On May 21, the USMA celebrated the accomplishments and perseverance of the Class of 2022 as its 1,014 members completed their 47-month West Point experience and commissioned as the next generation of officers in the U.S. Army. They join the 78,629 members of the Long Gray Line who have received diplomas since the Academy’s founding in 1802.
The 20th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army, GEN Mark A. Milley, served as commencement speaker. While speaking to 1014 graduates, Milley said there will be a prominent shift in weapons technology, “the change from musket to the rifle, the rifle to the machine gun or from sailing to steamships. And the technological edge is no longer automatically in America’s favor,” claiming the U.S. will be “fighting with robotic tanks and ships and airplanes.”
The Joint Chiefs Chairman weighed value on the importance of staying true to the Constitution, ”We swear an oath to an idea, and that idea is America.” Milley also stressed that cadets need to remember to stay adaptive, resilient and be of impeccable moral character. Before closing out his remarks, he quoted lyrics from a Bob Dylan song, “We can feel the light breeze in the air. And right now, as we sit here on the plane at West Point, we can see the storm flags fluttering in the wind and we can hear in the distance the loud clap of thunder. And hard rain is about to fall.”
Members of the Class of 2022 (“For Many, Stand the Few”) come from all 50 states and represent 84 percent of the 1,205 cadets who entered West Point nearly four years ago. The Class of 2022 includes 244 women, 126 African Americans, 79 Asian/Pacific Islanders, 85 Hispanics, and 10 Native Americans. The class also includes 58 prior service members, nine of whom are combat veterans, and it includes 160 members who attended the U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School (126 men and 34 women).
Thirteen graduates are international cadets. They represent Albania, Bhutan, Cambodia, Poland (2), Romania, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand (2), and Tunisia (2).
WPAOG is especially proud of the 86 cadets who are the child of a West Point graduate, 13 of whom have parents that are both graduates.
First Captain Holland Pratt earned the highest cumulative Cadet Performance Score (overall) and achieved the highest Military Program Score. The highest cumulative Quality Point Average (valedictorian) was earned by Travis J. Nichols; the highest cumulative Physical Program Score was earned by Isaac D. Hagberg.
The class features 52 scholarship winners, including four Rhode Scholars, all of whom are women.
This year’s class had 68 percent of its members branch Combat Arms, including 128 women who commissioned into Infantry, Armor, Field Artillery, Engineers, Aviation, and Air Defense Artillery.
Four members from the 50-Year Affiliate Class of 1972, COL (R) John H. Northrop, Mr. Robert J. Curran, COL (R) Joseph W. Adamczyk, and LTG (R) Gary D. Speer, gripped hands with the graduates and gave them their second lieutenant bars, symbolizing the everlasting connection between these two classes.