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Cullum Files

historical records

Class Notes

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1966 "Grip Hands" with 2016

The Class of 1966 has gripped hands with members of the Class of 2016 since their March Back from Beast Barracks in August 2012.  '66 had accompanied the cadets at their Acceptance day, Crest Unveiling, Yearling Flag Ceremony, Cow Affirmation Ceremony, Ring Weekend, and Branch Night.

Graduation - 2LT Bars

The U.S. Military Academy Class of 2016 graduated and commissioned as second lieutenants into the U.S. Army May 21, Nine hundred and fifty-three cadets, which represented approximately 78 percent of the cadets who entered West Point in the summer of 2012. Vice President Joe Biden was the graduation speaker. This was the 218th graduating class of West Point. This class included 151 women, 77 Hispanics, 71 Asian/Pacific Islanders, 69 African-Americans and 12 Native Americans. The class also had 25 combat veterans (24 male, one female). Members of the class of 1966 presented new graduates with their second lieutenant bars as their final duty of the 50-year affiliation program. Honorable Michael Wynne '66, LTG (Ret) George Crocker '66, Mr. Robert Cresci '66 and Mr. Peter Braun '66, Class President, distributed the bars. The bars are engraved with “66-16” to commemorate the special bond between the classes. READ MORE | PHOTOS.

Branch Night

Before receiving the envelopes that contained their fates in the form of “first brass” branch insignia, the firsties heard some words of wisdom from LTG (R) Freddy McFarren from the Class of 1966, the Class of 2016’s 50-Year Affiliation Class. “I am excited about your branch selection, but I am more excited about the fact that in a few months you will be leading, coaching, teaching, and mentoring our country’s most important resource: the young men and women of the Armed Forces,” he said. “Whether you stay in for a few years or make a career of the service, you will have many wonderful memories of your dealings with American Soldiers.” McFarren then provided a list of all the non-commissioned officers with whom he served during his 37-year career. “I mention all these magnificent leaders hoping you understand how significant they were to me and that someday you will have these same cherished memories.”

LTC (R) Bill Traubel ’66 is another 50-Year affiliate who has been sharing his memories and experiences of West Point with the members of the Class of 2016 since their R-Day in 2012. One of his stories involves his own Branch Night. “Talk about waiting,” he said, “ours was a mystery that unfolded in some 570 steps back then,” referring to the process in which each cadet got up in turn by general order of merit and selected a spot in one of the five branches available at that time (Armor, Artillery, Engineers, Infantry, and Signal Corps). “And we didn’t have pizza and branch swag given to us afterwards either,” Traubel said.  READ MORE  WATCH VIDEO

Ring Weekend

During Ring Weekend, LTC(R) Cooney, LTC(R) Nason, LTC(R)Traubel LTC(R) Wright, and their spouses participated with the First Class in the Ring Presentation Ceremony, the Ring Donors’ Reception, the Commandant’s Reception, the Ring Banquet, and the Ring Hop. PHOTOS

Cow Affirmation

USMA Class of 2016 gathered in Robinson Auditorium, Aug. 17, to affirm their commitment to complete their final two years of study at West Point and serve at least five years of active military service. During the ceremony, the Class of 1966, the 50-year affiliate, presented each Cow (Junior) a commemorative coin bearing the class crest and motto. GEN Robert Scales spoke on behalf of the Class of 1966. LTC(R) Edward Wright
LTC(R) Eugene Driscoll, LTC(R) Douglas Sims, LTC(R) John Buczacki, LTC(R) Willliam Traubel, Mr.  & Mrs. Bernie Reilly, Mr. John Dobise, COL(R) Kenneth Carlson, Mr. Henry Wallace, LTC(R) & Mrs. Norman Cooney, LTC(R) Walter Brinker, LTC(R) & Mrs. Alan Nason, were in attendence. PHOTOS

Yearling Flag Ceremony

Colonel George Utter, Colonel William Traubel, and Dr. Tom Carhart represented the Class of 1966, the Class of 2016’s 50-Year Affiliate Class, at the Cadet Field Training Award Ceremony on Thursday. During the ceremony, the Class of 1966 presented that of 2016 with its Class Flag. Going forward, this gift will be displayed at all class events and remain with the class after graduation into the Long Gray Line. An integral part of the 50-Year Affiliation Program, the presentation of the Class Flag strengthens the bonds between the classes and reinforces the ideals of West Point and the values of the Army.  READ MORE

Class Crest Unveiling

For the first time (that WPAOG is aware of) the 50-Year Affiliation Class has received a nod of appreciation in the cadets' class crest. Everything in a class crest is symbolic. The bald eagles continues to maintain its traditional representation of freedom, spirit, and the pursuit of excellence. "USMA" serves as not only a representation of our alma mater but also as a physical embodiment of the core values engrained in each cadet: Duty, Honor, Country. This year, the stars and stripes on the American flag are also symbolic. There are six stars on the left and six stripes on the right to honor the Class of 1966, the 50-Year Affiliation Class.  READ MORE

March Back (not an official 50-year program event)

One hundred and seventy-two graduates, representing 40 USMA Classes spanning 68 years, participated in the thirteenth annual March Back on Monday. Most of them (158), including 89-year-old Dick Williams ’45 and 25 members from the 50-Year Affiliation Class of 1966, trekked the 13.8-mile route from Camp Buckner starting at 4:30am. Along the way, the grads interacted with new cadets from the Class of 2016, and reported positive feedback concerning both the cadets and the cadre. “I love everything I’m seeing,” said Donna Garrett Boltz ’82; “The Corps is going in a wonderful direction.” “The interaction between cadets and cadre is a lot more professional than when I was a cadet,” said Jerry Sidio ’70; “There’s no more yelling and screaming, and—if what we saw today is the end result—I’d say they’ve hit a home run.” Norm Cooney, the Class President for the Class of 1966, also came away from the March Back inspired: “The new cadets are into the training. They understand what they are here for. And the cadre is doing what they should be doing as leaders. It’s all very impressive.” The March Back signals the successful completion of Cadet Basic Training for the Class of 2016, but they will still keep the “new cadet” rank during Reorgy Week before being officially accepted into the Corps as plebes on A-Day this Saturday. PHOTOS

R-Day and Oath Ceremony

This event, the initial element of the Affiliation program. The doors of Eisenhower Hall opened at 6am sharp, and the first members of the Class of 2016 stepped through to begin their 47-month West Point experience. On just day one of that experience the candidates had their 90-second “good-bye,” received in-processing at Thayer Hall, donned their Academy-issued black shorts and gray t-shirt, got their haircut, learned to march and salute, reported to the Cadet in the Red Sash, ate lunch, obtained their room assignment, shined their shoes, and took their Oath on The Plain.  With roughly two dozen members—graduates and spouses—of the Affiliation Class present the purpose of this event is to provide the family and friends of the incoming New Cadets a place to relax, enjoy refreshments, and interact with grads.  Later that day, members of the Affiliation Class move to Trophy Point to join families to witness the swearing-in ceremony that formally initiates the new Class into the Academy.  WATCH VIDEO