Branch Night for the Class of 2015

Categories: 50-Year Affiliation Program, Cadet News, Grad News
Class Years: ,

Insignia = Identity

“Your branch will become part of your identity for the rest of your life.” So said LTG (R) Joseph DeFrancisco ’65 to the members of the Class of 2015 during his 50-Year Affiliation remarks at their Branch Night ceremony on November 20, 2014. With so much at stake, it is no wonder the firsties were nervous.

“It’s a mix of emotions right now,” said Cody Iden ’15. “It’s three years culminating in one night.” Brad O’Keefe ’15, the first sergeant for H-4, admitted his company was anxious as well. “We don’t really know what we’re going to get, so we are pretty nervous,” he said. Nicholas Satwicz ’15, company commander for D-4, said, “You could feel the vibe all day, everyone is on the edge of their seat—excited but tense.”

Anxiety and nervousness gave way to exhilaration and release as 1,016 members of the Class of 2015 tore into the envelopes containing their branch insignia and let out a collective cheer regarding the future contained therein. And why not? As BG John Thomson ’86, Commandant of Cadets, informed the audience prior to the “big reveal,” 96 percent of the class received one of their top-5 branch choices, with 80 percent getting their first choice.

“I am so excited that I am out of my mind right now,” said Ethan Gleue ’15 when he found out that he branched his first choice, Aviation, which was harder to get than usual given that it received a 25 percent cut in allocations from the previous year. Also of note, 15 members of the Class of 2015 became the first cadets to branch directly into the Army’s new Cyber Branch.

While donning their new insignia helps forge their identity in the Army, Jose Sanchez ’65, another member of the 50-Year Affiliation Class, reminded the firsties about maintaining a bond to their class. “Classes are the glue that binds the Long Gray Line together.” His advice was not lost on Will Goodwin, President of the Class of 2015, who told his classmates, “We will soon go our separate ways into our different branches, but the bonds of friendships we formed at West Point will endure, and our class will always be tied together by our commitment to our country and, more important, to those we lead.”

Before getting too far into the future, DeFrancisco had one last piece of advice for the Class of 2015: “Don’t forget you still need to graduate. Branch insignia has no meaning unless it is accompanied by a gold bar.”


Branch Results for the Class of 2015

Infantry – 226
Engineering – 136
Field Artillery – 128
Aviation – 88
Military Intelligence – 82
Armor – 68
Air Defense – 52
Signal Corps – 43
Ordnance – 39
Adjunct General – 33
Quartermaster – 25
Transportation – 23
Military Police – 22
Medical Services – 20
Cyber – 15
Finance – 8
Chemical – 8
Total – 1016

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