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Thank You For Your Service
5/25/2020

Thank You For Your ServiceOn Memorial Day, WPAOG honors the members of the Long Gray Line and all servicemen and women who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country and protecting our freedom.

"And when our work is done;
Our course on earth is run;
May it be said, 'Well done';
Be thou at peace."
- West Point Alma Mater

Class Notes Updates This Week
5/22/2020

Class Notes Updates This WeekThe following classes have added updates this week to their Class Notes pages. 1959 | 1962 | 1966 | 1970 | 1974 | 1977 | 1996 | 2002. Class Notes

WPAOG 151st Birthday
5/22/2020

Today is WPAOG's 151st Birthday, and we want to share our Strategic Plan for the future of WPAOG as we continue to serve West Point and the Long Gray Line.

WPAOG 2030 Strategic Plan from WPAOG.

WPAOG Has Some Exciting News About Grad Link!!!
5/22/2020

WPAOG Has Some Exciting News About Grad Link!!!Grad Link is officially moving to Sallyport on June 4, 2020.

All grads have a free account ready to activate by simply using the email you have on file with the Association of Graduates. Fellow Grads and Volunteer leaders will be able to reach their former classmates, Societies, and the connect with our alumni body from anywhere in the world.

Download the “West Point AOG Sallyport” app to see how your connection to the Long Gray Line has been enhanced more than ever.

Activate your Account: https://sallyport.westpointaog.org/login

Dr. Anderson ’96 Named CMO at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center
5/21/2020

Dr. DeVry AndersonDr. DeVry Anderson was Named Chief Medical Officer at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center. Prior to working at St. David’s South Austin, Anderson was vice president of medical services at the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center in Fort Hood.

“Dr. Anderson has transitioned seamlessly into this role amidst a global pandemic unlike anything we have seen in our lifetimes,” St. David’s South Austin CEO Charles Laird said. “I am confident he will continue to build upon the exceptional level of care provided at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center.” Story.

Quinn ’02 Giving Back to Medical & Emergency Staff
5/18/2020

The West Point Grads who own and operate Feltman's of Coney Island are making sure doctors, nurses, and first-responders get the appreciation they deserve because Grads understand service and sacrifice.

CEO Joe Quinn '02 created a program that allows people to nominate medical workers and other emergency staff who have been serving the public throughout the Covid-19 outbreak to receive a thoughtful care package with a note of thanks from Feltman's of Coney Island in Queens, NY.

GEN Dempsey ’74 Virtual Perfomance with “Downrange”
5/18/2020

GEN Dempsey ’74 Virtual Perfomance with “Downrange”Oh let me tell you that I love you, that I think about you all the time. America, you're calling us, still our home sweet home. And if we let this crisis change us, you know that it would make me more than sad, America's been everything I've ever had."

These are lyrics from a new adaptation of a song, titled "America," written and performed by retired Army General Martin Dempsey, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Inspired by the resiliency of the country during the novel coronavirus pandemic, the retired four-star general collaborated with the U.S. Army pop/rock band "Downrange" to produce the song. In an interview with ABC News on Thursday, Dempsey said that military bands exist to inspire and encourage Americans, as well as remind them "who we are in the toughest times."

"We began to wonder if there was a way we could send a similar message to our fellow citizens who themselves are going through the very tough times related to COVID-19," he said.

Though Downrange has a long history of working with Dempsey, it's the first time the group has put together a song virtually with vocalists and musicians recording their performances at home, according to the Army. The lyrics, written by Dempsey, are set to the Scottish folk song "Caledonia" by Dougie MacLean with a new musical arrangement by Army Master Sgt. Dan Roberts. Read more.

Class Notes Updates This Week
5/15/2020

Class Notes Updates This WeekThe following classes have added updates this week to their Class Notes pages. 1945 | 1953 | 1960 | 1962 | 1966 | 1972 | 1975 | 1983 | 1993 | 2005 | 2012. Class Notes

TSUNAMI at West Point
5/14/2020

TSUNAMI at West PointWest Point, like many academic institutions, has its fair share of legends. These stories get passed along through generations of cadets and seem to grow with time.

One story, rumored to be true, but which has never made it into the “Plebe Knowledge” book, tells of a destructive tsunami that took place along the banks of the Hudson River. A tidal wave at West Point? That’s like telling plebes that intonations to Odin’s name will keep them from marching in a review or that Molly the ghost is haunting Quarters 100, right?

Thus, imagine cadets’ surprise when, during the Civil and Military Engineering Club dinner in April 2018, Brigadier General Gerald Galloway Jr. ’57 (Retired) delivered a presentation and referred to working on a project at West Point in 1961 involving a tsunami! It immediately grabbed the attention of those in attendance. After the dinner presentation, cadets found themselves waiting in line to ask Galloway, former Dean of the USMA Academic Board and a presidential appointee to the Mississippi River Commission, more about this event. Then- Cadet Bradley Krupp ’19 was one of these cadets, and turned his five-minute conversation with Galloway into a successful fivemonth independent research project. Read more.

Honoring BG Adams ’45 & Captain William Booth ’66
5/12/2020

Brigadier General Carroll E. (Hap) Adams Jr. ’45 and Captain William Booth ’66 were killed in action May 12, 1970 on a UH-1 helicopter shot down over the Central Highlands, 10 miles southwest of Pleiku, Vietnam. General Adams and Captain Booth are both buried at West Point.

This year their families were supposed to gather at the Vietnam Memorial today, some of whom have never met. Unfortunately, due to the circumstances surrounding COVID-19 this is not going to happen.

General Adams was the Commander of the 937th Engineer Group in Vietnam. He was the father of four children, all of his three sons graduated from West Point, LTC Roberts Adams ’68, LTC Jonathan Adams ’74 and LTC(R) William Adams ’81. The English Department presents an award each year in his honor. Army Corp of Engineers named a survey boat after him (The Adams I, now retired and the Adams II – still active). Adams Hall at Fort Riley is named after him. General Adams nickname “Hap” was lifelong and given to him because he was a happy baby.

Captain Booth was Aide de Camp to Major General Dillard, Commanding Officer of the U. S. Army Engineer Command in Vietnam, who was also killed in the crash. Captain Booth was a product of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, or as he was fond of saying, “Boothsville of God’s country.” He enlisted in the Army in 1959 and, after two years of service, secured an appointment to the U. S. Military Academy Preparatory School at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

CPT Bailey ’12 & CPT Beebe ’12 Selected Olmsted Scholars
5/11/2020

CPT Bailey ’12 & CPT Beebe ’12 Selected Olmsted ScholarsWPAOG congratulates CPT Joseph B. Bailey '12 and CPT Frederick E. Beebe '12 on their selection as Olmsted Scholars in the class of 2021.

The Olmsted Scholar Program was established in 1959 by MG (R) George H. Olmsted, First Captain of the West Point Class of 1922.

The program provides a two-and-a-half to three-year educational experience that includes full-time graduate study at a foreign university in the non-English language of that country. All five branches of the military nominate young officers for the Olmsted program each year. Candidates are selected for their propensity and aptitude for leadership.

Bailey, an Armor officer, will study in Aix-en-Provence, France, and Beebe, an Engineer, will study in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

Notable West Point graduates who were Olmsted Scholars include Ambassador John P. Abizaid ’73, former Commander, U.S. Central Command, and Lieutenant General (Ret.) Patrick J. Donahue ‘80, former Deputy Commander, U.S. Forces Command.

LTG(R) Caslen ’75 Speaks On Service, Character, & Failure
5/11/2020

Lieutenant General (Retired) Robert Caslen served 43 years in the United States Army. His military career culminated in 2018 as the 59th Superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point. Today he serves as the 29th President of the University of South Carolina.

Under his direction as Superintendent, West Point was recognized as the number one public college in the Nation by Forbes Magazine and the number one public college by U.S. News and World Report. Through the establishment of Centers of Excellence at West Point, General Caslen connected the operational Army with West Point research and intellectual capital. He refined West Point’s leadership program by making professional ethics a priority and essential part of leadership and character development. He worked tirelessly to expand the diversity of cadets and faculty alike, and he dramatically expanded West Point’s minority and women populations to reflect the demographics of the Army that West Point’s graduates help lead.

Working with the Director of Athletics, he revamped the athletic program, made it self-sustaining, and fielded 25 competitive intercollegiate teams. He created partnerships with the NCAA and Department of Defense to conduct research into preventing and treating concussions and traumatic brain injury that have led to significant improvements in prevention and care. He stood up the Army Cyber Institute to build expertise and Army leaders prepared for the new cyber fight. And, fulfilling a pledge he made soon after becoming Superintendent, he led a sweeping reversal of Army’s football program and developed a culture of excellence through winning with character, culminating in Army defeating Navy in 2016 for the first time in 14 years, and beating both Air Force and Navy in 2017 to win the Commander-in-Chief’s trophy for the first time in 21 years. Read more.

Class Notes Updates This Week
5/8/2020

Class Notes Updates This WeekThe following classes have added updates this week to their Class Notes pages. 1958 | 1959 | 1971 | 1972 | 1978 | 1982 | 1983 | 1986 | 1993 | 1997 | 2000 | 2006. Class Notes

Merritt ’06 Making Masks for Essential Workers
5/8/2020

Merritt ’06 Making Masks for Essential WorkersWest Point Grad and CEO Tyler Merritt ’06 is using his T-shirt company Nine Line Apparel to make daily face masks for essential workers who are on the front lines of the Covid-19 crisis.

His partner, CMO Richard Caponi ’01 and the rest of the team have been working non-stop to produce and donate over 10,000 masks for workers who need them the most.

Nine Line Apparel has also created a new type of protective mask called the AMPP Mask that could one day be used in place of the N95 mask if the FDA approves it.

We proudly thank all the members of the Long Gray Line around the country who are making a difference.

Bulls ’78 Named to Savoy Magazine’s 2020 Most Influential Black Executives in Corporate America
5/8/2020

Herman Bulls ’78Herman Bulls has been named to Savoy Magazine's 2020 most Influential Black Executives in Corporate America.

The selection of the "Most Influential Black Executives in Corporate America" begins by examining the landscape of spheres of influence impacting Savoy's readership including: corporate sector influence, scholastic achievement, career growth, community outreach and recognition. The information received from over 500 prospective candidates in diverse fields was pre-screened by the selection committee.

The selection committee includes the Savoy editorial board and community leaders with representatives from the academic and business arenas. The committee reviewed information on executives in human resources, information, real estate, finance, investment banking, diversity, foundations, procurement, business development, marketing, sales, health care, manufacturing and legal. After reviewing all of the profiles, the field of candidates were narrowed to the "2020 Most Influential Black Executives in Corporate America" listing based upon their exemplary record of accomplishments and influence while working to better their community and inspire others.

Hokanson ’86 Nominated to Head National Guard
5/7/2020

LTG Daniel R. Hokanson, the current director of the Army National Guard, was nominated Monday to serve as the Guard’s next top officer by President Trump. If confirmed by the Senate, Hokanson would be promoted to four-star general and take a seat on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He would replace Air Force Gen. Joseph L. Lengyel, who has served as the 28th chief of the National Guard Bureau since August 2016.

Hokanson, who took over as Army Guard director in June 2019, is an Oregon Guardsman. Hokanson previously served as NGB vice chief from November 2016 until his appointment as Army Guard director. The position of vice chief has remained vacant since. Hokanson served as a helicopter pilot on active duty before joining the Oregon Guard in 1995. He commanded the 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team in Iraq and also served in Afghanistan and Panama. Hokanson served as Oregon’s adjutant general from 2013 to 2015. Read more.

Giving Tuesday Now Support the Corps
5/5/2020

During today’s Global Giving Day, please consider showing your support for West Point during this unprecedented time. As they have been educated and trained to do, the Corps of Cadets has risen to the challenge presented by the health crisis. Gifts of any size to the Superintendent’s Annual Fund, your class fund, an academic department, a cadet club, or an athletics team will make an impact.

Give Now

 

Class Notes Updates This Week
5/1/2020

Class Notes Updates This WeekThe following classes have added updates this week to their Class Notes pages. 1945 | 1953 | 1954 | 1962 | 1972 | 1981 | 1987 | 1991 | 1996 | 1998 | 2010. Class Notes

Barber ’87 Publishes "Ranger School" and "The Art of War"
5/1/2020

Ranger School BookRD does not equal FC. Brace Barber republishes Ranger School, No Excuse Leadership, which has become a classic, and he recently edited Sun Tzu’s, The Art of War claiming it was a rough draft.

You may remember that Brace published Ranger School, No Excuse Leadership 20 years ago as the first book to illustrate the leadership value of Army Ranger School. COL Tex Turner ’59 and several other graduates tell of their adventures and struggles through the ordeal and tie the experiences to the invaluable leadership lessons they learned. In 2003, J. Wiley and Sons published the book in hard cover, where it has remained for 17 years. Earlier this month, Brace regained the rights to publish the book as a paperback. Ranger School Book. Brace said, “The original intent of the book was to illustrate what Ranger School is like and to tell some funny stories. The project ended up as a book explaining how leadership capabilities are developed through the designed environment of duress.”

More recently, Brace completed a major reorganization of The Art of War based on the modern military strategy planning format. Brace argues that original book has some interesting principles, but in its original format is nearly impossible to use to create an effective strategy. The new work is titled The Art of War, Organized for Decision Making. Brace insists that, "this is not an insult to the original manuscript, but rather it is an intelligent and practical reorganization that allows the user to draw the full value out of Sun Tzu's guidance." While at West Point, I started to read The Art of War but quickly put it down as a useless list of proverbs without context. At the age of 40, after some life experience, I picked it up again with a much different response. The principles do fit nicely into the MCDMP, but it was a lot of work to get them there.

Brace is also the author of TESTED, A New Strategy for Keeping Kids in the Faith. All books are available on Amazon. Visit Brace at: https://rangerschool.com/

USMA 1972 Company E-3 Honors Heroes
4/30/2020

USMA 1972 Company E-3 Honors HeroesChuck Coleman ’72 is on the Board of Directors of Advanced Methods in Innovation (AMI) in Youngstown, OH, which successfully pushes 3D imaging technology down to elementary through high schools. When AMI’s Board Chairman had an idea to make face shields with special “thank you” messages to health care workers and first responders, Coleman spread the word to his company/classmates through a website he manages. Several members of E-3 1972 contributed to have their message emblazoned on some shield headbands.

Reid ’98 Named Continuity & Resilience Contributor by BCI
4/29/2020

Reid ’98 Named Continuity & Resilience Contributor by BCIThe global Business Continuity Institute (BCI) has recognized Malcolm Reid as the 2020 Continuity and Resilience Contributor for the Americas. This is an exceptionally prestigious accolade given to the person who has contributed to the continuity and resilience industry in the most meaningful way having made the arena a better place.

Have you Had your Grad Insider Tour Yet?
4/29/2020

Have you Had your Grad Insider Tour Yet?WPAOG is celebrating! Happy 3rd Birthday to the Grad Insider Tour program! Have you been on a tour yet? If not, you're missing out.

The Rockbound Highland Home program launched on Founders Day, March 16th, 2017, and included Grad Pass, Grad Insider Tours, and Grad Perks. The exclusive Grad Insider Tour includes a series of tour stops not available to the public and allows graduates to share unique experiences of West Point with their families and guests. Special stops vary and may include the opportunity to visit the Cadet Mess in Washington Hall, Jefferson Library, Thayer Award Room, Army Sports Hall of Fame in Kenna Hall/Kimsey Center, Arvin Cadet Physical Development Center (ACPDC), or the Cadet Uniform Factory.

So far, we've hosted over 500 tours, and almost thousand grads with their families and friends have come back to West Point and reconnected with their "Rockbound Highland Home.” And some West Point Grads received a special Grad Pass that allowed them to have access to MWR facilities while visiting.

Thank you to our graduates and tour guides who continue to support this program! www.westpointaog.org/gradinsidertour

The 1918 Spanish Flu at West Point
4/28/2020

The 1918 Spanish Flu at West PointMore than 100 years ago, West Point faced a pandemic, the 1918-19 Spanish Flu, which reportedly infected one third of the world’s population. Estimates place the death toll for the Spanish Flu as high as 100 million people. No part of the globe seemed spared, not even the United States Military Academy.

The West Point Garrison took several measures to mitigate the effects of influenza on post back in 1918. West Point’s elementary school was closed from October 7 until November 4, 1918, and the children’s Christmas celebration (to be held in the Cadet Chapel) was indefinitely postponed that year. Also, according to the December 28, 1918 edition of the Army and Navy Register, the Garrison even ordered a partial quarantine of residents during the latter part of the year.

The Academy side of West Point, however, did not implement the above measures and, according to the 1919 Annual Report of the Superintendent, experienced two separate phases of the Spanish Flu, one during October 1918 and the “recurrence” several weeks later (determined to be around December 1918). “Table I” in the Superintendent’s report shows that virtually all cadets contracted the flu during one of these phases. Unfortunately, one cadet died from the Spanish Flu in October 1918, and two others died during the second phase. The Superintendent’s report called the low fatality rate among the Corps of Cadets, “remarkable.” “This result was entirely due to the untiring devotion of the medical staff, both officers and enlisted men, who never failed in their efforts to relieve the sick,” wrote Lieutenant Colonel W.H. Haskin, Head of the Department of Military Hygiene. Full story.

LaPlante ’10 Overcoming Challenges of Remote Teaching
4/27/2020

LaPlante ’10 Overcoming Challenges of Remote TeachingCaptain Joseph LaPlante’s spring vacation from the USMA ended up longer than he thought. LaPlante now teaches remotely from his hometown. Travel restrictions and school closures due to coronavirus concerns have stopped him and his family from returning.

“I’ve been here in Idaho for about the last month. Spring break for West Point came around and the academy had sent off cadets, staff and faculty for vacation. At this time it was still the early stages of the coronavirus so things were developing very rapidly. It became apparent to leadership as COVID-19 developed that it was not in the best interest of the safety of their cadets to bring everyone back,” LaPlante said.

The academy and its instructors had to scramble for a way for its cadets to continue their classes but from a distance. LaPlante said that the academy came up with a way to continue its courses in around four days. He said that he wouldn’t be able to have a quiet and remote area to work if it wasn’t for the St. Maries Fire Protection District allowing him to use the O’Gara Fire Station to teach his classes out of. “Thank you to the St. Maries Fire Protection District for their support,” LaPlante said.

He said that online instruction for his class can sometimes be difficult due to the open discussion format. He said that the remote learning has had its advantages for some students.“I teach a MX 400 Officership class which is the capstone course at USMA,” LaPlante said. “It’s everything a cadet needs to know before graduating and its a very discussion based class. It has been a challenge to carry out those discussions online. There is one mic and camera, and only one can speak at a time. I typically have 14 to 17 cadets in each class and we can’t break up into small groups.”

“There are some good parts about it though,” LaPlante said. “Instead of talking for 75 minutes, I can shorten class and have the cadets go to a forum and type out questions. This has given cadets that are introverts a chance to engage and it has shown me that these cadets have a lot of great things to say. We are leveraging technology to some peoples strengths.” Read more.

Order Your 2020 "TAPS"
4/27/2020

TAPS, the official memorial magazine of the Long Gray Line, contains the fascinating and inspiring life stories of West Point graduates. Advance orders for the 2020 edition may now be placed online. We are now accepting Memorial Articles for the 2021 edition. Guidance on submitting articles may be found online or by calling 845.446.1647.

Class Notes Updates This Week
4/24/2020

Class Notes Updates This WeekThe following classes have added updates this week to their Class Notes pages. 1945 | 1950 | 1959 | 1960 | 1962 | 1963 | 1966 | 1972 | 1982 | 1989 | 1993 | 1998 | 2008 | 2010. Class Notes

Alejandro Villanueva '10 Checks In
4/24/2020

Alejandro Villanueva '10 Checks InFormer Army football standout and current Pittsburgh Steeler Alejandro Villanueva (USMA, 2010) chatted virtually with Rich DeMarco about his family, his daily routine changing and also what West Point and the football brotherhood has meant to him throughout his career.

Photo courtesy of Mark Rebilas, USA Today

CPT Millen ’08 Natural Born Leader
4/24/2020

Millen ’08 Natural Born LeaderMarcus Millen woke up at 5:30 a.m. every day for four years at Army West Point, and had formation minutes later along the base of the Hudson River.

A cold wind greeted Millen and his fellow cadets many days. By 7:30, he was eating “a subpar meal” and was left with a prevailing thought.

“Man, I’m an idiot,” he recalled.

Millen, a 2004 Easton graduate, has been a lot of things in life. No one has ever called him an idiot.

The son of Pat and Matt Millen, a former NFL player and CEO, was an all-state football player and captain of Easton’s wrestling program that won four consecutive PIAA Class 3A team tournament titles during his time there.

Millen was an officer leading units in Afghanistan, Kuwait and Baghdad before earning his MBA from Harvard and transitioning to the classroom. He is 12 years into a military career he knew he wanted when he was 8 years old, currently serving as an instructor in the Behavioral Science and Leadership department at West Point. Read more.

’82 Ducks “Bad to the Bone” Zoom
4/23/2020

The Company D-1 Class of ’82 has always been a close group. Perhaps it was because of the brutal plebe year they endured. Perhaps it was because they were in the same company for all four years and never scrambled. Or, perhaps it was because they held on to their beloved “Duck” mascot before other company mascots became gender neutral and politically correct. For whatever reason, the Ducks flocked closely. But for some reason the Covid-19 lockdown that the country is experiencing has caused them to become even closer.

The COO of the WPAOG, and former class President Pat Ortland, had the brainchild to get the Ducks together on a Zoom meeting. He enlisted fellow Duck Bob Turko, and the first “D-1 Duck Soiree” was held on April 10th. Fourteen Ducks answered the duck call, and swapped stories about what has transpired since they flew away from the nest, and how their Ducklings are faring. It was deemed so successful that plans were made for “D-1 Duck Soiree #2” which was held on April 16th. In that gathering, 20 Ducks logged on, including one who left West Point after yearling year.

Plans are already in the works to hold “D-1 Duck Soiree #3”, with the goal of getting all the Ducks on-line at the same time. A total of seven Ducks have not answered the call, and each has been assigned to classmate to contact him and bring him into the fold. It is hoped that even after the lockdown has been lifted, the Soirees will continue for the group that is known for being “Bad to the Bone”.

Clark ’63 Establishes Combat Faith Channel
4/22/2020

Clark ’63 Establishes Combat Faith ChannelRetired Captain Allen B. Clark has established a Combat Faith YouTube channel. It is dedicated as an encouragement and education platform for active duty military and veterans, who desire to strengthen their spiritual faith and address issues related to Combat Operating Stressors from deployments to combat zones. He will also add in the future, messages on patriotic topics.

The channel on You Tube is available at https://tinyurl.com/CombatFaithChannel. Clark requests those interested to access the channel and click on "Subscribe" for the opportunity to view videos. On selection of "Videos" there are other videos on the channel, where he has been taped in past interviews, including an interview on the Larry King show. There is no charge to subscribe and subscribers will not be messaged when new videos are posted.

Clark, the founder of Combat Faith lay ministry, served in Vietnam in covert operations assigned to the 5th Special Forces Group. In an early morning enemy mortar attack at Dak To Special Forces Camp on June 17, 1967 he sustained extensive mortar shrapnel wounds, necessitating amputation of both his legs below the knee. He was hospitalized for fifteen months at Brooke Army Hospital to include a fourteen-week period in a closed psychiatric ward in 1968. Many succeeding years were spent healing from his extreme bout with what some would describe as Post Traumatic Stress. He has been a guest speaker at many Army Warrior Transition Battalions as well as veteran meetings and has mentored many combat veterans from all our wars.

Morgan ’98 Returns to Earth
4/21/2020

Morgan ’98 Returns to EarthWelcome home NASA Astronaut, Colonel Andrew Morgan!

Morgan returned to Earth Friday April 17, 2020 after 272 days in space. His mission, which began July 20, 2019, coincided with the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 lunar landing. Morgan also shares the distinction of landing on earth exactly 50 years to the day of the tense but triumphant Apollo 13 landing.

Photo courtesy of NASA

USMA’s New Space Science Major
4/21/2020

When asked about the new Space Science major at West Point, which will graduate its first cohort of cadets in the spring of 2020, Lieutenant Colonel Diana Loucks, an Academy Professor and the Director of the Space and Missile Defense Command Research and Analysis Center in the Department of Physics and Nuclear Engineering (PaNE), begins by saying, “Space has always been a part of West Point.” She is absolutely right.

Between the classes of 1950 to 1998, the Academy has produced 21 astronauts, including Colonel Drew Morgan ’98 MD, who is currently serving aboard the International Space Station. Dozens of other graduates from numerous West Point classes—such as Edmund O’Conner ’43JUN, Raymond Clark ’45, Henry Clements ’53 and Alfred Davidson III ’57—have gone on to work for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), providing services and ground support for U.S. space missions. And even a century before space flight, West Point was an important part of research involving space: William H.C. Bartlett, Class of 1826, Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy at the U.S. Military Academy, for example, built the first observatory at West Point in 1841 and used its equipment to perceive the orbit of the Comet of 1843 and photograph, for the first time in history, a partial solar eclipse on May 26, 1854. Full story.

Holder ’89 Named Finalist in Female Founders Competition
4/20/2020

Holder ’89 Named Finalist in Female Founders CompetitionAnn Holder, Founder & CEO of Odonata Health, a Minneapolis-based maternal and fetal health technology startup, is in the running for $1 million in funding as a U.S. finalist in the second annual Female Founders Competition. Organized by Microsoft’s venture fund M12 in conjunction with VC partners Mayfield and Melinda Gates’ Pivotal Ventures, the competition’s objective is to create a more equitable playing field for female founders. 

“As a finalist, I am incredibly excited and honored to be a part of such a talented and driven group of entrepreneurs,” said Odonata founder and CEO Ann Holder in a press release. Her company develops proprietary, wearable sensor technology which non-invasively measures maternal and fetal vitals during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. The data, which includes fetal ECG and heartrate, are then analyzed using AI and deep neural networks. The technology allows clinicians to quickly and easily identify fetal distress in order to protect the health of mother and baby.

Holder’s background includes almost a decade of experience at Medtronic several operational roles. To date, she has raised $1.5 million for Odonata and hopes to raise additional capital this year in order to develop the company’s first product. The Female Founders Competition is a global competition that accelerates funding for women entrepreneurs developing business-to-business “deeptech”—a term for companies working on substantial scientific advances and high-tech engineering innovation—and software-as-a-service solutions. Four winning companies will receive a total of $6 million in venture funding along with access to technology, resources, and mentoring. Read more.

Dr. Givens ’93 Doing Her Part to Help
4/20/2020

Dr. Givens ’93 Doing Her Part to HelpThousands of men and women - veterans who have already served their country once - are voluntarily signing up to fight on the front lines of COVID-19 in the midst of this global health crisis. “We’re standing up to prevent, to detect and treat COVID-19. This is a tough fight but together we’ll do our part to help the nation win,” Army Chief of Staff James Charles McConville said during a press briefing.

In late March, as the confirmed number of novel coronavirus cases started to rise across the country, the Army sent out 800,000 emails asking those who already served with medical backgrounds - to consider returning and helping their country once again. So far, 25,000, and counting, have submitted their information for the Army’s consideration. “This is a voluntary opportunity for our medical soldiers for life to return to the fight if they so choose, especially if they’re not currently assisting their local communities. So far, the initial responses have been very, very positive,” McConville said.

Retired Army emergency doctor Melissa Givens, served 23 years in several countries across the world, is now one of the many brave individuals volunteering to serve again. “I had a lot of experience turning a tent into a hospital or from an abandoned building,” she said, citing specific areas like New York, which has been one of the worst-hit in the United States so far during the pandemic. Givens had originally retired in February. Six weeks later, with the pandemic’s wrath taking hold of the world around her, she returned back to work knowing hospitals were overloaded and healthcare professionals were overworked.

She helped turn Columbia University’s soccer field into a 288-bed field hospital for New York Presbyterian to help aid in the fight against COVID-19, knowing she could also recruit other service members to help as well. Givens sent out her own call for volunteers by communicating with friends on social media. More than 700 service members responded. “There are a lot of military members who served in medical roles during their career in the military, and when they get out, their credentials don’t translate to the civilian world,” she said. “They’re resourceful. They’re cognitively flexible. They’re adaptive and they’re professionals.”

A typical hospital can take years to build, but what Givens and others have managed to complete already is almost beyond belief. They have created a functioning facility to help with COVID-19 in just one week. “Our community wants to serve. That’s just the bottom line,” Givens said. “People want to do good things. You just have to give them a way to do it.” Read more.

Class Notes Updates This Week
4/17/2020

Class Notes Updates This WeekThe following classes have added updates this week to their Class Notes pages. 1953 | 1956 | 1959 | 1960 | 1964 | 1968 | 1970 | 1973 | 1974 | 1989 | 1990 | 1993 | 1994 | 1996 | 2009. Class Notes

Batchelor ’09 Providing “Lunch on the House”
4/17/2020

Batchelor ’09 Providing “Lunch on the House”Wyatt Batchelor ’09 Co-owner of Jimmy John’s in the Denver metro area of Colorado is providing Medical Professionals at VA Hospitals lunch on the house, they call “Meal Drops”. Trying to do their part to help the front-line workers fighting COVID-19 during this trying time.

6th Annual Winter Leadership Conference in Nashville
4/17/2020

Earlier this year about 35 – 40 women classmates from the Class of ’94 attended the 6th Annual Winter Leadership Conference held in Nashville, Tennessee, several for the first time. Every year they meet in a different location.

Classmates enjoyed a wonderful weekend together…They booked a Redneck Comedy Tour bus, ran a 5K to benefit the West Nashville Dream Center and enjoyed lunch together at a large indoor bierhaus. In smaller groups, they toured the Grand Ole Opry, visited the Country Music Hall of Fame, sampled barbeque joints, and got a taste of the Nashville nightlife. View photos.

The Winter Leadership Conference started in 2014, when they spent a weekend at USMA honoring their fallen sister Karin (Gventer) Tackaberry, who had lost a battle with cancer in 2012. She was a member of the USMA Women's Basketball team and that weekend the 2014 women's team dedicated a locker to her and BEAT NAVY!

General Officer Announcements
4/16/2020

General Officer Announcements The Chief of Staff of the Army announces the following officer assignments:

MG Kenneth L. Kamper ’89 to Commanding General, United States Army Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill, Fort Sill, OK

Baker ’93 Releases "almost: When Living for God Falls Short"
4/15/2020

Baker ’93 Releases "almost: When Living for God Falls Short"Do you ever feel like you are doing all the right things to get closer to God, but even when you try to follow the scriptures more closely, something is still lacking? You still feel a Void? In almost, Dr. Berkley Baker explains that to experience Jesus more fully we must be willing to grab hold of his nature. By exploring the Nature of the Lord in the context of our relationship with Him, the author awakens us to the fact that we are uniquely designed to have a dynamic relationship with a personal and intimate God. This book invites the reader to grow beyond living for God into a life characterized by living with Him.

Coach Riley and Army West Point Hockey
4/15/2020

Coach Riley and Army West Point Hockey

West Point Magazine took time out to talk with Head Coach Brian Riley, a family legacy in Hockey at West Point since his father started in 1950. Coach Riley loves hockey, but also believes in keeping the legacy of these extraordinary cadet players like Thomas Kennedy '00 and Derek Hines '03 live in the hearts of future West Point generations. "They were obviously great hockey players, but more importantly they were great people." - Coach Riley
This compelling heartfelt mission of Coach Riley can be found in West Point spring online edition.

Read More

Offel ’96 Re-Appointed CASA
4/14/2020

usma, west point, military academy, aog, armyKevin Offel has been re-appointed as Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army (CASA) for Oklahoma (North) by HON Ryan D. McCarthy, Secretary of the Army. CASAs are a vital part of the Army. Their duties and responsibilities include keeping the public informed about why a strong and robust Army is vital to our national security; partnering with the Soldier for Life Program to support our transitioning Soldiers and families; connecting prospective Soldiers with recruiters and commissioning sources; promoting good relations between the Army, Congress, and the public; and advising the Secretary on regional issues.

Pruett ’90 Appointed President of RRD Packaging Solutions
4/14/2020

Pruett ’90 Appointed President of Packaging Solutions at RRDLisa Pruett has been appointed to President of North America Packaging Solutions at R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company.

“Lisa Pruett has deep expertise in packaging, specifically in markets that are current focal points for RRD’s growth strategy,” said John Pecaric, President, RRD Business Services. “Our company continues to grow and evolve, and we’re excited to welcome veteran leaders, like Lisa, who bring unique knowledge and skill sets to further fuel our goals of providing truly innovative packaging services.”

Prior to joining RRD, Pruett was Chief Executive Officer at Downlite, a U.S. based down-feather processor and manufacturer of down-feather and synthetic bedding. She has also held leadership positions at Paperworks Industries, Inc., The C.W. Zumbiel Co., and Smurfit-Stone Container Corp/Altivity Packaging LLC, where she gained extensive knowledge of the paperboard packaging markets. She is a Desert Storm Veteran.

Class Notes Updates This Week
4/10/2020

Class Notes Updates This WeekThe following classes have added updates this week to their Class Notes pages. 1953 | 1959 | 1962 | 1965 | 1971 | 1978 | 1981 | 1982 | 1994. Class Notes

Unlocking the Power of the Long Gray Line
4/10/2020

COL(R) Tim Connors ’88On March 19, WPAOG received a call from COL (Retired) Timothy Connors ’88 United States Army Reserve, Director at the National Guard Training Post at Camp Smith, in Peekskill. Tim was tasked with possibly setting up tents at Camp Smith to “cover all the flat space” as a temporary warehouse facility. Tim asked if the AOG could connect him with other Grads who worked in the following fields: Logistics and/or traffic management, trucking, and warehouse management.

AOG’s Career Services Division put out a call for action and received an immediate response from eight graduates. This information was provided to Tim. The Alumni Support Division provided a list of over 400 logistical positions that graduates hold, so that Tim could review the list, and let the AOG know if he wanted us to contact the with the graduate in the position, and make an introduction.

Tim connected with several graduates and gained invaluable information. He wrote a beautiful letter thanking the AOG, and his last paragraph below sums up his feelings about the Long Gray Line.

“I always tell people that West Point is a demanding Master. The moniker stays with you for a lifetime. Others will judge you by its standards--in both times of personal triumph and failure. But one can always count on our Alumni to collectively step up and do what's right for the right reasons. Their selfless service has been on display here. Being a part of it is worth every sacrifice made and hardship endured.”

Birthday "Quarantine Style" for Marcus Weldon '82
4/9/2020

Like many others, Marcus Weldon, Class of ’82, celebrated his birthday this year from home after finishing a day of work, at home, as the IT Program Manager for Kroger. Marcus and his wife, Lauren, of 31 years, were accompanied by their daughter Feather, a career ballerina, and his son Grant. Lauren decorated the house in the finest plundered decorations. Lauren also created a tailored dairy-, soy- and peanuts-free menu that would be the envy of the finest dining establishment in Manhattan. The meal included filet mignon with crab, baked hasselback potatoes and pistachio cream, and chocolate crunch with a latte cookie for dessert. The Weldon family all donned their finest attire for the evening and, as Marcus said, “Sometimes the simple get-togethers are the best.”

Bulls ’78 Diversity & Inclusion Champion & Business Leader
4/8/2020

Bulls ’78 Diversity & Inclusion Champion & Business LeaderFor over 30 years, Herman Bulls has been a visionary leader at JLL, a professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. He has witnessed first-hand the firm’s powerful growth over the decades, now a Fortune 500 company, ranking in at #189, in over 80 countries around the globe.

When he first joined JLL, the company had 300 professionals. Today, JLL has 93,000 people around the world. Over the last ten years, he has seen nearly 90 strategic acquisitions as part of the JLL’s global growth strategy, and the firm’s annual total revenue reach a record high of $16.3 billion last year.

Herman is known for creating powerful teams, building strong relationships with clients and partners, his expansive real estate and finance knowledge, and his extensive marketing and strategic development background. He was the founder of JLL’s Public Institutions division, which provides real estate services to federal, state and local governments, colleges and universities and not for profit organizations.

Herman’s reputation goes above beyond his work at JLL—he has long been a sound advisor for multiple companies as a seasoned Corporate Board Director. He currently sits on the board of USAA, Comfort Systems as well as the Governors of the American Red Cross organization. Herman also serves on the Real Estate Advisory Committee for New York State Teachers’ Retirement System, one of the largest pension funds in America. His former NYSE board service includes Tyco, Exelis (ITT’s spin-off) and Computer Sciences Corporation. All serve as examples showcasing Herman’s commitment to steering with strong leadership.

“Good leaders are concerned about the mission and the people,” says Herman. “This is the foundational piece of the puzzle that enables the establishment of trust between management and employees. Trust, in turn, enables people to be their authentic self, which then unleashes creativity and encourages innovation.” Read more.

Birthday Reflections from Robert Litchfield Jr. '71
4/7/2020

In the morning before the rain came, I did some tractor work on our five acres, planting new life.

As I pause on my seventy-first birthday to look back upon my life, I wish there was some way that I could communicate to all West Pointers, past and future, how richly blessed my life has been, and how much of that richness includes the lessons that I learned at West Point.

To say that my life has been fulfilled would be an understatement.  I have accomplished every major life dream that I have ever had, with the exception of two, and I have partial accomplishment of both of those.  Most importantly, I know that I am loved, and that I have given a great deal of love.  I have Suzi, and four magnificent adult children, all four of whom are happily married, have good jobs, own their own homes, and all have at least one beautiful child.  I have seven grandchildren and one more on the way.  For an old father and grandfather, there is no greater blessing than this.

Later in the day, I worked on my latest book, which is important for me to finish before the end of my life, because it's mainly for the benefit of one of my grandchildren.  By the way, I already have eight published books, and I know that at least two of them have had a positive impact upon the world.

I still have an active law practice.  I also find great joy in teaching two Business Law courses at the local college.  I sneak important life lessons for my students into the course material, and that gives me great joy. 

At seventy-one, I still have dreams about West Point from time to time.  I still miss my company classmates.  I still hear the distant drums.

I ran for public office three times.  Lost the election every time.  But learned amazing lessons about relationship to community that I'm not sure that a military brat like me could have learned any other way.  I'm glad that I ran.  And I'm glad that I had an influence upon my community and upon my Country.

Here is the thing that I wish that every West Pointer could know: as far as my particular class of magnificent cadets goes, I was just a cadet of average, or perhaps even less than average ability.  I did excel in a few things, like military leadership and athletics.  But in academics, I barely made it through my plebe year, I was a goat in the goats and engineers football game.  And I graduated near the bottom of my West Point class. 

Interesting that what I learned at West Point was enough so that later, I graduated number two in my law school class at one of the toughest law schools in the Country.  Maybe it was what I learned about discipline. 

Of course, I had an incredible amount of help with law school.  When I first got to law school, feeling way out of my league, and very worried, one of my West Point Company G-2 Classmates, Phil Lower, was a year or two ahead of me in the same law school. It was Phil who showed me how to study the law, how to write a good law school exam, and how to understand what was needed to succeed in law school.  He was so generous.  It was the same kind of generosity that I received from the brilliant upperclassman in my company who tutored me through my first set of calculus exams in my plebe year, when I was in serious danger of failing.

I learned many wonderful life lessons at West Point, but generosity was one of the sweetest of those lessons.  And I have done my best to give generosity back into the world in accordance with that which I have received.  And in large part because of my doing that, I have had an astoundingly happy and fulfilling life.

We sign off in the Class of 1971 with "PD", which is short for our class motto, "Professionally Done."
So, PD.

COL Reisinger ’94 Overseeing the Rehabilitation of 3 Hospital Sites
4/7/2020

COL Aaron Reisinger ’94 Leading the way in the Midwest U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Colonel Aaron Reisinger is on the Front Line leading the way in the Midwest – Chicago and Milwaukee regions. COL Reisinger is overseeing the rehabilitation of three hospital sites.

“We are in a race against time right now to see what we can get done in next three to four weeks as a relief valve for existing hospitals,”  COL Reisinger said. The Elgin site will be an “alternate care facility,” just like McCormick Place will be in Chicago, meaning they would receive patients transferred from existing hospitals.

“We don't want people to believe this is a hospital that people can show up to as an emergency room,” Once the construction work is done, the state will supply equipment, staffing and administration of the hospital sites, COL Reisinger said. Read more.

Young ’94 Partnering to Help Local Businesses
4/6/2020

Young ’94 Partnering to Help Local BusinessesTo support small businesses in the Austin area affected by the COVID 19 crisis, Clear LaunchNotley and Sabot Development, Ltd. have partnered to create LocalSupportCard.com. This searchable platform connects customers to local businesses' gift-card sales pages. It costs nothing for businesses to have their page listed on the website. Those who don't already have a gift card sales page get free enablement support to set one up through Shopify or Square. The platform will be expanding to other cities as well. This will help businesses without previous online sales capability quickly stand it up.
Purchasing from your local favorites on LocalSupportCard.com will generate immediate revenue for your favorite businesses helping them to bridge the gap during these challenging times.

Class Notes Updates This Week
4/3/2020

Class Notes Updates This WeekThe following classes have added updates this week to their Class Notes pages. 1952 | 1953 | 1956 | 1957 | 1959 | 1960 | 1970 | 1995 | 2010 | 2016. Class Notes

Dieterich ’10 "For the Love of Gourmet"
4/2/2020

Dieterich ’10 "For the Love of Gourmet"As a West Point cadet, Claire Dieterich thought she would be career military. She commissioned as a Military Police officer in the U.S. Army in 2010 and met her now-husband, Kevin, while she was stationed in Washington state. During her time on active duty, she deployed to Afghanistan and shortly before her five-year contract was up, she gave birth to her first child and decided to take life in a different direction.

“Leaving active duty was an easier decision than I thought it would be,” she shared. “While I loved my time in the Army and am so proud of it, I knew that it wasn't the long-term lifestyle that I wanted for myself or for my family. I [transitioned into working] as a project manager and oversaw projects that put fire alarm and security systems in schools and hospitals. While I did enjoy that I was making local schools and hospitals safer, especially as a parent myself, it wasn't something I wanted to do long-term.”

It was in this period of transition that a lightbulb went off for Dieterich. “When I was pregnant with my second child and working in corporate America, I knew that I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom before he was born,” she explained. “But I also wanted to create something as an outlet for my passion of cooking that I could grow into an actual job. From this, 'For the Love of Gourmet' was born!” Read more.

Looking Back on EJ Coleman ’16
3/30/2020

Looking Back on EJ Coleman ’16First Captain and Class President are two of the most challenging Cadet jobs the United States Military Academy at West Point has to offer. Emmanuel J. (EJ) Coleman III conquered both of them as a member of the Class of 2016. This feat has been done by only seven cadets previously, including General John J. Pershing and Heisman Trophy winner Pete Dawkins, and he was the first African-American to hold both positions.

COVID-19 Impact on West Point & Long Gray Line
3/25/2020

As of 4/15/2020
WPAOG is closely monitoring this international pandemic. We will post situation updates here and on social media channels as they occur.

The Summer Leaders Experience (SLE) at West Point has been canceled.  Read more here

Cloth face-covering required at USMA effective 4/8/2020.

For updates on academy operations, restrictions or cancellations go to www.westpoint.edu/coronavirus.

Read WPAOG President's COVID Update March 23, 2020

The following Alumni events are affected by the situation to date:

  • Entrepreneur Summit – postponed until July 29-30
  • Jacksonville, FL SACC - Read for Virtual Details
  • Society Events – check with your local West Point Society for the status of events
  • Donor Appreciation Dinner and Donor Tribute Day - Cancelled
  • Class of 1945, 1950, 1955, 1960, 1965 & 1970 Reunions rescheduled

These Societies have canceled their Founders Day events. If there is another event scheduled in the future, the Society will be sharing those details.

Aberdeen Proving Grounds, MD (WPS of Northern Chesapeake)
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (WPS of the Middle East)
Alaska (WPS of Anchorage/Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson)
Alaska (WPS of Fairbanks/Fort Wainwright)
Asheville, NC (WPS of Western NC)
Atlanta, GA (WPS of Atlanta)
Boston, MA (WPS of New England)
Buffalo, NY (WPS of Western NY)
Carlisle Barracks, PA (WPS of Central Pennsylvania)
Charlotte, NC (WPS of the Carolinas)
Cleveland, OH (WPS of Cleveland)
Columbus, OH (WPS of Central Ohio)
Connecticut (WPS of Connecticut)
Dallas, TX (WPS of North Texas)
Detroit, MI (WPS of Michigan)
El Paso/Fort Bliss, TX (COL Buster Hayden WPS of the El Paso Area)
Fort Benning, GA (WPS of Fort Benning and Columbus)
Fort Bragg, NC (WPS of Fort Bragg-Sand Hills)
Fort Hood, TX (WPS of the Heart of Texas)
Fort Lauderdale (WPS of South Florida)
Fort Leonard Wood, MO (Fort Leonard Wood)
Fort Monmouth (WPS of New Jersey)
Germany
Greenville, SC (WPS of Upstate South Carolina)
Honolulu, HI (WPS of Hawaii)
Houston, TX (WPS of Greater Houston)
Indianapolis (WPS of Indiana)
Jackson, MS (WPS of Mississippi)
Jacksonville, FL (WPS of North Florida)
Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA (WPS of Washington & Puget Sound)
Kansas City, MO (WPS of Greater Kansas City)
Knoxville, TN (WPS of East Tennessee)
Los Angeles, CA (WPS of Los Angeles)
Madison, WI (WPS of Wisconsin)
Manhattan/Fort Riley, KS (WPS of the Flint Hills)
Memphis, TN (WPS of the Mid-South)
Miami, FL (WPS of Miami)
Minneapolis, MN (WPS of Minnesota)
Monterey, CA (WPS of Monterey Peninsula)
Naples, FL (WPS of Naples)
Nashville, TN (WPS of Middle Tennessee)
New Orleans, LA (WPS of the Mid-Gulf)
New York City (WPS of New York)
Oklahoma City, OK (WPS of Central Oklahoma)
Omaha, NE (WPS of Nebraska & Western Iowa)
Orange County, CA (WPS of Orange County)
Orlando, FL (WPS of Central Florida)
Paris, FR (WPS of Paris)
Philadelphia, PA (WPS of Philadelphia)
Phoenix, AZ (WPS of Phoenix)
Raleigh, NC (WPS of the Research Triangle)
Reno, NV (WPS of Northern Nevada)
Rock Island Arsenal, IL (WPS of the Prairies)
Sacramento, CA (WPS Northern CA)
San Antonio, TX (WPS of South Texas)
San Francisco, CA (WPS of San Francisco Bay Area)
Seattle, WA (WPS of Washington & Puget Sound)
Silicon Valley
Singapore (WPS of Singapore)
St. Louis, MO (WPS of St. Louis)
Syracuse, NY (WPS of Central NY)
Tallahassee, FL (WPS of Tallahassee)
Tampa, FL (WPS of Florida-West Coast)
Tucson, AZ (WPS of Southern Arizona)
Tulsa, OK (WPS of Eastern Oklahoma)
Washington, DC (WPS of the DC & the National Capital Region)
West Point, NY (WPS of the Mid-Hudson Region)
Williamsburg, VA (WPS of Williamsburg)
Wilmington, NC (WPS of the Cape Fear)
Yongsan, KO (WPS of Korea)