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Andonie '89 Promoted to Brigadier General

Andonie '89 Promoted to Brigadier GeneralNew York Army National Guard Col. John Andonie was promoted to brigadier general during a ceremony at the state Division of Military and Naval Affairs Headquarters in Latham. Major Gen. Ray Shields, the adjutant general of New York, promoted Andonie during the ceremony. Andonie became the New York National Guard director of Joint Staff, responsible for coordinating joint Army and Air National Guard operations.

"People are the most important resource of the Army and the New York National Guard," Andonie said after he was promoted. "But those good, hard-working people need to work together as a team to accomplish important missions for the state and nation."

As a member of the 42nd Infantry Division he served as chief of plans, deputy operations and operations officer. In 2004-2005 he deployed to Tikrit, Iraq, as the deputy operations officer of the 42nd Infantry Division. After returning from Iraq he served as the commander of the 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry — New York City's famous "Fighting 69th" — and as the deputy joint operations and operations officer for the New York National Guard.

He has earned a Bronze Star, a Meritorious Service Medal, an Army Commendation Medal, and a Parachutists Badge. He also earned an Order of St. George, which is presented to outstanding armor officer, and the Order of St. Maurice, which is awarded to infantry officers who have distinguished themselves. Read More

LTC McClain '02 Safely Reaches Orbit

LTC McClain '02 Safely Reaches OrbitThe Soyuz MS-11 launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station at 6:31 a.m. EST Monday, December 3 (5:31 p.m. in Baikonur) and have safely reached orbit. At the time of launch, the station was flying about 250 miles over central Kazakhstan southwest of the capital of Astana, 405 miles ahead of the Soyuz as it leaves the launch pad. NASA astronaut Anne McClain, David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency, and Oleg Konenenko of the Russian space agency Roscosmos have begun their six-hour trip to the orbital laboratory where they will live and work for the next six-and-a-half months. The arrival will briefly restore the station’s crew complement to six as they join Serena Auñón-Chancellor of NASA, Expedition 57 Commander Alexander Gerst of ESA (European Space Agency) and Sergey Prokopyev of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, who are scheduled to remain aboard the station until December 20. Read More

Marino '93 Named Executive Director at Veterans Florida

Joe Marino '93Joe Marino has been named the new Executive Director at Veterans Florida, a non-profit corporation dedicated to helping veterans transition into civilian life. As executive director, Marino will oversee the administration, programs and the corporations strategic plan of the organization.

Veterans Florida aims to reinforce Florida's standing as the most veteran-friendly state in the nation by helping veterans develop and implement the skills needed by Florida employers. The non-profit organization provides veteran-friendly education and programs designed to maximize veteran employment opportunities. For veterans wishing to start their own business, the Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program provides them the necessary knowledge to successfully launch and operate a company.

"Marino brings a wealth of talent and knowledge to this organization," said Jim Sampey, Chair of the Board of Directors for Veterans Florida. "This position requires the leadership and organizational skills that Joe possesses. As a graduate of West Point and former Army officer with experience in both the private sector and state government, he is a huge asset to Veterans Florida."

"I am very honored to be appointed to this position,” said Joe Marino, Executive Director of Veterans Florida, “I fully believe in the mission behind Veterans Florida and leading this organization is a huge privilege." Read More

Class Notes Updates This Week

West Point Class NotesThe following classes have added updates this week to their Class Notes pages. 1949 | 1956 | 1965 | 1966 | 1974 | 1976 | 1979 | 1986 | 1988 | 1993 | 1998 | 2009 | 2011 | 2012. Class Notes

LTG Semonite '79 to Receive the ASCE OPAL Award

LTG Semonite '79Lieutenant General Todd Semonite, P.E., M.ASCE, and Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), will be honored by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) as one of five Outstanding Projects and Leaders (OPAL) Award winners for 2019. LTG Semonite is honored in the Construction category. The award recognizes LTG Semonite's extraordinary contributions to the civil engineering industry and throughout his career in USACE, where he has spent 14 years of his 39-year military and engineering career, and will be presented on March 14, 2019 during ASCE's annual OPAL Gala in Arlington, VA.

LTG Semonite is recognized for being the epitome of an outstanding leader with high integrity and energy and passion for the mission. During his time in USACE, he has been recognized for his outstanding leadership in response to four hurricanes affecting Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Louisiana and Mississippi, in addition to wildfires and mudslides in Northern and Southern California. The lieutenant general readily took the task of leading USACE members to repair and restore the Puerto Rican electrical grid, which is typically a Department of Energy mission.

"Lieutenant General Semonite exemplifies the values of integrity, engaged leadership, and persistence, which is exactly what we are looking for in the OPAL Award for Construction," said Robin A. Kemper, P.E., LEED AP, F.SEI, F.ASCE, President, American Society of Civil Engineers. "His leadership and ability to respond quickly to natural disasters with plans in place demonstrates his knowledge and hard work in the civil engineering field."

LTG Semonite has received an abundance of prestigious awards including two awards for the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Award, five awards for the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, seven awards for Meritorious Service Medal, three awards for Army Commendation Medal and others.

Shellum '76 Positive Book Review in the NYT

Shellum '76 Positive Book Review in the NYTBrian G. Shellum received a positive review by Tom Ricks in the New York Times of his book African American Officers in Liberia: A Pestiferous Rotation, 1910-1942.

"I’ve been a student of the American military for nearly three decades, but until I picked up African American Officers in Liberia: A Pestiferous Rotation, 1910-1942, I didn’t know that for several decades in the early 20th century, the United States Army had a training, advising and leading mission in Liberia. What’s more, most of the officers who carried out the mission were black Americans. Brian G. Shellum, a retired Army tank and intelligence officer, does a workmanlike job of relating this neglected tale."

"The American effort in Liberia had a dual purpose: to fend off encroaching colonial powers, but also to help the 15,000 former American slaves who colonized Liberia to subjugate the approximately 730,000 indigenous people who resented the newcomers. One of the most effective American advisers was Col. Charles Young, who was born a slave in Kentucky in 1864, fought for the Army in the Philippines, was briefly acting superintendent of Sequoia National Park, was active in the N.A.A.C.P. and wound up serving repeated tours in Africa."

"The book is instructive in the multiple hazards and difficulties of foreign training missions. Liberian government officials wanted to have a military force, but feared having one that was too effective. In a terrible irony, at one point they shunted aside the American advisers and used their own troops to round up indigenous people, who then were shipped to forced labor camps elsewhere in West Africa."

African American Officers in Liberia tells the story of seventeen African American officers who trained, reorganized, and commanded the Liberian Frontier Force from 1910 to 1942. In this West African country founded by freed black American slaves, African American officers performed their duties as instruments of imperialism for a country that was, at best, ambivalent about having them serve under arms at home and abroad.

Cannon '86 to Receive Oustanding American Award

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame announced on that Steve Cannon will be honored as the organization's Outstanding American for 2019. The Hall of Fame's Outstanding American award is presented to those individuals who have used the disciplines of wrestling to launch notable careers in other walks of life, such as science and technology, business and industry, government and the military, and the arts and humanities.

"Steve Cannon epitomizes what the honor of Outstanding American symbolizes to our Hall of Fame, sport and nation," said Lee Roy Smith, Executive Director of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. "He has distinguished his life by example and is the type of role model we can hope future generations will seek to emulate."

Cannon was captain of both the football and wrestling teams at Ramapo High School in Wyckoff, New Jersey, earning All-State honors in football and All-County honors in wrestling. He lettered two years in wrestling at the West Point and scored a perfect score on every Army Physical Fitness Test for four years. Leading into his firstie year, he was selected to lead Cadet Basic Training and later earned the position of Cadet Regimental Commander for 4th Regiment, placing 1,000 cadets under Cannon's leadership. Read More

LTC(R) Price '98 Appointed Executive Director of Buccino Leadership Institute

LTC(R) Price '98LTC(R) Bryan Price, Ph.D., has been appointed Executive Director of Seton Hall University's new Buccino Leadership Institute, a first-of-its-kind interdisciplinary undergraduate leadership program. Price is the recipient the Legion of Merit, two Bronze Stars, three Meritorious Service Medals and two Air Medals.

"Leadership is 100 percent a necessary skill set," said Price. "Our world is so complex but also so integrated that we need leaders in all types of disciplines. This is one of the unique aspects that this program brings to bear. It's those light bulb moments when we might be talking about an aspect of leadership in diplomacy and where that nursing student will say, 'Wait a second. I can apply that concept in my own realm.' That's where the magic is already happening."

He added, "The concept of leadership can sometimes be intimidating to people, particularly to younger people. If they don't necessarily have some special skill or superpower in academics or on an athletic field, they feel that they can't be a leader. That's one of the things we're trying to dispel with our program. Are leaders born or are they made? Just as with other traits, some people are born with leadership capability, but I also know that a capability can be taught and developed in all of us."

Happy Thanksgiving from Your Rockbound Highland Home!

WPAOG sends warm wishes for a very happy Thanksgiving! During this season of gratitude, we wish to express our sincere thanks for all that you do for West Point.

Class Notes Recent Updates

West Point Class NotesThe following classes have added updates this week and last to their Class Notes pages. 1959 | 1961 | 1972 | 1975 | 1982 | 1988 | 1992. Class Notes

Eisiminger '88 Proudly Supports Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund

During the opening ceremonies of the Washington Redskin's game on October 21, 2018 CEO Bob Eisiminger '88 and SVP Justin Kuzemka of Knight Point Systems, a premier provider of IT services and innovative cloud solution (a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned business), presented a $50K check to the Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund, accepted on behalf by MaryEllen Picciuto. The money donated by Knight Point Systems will provide 50 computers for children of fallen soldiers through the Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund.

WPAOG Annual Meeting Election Results

At the WPAOG Annual Meeting today, November 20, 2018, the following members were elected to positions on the Board of Directors and the Advisory Council.

To serve their terms from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2021:

Charles C. Correll Jr. ’89  (2,802 votes)
Kate Ward Kohler ’96  (2,824 votes)
John H. Northrop ’72  (2,847 votes)
Scott M. Sauer ’86  (2,793 votes)
Guy C. Swan III ’76  (2,899 votes)

Sahm D. Cho ’11  (2,537 votes)
Douglass S. Heckman ’81  (2,554 votes)
John R. Martin ’74  (2,618 votes)
Craig D. Morrow ’91 (2,560 votes)
David E. Palamar ’82  (2,523 votes)
Kathryn K. Pegues ’02  (2,560 votes)

A. Rhodes Wilson '72 Earns CLU Designation

A. Rhodes Wilson of ARW Wealth Management has earned the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) professional designation from The American College of Financial Services, Bryn Mawr, PA. Candidates for the CLU designation must complete a minimum of eight courses and 16 hours of supervised examinations. They must also fulfill stringent experience and ethics requirements.

The Chartered Life Underwriter is the highest standard of knowledge and trust and the world's most respected designation of insurance expertise. The College's founder, University of Pennsylvania Wharton School professor Solomon S. Huebner, Ph.D., created the CLU program to meet the career education needs of men and women in life insurance and related financial services. This prestigious course of study provides professionals with in-depth knowledge on the insurance needs of individuals, families and business owners. Once the program is completed, a CLU can provide expert advice on a broad range of financial topics.

HON R. Jim Nicholson '61 Receives the Presidential Award

HON R. Jim Nicholson '61 Receives the Presidential AwardHiring for Heroes presented The Presidential Award to the Honorable R. Jim Nicholson for a lifetime of commitment and service to veterans and military families. A graduate of the United States Military Academy, Nicholson's reputation of caring for those in need spans decades public and private service dedicated to our country as well as our service members and their families.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is in recognition of Nicholson's sustained support of our nation's veterans and military families. As U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, and significantly, as secretary of Veterans Affairs, both in the George W. Bush administration, Nicholson has always been keenly aware of the hardships and sacrifices made by America's service members and their families and is committed to helping them.

The Hiring Our Heroes program, which he co-founded, facilitates the hiring of veterans and military spouses by private industry. The program has helped more than 30,000 veterans and military spouses find jobs.

"The best thing the private sector can do for veterans is to hire them," said Nicholson. "There is nothing more fulfilling than being able to take care of yourself and your family. And, it's a great opportunity for employers: young veterans are all volunteers who are self-disciplined, mission-focused, have an excellent esprit de corps, and offer many valuable tangible and intangible skills."

"I'm proud to be a part of this effort," he noted.

LTG(R) Caslen '75 Receives Gerald R. Ford Legends Award

LTG(R) Caslen '75 Receives Gerald R. Ford Legends AwardThe Rimington Trophy Committee proudly announced Lieutenant General (R) Robert L. Caslen, Jr. '75 as the 13th recipient of the Gerald R. Ford Legends Award for his distinguished service and leadership in the U.S. armed forces.

After being created in 2005 by the Rimington Trophy and the office of President Gerald R. Ford, the Ford Legends Award has been presented annually to a former collegiate or professional center who, like the award's namesake, distinguished himself above and beyond the football field.

"I am honored to receive this award, particularly under the namesake of President Gerald R. Ford," Caslen said." Knowing the character of President Ford and what he stood for makes it even more special. I have always admired how he filled in as our President when our Nation needed him the most. And it was an honor to have had him as my West Point class' graduation speaker in 1975. I also want to thank the Boomer Esiason Foundation for the work that they do with this award, and I look forward to working with them as well." Read More

Alger '92 to Receive the TAMEST Award

Dr. Terry Alger '92Dr. Terry Alger, a director in the Powertrain Engineering Division at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), will receive the 2019 Edith and Peter O'Donnell Award in Technology Innovation. The award, presented by The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (TAMEST), recognizes Alger for his role in developing vehicle engine technologies that lower pollution levels and improve fuel economy.

"The TAMEST award is a tremendous honor, but I would not be in this position without the great support of SwRI and the hard work of my colleagues," Alger said. "Everything we have achieved over the years has been a true team effort."

Alger is the principal inventor of numerous vehicle engine technologies that have improved efficiency and reduced emissions. He is currently researching novel hybrid engines, the use of connected and autonomous features to improve fuel economy, and the causes and prevention of abnormal combustion. "Dr. Alger loves to solve difficult problems," said SwRI President and CEO Adam Hamilton. "While he's still mid-career, he already has 23 patents and numerous other awards. He continues to innovate on a daily basis." Read More

COL Fallin '88 Hikes the Appalachian Trail for Johnny Mac

COL Fallin '88 Hikes the Appalachian Trail for Johnny MacCol. Donald Fallin had been hiking the Appalachian Trail since March in support of a scholarship fund for the children of fallen warriors and recently finished the trail at Bear Mountain. At Springer Mountain, Georgia on March 27, Fallin started up the nearly 2,200-mile trail on a mission to raise awareness and money for the Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund.

Fallin established a crowdfunding campaign through GoFundMe subsidiary Crowdrise, with an original goal of raising $5,000 for Johnny Mac. After large contributor responses, and after gaining the attention of the Gary Sinise Foundation, he was able to push the goal to $15,000 and exceeded the goal by $2,000.

On a long Columbus Day weekend, Fallin's son traveled from West Point to meet him and hike a portion of the trail with him during a particularly rainy stretch of the hike.

Said Fallin, "He's the one that had been giving me a hard time about the trail, about "You know, Dad, it's just walking," or he'd be like, "Finish with your backpack or in it." So, he drove up and hiked with me for two and a half days in Vermont, those muddy, wet, rainy days. He's like--we were sitting in the shelter; we were pretty wet and cold--he said, "You've been doing this for six months, haven't you?" Then he said, "Hmm." I knew what he was thinking. But he didn't give me a hard time about anything after he went out and did it for a couple of days." Read More

Photo: Col. Donald Fallin atop Mt. Katahdin, Maine, the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail

Class Notes Updates This Week

West Point Class NotesThe following classes have added updates this week to their Class Notes pages. 1956 | 1959 | 1979 | 1982 | 1988 | 1993 | 1996 | 2000 | 2010. Class Notes

COL(R) Fernandez '59 Named Veteran of the Year

The El Paso County's Veterans Service Office honored Colonel Victor Fernandez as the recipient of the second annual Veteran of the Year award. Marshall Bosworth, El Paso County's Veterans Services officer, said the Veteran of the Year designation is "a way to honor veterans in the El Paso County community for their contributions in helping veterans and their family members." Vic has been working on bringing the Pikes Peak National Veterans Cemetery to the region for the past several decades. He has been the driving force behind project, serving as chair of the local cemetery committee. This effort led to the purchase of a 350-acre site off of Drennan Road that will become the national cemetery for our veterans. This site will be sufficient to bury or intern 95,000 veterans and their spouses.

Vic worked tirelessly with national, state and local leaders to ensure that the cemetery became a reality. This included securing legislative approval and the needed funding, reviewing multiple sites, making the final site selection, and initiating the design for the cemetery. Now that the Pikes Peak National Cemetery is a reality and Vic has stepped down as chairman of the Cemetery Committee, The "Support Committee at Pikes Peak National Cemetery" has been established and will continue to support the Pikes Peak National Cemetery. Click here to read the newspaper article.

Vic is a lifelong Colorado resident, born and raised in Trinidad. His family has roots going back more than 150 years. His great grandfather fought in the Civil War. His father was a World War II veteran and his father-in-law served in the Pacific during World War II and was on General MacArthur's staff during the Korean conflict, and is interred at Ft. Logan National Veterans Cemetery in Denver. During his 30-year military career, Vic served two tours in Panama, two in Vietnam, two in Germany, and a variety of stateside posts. He is a graduate of the Command and General Staff College and Army War College. His numerous military awards include the Defense Superior Service medal, the Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Defense and the Meritorious Service Medal. Read More

Class Notes Updates This Week

West Point Class NotesThe following classes have added updates this week to their Class Notes pages. 1959 | 1965 | 1968 | 1969 | 1971 | 1973 | 1985 | 1990 | 1994 | 2003. Class Notes

Noles '90 Releases the Book "Undefeated"

Jim Noles has recently released the book Undefeated. In 1943, the West Point basketball team, the Cadets, had only managed a 5-10 record, and for the 1944 season coach Ed Kelleher's hopes in reversing Army's fortunes rested on his five starters. They consisted of three seniors – team captain "Big Ed" Christl, John "Three Star" Hennessey, and class president Bobby Faas – and two juniors, Dale Hall and Doug Kenna. At the academy, Kelleher molded his cadets into a new kind of team, and, as the new season opened in January of 1944, Kelleher's strategy paid handsome dividends. By the end of January, West Point was 6-0; by the end of February, the team boasted a 13-0 record. Of course, during those weeks, it only took a glance at the newspaper headlines to be reminded that there were far bigger contests than intercollegiate basketball afoot in the winter of 1944.

The cadets would not be able to play in the NIT or NCAA national tournaments for a likely national championship. The world was at war, the U.S. Army needed its finest on the front line more than on the court, and the three seniors were soon destined for other battles. Hennessey endured weeks of front-line fighting, battling from the waist-deep snow of Alsatian forests to the bombed-out rubble of German cities. Christl, a fearless forward observer for his field artillery battalion, made it all the way to Austria, where he would lose his life in the final week of the war in Europe. Three months later, Faas was shot down over Japan and forced to bail out over the Pacific Ocean. Coach Kelleher would die overseas on his own special assignment with the Army.

In the years that followed, the Army's basketball team would never again have a chance to again play in the NCAA tournament and, in the modern era, few remember West Point's perfect 1944 season. Although West Point's home basketball court is named the Edward C. Christl Arena, and the National Invitational Tournament's trophy is named after his coach, Edward A. Kelleher, too few people fully appreciate why. But after reading Undefeated, they will.

Boyd '73 Firms Seventh "Tier 1" Recognition

Robert D. Boyd's law firm, Boyd Collar Nolen & Tuggle received their seventh recognition as a "Tier 1" Atlanta family law firm, recognized in the 2019 edition of U.S. World News and World Report’s "Best Law Firms." The firm’s high-ranking results from positive client feedback, peer reviews and exceptional demographic evaluations honored by colleagues within the Atlanta Bar. Firms included in the 2019 "Best Law Firms" list are recognized for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. Achieving a tiered ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise. The 2019 rankings are based on the highest number of participating firms and highest number of client ballots on record. To be eligible for a ranking, a firm must have a lawyer listed in The Best Lawyers in America, which recognizes the top 4 percent of practicing attorneys in the U.S. Over 13,000 attorneys provided more than 1,000,000 law firm assessments, and over 7,500 clients provided more than 65,000 evaluations.

Mannle '71 Receives the Julian Wolf Award

Tom Mannle has received the Julian Wolf Award. This award pays tribute to the one rowing official in the USA that stood apart from the rest in his/her contribution to rowing in the past year. It is based upon one, several, or all of the following: outstanding performance, dedication, heroic acts or outstanding contributions to officiating. The winner is selected by past five Wolf award winners.

Tom Mannle began his involvement in the rowing community as his daughter began rowing in high school. He began as a volunteer for local regattas in the Washington, D.C. area and in club administration, "much to my daughter's embarrassment." Mannle became an assistant referee in 1999 and completed his license in 2001. "I am humbled by the award and by the fact that it came from the coaches on the Charles. I was touched [by this nomination] as none of us do this for that recognition," said Mannle.

Mannle closes all of his emails with the phrase, "smooth water." While the conditions do not always deliver, Mannle goes above and beyond to ensure race day goes smoothly. He coordinates the careful execution of racing for collegiate programs, across seven institutions, on one of the most challenging rowing venues in the country. Each weekend, racing commences from 7 a.m. until noon, on eight-minute centers, with any number of the 17 local programs hosting up to four visiting teams. With a steady hand and a great sense of humor, Mannle skillfully organizes schedules, officials, finish-line staff, video, timing, and results, alleviating the burden on coaches. Read More

BG Ismail '94 First Malaysian Grad Promoted to BG

Congratulations to Brigadier General Reizal Arif Tan Sri Ismail '94, Tentera Darat Malaysia  who made history on October 18, 2018 when he became the first Malaysian West Point graduate promoted to Brigadier General.

Brigadier General Ismail was a two-time commander of Malaysian peacekeeping contingent in Lebanon known as MALBATT 850 contingent. Read More

Hollingsworth '85 Named to 2018 EBONY Power 100 List

Jarvis V. Hollingsworth has been named to the 2018 EBONY Power 100 List in honor of his outstanding professional accomplishments and commitment to the African American community. For more than 30 years, the EBONY Power 100 List has honored the work, accomplishments and influence of African American leaders in various sectors.

Hollingsworth has a fiduciary and corporate governance legal practice and chairs Bracewell's public/education law practice group. He is a former member of the firm's management committee. Hollingsworth currently serves as a trustee and chairman of the board of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, a Texas state agency that manages a $150 billion+ pension trust fund. Read More

Speegle '03 Named a 2018 'Veteran of Influence'

The Birmingham Business Journal has named Attorney Clint Speegle a 2018 "Veteran of Influence." The annual program recognizes military veterans in metro Birmingham "who have distinguished themselves in the local business world." A special advisory committee considered criteria such as the candidates' contributions to their company, their track record of innovation and leadership and their role in the Birmingham community.

"Clint is a valued member of our team, and we are grateful for his significant contributions to Lightfoot, Franklin & White LLC," said managing partner Melody Eagan. "As a firm, we are committed to servicemembers and their families, and we are proud to have many veterans on our team."

Clint served multiple tours in Operation Iraqi Freedom as a combat-proven attack helicopter pilot. In addition to a Bronze Star, his awards and decorations include an Air Medal, two Army Commendation Medals, the Combat Action Badge, the Army Aviator Badge, the Army Parachutist Badge, the Army Pathfinder Badge and a United Arab Emirates Special Operations Command Parachutist Badge. Clint continues to give back to West Point as the head of recruiting for the Academy in Central Alabama. Since 2011, he has also served on the Military Academy Nomination Board for Alabama's 6th Congressional District, which is currently represented by Congressman Gary Palmer.

Class Notes Updates This Week

West Point Class NotesThe following classes have added updates this week to their Class Notes pages. 1954 | 1962 | 1971 | 1981 | 1989 | 1993 | 2000. Class Notes

Perdew '89 & Cummings '93 Close $20 Million for Moonshots

Perdew '89 & Cummings '93 Close $20 Million for MoonshotsFounded by military veterans and serial entrepreneurs Kelly Perdew and Craig Cummings, the LA and Austin-based venture capital firm Moonshots has closed $20 million for its inaugural seed-stage fund. Perdew and Cummings met as entrepreneurs and angel investors in the early 2000s. Drawing on their entrepreneurial and military experience, the two are interested in funding founders with specific leadership skills.

"The only place in the world we know of where literally millions of dollars are spent training people explicitly in leadership is the military," Perdew told Crunchbase News.

With that, Perdew said that 70 percent of the funds that the two have deployed through their angel investments, through the Moonshot Capital angel syndicate, and with the new fund thus far has gone to startups founded by military veterans. That remaining 30 percent, Perdew said, has gone to founders which they believe show the leadership and planning characteristics common among founders on those other teams.

For its first fund, the firm plans to write checks in a sweet spot of $500,000 to $800,000. ;So far, the company has invested in cyber defense startups New Knowledge and Threatcare, business travel tool Shep, digital content startup Catalog.; "Our focus is on late-seed [startups with] product-in-market, some revenue generated, and some investment already occurred where Craig and I can really roll up our sleeves as operators and help them grow," Perdew explained. Read More

Photo: Courtesy of Dawn Bowery

LTG(R) Ord III Sworn in Commissioner for ABMC

LTG(R) Ord III Sworn in Commissioner for ABMCRetired Lt. Gen. Robert L. Ord, III, who served 34 years in the Army, was sworn in as a commissioner for the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) on October 16, 2018. Appointed by President Donald Trump in August 2018, Ord, in his role as ABMC Commissioner, will work to provide strategy guidance to fulfill the agency mission.

As a commissioner, Ord serves for an indefinite term and receives no compensation. From the time of ABMC's establishment in 1923 during the Warren G. Harding Administration, a board of commissioners has always existed and played a role in the history of the agency. From Gold Star Mothers to war veterans to General of the Armies John J. Pershing, the board of commissioners has included people who represent a vested interest in how our nation honors its fallen. As a veteran, Ord brings an important perspective to this group.

He served more than three decades in the Army in Infantry command and staff assignments, culminating as commanding general of U.S. Army Pacific. After retiring from the Army in 1996, he served in a variety of roles to include a distinguished senior fellow of the Center for Civil Military Relations at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS). In 2002, he was named dean of the School of International Graduate Studies at NPS, a position held until 2008. He served simultaneously as founding director of the Global Center for Security Cooperation (GCSC), a Department of Defense organization at NPS, and directed GCSC until retiring from federal service in 2009. Read More

Adams '00 to Join NDCCA Board of Directors

Charlie AdamsThe North Dakota County Commissioners Association (NDCCA) elected Bottineau County Commissioner Charlie Adams to join the Board of Directors. The NDCCA was established in 1905. As the form of government closest to the people, counties offer a unique perspective that makes them critical players in decisions affecting their citizens. The North Dakota County Commissioners Association serves as the counties' advocate before all branches of state government. It acts on legislative issues and lobbies on behalf of North Dakota's 223 county commissioners, serving 53 counties.

Adams, a county commissioner since 2015, also serves on Bottineau County's Zoning Board, the County Social Services Board, and the Souris Basin Planning Council that coordinates administration and resources for a seven-county area.

Besides county leadership, Adams serves on the board of directors of the local Dollars for Scholars organization and since 2013 has served on the panel to interview service academy applicants for U.S. Senator John Hoeven, ND.

Class Notes Updates This Week

West Point Class NotesThe following classes have added updates this week to their Class Notes pages. 1956 | 1958 | 1959 | 1969 | 1990 | 1998 | 2002 | 2004. Class Notes

COL Morgan '98 & LTC McClain '02 Under Water Promotion

COL Morgan '98 & LTC McClain '02 Under Water PromotionThe U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command's two Army astronauts received their new rank in a unique way Sept. 27. Army astronauts Col. Andrew "Drew" Morgan and Lt. Col. Anne McClain, both from the astronaut class of 2013, were promoted while underwater following required training in the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory at the Sonny Carter Training Facility. The NBL is an astronaut training facility featuring a large indoor pool of water in which astronauts may perform simulated EVA tasks in preparation for upcoming missions. Trainees wear suits designed to provide neutral buoyancy to simulate the microgravity they would experience during spaceflight.

McClain, who was promoted first, said, "It truly is an honor to be in this suit in this pool working with this team, and it's an honor to be a lieutenant colonel in the Army. Thank you for celebrating this major milestone with me." A 2002 Marshall Scholar also, a senior Army aviator, she has more than 2,000 flight hours in 20 different aircraft. She is a rated pilot for the C-12 Huron (King Air), UH-60 Black Hawk and UH-72 Lakota, and instructor pilot for the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior. She is currently assigned to launch Dec. 20 to serve aboard the International Space Station as a flight engineer for Expedition 58 and 59.

Morgan, who is currently training as McClain's backup, is an emergency physician in the U.S. Army with sub-specialty certification in primary care sports medicine. Prior to his selection to NASA's 21st group of astronauts, Morgan served in elite special operations units worldwide. Morgan is currently assigned to launch on Soyuz 59S in July 2019 and will serve aboard the International Space Station as a flight engineer for Expedition 60 and 61. Following his promotion, Morgan thanked the NBL team and astronaut office for helping with the unique promotion experience. Read More

Flor '02 Appointed as Director of King County DCHS

Leo Flor '02Executive Dow Constantine appointed Leo Flor to serve as the director of the King County Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS). He currently is a member of the department's management team, overseeing services that connect people to employment, support military veterans and their families, and ensure that older adults can live with dignity. He developed and led Executive Constantine's plan to renew and expand the Veterans, Seniors and Human Services Levy, which King County voters approved last year. The Department of Community and Human Services manages a biennial budget of more than $1.5 billion and oversees a wide range of programs to assist the county's most vulnerable residents and strengthen its communities.

"Leo Flor has the complete skill set to build on the progress we have made to help every child, youth, and adult in King County achieve their full potential," said Executive Constantine. "His success at creating a strong, broad coalition for the Veterans, Seniors and Human Services Levy demonstrated the leadership ability I wanted for this Cabinet position. With Leo as director, our employees and partners will continue to deliver real, measurable outcomes that improve the quality of life in King County." In 2013, Flor served as a special advisor on the Executive's Regional Veterans Initiative where he was instrumental in developing recommendations for improving access and coordination of services for veterans and their families.

As an attorney and Equal Justice Works fellow at the Northwest Justice Project, he was named by Executive Constantine to serve as one of the original members of the King County Public Defense Advisory Board in 2014, bringing special expertise in veteran's issues. "DCHS is building the coalitions and systems to address some of our region's most urgent issues, and we are working with communities to promote the conditions of equity, stability and connection that will help King County residents to thrive for the long term," said Flor. "I am humbled by the opportunity to work with Executive Constantine and his staff, the County Council, the DCHS team, and our community partners. I couldn't be more excited for this opportunity to serve." Read More

MAJ Harrison '04 Named to 2018-19 Class of White House Fellows

MAJ Harrison '04 Named to 2018-19 Class of White House FellowsMichael Harrison is from Rural Retreat, Virginia, and is placed in the Office of the Vice President of the United States. As an Infantry Officer, he has led soldiers throughout Asia and Europe, including 28 months deployed to northeastern Afghanistan. Throughout his career, Mike formed and led organizations executing counterterrorism and counter-insurgency missions, as well as strategic deterrence operations within the European theater. He most recently led 4,100 soldiers as the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team's Executive Officer while a member of the 4th Infantry Division. Mike previously served as an Assistant Professor and Executive Officer in the Department of Social Sciences at West Point, where he taught courses on American politics and economics and mentored cadets.

In addition to his professional exploits, Mike ran the New York City marathon to raise awareness for underprivileged youth, volunteered as the West Point chapter's Big Brothers Big Sisters officer mentor, served as a women's soccer team and men's football team academic mentor, and was an active Council on Foreign Relations Term Member. In his free time, he continues to volunteer and serve underprivileged youth and Gold Star families. He received a B.S. in Pre-Law from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an M.P.P. from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

The prestigious White House Fellows program provides professionals from diverse backgrounds with an opportunity to engage in public service for one year by serving in various roles in Federal government. Created in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson, the White House Fellows program was designed "to give the fellows first hand, high-level experience with the workings of the Federal government and to increase their sense of participation in national affairs." The highly competitive selection process to become a White House Fellow is based on a record of remarkable professional accomplishment, evidence of leadership skills and the potential for further growth, and a commitment to public service. Selected individuals spend a year working as a full-time, paid fellow to senior White House staff, Cabinet Secretaries and other top-ranking government officials. Read More

Draper '90 Named CEO at Textron Aviation

Ron Draper '90Ron Draper has been named president and chief executive at Textron Aviation maker of Cessna and Beechcraft airplanes, which employs 9,000 people in Wichita, Kansas succeeding Scott Ernest. Ron has been at Textron Aviation since 2012, most recently as senior vice president of integrated supply chain and operations. Ron is a former Army helicopter pilot who has been with Textron Inc. companies including Bell helicopter since 1999.

"Ron Draper has a great depth of knowledge about the worldwide aviation business and has led several of Textron Aviation's most impactful strategic initiatives," Donnelly said. "He has driven solid gains for the business in recent years, including the successful integration of our Beechcraft and Cessna operations, expansion of our quality management systems and global sourcing strategies." Read More

Dupere ’69 Visits Gravesites of Fallen Classmates Around the Country

Dupere ’69 Visits Gravesites of Fallen Classmates Around the CountryRay Dupere, an ordained minister, undertook a calling to visit the gravesites of each of the class of 1969’ 11 classmates who fell in Vietnam and are not buried at West Point. His arduous and emotional journey began on 2 July when he bade farewell to his wife and departed his home in Ellington, CT by car. Travelling alone over the next four weeks, he conducted a memorial service at gravesites in Detroit, MI; Gary, IN; Ft Snelling, MN; Corning, IA; Choteau, MT; Tucson, AZ; Ft Sam Houston, TX; San Marcos, TX; Winona, MS; Beckley, WV and Arlington, VA.

Along the way, he not only had to navigate between destinations and locate gravesites but on two occasions clear debris and overgrowth away from long neglected graves. At each stop he was buoyed by the presence of classmates and relatives of those being honored and was moved by the outpouring of love and respect for fallen classmates his mission engendered from those in the communities he visited. Many classmates put Ray up in their homes along the way.

They will all visit the remaining eight gravesites of their Vietnam fallen resting in the West Point Cemetery during their 50th Reunion.

Class Notes Updates This Week

West Point Class NotesThe following classes have added updates this week to their Class Notes pages. 1953 | 1958 | 1961 | 1962 | 1966 | 1970 | 1971 | 1973 | 1976 | 1977 | 1979 | 1980 | 1981 | 1987 | 2012. Class Notes

Cruz '77 Named Parking Professional of the Year

Armin José CruzArmin José Cruz, vice president of the Parking Business Unit at DFW International Airport in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, has been named its 2018 James M. Hunnicutt, CAPP, Parking Professional of the Year by the International Parking Institute (IPI). It honors management-level professionals who direct an entire parking/transportation operation or manage multiple units within a department.

Cruz, the first Cuban-American to graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point has served on multiple committees and boards for transportation organizations and nonprofits and is a three-time recipient of the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Chairman's Award.

Besides being a parking and transportation leader, Cruz is a leader in his community, serving as chair of the Regional Planning Committee, Gulf Region Small Business Transportation Business Center, the 2008 Transportation Research Board Annual National Meeting discussion panel, and the Dallas-Fort Worth United Way Campaign. He also has served on the boards of the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, as well as on the Airport Minority Advisory Council, and the DFW International Airport Chaplaincy. Read More

Hon.(R) Ronald Cox '66 Joins the Panel at JAMS

The Honorable Ronald E. Cox (Retired) has joined the panel at JAMS (Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services) the largest private provider of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services worldwide. Judge Cox joins JAMS after more than 23 years of service on the Washington State Court of Appeals. During his tenure with the court, Judge Cox served as presiding chief judge of the entire court. He also served a separate term as chief judge of Division I of the court, which is headquartered in Seattle.

"Judge Cox is a known for his rigorous attention to detail, efficiency and in-depth understanding of the cases he presides over," said Chris Poole, JAMS president and CEO. "We are confident that he will make an excellent addition to the JAMS panel in Seattle." "Throughout my career, I developed and refined my skills to help parties resolve disputes, which is something I'm passionate about," Judge Cox said. "I'm looking forward to continuing that journey in my new role as a neutral at JAMS."

Shull '73 Receives the ALA Distinguished Service Award

Tom Shull '73In honor of efforts to improve the quality of life for service members and families, Army & Air Force Exchange Service Director/CEO Tom Shull received the American Logistics Association's (ALA) Distinguished Service Award on during the group's annual convention in San Antonio. ALA is a nonprofit trade association that promotes, protects and enhances quality-of-life benefits for service members, military retirees and military families.

"This is an extraordinary honor," said Shull, the first civilian to lead the Department of Defense's largest retailer. "For 123 years, the Exchange has been all in to take care of those who take care of us. Our Warfighters and their families deserve nothing less" Shull earned the ALA's Distinguished Service award for his leadership in transforming the delivery of promised benefits to service members and their families by leveraging proven business disciplines to grow market share and reduce costs.

"Tom makes a difference every day for service members, their families and Veterans," said ALA President Maurice Branch. "He is a master of change and a builder of opportunity. The military community has benefited greatly from his leadership at the Exchange and passion for serving those who serve". Read More

Washington '77 Nominated Director of the U.S. Marshals

Donald Washington '77President Donald Trump has picked Lafayette lawyer Donald Washington to be director of the U.S. Marshals Service. A former U.S. attorney for the Western District of Louisiana. The Marshals Service is the country's oldest federal law enforcement agency and employs more than 3,500 deputy marshals and investigators as well as executives and support staff. Its duties include protecting federal judges, catching federal fugitives, managing and selling assets seized from criminals, transporting federal prisoners and protecting witnesses.

He was U.S. attorney during the George W. Bush administration. He was the Justice Department's point person in the 42-parish Western District from 2001 to 2010. The White House announced Trump's selection on Tuesday Oct. 2. The appointment is subject to confirmation by the Senate, where Louisiana Sens. Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy, both Republicans, hailed Washington.

"Don is a great choice to head the U.S. Marshals Service, and I applaud President Trump for nominating him," Cassidy said. "Don served Louisiana well as U.S. attorney, and I'm honored to have known him for many years. I wholeheartedly support his nomination and look forward to seeing him confirmed." "President Trump made a great choice in picking Don Washington to serve as the head of the U.S. Marshals Service," Kennedy said. "I know that Don will do an outstanding job at the Marshals Service, just like he has done for the state of Louisiana. I look forward [to] talking more with him through his confirmation process." Read More

LTC(R) Austin '87 Releases "The Student's Comprehensive Guide For College & Other Life Lessons"

LTC(R) Valarie R. Austin has announced the publication of "The Student's Comprehensive Guide For College & Other Life Lessons" by Vauboix Publishing LLC in September 2018. Valarie's debut non-fiction book draws on her experience as a college graduate who has acquired four degrees from four different schools namely Montgomery College-Rockville, MD, the University of Maryland-College Park (her most recent), the United States Military Academy, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. With an associate's degree, two bachelor's degrees, and a master's degree, Valarie has unique insights into staying and graduating from college. In her book, she gives tough practical advice to guide high school and college bound students about the discipline, skills and knowledge necessary to successfully graduate from college on time. Valarie also offers why earning a college degree is important for young adults specifically to gain higher earnings, better career opportunities/satisfaction, greater problem-solving abilities, and a better standard of living. The paperback and Kindle books are available on Amazon. LTC Austin is a member of the Maryland Writers Association, Montgomery County Chapter.

Class Notes Updates This Week

West Point Class NotesThe following classes have added updates this week to their Class Notes pages. 1958 | 1961 | 1968 | 1984 | 1990 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2018. Class Notes

Leon E. Panetta Receives 2018 Thayer Award

The Honorable Leon E. Panetta—the 23rd U.S. Secretary of Defense, 3rd Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, 18th White House Chief of Staff, and Chairman of the Panetta Institute for Public Policy—became the 61st recipient of the annual Sylvanus Thayer Award, accepting the award at a formal dinner in the West Point Mess Hall on October 4. Since 1958, the West Point Association of Graduates has presented the Thayer Award to an outstanding citizen of the United States whose service and accomplishments in the national interest exemplify personal devotion to the ideals expressed in the West Point motto: Duty, Honor, Country. See Photos

"From the halls of Congress to the Pentagon, and in many places in between, Secretary Leon Panetta has dedicated his life to selfless service for our nation and truly embodied the principles of this Academy," said Superintendent Lieutenant General Darryl Williams '83, upon introducing the 2018 recipient.

In his remarks before the presentation, West Point Association of Graduates Board Chairman, Lieutenant General Joseph E. DeFrancisco '65 (Retired), said, "In receiving the Thayer Award, Secretary Panetta joins a diverse array of significant Americans—renowned scientists, astronauts, esteemed members of the clergy, and members of Congress—and his name on the West Point Thayer Award plaque greatly enriches the prestige of our alma mater." Full Story »

Team Rubicon Grads Helping Florence Victims

Team Rubicon Grads Helping Florence VictimsDennis Clancy '04 and Brent Slough '05 have been working with Team Rubicon to support the National Operations Center as they mobilized hundreds of volunteers in response to Florence. They lead the National Operations Center and Mobilization teams for Team Rubicon. So far, they have deployed around 450 volunteers from almost every state to multiple forward operating bases in the US. Kurt Mosher '90 volunteered and was helping with metrics and process improvements with their partners in the area of air transport.

MAJ Nguyen '03 Appointed Chair and Professor at Clarkson

MAJ Nguyen '03 Major William Nguyen has been appointed chair and professor of military science at Clarkson University.

Major Nguyen's service includes four deployments in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom during which his platoon defended "Route Irish"—the most dangerous road in Iraq. He has served as executive officer for the headquarters and headquarters company of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division in Northern Baghdad where he was responsible for training the Iraqi Army. He also worked with various intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations to help the Government of the Zhari District, Afghanistan, establish governance and rules of law.

After his final Iraq deployment, he was an army instructor, doctrine writer, and battalion executive officer for 1-40th Field Artillery, a brigades operations officer for the 434th Field Artillery and a senior air defense observer controller at the Joint Readiness Training Center.

His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation, Army Achievement, and Military Service Outstanding Volunteer Service Medals. He also earned the Combat Action, Parachutist, Air Assault, and the Pathfinder Badges.

Hoffman '90 Running for Suicide Prevention

Hoffman '90 Running for Suicide PreventionCol(R) Tony Hofmann has led a team of dozens of ultra-endurance athletes, mostly combat Veterans, to run in the Leadville, Colorado marathon for the past few years and has raised funds that help Veterans and First Responders battling post-traumatic stress.

The marathon takes teamwork and endurance, something Veterans need to overcome post-traumatic stress. "It's really an emotional event, not just for the runners involved, even if you've done it multiple times; but also for the folks that are there at the finish line relative to the race," said Tony.

"It's just a very tough issue," said Tony, who wanted to take action to do what he could to end the Veteran suicide epidemic. "It's giving back, it's a way to stay connected; but more importantly, hopefully it's about making a difference," said Tony. "Trying to make a positive impact, and assist folks that are suffering from post-traumatic stress; that's for me, what it's all about, is saving lives." Read More

Spirit Reunion & Parents Weekend Oct. 19-20

Spirit Reunion & Parents Weekend Oct. 19-20Old Rabs and team parents are invited to the reunion and parents weekend October 19-20, 2018 at Michie Stadium, in conjunction as Army Beats Miami (OH). The weekend will consist of a game day practice on Friday, pre-game tailgate on Daly Field and Old Rabs will take the field at Michie Stadium on Saturday! Tailgate Tickets: $30 | Game Tickets $55. Deadline to Register Online: https://www.westpointaog.org/rabble-rousers-reunion. October 10th. Need to purchase a parking pass? [$15] - Contact Zoey Cohen, 845.446.2349 or zoe@armyfrmc.com [if not purchased within 2-weeks of gameday a $10 FedEx fee will be added.

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