The crest is beautifully crafted, incorporating their class motto, SO FREEDOM WILL REIGN, their class numerals, the American Eagle, the letters USMA, an officer’s sword and a cadet saber, with a draped U.S. flag displaying 12 stars as a backdrop. A thirteenth star is emblazoned upon the Roman numerals XIX. A complete explanation of the crest’s significance and the 19 distinct elements it comprises as conveyed by their Ring & Crest committee chairman to the banquet’s assembled guests is also attached.
Our Affiliation Class did us great honor by including the Class of 1969 in the design of their crest, choosing to represent the ties between us by the six talons of the Eagle and nine links of the great chain. The emotional effect of seeing this symbolism for the first time, forever entwining our two classes — SO FREEDOM WILL REIGN and the BEST OF THE LINE — was quite powerful and moving.
Beyond the significance of the crest, the evening afforded us a tremendous opportunity to meet and talk with many of our Affiliates including their class officers, Ring & Crest Committee members, and their Plebe Parent Weekend chain of command as well as several we had come to know during their prep year at USMAPS. We marveled at how they’ve matured in the seven months since the Marchback and you would all be proud of the poise and presence they exhibited. The banquet represented 2019’s first formal event and was professionally done in every respect. The accompanying photos show us with 2019’s class president and vice-president, Cadets John Ireton and Christian Ackerman, taken by Cathy Kilner ’90, our terrific AOG class support rep. Behind us you can see our class flag which was prominently displayed between USMA flag and the Supt’s standard. The detailed planning, organization and execution that went into this magnificent banquet was quite impressive to say the least.
From everyone on the staff and faculty we heard nothing but praise for USMA 2019’s positive attitude and high morale, Although reputedly weak academically, they have recently declared their majors and several we spoke to were opting for the hard sciences. They’ve all now qualified on the dreaded Indoor Obstacle Course and are looking forward to Buckner, following which many have secured coveted airborne and air assault slots. Since we marched back with them last August there have been 54 losses to the Class of 2019, running the gamut from academics, honor, lack of motivation and conduct. As a class they are eager to forge closer relations with us. We are working up an informal program to take effect once they’re in their new regular lettered companies linking them with our classmates who graduated from that company since there’s a one-to one correlation across both classes from A-1 to H-4.
We have every reason to be immensely proud of our Affiliates and their performance to date. As they come to grasp the ideals of West Point, they appreciate more each day their relationship with those from the Best of the Line.
Recap – KC ’69
Remarks by Cadet Collin Cooley, Ring & Crest Committee Chairman
Thank you Cadet Iredale. I’d also like to a moment to thank the rest of the Ring and Crest Committee, the professional artists and all of those who were a part of this meticulous process for their hard work and execution.
Distinguished guests, family members, friends and classmates. It is an honor to introduce to you the significance of our class crest. With the insight and talent of many individuals, our class crest has evolved to embody what the United States Military Academy stands for: Duty, Honor and Country; as well as symbolize the distinctiveness of the Class of 2019. The crest itself has undergone a significant transformation from its original design to the final rendition which you now see. What started as a cartoonish eagle with a backwards motto has transformed into a design that thoroughly encompasses the values that represent our class. Similarly, there are parts of the crest which tie our class to this great institution and the countless other classes to walk these halls.
Every West Point Crest includes a United States Army Officer’s Sword along with a Cadet Saber representing Duty; the lettering “USMA”, the Class’s graduating year and class motto denote Honor; and the Bald Eagle and American flag encapsulate the virtue of this great nation which we have committed to serve. Much like every other crest, our class graduating year of 2019, denoted by roman numerals, stretches across the bottom of the crest to represent the foundation of who we will become as officers. USMA is placed in gold at at the top of the crest to serve as a constant reminder to lead with an astute sense of character and duty during every engagement as an officer and throughout the duration of our lives.
West Point presents each cadet an experience that trains, challenges and develops him or her into a leader, capable of leading the defenders of the free world upon graduation. Our class motto, So Freedom Will Reign, represents our military’s global pursuit of freedom and the role our class will play in securing that freedom in just a few short years. The red sash on which our motto rests symbolizes the cohesion and teamwork necessary to graduate and after commissioning work towards the goal of securing global freedom together, as one. It shows that we will succeed as leaders while at the Academy, officers in the United States Army and for the remainder of our lives.
The focal point of our crest is the Bald Eagle, America’s National Bird, standing behind a shield and grasping a broken chain in its talons. The shield represents our status as defenders of this great nation, while the Talons and chain represent our promise to break the chains of oppression and tyranny which hold back the free world. There are 6 talons and nine links of chain which tie our class to our 50th Year affiliate class; the class of 1969. The eagle is placed in the center of our crest with its wings wrapped around the American Flag. This motion symbolizes how our class, like our country’s bird, will protect those we serve and aid as a reminder of what we are fighting for. On the American Flag there are 12 stars and one star on the shield at the bottom of the crest. These 13 stars represent the birth of our nation and the pursuit of freedom to accomplish our independence. In total, there are 19 elements of the flag representing our graduating year.