Cadets Earn Pershing Medallion in Recognition of Top Reflective Essays for MX400

Categories: Cadet News, Academics
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Through the Simon Center for the Professional Military Ethic (SCPME), MX400 is the superintendent’s capstone course for all U.S. Military Academy firsties, with an emphasis on an officer’s duty to provide moral leadership. The course challenges cadets to become commissioned leaders of character who demonstrate virtue, honor, patriotism, and subordination to civilian authority.

The course encourages cadets to reflect on their own character development as part of the West Point Leader Development System (WPLDS), while studying the enduring and emerging ethical challenges of the profession they are about to enter.

One of the major requirements in the course is the Gen. John J. Pershing Reflective Essay. Established and endowed in 2006 by retired LTG John Cushman ’44, the Pershing Writing Award is meant to encourage cadets to reflect on their experiences at West Point and gain a better understanding of how the institution has helped them prepare for the profession of arms and to strengthen their resolve to serve the nation honorably as a commissioned officer.

Cushman, who commanded 2nd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam, wanted to inspire cadets with an award that emphasized West Point’s significance in their development. The award was named after one of the academy’s most influential leaders, Pershing, to honor his legacy and contributions to the Army and nation, highlighted by his command of the Allied Expeditionary Force during World War I.

This year, more than 1,000 cadets from the USMA Class of 2024 authored essays. The top three cadets who earned medallions were Class of 2024 CDTs Maximilian Hodsden (first place, gold), Brennan McAlister (second place, silver), and Maximillian Renfro (third place, bronze). The three cadets who earned honorable mention were Class of 2024 CDTs Reagan Warren, Christian Dionisio, and Carlo Octoman. The cadet authors were celebrated during the Gen. Pershing Award ceremony on May 22 at the Thayer Award Room, where they received their medallions and certificates.

Opportunities like these are made possible by the Margin of Excellence.

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Excerpt and image taken from https://www.westpoint.edu/.

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