The Class of 2010 Receives Branch Assignments
“Ladies and Gentlemen, open your envelopes!” were the words the Firsties had been waiting to hear Sunday evening on the first day of November. Immediately after this command, the men and women of the Class of 2010 tore open their envelopes in order to receive official notification of their Branch. Within seconds, pandemonium broke out in the Eisenhower Hall Theater as this year’s Firsties congratulated each other, posed for cell phone pictures, and called home with the big news.
The evening began with the arrival on-stage of the Official Party: the First Captain, Father Wood, LTG (Ret.) Johnson, CSM Mahoney, the Brigade Tactical Officer, the Director of DMI, and the President & CEO of the WPAOG. Also present for Branch Night were the following representatives from the Class of 1960, the Fifty-Year Affiliation Class for the Class of 2010: LTG (Ret.) Charles Otstott, COL Howard Harke—recalled to active duty as a surgeon—COL (Ret.) Michael Plummer, COL (Ret.) Robert Totten, LTC (Ret.) James Godwin, and LTC (Ret.) Herman Marmon. After the Official Party was seated, the First Captain walked to the podium, welcomed his Classmates to Branch Night, and turned the podium over to Father Wood, who gave a moving invocation. The First Captain then introduced the speaker, LTG (Ret.) James Johnson ‘60, who focused his remarks on the changes and continuity evident at West Point since his graduation; the importance of every Branch in the Army; and his assertion that Graduates must never forget that it is the Soldier who wins our Nation’s wars. The BTO then addressed the Class of 2010, stressing in his remarks the importance of mastering the intricacies of one’s Branch and thanking the Class of 1960 and the West Point Association of Graduates for their roles in Branch Night. The Director of DMI closed the ceremony by reviewing with the Firsties what they were to do after they opened their envelopes.
Following the opening of the envelopes, the Firsties moved to their Branch-pinning ceremonies and then to the receptions hosted by the various Branches. Branch Night 2009 was a great success for all involved, and the WPAOG would like to offer the Class of 2010 “Best Wishes” as its members prepare for commissioning a few short months from now. At that time, the Class of 1960 will rejoin the Class of 2010 for the final element of the Fifty-Year Affiliation Program: the presentation of 2LT bars on Graduation Day.