innovations. Cadets discussed disruptive technology and innovation, digital currency products such as BitCoin, and the RFID Consortium and applications of RFID technology, among many other topics. 

Cadet Activities Update, May 3

 Orienteering Team takes 1st place for the 12th consecutive yearOrienteering Team takes 1st place for the 12th consecutive year, Army places two finalists in Inter-Academy research competition, and the Cadet Fine Arts (Film) Forum attended the TRIBECA film festival.

Catch-up on these stories and more Cadet Activities as Spring weather finally arrives at West Point by clicking here.

Gripping Hands…Strengthening Hearts

A yearly tradition continued on May 1, 2014, with the 10th annual “Inspiration to Serve” West Point Cemetery Tour. Founded by General Fred Franks ’59, the tour is the capstone event for the yearlings' Professional Military Ethic Education program. Its purpose is to provide Third Class cadets the opportunity to reflect on the accomplishments of fallen graduates of the United States Military Academy and others who have made significant impacts shaping the Long Gray Line. USCC conducts this tour to ensure that cadets understand the character, competence, and commitment needed to serve in the Profession of Arms before taking their Affirmation Oath at the beginning of cow year. 

Starting at the Old Cadet Chapel, cadet companies toured the cemetery along four routes, which were determined by regiment. Each route took cadets to four different gravesites, at least one of which was for a graduate who died serving at the lieutenant rank. At each gravesite, volunteer presenters, often a relative or classmate of the individual interred at that site, shared personal stories of service, patriotism, and courage, and explained how the deceased graduate was an effective leader who helped shape and strengthen the Long Gray Line. And in the event that cadets missed the point while listening to the presenters, each tour rotation received a wrap-up brief in front of the Dade Monument delivered by Major Daniel Gade ’97, who drove home the “inspiration to serve” message by teaching the cadets that serving equals love and that love means putting the needs of others ahead of oneself.

At its conclusion, several cadets acknowledged that the tour was very emotional for them. Kunal Jha ’16 said that he was touched hearing Daren Hidalgo’s ’09 parents tell their son’s story. “You could see how painful his loss is to his mother,” Jha said, “but I think she’s happy knowing he died doing what he loved—he wanted to serve.”

“During the academic year, you lose sight of what you’re really here for,” said Nathan Weir ’16. “The stories demonstrated the character, competence, and commitment of members of the Long Gray Line, and listening to them made me reflect about my family, my friends, and why I came to West Point—and they reinforced my commitment to serve.”

To view photos of the event, click here.

To view a video of the event, click here.

Athletic Director's Update, May 2

Men's Tennis wins 6th championship with defeat of Navy, Army Baseball earns 12th Star victory over Navy, and golfer Cadet Kim earns bid to NCAA Regionals by making history.

Read these stories and more from the AD here.