West Point Magazine Summer 2023

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SUMMER 2023 In This Issue: Beyond the Gray: Outdoor Resources at West Point A Publication of the West Point Association of Graduates WEST POINT ASSOCIATION OF GRADUATE S
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Beyond

The mission of West Point magazine is to tell the West Point story and strengthen the grip of the Long Gray Line.

PUBLISHER

West Point Association of Graduates

Todd A. Browne ’85

The Honorable & Mrs. Robert A. McDonald ’75 President & CEO

EDITOR IN CHIEF

Jaye Donaldson editor@wpaog.org

ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Keith J. Hamel

EDITORIAL ADVISORY GROUP

Patrick Ortland ’82 Samantha Soper

Terence Sinkfield ’99

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Marguerite Smith

CONTENT

Keith Hamel

Erika Norton

ADVERTISING

845.446.1646 | ads@wpaog.org

ADDRESS UPDATES

West Point Association of Graduates

ATTN: Data Services Team

698 Mills Road, West Point, NY 10996-1607 845.446.1644 | address@wpaog.org

MEMORIAL ARTICLE MANAGER

Marilee Meyer HON ’56, ’62, and ’66 845.446.1545 | memorials@wpaog.org

WPAOG programs, including communications, made possible by William D. Mounger, Class of 1948.

Opinions expressed in this magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, policy, or attitude of the U.S. Army, United States Military Academy, West Point Association of Graduates, its officers, or the editorial staff. The appearance of advertisements in this publication does not necessarily constitute an endorsement by the U.S. Army, United States Military Academy, West Point Association of Graduates, its officers, or the editorial staff for the products or services advertised.

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WestPointis published quarterly in Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. Send address changes to: WestPointmagazine, West Point Association of Graduates, 698 Mills Road, West Point, NY 10996-1607

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ON THE COVER: The area surrounding West Point is home to some of New York state’s best trails, including one that provides a stunning view of the Hudson River and the U.S. Military Academy. Photo: Erika Norton/WPAOG.

5 COVER STORY: Beyond the Gray

Despite what a cadet’s daily experience might be, West Point is not all gloom and gray: there is a majesty to its location and a specific reason why General George Washington designated the Hudson Highlands area north of New York City as the “key of America.”

10 USMA’s Outdoor Classroom

20 Outdoors with West Point Range Operations

For those who love the outdoors and nature, the West Point training complex is nirvana, and the agency responsible for this 14,000-acre wooded reserve is Range Operations, whose primary job is ensuring that West Point’s 17 live-fire ranges, 14 specialty training courses, and vast swaths of light maneuver areas are safe and functional for all training iterations.

25 Taxing Terrain and Erratic Environment: Sandhurst Creates the Tough Soldier

30 Graduation Day

34 Take a Hike

The area surrounding West Point is home to some of New York’s best hiking trails; so, if you’re looking for something to do to fill some downtime during a visit to USMA, here are four options right around the bend from your Rockbound Highland Home.

40 Recognized: The 2023 Distinguished Graduate Awards

48 Experiential Learning Today Develops the Leaders of Tomorrow: 2023 Projects Day

50 All-Season Grad Perks with the “Fun People”

54 The Outdoor Corps

From the Cadet Fly Fishing Club to the Orienteering Team, the Directorate of Cadet Activities’ Extracurricular Program has several groups that depend on the outdoor resources of West Point, the Hudson Valley, and the Northeast for their activities and that foster both a lifelong appreciation for outdoor sportsmanship and the military profession through cadet-officer mentorship.

From Your West Point Association of

3 From the President

4 From the Superintendent

18 WPAOG News

19

28

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Send your thoughts about West Point magazine to editor@wpaog.org or @WPAOG on Twitter. View the online version of this magazine at WestPointAOG.org/wpmag Highlights and videos may be found on WPAOG Social Media.

2 WestPointAOG.org SECTION : TITLE
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• SUMMER 2023
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Graduates
IN THIS ISSUE |
the Gray: Outdoor Resources
at West Point
Recognition Program
WPAOG Military Retiree
Gripping Hands
Poster: The Bear Mountain Bridge
Mailbox 60 Be Thou at Peace 61 Past in Review
47
Balfour 17 Battle Monument Group 15 Citizens Watch C4 Class of 1976/USAA 45 Class of 1981 46 The Gift Shop 1 Herff Jones 17 SACC 1 USAA C2, C3
DEPARTMENTS ADVERTISERS

Dear Fellow Graduates:

Summers at West Point hold a special place in all our personal stories. We all remember that first meal in the mess hall, meeting our first roommates, the first foot march, the gas chamber, and many other cherished memories etched forever in our minds and hearts. The past 30-plus days have provided me with a special perspective of the beginning and end of the 47-month experience. On June 26, I was fortunate to watch approximately 1,200 new cadets say their goodbyes and begin their first steps to joining the Corps of Cadets, ending the day taking their oath on the Plain. The Class of 2027 will do what we all did: commit, persevere, work together and conquer Beast Barracks.

On May 26, I observed the graduation of the Class of 2023, “Freedom is Not Free.” This class saw the close of the Global War on Terrorism with the end of U.S. operations in Afghanistan, endured a global pandemic, navigated the demands of remote learning, and witnessed the rise of near-peer competition during the war in Ukraine. Knowing what they experienced and learned at the Academy, I echo what the vice president said to them in her commencement address: “As I think about the future of our military, I am particularly optimistic because of you…Know this: You are ready. You have graduated from the preeminent leader development institution in the world. And you have everything you need—the skills, the knowledge, and the character—to serve our nation.”

To witness these two classes gives great perspective and a strong sense of pride in what the United States Military Academy does for our country. It also provides a visible and irrefutable display of purpose. The graduates of the Class of 2023 will soon lead our nation’s sons and daughters and collectively prepare to serve in the defense of our nation, no matter the challenge or call. The classes that follow will do the same. On August 1, I will join the West Point Association of Graduates as the new Honorable & Mrs. Robert A. McDonald ’75 President & CEO. I’m honored and excited to join this distinguished organization and contribute to the shared effort and purpose that is West Point.

During recent visits to West Point and reinforced by the last 11 years of being a parent of three cadets, I’ve been able to see WPAOG in action. Since 1869, WPAOG has relentlessly worked to achieve its mission, to serve West Point and the Long Gray Line, and aspire towards its vision, to be the most highly connected alumni body in the world. They executed that mission flawlessly during Grad Week, when members of the Classes of 1948, 1953, 1968 and 1973 returned to West Point for spring reunions and attended the alumni review. They also supported the Class of 1977 at WPAOG’s Ice Cream Social and on R-Day, as the members of “Esprit de Corps,” the Class of 2027’s 50-Year Affiliate Class, welcomed cadet candidates and reassured family members after the 90-second “good-bye.” And now, the staff is hard at work preparing for the WPAOG

Leaders Conference, sponsored by the Class of 1967, where I’m looking forward to meeting the class, society, and parent club leaders in attendance.

To pursue WPAOG’s vision, its staff supports several impactful and highly connective programs: Grad Link, Sallyport, Career Navigator, Grads Helping Grads, Military Retiree Recognition Program, Gripping Hands, Shared Interest Groups, CONNECT, the Hudson Valley Project, and the Rockbound Highland Home Program (now with a five-year Grad Pass!). Keeping graduates connected is essential at WPAOG because a connected Long Gray Line is a force for good in support of West Point and each other.

WPAOG was recently awarded four American Business Awards (Stevies). WPAOG’s excellence was again on display as we shared the stage with companies like CISCO Systems, Bank of America, Lockheed Martin, Prudential, Home Depot and AT&T, to name a few. The CONNECT Program and Entrepreneur Summit received Gold Awards, and the Nininger Award received the Silver Award. We also received the Silver Award for Non-Profit of the Year. These awards are a testament to the WPAOG staff’s commitment to the mission.

The outcome of the second annual West Point Challenge was amazing—$5.1 million raised for USMA’s academic departments, sports teams, extracurricular clubs, and more. Our graduates’ affinity for our alma mater, reflected now through a near 40% alumni participation rate, is a competitive advantage. Your collective donations have resulted in perpetual increases for the Margin of Excellence programs that the Superintendent and Academy leaders have determined are most important for preparing ethical and agile leaders of character for our Army and our nation. Thank you—the more than 55,900 members of the Long Gray Line, your spouses, families, and parents of current cadets—for your tremendous support of the Academy and WPAOG.

During this summer at West Point, I have so many cherished memories of my time at Beast Barracks—memories of challenges, hardships, late nights, early mornings, fatigue, hunger, and shared success. We were pushed by our upper class, sometimes to our limits, and forced to work as a team. Thirty-six years later, the thing I remember and appreciate most are my classmates, without whom I would not have made it. I’m so proud and honored to be back at West Point serving the Academy and the Long Gray Line. I look forward to meeting as many graduates as possible this fall, and, of course, every graduate is welcome back to Herbert Alumni Center at any time. Finally, if you have any ideas to bring us closer, to strengthen the Long Gray Line and to serve West Point better, please send them along. I assure you; we will appreciate and entertain all suggestions.

Grip Hands,

WEST POINT | SUMMER 2023 3 FROM THE PRESIDENT

Long Gray Line Teammates:

Thank you for your tremendous support to our Academy and the Corps of Cadets as we conclude another great academic year. We were honored to have so many of you back at West Point during Graduation Week in May to celebrate class reunions, honor our newest class of Distinguished Graduates, and grip hands with each other and the Corps.

Grad Week is a master class in inspiration, with hundreds of years of experience and selfless service on hand to inspire and celebrate generations of leaders, past, present, and future. It started with West Point honoring the Long Gray Line’s most recent Medal of Honor recipient, COL (R) Ralph Puckett ’49, to dedicate a plaque highlighting his heroic actions in the Korean War. In addition to the more than 580 members of the Classes of 1948, 1953, 1968, and 1973 here for their reunions, we were honored to have BG (R) Sam Lessey ’45 lay the wreath at Thayer Statue as the senior graduate present, before his passing in June.

The highlight of the week was celebrating the Class of 2023 as they graduated and commissioned as our nation’s newest leaders of character. This outstanding class exemplified excellence in all aspects of their West Point experience, boasting 43 graduate scholarship recipients, 16 medical school selectees, 43 honor graduates, and more than three quarters of the class branching into Combat Arms. They are prepared and ready to assume the mantle of leadership in our Army to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.

I would like to especially thank the “Proud and Free” Class of 1973 for gripping hands and inspiring these graduates as their 50-Year Affiliate class. We are all grateful for your support and mentorship to them, and demonstrating to all of us, the strength and resilience of the Long Gray Line.

After graduation, the Corps pivoted to summer training with the same energy and excellence they displayed throughout the academic year. In addition to the military skills and leadership training at West Point, nearly a thousand cadets will engage in Academic Individual Advanced Development projects across the United States and in 39 countries globally. We also welcomed the new cadets of the Class of 2027 on R-Day

in late June to begin their West Point journey toward becoming leaders of character.

Cadets also participated in leader development training at various installations, some of which were recently renamed to honor notable leaders from our Army and the Long Gray Line. In May, Fort Benning was renamed Fort Moore, honoring Distinguished Graduate LTG (R) Hal Moore ’45 and his wife, Julia. Later this year, another West Point graduate, President and General Dwight Eisenhower, Class of 1915, will be honored as Fort Gordon is renamed Fort Eisenhower.

Please join me in welcoming two outstanding leaders to the USMA team: BG Lori Robinson ’94, the 80th Commandant of Cadets, and CSM Phil Barretto, the 22nd USMA Command Sergeant Major. BG Robinson returns to West Point after a successful tour as Deputy Commanding General (Support) for the 2nd Infantry Division/ROK-US Combined Division. CSM Barretto, an Infantry soldier with more than three decades of leadership and experience, last served as U.S. Army North/Fifth Army’s CSM.

As we welcome them, we say farewell and thank you to BG Mark Quander ’95, who heads to Cincinnati as the next Commanding General of the Army Corps of Engineers’ Great Lakes and Ohio River Division, and to CSM Mike Coffey, who retired from the Army after 29 years of honorable and selfless service.

We welcome COL (R) Mark Bieger ’91 to the Team as WPAOG’s new President and Chief Executive Officer and thank Todd Browne ’85 for his years of leadership and service to the Long Gray Line. We look forward to working with Mark to support the Academy and our graduates, and we wish Todd and Janet all the best in their future endeavors.

Finally, as we celebrated our Army’s 248th birthday in June, here at West Point and across our Army, we honored the legacy of the generations of soldiers throughout our nation’s history who answered the call to duty, while inspiring today’s and future generations of Americans to “Be All You Can Be” through service.

Thank you all for your continued support of our Academy and for continuing to grip hands with the Corps.

Go Army!

"To educate, train, and inspire the Corps of Cadets so that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character committed to the values of Duty, Honor, Country and prepared for a career of professional excellence and service to the Nation as an officer in the United States Army."

—USMA’s Mission

4 WestPointAOG.org FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT
Photo: U.S. Army

Beyond the Gray

It’s late February at West Point. Cadets trudge to morning formation in Central Area, surrounded by looming gray granite barracks. They trudge to class amidst cold gray snow to academic buildings of gray. They trudge to Arvin Gymnasium under a gray and gloomy sky that threatens a cold wind and more snow. They sit for meals within more gray walls and surrounded by the rest of the Corps in gray uniforms. It is no surprise that Gloom Period is a time all graduates remember—and not with fondness.

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Photo: Erika Norton/WPAOG ’93, WPAOG staff

Thankfully, just as that wet wool smell becomes unbearable, the snow melts, ice chunks float down the river from up north, and tiny blossoms appear. The Hudson Highlands are again getting ready to welcome tens of thousands of sightseers for the rest of the year. Although many cadets continue to trudge between formations, the cadet mess, academic buildings and athletic facilities, graduates and visitors look about the place that is West Point and see the majesty that is beyond the gray walls.

They go out to Trophy Point and look north up the mighty Hudson River and witness imposing Storm King Mountain—perhaps even lingering for a West Point Band concert on a Saturday night or to watch wedding photos being taken. Visitors quietly and reflectively walk the manicured paths and green rows of the West Point Cemetery, remembering their comrades, friends, mentors, and American heroes. Some graduates and visitors even drive up Stony Lonesome hill

and hike to Redoubt 4 to get a panoramic view from Thayer Gate to Washington Gate, marveling at the trees, hills, buildings and scenery below. From these different vantage points and perspectives, the permanence and solidity of the location of the nation’s premier leadership and military academy seem positioned in just the right place for its mission to inspire cadets to prepare them for a career of professional excellence and service to the nation.

6 WestPointAOG.org
Photos: Shutterstock; WPAOG archives

General George Washington, though never having traveled through the colony of New York before he made his way from Philadelphia to Boston in 1775 to take command of the nascent revolutionary army at Bunker Hill, had a keen eye for terrain and designated the Hudson Highlands area north of New York City as the “key of America.” Earlier in his life he had been a noted surveyor, completing almost 200 surveys before the beginning of his military career. The bas-relief on the front of Washington Hall correctly depicts surveying instruments as a significant element of Washington’s skills and identity. The “S”-shaped curve of the Hudson River, steep banks, narrow width, and rocky terrain made the east side of the river, with the sloping Martelaer’s Rock, a natural area to begin the defense of the Hudson. As more experienced engineers enhanced the West Point fortifications after battles to the south, the west side of the river was occupied and fortified with an interlocking system of redoubts and forts to be ready for a British attack from any direction. The land on the west side of the river belonged to seasonal resident Stephen Moore, and for a time in 1779 the commander of the Continental Army made his headquarters in Moore’s house, further embedding the importance and beauty of the area in Washington’s viewpoint. Even in 1782, soldiers would stop to enjoy the majesty and scenery of the Hudson Highlands. Sergeant Joseph Plumb Martin,

“Placed in the same stony cradle which had provided security to the infant United States, the tiny school flourished. Rocked gently by ghosts of Revolutionary soldiers, soothed by the softly rolling waves of the grand river, watched over by towering mountains of granite, it developed into the finest military academy the world has known.”

— LTG (R) Dave R. Palmer ’56, 53rd USMA Superintendent, in The River and The Rock: The History of Fortress West Point, 1775-1783

WEST POINT | SUMMER 2023 7 BEYOND THE GRAY
Graphic: Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division, The New York Public Library (1816).
West Point’s location is no accident…
Plan of the forts, batteries and post of Fortress West Point, 1780.

Engraving of West Point by John Hill, ca. 1821. garrisoned at Fort Constitution, went foraging for nuts on the west side of the river one day and decided to climb Butter Hill (part of Storm King Mountain). “I took it into my head to leave my associates and climb this mountain, where I expected to have a prospect of the country around me that would compensate me

for all my trouble in climbing the hill, and then by going along on the top I could descend it with ease [on the west side],” Martin said in his memoirs. He scrambled about 600 feet up on the east side of the mountain and had a beautiful view of the entire area; however, he realized he had overestimated both his ability to summit the mountain and get down safely. After descending the same way he came up (twice as slowly as he had ascended), he promised himself to never again set off alone “on such a foolish expedition.” Martin’s view to the south would have been much different than the tree-filled one hikers or those who pull into the northbound U.S. Route 9W viewing lot see today. As a consequence of needing wood for buildings, cooking, heating, and equipment, much of Fort Constitution and West Point were deforested during the Revolutionary War. In his memoirs, Martin recounted several times traveling 5-6 miles away to cut and bring wood back for fires and barracks construction and having no shade at all to rest under while building fortifications on the island.

Bounded by the mighty Hudson River, caused by glaciers millennia ago, and rocks some say are as old as the earth, the landscape of West Point has not significantly changed since the American Revolution. Trees have grown back and the Parade Field was leveled off and made symmetrical as buildings expanded the footprint of the Academy; Washington and Martin would still recognize the landscape today. In fact,

8 WestPointAOG.org BEYOND THE GRAY
Photos: Shutterstock; Spencer Collection, The New York Public Library (18211825). Scenic view from the summit of Butter Hill at Storm King State Park, New York.

“The Camp is at a place on Hudson’s River call’d West Point, opposite where Fort Constitution once stood. The situation is past description, surrounded with almost inaccessible Mountains, and craggy rocks which overtop the highest hills, at present covered with piles of snow. The river in our front affords a beautiful prospect on our right and left, to New Windsor on one hand and to Fort Montgomery on ye other with some little Islands interspers’d. The surrounding prospect affords a great variety of hills, mountains, rocks, which seem to shut up every avenue to us, and of swamps, meadows, deep Valleys which obstruct the Passage of the Traveller and of small beautiful plains … ”

—An extract from a letter sent by BG Parsons to COL Wadsworth: Camp at West Point, February 22, 1778

Martin and today’s new cadets have almost identical experiences carrying equipment up and down the hills bordering their barracks.

After starting out as a small encampment that grew to 13 forts, redoubts, and batteries (on the west side) during the Revolution, West Point has grown to about 16,000 acres of land after government purchases and annexations. Most of these took place along New York State Route 293 to expand the training area, and land was also purchased to the south of the Plain in the 1800s as the Academy expanded, eventually stopping at what is now Thayer Gate and the northern border of the village of (then) Buttermilk Falls. The 1980s saw the most recent addition to the Academy grounds, the land and buildings belonging to Ladycliff College, which is now called New South Post. After the Frederic V. Malek ’59 Visitors Center opened in 2017, visitors could look north out the floor-to-ceiling lobby windows and admire the south side of the point that caused the river to curve.

West Point is regularly ranked as one of the top three tourist destinations in New York state (competing with the Statue of Liberty and Niagara Falls), and, in warm weather, tours of the Academy are a common sight. Although most readers spent four or more years at their Rockbound Highland Home, West Point magazine invites them to step back from their daily routine and take a minute to look beyond the gray that may inhabit their mind and see and read about current happenings outside of the places that the Corps treads on a daily basis. 

Why is “1778”, as well as “1802,” painted on the ceiling of the Cadet Mess? In January 1778 members of the Continental Army rowed across the river from Fort Constitution and encamped on the west point of the Hudson River. Troops have been stationed at West Point ever since, making it the longest continuously garrisoned fort in the United States Army. Therefore, 1778 is the year the garrison began, and 1802, of course, is the year the Academy was founded.

Constitution Island is not named after the United States Constitution, which was written in 1787. Instead, Revolutionary leaders named what had been called Martelaer’s Rock “Fort Constitution” in 1775 for the constitutional rights they thought Great Britain’s parliament were not affording the colonists as British citizens.

The Great Chain, made of two-foot links that each weighed 180 pounds, was supported across the river on a wooden boom by April 1778. Every fall it was hauled in by a windlass when river operations were suspended due to ice. The river regularly froze each winter, and horse-drawn sleighs and hand-drawn sleds used the frozen river to carry supplies between Newburgh, Nw York and West Point until the war ended in 1783.

The Hudson River, the main transportation route in the Hudson Highlands until the mid-1800s, can be a very unpredictable waterway around West Point. It has a daily tidal change of 2-3 feet (when there is no wind) and is as still as glass twice a day when the tide is changing. However, as visitors to South and North Dock can attest, the river routinely escapes its banks on rainy and windy days.

WEST POINT | SUMMER 2023 9 BEYOND THE GRAY
Photos: Erika Norton/WPAOG; WPAOG archives
West
Points about
Point

USMA’s Outdoor Classroom

TheWest Point garrison and reservation encompass over 16,000 acres of land, from military training ranges to historic trails, and includes access to several bodies of water, including the Hudson River. This diverse landscape allows instructors from all departments and disciplines to expand the limits of their classrooms and use the great outdoors to supplement cadet learning.

From the departments of Civil & Mechanical Engineering and Physics & Nuclear Engineering to the more obvious Department of Physical Education and maybe less obvious History Department, instructors from a wide range of classes use the outdoor spaces around Post. These outdoor advantages allow West Point cadets to become better leaders of character who achieve excellence not only physically and academically but as military leaders throughout their Army careers.

“Who doesn’t like to get out of the classroom to learn?” said Geography & Environmental Engineering (G&EnE) Department Head Colonel Mark Read ’92. “For each of the four disciplines we teach in G&EnE (Geography, GIS, Environmental Science, and Environmental Engineering), getting cadets outdoors into West Point’s ‘living laboratory’ helps them connect what they study in class and read in their

10 WestPointAOG.org
Photo: Submitted
Above: Environmental Science majors in EV310: Aquatic Science collect and analyze water samples and aquatic organisms from throughout the Hudson River’s tidal period to understand how water chemistry and biodiversity varies over time. As high tides move the salt front upriver from the Atlantic Ocean, water chemistry can change significantly in comparison to low tides, during which the river experiences more influence from the freshwater inputs from the local watershed.
By Erika Norton, WPAOG staff

texts to the real world—it helps them connect the dots on so many of the topics and subjects we study.”

Bodies of Water

According to Read, since Lusk Reservoir serves as the water source for West Point’s primary water treatment plan, Environmental Engineering students and Civil & Mechanical Engineering (CME) students often study the reservoir, mainly for water quality.

Students in CE350: Infrastructure Engineering take a trip section to Lusk and study the water treatment process, from water collection in Lusk Reservoir to storage tank, according to CME instructor Major Brett Rocha ’12. CE350 also uses the Transportation Motor Pool (TMP) across from Camp Buckner for another trip section. The cadets do a reconnaissance of the TMP, examining the existing site layout to develop a site plan to use the TMP as an intermediate staging base for a battalion-sized element. Cadets then determine the changes that would need to be made to the infrastructure as well as estimates for the amount of excavation that would be needed to make the site suitable for its new purpose.

Cadets have also conducted independent study research in Lusk to measure microplastics, and recently cadets in EV380: Principles of Surveying used a “HyDrone” to apply hydrographic surveying methods to measure the depth of the reservoir, according to Read. Cadets collected 3D terrestrial laser scans for portions of the shore while the HyDrone R/C catamaran

WEST POINT | SUMMER 2023 11 USMA’S OUTDOOR CLASSROOM Photos: Submitted
Geography majors collect tree growth data at Trophy Point as part of a lab exercise in EV367: Geographic Research Methods. Cadets measure trunk diameters for six different tree species, calculate the approximate date each tree sprouted, and map tree locations in response to research questions they developed in the classroom. Representatives from Keystone Precision Solutions demonstrate hydrographic surveying methods at Lusk Reservoir for cadets enrolled in EV380: Principles of Surveying. The team collects 3D terrestrial laser scans for portions of the shore while the HyDrone R/C catamaran is used to measure echo soundings of depth throughout the reservoir.

was used to measure echo soundings of depth throughout the reservoir.

“Using these outdoor resources enhances cadet learning because it takes the concepts taught in the classroom and brings them to life,” Rocha said. “The cadets are able to see firsthand the complexities that exist in the real world and how engineers need to come up with creative solutions using the concepts taught in the classroom as a foundation.”

West Point instructors also take advantage of their proximity to the Hudson River, one of the most important estuaries on the East Coast. According to Read, Environmental Science majors in EV310: Aquatic Science spend a significant amount of time studying the river. Cadets collect and analyze water samples and aquatic organisms from throughout the Hudson River’s tidal period to understand how water chemistry and biodiversity varies over time. As high tides move the salt front upriver from the Atlantic Ocean, water chemistry can change significantly in comparison to low tides, during which the river experiences more impact from freshwater inputs originating at local watersheds.

Land Resources

Cadets use the land around Post in a variety of ways for academic learning. Students in the elective course CE472: Advanced Soil Mechanics visit construction projects around West Point that are at the groundwork stage of construction. Recently, cadets visited the West Point Cemetery Renovation Project and analyzed the soils and geology that are common to West Point, making

connections between the concepts taught in the classroom and what they look like in the real world.

According to Rocha, one of the Civil Engineering capstone teams designed and constructed a garden overlook at Kosciuszko’s Garden. “The project honors the heritage of the site as well as the Legacy of Lieutenant Colonel Tadeusz Kosciuszko,” said Rocha. “Cadets surveyed and marked the existing site, then mixed and placed concrete that will serve as the foundation for the overlook, all while taking into account for their design the existing site conditions and the creative solutions needed for building on the sloped rock face.”

“The West Point landscape is heavenly for a geologist!” notes Read. Cadets in EV388A: Physical Geology practiced different geological field methods with rock hammers and pocket transits on the many geological formations in the local area.

Several classes also use the area around iconic Trophy Point. Geography students collect tree growth data at Trophy Point as part of a lab exercise in EV367: Geographic Research Methods. Last fall, cadets measured trunk diameters for six different tree species, calculated the approximate date each tree sprouted, and mapped tree locations in response to research questions they developed in the classroom. Cadets in EV300: Environmental Science also use Trophy Point, identifying terrestrial species in and around the area to model the biodiversity of West Point’s local ecosystem for the course’s biodiversity lab.

12 WestPointAOG.org USMA’S OUTDOOR CLASSROOM
Photo: Submitted Physics & Nuclear Engineering cadets who are part of Team ARES, the team participating in the NASA Student Rocket Launch competition, test launch their rockets off-post in open farm fields due to the height and distance the rockets achieve.

Camp Buckner and Surrounding Military Training Land

Unlike other colleges and universities, West Point has acres of military training land. However, this land is not just used for Department of Military Instruction courses or Cadet Summer Training; other academic classes are able to use this land for lessons and research.

According to Colonel John Hartke ’88, Physics & Nuclear Engineering (PANE) Department Head, cadets enrolled in PANE courses have been launching and testing rockets at the training area ranges.

“Using the range complex provides us an opportunity that doesn’t exist at almost any other university,” Hartke said. “I don’t know anyone else who can go out in what is essentially their backyard and fire a kilowatt-class laser, ignite rocket motors, or spread out some nuclear material, making the experiential

component of the academic program in our department significantly better than it could be without the range complexes and the cooperation of the range staff.” Due to the height and distance their rockets are starting to achieve, they’ve had to start going off-post to spacious farm fields.

Another one of PANE’s research efforts is the Outdoor-High Energy Laser Lab (O-HELL). Cadets transport a high-energy laser in a car trailer and take several trailers of scientific equipment out to Range 5: Gettysburg and conduct research on how the atmosphere distorts a laser beam. According to Hartke, this research supports the Army with developing and preparing to transition a laser weapon as a program of record.

Nuclear Engineering majors also take advantage of the outdoors. Every year, cadets conduct a nuclear-detection exercise out at the MOUT (Military Operations in Urban Terrain) site. Faculty and staff distribute radioactive sources throughout the training

WEST POINT | SUMMER 2023 13 USMA’S OUTDOOR CLASSROOM Photo: Submitted
Cadets enrolled in CE472, Advanced Soil Mechanics, visit construction projects around West Point that are at the groundwork stage of construction, including the site of the West Point Cemetery Renovation project.
“Using these outdoor resources enhances cadet learning because it takes the concepts taught in the classroom and brings them to life,” Rocha said. “The cadets are able to see firsthand the complexities that exist in the real world and how engineers need to come up with creative solutions using the concepts taught in the classroom as a foundation.”
— MAJ Brett Rocha ’12, CME instructor

area, and cadets are placed in tactical scenarios for which they must detect, characterize and determine the military relevance of the nuclear materials. Hartke said that they get support from the 2nd Aviation Regiment to do air-mounted detection. They have also used robot detectors in cooperation with the Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science.

Outdoor Athletic Facilities

A department obviously conducive to outdoor learning and training is the Department of Physical Education (DPE).

“Given DPE’s primary role as steward of the Physical Pillar at USMA, all outdoor spaces are potential classrooms,” said Colonel Nicholas Gist ’94, DPE Director. “In educating, training, and inspiring cadets to develop as leaders of character, and in our physically demanding profession, athletic fields, obstacle courses, lakes/rivers/ponds, and nearly every other outdoor space provide an opportunity to develop physical attributes individually and collectively as part of teams.”

Specifically, PE215: Foundations of Personal Fitness and PE450: Army Fitness Fundamentals use a variety of outdoor classrooms to conduct physical fitness assessments or to perform Physical Readiness Training labs led by cadets, according to Gist. Within the Lifetime Physical Activity courses, outdoor lessons include road cycling and mountain biking, golf, tennis, aerobic fitness, skiing, snowboarding, and soccer.

“Outdoor classrooms require instructors to identify, mitigate, and manage risks that include temperature, humidity, precipitation, and a variety of synthetic and natural surfaces,”

14 WestPointAOG.org USMA’S OUTDOOR CLASSROOM Photos: Submitted
LTC Rory McGovern (center; sitting on rock) leads a history lesson at Chain Cove, near the place at which the Great Chain was fastened on the West Point side of the Hudson River. Cadets compete in one of the several outdoor Company Athletics Fall Brigade championships.

Gist said. “While gymnasiums have a variety of venues and equipment types, the outdoor environment requires leaders to innovatively use implements and terrain immediately available while performing composite risk management to achieve planned outcomes for Physical Readiness Training, athletics practice, and even formal competition.”

Historic Sites

Another advantage unique to West Point is the many historic sites all over post, which can be used to teach cadets the rich history that led to the creation of the nation, as well as the founding of the Academy itself.

“The outdoors is used by students and faculty frequently,” said History instructor Major Thomas M. McShea ’10. On any given day, particularly during nice weather, there are likely one or more History classes being held outside. “Other instructors and I have brought cadets to the parade field bleachers, the fortifications on Flirtation Walk, and to Battle Monument and Trophy Point,” said McShea. “We do this because the chosen site is tied to the lesson in some way; we’ve even done reenactments with cadets and reenactors near the Plain and around the River Courts.”

A long-term project that’s using these historic sites is the Mapping the American Revolution in the Hudson Valley Project that McShea initiated last summer. Part of the project’s purpose

is to allow educators, teachers, and researchers to experience West Point’s historic sites and landscape even if they cannot travel to West Point to see it themselves. McShea and a cadet from the Class of 2023 collected footage, photographs, and old maps of West Point, Bear Mountain, Stony Point, and other sites to build online story maps that combine geospatial depictions of the Hudson Valley in the 1700s with modern imagery and historical narratives.

“The idea is to help make our rich history and sites more publicly accessible,” McShea said. “We went all over the Hudson Highlands for this project and are developing a product focused on the West Point fortifications themselves.” The project is scheduled to debut in the near future, with a new team employing the Department of History’s drone to create a digital staff ride of the Battle of Brooklyn Heights.

The team has published one story map so far focused on the Battle of Stony Point, which involved 12-mile hikes and multiple days spent at Stony Point to collect pictures and video footage.

“Much of the history we teach cadets is written into our Academy grounds, and History instructors, as well as instructors in other departments, take advantage of that, especially when teaching about the American Revolution, Civil War, and other topics memorialized outsdoors here at West Point,” said McShea. “It is a truly inspiring place to be for cadets and faculty alike.” 

16 WestPointAOG.org USMA’S OUTDOOR CLASSROOM
Photo: Erika Norton/WPAOG Cadets in a history class with LTC Rory McGovern learn about the history behind several of the monuments around post.

LTG (R) David F. Melcher ’76

Mr. Richard L. Dalzell ’79

Mrs. Marene N. Allison ’80

WEST POINT | SUMMER 2023 17 OFFICIAL CLASS RING SUPPLIER OF THE UNITED STATES MILITARY ACADEMY 2003 20042005200620102011201220142013 2020 194319441945194619471948195019521951 195419531955 195619581960196119621963196419661965 196919681970 197119751976197719791981198219851984 198819861999 Balfour can replace Class Rings, Miniatures and Wedding Bands for the above listed back dated classes. Contact Jayne Roland at (201) 262-8800 or balfourna@optonline.net 0319. 28989 ©2019 Balfour. All Rights Reserved O FFICIAL W IN T Y Looking to replace a lost ring, or buy a special gift? can provide graduates with class rings and jewelry for the following graduation classes 1954 1957 1959 1967 1974 1978 1980 1983 1987 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1998 2001 2002 2008 2019 2022 2023 CONTACT ROBERT VAZ 800.451.3304, ext. 0186 •rmvaz@herffjones.com
the 2023 Distinguished Graduate Award Recipients:
Congratulates
HON James B. Peake ’66
GEN (R) Daniel (Dan) B. Allyn ’81
WEST POINT ASSOCIATION OF GRADUATE S
GEN (R) Austin S. (Scott) Miller ’83

WPAOG Receives Four Stevie Awards

In April, the West Point Association of Graduates won four Stevie Awards from the American Business Awards Program in the following categories:

• GOLD: Conferences & Meetings (Summit): 2022 Entrepreneur Summit

• GOLD: Customer Services: The Life-Altering CONNECT Program

• SILVER: Organization of the Year (Non-Profit or Government – Small)

• SILVER: Art, Entertainment & Public (Celebration Event): 2022 Alexander R. Nininger Award for Valor at Arms

The Stevie Awards are the world’s premier business awards. They were created in 2002 to honor and generate public recognition of the achievements and positive contributions of organizations and working professionals worldwide. The American Business Awards are open to all organizations operating in the United States and feature a wide variety of categories to recognize achievement in every facet of the workplace. The winners were determined by the average scores of more than 240 professionals worldwide in the three-month judging process.

Hosting Firsties at HAC

Herbert Alumni Center gave members of the Class of 2023 a preview of their home at USMA when it hosted the First Class Social in April. Sponsored by the Class of 1996, the “Firstie Social” on April 10-11 provided First Class cadets an opportunity to socialize, meet the WPAOG team, and learn about WPAOG’s mission to serve the Academy and the Long Gray Line.

18 WestPointAOG.org WPAOG NEWS
Photos: Rebecca Rose/WPAOG
WPAOG News

Highly Requested 5-Year Grad Pass is Here!

You asked; we listened. Grad Pass is now good for five years! WPAOG has collaborated with West Point Garrison to extend this needed visitor pass, ensuring you easier access to your Rockbound Highland Home. In the past, the badge issued for the Grad Pass expired after one year, requiring graduates to return to the USAG West Point Visitor Control Center for renewal. No longer! Apply for a Grad Pass via WPAOG’s website today and you’ll get gate access through 2028!

WPAOG Military Retiree Recognition Program

WPAOG’s Military Retiree Recognition Program honors our military retirees for their service and sacrifice. If you retired on October 1, 2017 or later, you and three guests are eligible for a free Grad Insider Tour, as well as a free night at The Thayer Hotel, subject to restrictions. We will also publish your name in West Point magazine, with your permission. If you wish to participate, please contact retiree@wpaog.org to learn more.

Name

BG Gregory R. Ebner 1988

COL Marie L. Hall 1992

COL James E. Hayes III 1992

COL Silas F. Martinez 1992

COL Remi M. Hajjar 1993

COL Eric M. Wilson 1993

LTC Frederick H. Orndorff 1998

LTC Elias D. Otoshi 2000

LTC Ryan H. Forshee 2001

LTC David M. Sturgis 2001

LTC Jerrod C. Adams 2002

LTC Brittany E. Simmons 2002

5 Days-1 Mission-1Team

The second annual West Point Challenge (the successor to the All Academy Challenge) was held from May 7 to May 11, 2023. When taps occurred on the final day, the challenge came to an end, with the Class of 1972 achieving the highest participation rate and the Class of 1997 having the highest number of alumni gifts. Thanks to 16,130 total donors (a 27-percent alumni participation rate), the 2023 West Point Challenge raised $5.1 million for USMA’s academic departments, sports teams, extracurricular clubs and more. Participation in the West Point Challenge increased 26.5 percent over 2022. Thanks to all who made this year’s West Point Challenge a success. 

2023 WPAOG Annual Meeting

The Annual Meeting of the Association of Graduates will take place at the Herbert Alumni Center on November 14, 2023 at 5:00pm. Please contact Laurie Fontana (Laurie.Fontana@ wpaog.org; 845-446-1523)

if you have any questions.

WEST POINT | SUMMER 2023 19 WPAOG NEWS Graphic: WPAOG
Class
WEST POINT ASSOCIATION OF GRADUATE S

Outdoors with West Point Range Operations

Whenit comes to West Point’s outdoor resources, nobody knows them better than Range Operations. “Everybody here loves being outdoors at West Point,” says Alec Lazore, the Range Manager for West Point Range Operations. “You love the outdoors if you have this job, or you soon learn to love it.” And there are certainly a lot of outdoor resources at West Point to love!

20 WestPointAOG.org
Photo: 2LT Crystal Zhang ’22/USMA PAO

West Point Range Operations is responsible for the 14,000-acre West Point training complex. That’s nearly 22 square miles of uninhabited terrain west of the United States Military Academy. The complex includes eight mountains (and several hills), four lakes (and even more ponds), and miles of craggy dirt roads and tortuous trails that meander through wooded areas on the way to or from West Point’s various ranges and training sites. The West Point training complex is generally bisected by New York State Route 293, a six-and-a-half-mile highway running from U.S. Route 9W on the east to U.S. Route 6 on the west.

For those who love the outdoors and nature, the West Point training complex is nirvana. Given the changes in elevation coming off the southwest side of Storm King Mountain and the number of rocks dotting the terrain, waterfalls are not uncommon (such as the one at the south side of the Little Bog Meadow Reservoir). The views around the complex, such as the one to the northwest from the Verdun CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear) specialty course site or the one to the east from Range 13: Pork Chop Hill (the mortar range), are also quite impressive. And for those who enjoy spying wildlife in their natural habitats, the West Point training complex is home to a wide variety of small-game and big-game animals: wild turkey, coyotes, fox (red and gray), white-tailed deer, ring-necked pheasants, Canadian geese, and several species of duck. Black bears have also been seen during various seasons of the year. Conservation, protecting wildlife and natural resources, is something near and dear to Range Operations, which takes great care to steward the sensitive environmental factors of the great outdoors surrounding West Point. For example, Range Operations crews work hard to keep firing lanes vegetated to reduce erosion, they establish deer browsing study plots that must not be disturbed, and they control the cutting of all trees, including small saplings, to assure adequate species are preserved to form the future training area forest. They also work closely with West Point’s Natural Resources Department, which is tasked with monitoring all the wildlife (fish and game) and forests on post.

“It’s quite nice being outdoors at the ranges,” says Lazore. “Plus, unlike going through the gate to the Academy, I never have to fight for a parking spot out here.”

Yet Range Operations is more than just natural outdoor beauty: its primary job is ensuring that all ranges and training courses are safe and functional for all training iterations. And with 17 live-fire ranges, 14 specialty training courses, and vast swaths of light maneuver areas in operation around the complex, there’s plenty to occupy the 16-man Range Operations crew throughout the year.

A look at a recent job posting for a Range Operations Controller easily demonstrates the importance of safety on the range complex. The “responsibilities” list for the job is packed with accountabilities such as “determine compliance with applicable safety standards,” “provide safety briefings,” “promote safety campaigns,” “utilize safety instructions,” and

“communicate with installation safety office regarding safety training requirements.”

“Safety is our No. 1 priority,” says John Quicksell, the Maintenance Supervisor for West Point Range Operations.

“Before every summer we conduct maintenance on all ranges and training courses, inspecting and repairing all facilities.” Summer, of course, is Range Operations busiest season. Range personnel work from 7:00am to 7:00pm seven days a week (and occasional nighttime hours) during the summer as USCC uses West Point’s ranges to conduct Cadet Basic Training, Cadet Field Training, and Cadet Leader Development Training. At the apex of summer training, for example, there could be new cadets learning to zero their weapons at Range 4: Inchon; rising yearlings conducting field artillery training at Range 2: Buena Vista; and upperclass cadets performing platoon-level operations at Range 16: the Aachen MOUT (Military Operations in Urban Terrain) site.

“After Cadet Summer Training is done, we do a complete makeover on all ranges and training courses,” says Quicksell, “rebuilding shot-up berms [hardened earth surfaces that minimize ricochet and stop bullets], replacing lumber, repairing roads, and prepping the complex for the winter months.”

Being a subset of U.S. Army Garrison West Point, itself part of the larger U.S. Army Installation Management Command, Range Operations also supports Army units other than cadets. “We support training for the National Guard, Army Reserve, Army CID, FBI, MEDDAC, and even some ROTC units,” says Lazore. “We also support any training required for external Army units that rotate through West Point to assist with summer training.” In 2018, for example, Range Operations supported Task Force Falcon when its soldiers fired 84 mm rounds from the M3 Multi-role Anti-armor Anti-tank Weapon System on Range 7: Saratoga, the first time such ammunition had ever been fired at West Point’s ranges. According to West Point Regulation 350-11 (2015), the West Point training complex is open to all

WEST POINT | SUMMER 2023 21 OUTDOORS WITH WEST POINT RANGE OPERATIONS
Photo: Keith Hamel/WPAOG Previous page: A cadet from the Class of 2024 works on his mountaineering skills at the Pine Ridge Rappel Site, which offers a 25-foot practice wall, a 75-foot rappel wall, and lanes for hasty rappel, body rappel and balance climb, all of which have been inspected by OSHA-certified engineers for safety. Cadets exiting the House of Tears might not notice it, but the view to the northwest from the Verdun CBRN specialty course site is quite captivating.

Department of Defense activities, U.S. government agencies, and state and local government organizations. “West Point’s MWR [Morale, Welfare and Recreation] program runs an event at which grads with personally owned weapons are allowed to use Range 5: Gettysburg,” says Lazore. On average, Range Operations supports nearly 4,000 training events per year.

No matter what tenant or non-tenant unit is using the ranges at the training complex, it needs to provide a certified officer in charge (OIC) and a range safety officer (RSO), both of whom must be familiar with the provisions of West Point Regulation 350-11 and AR/DA Pam 385-63. On the first and third of each month, Range Operations holds a class to certify these OICs and RSOs for their eventual duties on the range. In addition to being certified in the weapon system for which they’re responsible and always being present at the range, OICs and RSOs have multiple duties, including determining when it’s safe to fire, establishing and maintaining required communications, and ensuring that

adequate medical support is available. They also need to account for all the ammunition fired during their training event. “We track everything that goes ‘boom,’ ‘bang,’ ‘pop,’ or ‘pew,’” says Lazore, which amounts to 3.1 million rounds annually!

The Range Operations Fire Desk is manned to support all military training events. The Fire Desk uses computer software to keep track of all training events in “real time” as they are happening on the ranges, particularly noting which ranges are “hot” (i.e., firing weapons) and which are “cold.” The Fire Desk also monitors weather conditions and announces severe and hourly weather updates to the ranges. “Automated ranges must be closed immediately if lightning is in the area,” notes Lazore. The Fire Desk and Range Control also monitor any training accidents on the ranges, and the Range Operations Scheduler coordinates airspace over

range complex to ensure that no aircraft is threatened by ammunition fire.

22 WestPointAOG.org OUTDOORS WITH WEST POINT RANGE OPERATIONS
Photos: Erika Norton/WPAOG; SFC Luisito Brooks, Michelle Eberhardt/USMA PAO the Top left: With its computerized scoring system running four programmed scenarios, Range 11: Normandy is the most modern outdoor range at West Point. Top right: In April, Range Operations supported the USMA Combat Weapons Team in its match against local shooting associations and rifle/pistol clubs (supporting cadets as they conduct training on West Point’s ranges as part of classroom instruction and DCA club activities are part of Range Operations’ mission). Bottom: CFT cadets practice hot and cold loads security and defense maneuvers at one of the landing zone sites managed by Range Operations.

If these local safety measures were not enough, Bill Lake, Safety Officer for West Point Range Operations, says, “Ranges and training courses are periodically inspected by OSHA-certified engineers for safety.” The Pine Ridge Rappelling site and the Marne Confidence Course, for example, are inspected and loadtested annually to ensure that equipment will not fail during cadet summer training.

While summer is Range Operations’ busy season, there is plenty of activity the rest of the year to keep Lazore and his team occupied. According to Quicksell, Range Operations’ fall maintenance schedule is “very intensive.” Tons of sand, soil, gravel, mulch, and lumber are delivered to the training complex to replace what’s needed after the active summer months.

“During the winter months automated firing ranges begin a detailed maintenance period where stationary infantry targets are tested and stored in preparation for spring activities,” says Joseph Middlebooks, Range Scheduler for West Point Range Operations. There are approximately 500 of these $3,500 to $3,800 targets on the ranges, so testing them and storing them is a laborious process. In the spring, Range Operations prepares for and supports the Sandhurst Competition, when dozens of USCC, ROTC, sister academy and international teams descend

on the training reservation for the two-day event, often using several of the ranges. Range 11: Normandy, for example, one of the oldest ranges at West Point (dating back to 1902), is often

WEST POINT | SUMMER 2023 23 OUTDOORS WITH WEST POINT RANGE OPERATIONS Photos: 1LT Taylor
’20,
PAO
Korpela
Michelle Matos/USMA
“Safety is our No. 1 priority…Before every summer we conduct maintenance on all ranges and training courses, inspecting and repairing all facilities.”
— John Quicksell, Maintenance Supervisor, West Point Range Operations
Range 2: Buena Vista is the home of Field Artillery training during CFT. Cadets flying in a UH-60 Black Hawk get a bird’s-eye view of the West Point training reservation’s impact area.

used to test Sandhurst teams’ marksmanship. “Upgraded in 2007 and modified several times since then, Range 11, with its computerized scoring, is also the most modern range at West Point and probably the best Record Fire Small Arms range in the entire Army,” says Lazore.

Beyond conducting just seasonal maintenance, throughout the year Range Operations is continually responding to emergency

service orders to have training equipment repaired, replacing damaged lumber for obstacles, or (in conjunction with West Point’s Department of Public Works) removing downed trees blocking roads. Also, throughout the year, Range Operations will support USCC as cadets conduct training on West Point’s ranges as part of classroom instruction or DCA club activities, such as the Combat Weapons Team or Skeet & Trap Team (Range 10: Bastogne is specifically for this latter team). “Like everyone at West Point, we exist to support the cadets,” says Lake. In the past few years, Range Operations has assisted cadets with various capstone-like projects, including work with drones and high energy lasers, hydrology tests, radiological soil testing, M4 recoil reductions, astronomy observations, and even sensors for frog calls. While such support is important, the way Range Operations introduces cadets to the way things work in the “Big Army” may be even more important.

“During all training events, we teach cadets how to operate on any range in the U.S. Army,” says Lake. Range Operations works with cadets in planning their mission, challenging them on what may be missing in their OPORDs and what their risk assessments might be. “Everything we do here is doctrinal,” says Lake. “We show cadets how training on an Army range is supposed to be conducted.” By doing so, the staff of Range Operations plays a vital role for the nation: they are preparing the Army’s future platoon leaders for the units they will ultimately lead. As Lake puts it, “We are not only supporting their training, but we’re also teaching them.” And outdoors at the West Point ranges is a great classroom for these lessons. 

24 WestPointAOG.org OUTDOORS WITH WEST POINT RANGE OPERATIONS
Photos: 2LT Marco Copat ’22/USMA PAO; Submitted
Range 10: Bastogne is used for competitive collegiate shotgun shooting events associated with the West Point Skeet & Trap Team. West Point Range Operations needs to track everything that goes “boom,” “bang,” “pop,” or “pew” during Cadet Summer Training, which amounts to 3.1 million rounds annually.

Taxing Terrain and Erratic Environment: Sandhurst Creates the Tough Soldier

Abrisk, cloud-covered morning welcomed the competitors of the 2023 Sandhurst International Military Skills Competition to the grounds of West Point this past April. Since 1967, spring semester at the United States Military Academy at West Point has culminated with the annual Sandhurst International Military Skills Competition. Over the decades, the competition has evolved to now include not only the cadets of the United States Military Academy and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst but dozens of other international military academies, Reserve Officer Training Corps, and sister service academy teams. These Sandhurst competitors arrive from across the United States and the globe seeking to test their physical and military merit.

One of the Sandhurst Competition’s most defining and potent challenges has been the landscape of West Point. The former Revolutionary War fort, chosen for its strategic relationship with the Hudson River, is at times the most formidable opponent Sandhurst competitors face. Throughout the two-day 2023 competition, teams traversed more than 30 miles of the harsh West Point terrain, and competitors experienced

significant changes in elevation as they raced from station to station dispersed across West Point and its training reservation. By simply joining their Sandhurst Competition teams, these competitors have already made the statement that they are not seeking a life of comfort and ease. There is no requirement to

WEST POINT | SUMMER 2023 25
Photos: U.S. Army photo by SFC Christopher Finchamo; CDT Drew Adams ’23/USMA PAO Top: The Sandhurst International Military Skills Competition takes place all across the West Point landscape, often bringing teams to off-the-beaten-path locations such as Redoubt 4, as it did last year. Right: Land navigation, sometimes through thick brush, is a perennial ingredient of Sandhurst. By MAJ Conor Downs, USMC, Guest Writer

participate in the competition. It’s a special breed of future military officer that takes on the additional challenge of training nearly all yearround for a 48-hour test of will. This special breed of competitor requires a special venue to fully test their military skills. Just like the old saying that “a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor,” it could be said that sunny weather and favorable terrain never created a tough soldier. Unpredictable temperatures (barely 40 degrees Fahrenheit in 2016, with 20 mph winds), fickle weather (a torrential overnight downpour in 2019), mountainous and unforgiving elevation, a thick tree line, and a scenic view of the Hudson River make West Point an ideal test of endurance and military merit.

The combination of West Point’s taxing terrain and erratic environment, coupled with the creative military minds from the Department of Military Instruction, transform some of the Academy’s most recognizable features into challenging tests of physicality, mental aptitude, and military merit. This year, Lusk Reservoir served as the location for a simulated resupply mission, during which competitors crossed the reservoir in Zodiac Combat Rubber Raiding Crafts. As the competition progressed, competitors found themselves atop West Point’s ski slope executing a simulated river crossing using their mountaineering skills to construct a one-rope bridge. The first day of the competition culminated with a grueling 8-mile ruck march beginning on West Point’s iconic Plain and ending at the fabled Camp Buckner. Along the route, competitors raced through West Point’s historic housing, across the fairways of the West Point Golf Course, and up the hills and along the trails of West Point’s rigorous training areas.

After a brief respite at Camp Buckner’s “luxurious” accommodations, competitors began day two of the competition in the woods of West Point’s extensive training areas, traversing obstacle courses and conducting live-fire marksmanship. While day one of the competition took place almost entirely in the main post area, day two of the competition brought the competitors “down range” (day two also brought rain). Those who spent their summers training as West Point cadets will recognize the familiar names serving as competition sites, such as LZ Owl, the Marne Obstacle Course, and the Normandy Range Complex. After the competitors worked their way through these West Point training areas, they found themselves on the fabled steps of Washington Hall to face their final two challenges. First, they raced up six flights of stairs to the West Point Simulation Center, where competitors conducted simulated calls for artillery fire in the state-ofthe-art facility. The competition then concluded with a culminating crucible event that took place on a soggy Daly Field overlooking the Hudson River. Throughout the 48-hour Sandhurst competition, future military officers from across the globe experience all that the West Point terrain has to offer.

Throughout the past five decades, the Sandhurst Military Skills Competition has evolved to meet the challenges of the modern battlefield. Cadets from across the world continue to descend upon the majestic and unforgiving terrain of the United States Military Academy at West Point to test their physical and mental fortitude. While the teams change and the competition transforms, one constant remains: the natural and foreboding landscape of West Point. 

MAJ Conor Downs is the lone U.S. Marine Corps representative to USMA. He is a career infantry officer with multiple overseas deployments. He currently serves as an instructor in the Department of Military Instruction as well as the Officer in Charge of the Sandhurst Competition.

26 WestPointAOG.org TAXING TERRAIN AND ERRATIC ENVIRONMENT: SANDHURST CREATES THE TOUGH SOLDIER
Photos: Christopher Hennen, 2LT Ellington Ward ’22/USMA PAO; U. S. Army photo by SFC Brian Hamilton Top: On day two of the 2023 Sandhurst Competition, rain made executing the Marne Obstacle Course even more of a challenge. Middle: For the last several years, West Point has hosted a fall Sandhurst competition, which is equally as demanding as the spring competition and during which the 36 USCC teams compete to see which 12 will represent USMA (along with the USMA Black and Gold teams) in April’s International Military Skills Competition. Bottom: The rugged terrain of the West Point training reservation is a defining feature of Sandhurst (here, cadets from the Turkish Military Academy compete in a “react to contact” event during the 2016 Sandhurst Competition).

Sandhurst 2023 Top 10 Results

WEST POINT | SUMMER 2023 27
Photos: Michelle Matos, Kyle Osterhoudt/USMA PAO 1. USMA – Black Team 2. USMA – Gold Team 3. U.S. Air Force Academy 4. Texas A&M University 5. Virginia Military Institute 6. USMA – Company C-1 7. USMA – Company F-2 8. United Kingdom – Red Team 9. RMC – Kingston 10. Campbell University The USMA Black Team won the Reginald E. Johnson Memorial Plaque as this year’s squad with the best overall team score (USMA Black also won the Physical Endurance Award). Lane 3, a day-one event in 2023, required teams to cross Lusk Reservoir in Zodiac Combat Rubber Raiding Crafts.

Gripping Hands

Franks Receives Lifetime of Service Award

1959

In April, during the closing ceremony of the 12th Annual Salute to SWFL Veterans, GEN (R) Frederick M. Franks ’59 received the 2023 Major General Joseph Warren, M.D., Award, which is named after the physician who was killed in combat when British troops stormed the redoubt atop Breed’s Hill in the early days of the American Revolution. For years, Franks has been an ardent supporter of Home Base Florida, which provides tools for veterans and service members to take control of their mental and physical well-being, and he has played an instrumental role in expanding Home Base’s health and fitness programs, as well as its behavioral health clinics across Florida.

Two Grads Named 2024 Olmsted Scholars

Two active-duty graduates of West Point were recently selected by The George and Carol Olmsted Foundation as members of the Olmsted Scholar Class of 2024. Over the next three years, these exceptionally promising officers will complete language training and pursue graduate studies at foreign universities around the world on full scholarships. The newly selected Scholars are CPT Bryce E. Greene ’13, who will study in Bucharest, Romania, and CPT Adam K. Irons ’14, who will study in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. These two officers join 146 other USMA graduates who have been selected as Olmsted Scholars since 1960, many of whom later attained important positions of senior leadership in the Army. To date, USMA ranks second

among all undergraduate institutions in the United States in the number of Olmsted Scholars selected. The Olmsted Scholar Program was established by MG (R) George H. Olmsted, who was the First Captain of the Class of 1922 and a major benefactor to West Point. The Olmsted Foundation is a member of the Dwight D. Eisenhower society for lifetime giving to the Academy.

28 WestPointAOG.org GRIPPING HANDS Photos: U.S.
submitted
Army;
“Grip hands—though it be from the shadows—while we swear as you did of yore, or living or dying, to honor the Corps, and the Corps, and the Corps.” —Bishop Shipman, 1902
2013 2014
CPT Bryce E. Greene ’13 CPT Adam K. Irons ’14

Semonite Honored for National Security Leadership

LTG (R) Todd Semonite ’79, former Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, received the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) 2023 Golden Eagle Award for National Security on May 4. The award cites the role Semonite played in ensuring that Americans had reliable access to healthcare facilities during the COVID pandemic in 2020 (a topic detailed in West Point magazine’s 2020 Summer issue). Semonite was also announced as one of 26 members newly invested into SAME’s Fellows Academy, which formally acknowledges distinguished individuals for their dedication to SAME and the architecture/engineering/construction profession.

General Officer Announcements

The Chief of Staff of the Army announces the following officer assignments:

MG Robert L. Barrie ’90 to Deputy for Acquisition and Systems Management, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology), Washington, DC

MG Joseph A. Ryan ’91 to Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff, G-3/5/7, United States Army, Washington, DC

MG Trevor J. Bredenkamp ’92 to Commanding General, Military District of Washington/Commander, Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region, Washington, DC

MG David S. Doyle ’93 to Commanding General, 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson, Fort Carson, CO

MG Brett G. Sylvia ’94 to Commanding General, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and Fort Campbell, Fort Campbell, KY

BG (USAR) Stephanie Q. Howard ’94 to Executive Director (Individual Mobilization Augmentee), Operational Contract Support, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, Washington, DC

BG William A. Ryan III ’94 to Commanding General, First Army Division West, Fort Hood, TX

BG (USAR) Stephen P. Case ’95 to Deputy Commanding General (Troop Program Unit), 88th Readiness Division, Fort Snelling, MN

BG Steven P. Carpenter ’96 to Commanding General, 7th Army Training Command, United States Army Europe-Africa, Germany

BG Brandon R. Tegtmeier ’96 to Chief of Staff, United States Central Command, MacDill Air Force Base, FL

WEST POINT | SUMMER 2023 29 GRIPPING HANDS Photo: Submitted

1979

Graduation Day

30 WestPointAOG.org
Photos: Erika Norton/WPAOG; John Pellino/USMA PAO
“Freedom Is Not Free”

GRADUATION SPEAKER:

Kamala Harris, Vice President of the United States

NUMBER OF GRADUATES: 941

INTERNATIONAL CADETS:

13—representing Colombia, Egypt, The Gambia, Honduras, Jordan, Mongolia, Romania, Rwanda, and Thailand

FIRST CAPTAIN:

Lauren E. Drysdale, Irvine, California

CLASS PRESIDENT:

Melic G. Belong, Frisco, Texas

VALEDICTORIAN:

Elle M. Bennett, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Check out this year’s Class of 2023 Graduation video:

WEST POINT | SUMMER 2023 31
Photos: Erika Norton/WPAOG
“Leave the road, take the trails” —Pythagoras
Photos: [Names listed here as needed] Photo: Erika Norton/WPAOG

Take a Hike

34 WestPointAOG.org
Photo: Jenn Voigtschild ’93

Whether you loathed land nav as a cadet or you couldn’t wait to participate in the next Norwegian Foot March (or “Marsjmerket”), there is a hiking trail that’s perfect for you not far from the gates of West Point. The mid- to lower-Hudson Valley is one of New York state’s premier hiking areas, with dozens and dozens of trails of varying distances, elevations, and terrain all within a 7.5-mile radius of your Rockbound Highland Home. Five of the “10 Best Hiking Trails in NY,” according to BestThingsinNY.com, can be found in this radius; similarly, four of the top eight “Best Trails in NY” as rated by AllTrails.com (an app for outdoor activities with a global user base of more than 20 million) are close by. If you’re looking for something to do to fill some downtime during a visit to West Point, read about the trails on the following pages and take a hike!

Check out WPAOG’s interactive map to help you navigate to these great hiking spots! If you take one of these hikes during a visit to West Point, tag us in your photos on social media.

Fort Montgomery Garrison West Point PUTNAM, NY ORANGE, NY
DUTCHESS, NY WEST POINT | SUMMER 2023 35 TAKE A HIKE
ROCKLAND, NY
Photo: Doug Kerr The beginning of the Doodletown hike follows Doodletown Brook, which offers a scenic cascade. Storm King State Park Bear Mountain State Park Doodletown Popolopen Trail Loop Previous page: Approximately 4 miles from Thayer Gate, the Popolopen Torne Loop offers hikers some of the best views of the Hudson Valley, and it features a memorial for fallen U.S. military service members at the summit of the Trail of the Fallen. Fort Hill: South Redoubt

Storm King State Park

What: Storm King State Park is a network of trails, from short distance out-and-back trails to the 7.7-mile North Point Storm King Mountain Loop.

Where: Approximately 4 miles north on U.S. Route 9W from West Point’s Stony Lonesome Gate, you’ll find a pull off from the highway that leads directly to a parking lot for six Storm King State Park trails.

Why: The views! There are multiple ledges on the trails that provide 360-degree views of the Hudson Valley (with the Catskill Mountains visible on clear days).

Watch Out: Some trails have strenuous scramble sections, and there is a narrow ridge walk along the North Point Loop trail. Also, some have reported that the various trail markers don’t always make it clear where to turn, putting hikers on a trail different than the one they started on.

West Point “Rating”:

The 1-mile Butter Hill via Orange and Yellow Trail could be considered the equivalent of the lunch formation march to the cadet mess; the 3.6-mile Storm King Mountain Loop, with an elevation gain of 1,102 feet, may be akin to morning PT; and the 6.7-mile Butter Hill and North Point Summit trail (2,178 feet of elevation gain) likely ranks as strenuous as the IOCT (and, like the IOCT, it ends at a different place than where you started).

36 WestPointAOG.org TAKE A HIKE Photos: Shutterstock
Above: At an elevation of 1,339 feet, Storm King Mountain has a network of trails that offer 360-degree views of the Hudson Valley. Right: Two seasonal views from the summit of Storm King Mountain.

What: This is roughly a 5-mile loop trail that takes hikers to the top of the Popolopen Torne, a small mountain with a “bald-top” summit of 942 feet. Going clockwise along the loop, the trail meets up with the Trail of the Fallen, or Timp-Torne Trail (which, for those seeking a shorter [1.2-mile] hike, can be directly accessed via a parking lot on Mine Road).

Where: Approximately 4 miles from Thayer Gate, south on 9W. Take a left into the Fort Montgomery State Historic Site (there is free, overflow parking slightly north of this site, also on the left-hand side). If you enter the Bear Mountain Bridge traffic circle, you’ve gone too far. No problem, simply go around the circle and head north on 9W; the turn off will now be three-tenths of a mile on your right (or a little more than a half mile for the overflow parking lot).

Why: At the summit is a large mound of painted rocks, which have been carried up the trail to form a memorial to soldiers who have died in military conflicts. Flags, headstones and two benches (one for Major Thomas “TK” Kennedy ’00 and another for First Lieutenant

Daren Hidalgo ’09) are also part of the memorial, which was dedicated in 2014. The summit offers stunning views of the Bear Mountain Bridge and the Hudson River, and you can also spy West Point in the distance.

Watch Out: The Trail of the Fallen is a leg-burner, elevating 500 feet in less than half a mile. There are thick, 20- to 25-feet-long climbing ropes with “knot handles” to assist those who need help climbing the very steep rock faces. As for the Popolopen Torne Loop, some have reported that the trail can be slippery in spots, rocky as it ascends from the lower valley, and marred by traffic noise from U.S. Route 6.

West Point “Factor”: As a teambuilding exercise, several Army West Point teams and groups have carried rocks up the Trail of the Fallen and added them to the memorial, and the trail and summit monument received significant upgrades (kiosk, trail markings, memorial benches, and trail renaming) from Second Lieutenant Grant Nawoichyk ’23, who did the work as part of his Eagle Scout project in 2013.

WEST POINT | SUMMER 2023 37 TAKE A HIKE
Photos: Jenn Voigtschild ’93
Popolopen Torne Loop—“Trail
of the Fallen”
Left: The large mound of stones that have been carried up the Trail of the Fallen and placed in memory of soldiers, including several from the Long Gray Line, who have died in military conflicts. Above: A view to the southeast from the top of the Popolopen Torne. To West Point

What: Bear Mountain State Park is comprised of 5,205 acres. It offers more than 50 trails, including a portion of the Appalachian Trail. Part of this trail network takes hikers to Doodletown, the remnants of a small, isolated community that lasted for approximately 200 years before it was abandoned in the mid-1960s, leaving what now has the atmosphere of a ghost town.

Where: Approximately 5 miles from Thayer Gate, south on 9W and staying south on U.S. Route 202 after the Bear Mountain Bridge traffic circle, you will find several trailheads on your right. For a guaranteed parking spot (with a fee), take Seven Lakes Drive to Bear Mountain State Park and use the 1777 East trail next to the carousel. For a weekday or off-season hike, continue south on 202 for about a mile and park along the opposite side of the road (if you pass the Iona Island Access Road, you’ve gone too far) and take the Cornell Mine Trail (Doodletown Road) until it meets up with the 1777 East trail.

Why: Visiting Doodletown is like going back in time. Highlights include two cemeteries, more than 30 informative signs, and fragments of foundations, walls, and staircases.

Watch Out: While rated an “easy” hike, there are several hundred feet of elevation gain on this out-and-back trail. At one point, the 1777 East trail comes to a fork for 1777 West and 1777; be sure you know which one you started on in order to get back. Portions of the trail and the “yards” of Doodletown can become quite overgrown; watch out for snakes! (Rattlesnakes, copperheads, black snakes and garters have been sighted.)

West Point “Connection”:

A historical marker along 9W notes, Doodletown is a “pioneer Hamlet through which the British army marched to attack Ft. Clinton, 1777.” The attack destroyed all American defensive efforts, forcing American Patriot troops to start construction on major defensive works at a new site in January 1778— West Point. In February 1778, soldiers from the 3rd Connecticut Infantry Regiment began to lay out a fort at West Point, which also eventually became known as “Fort Clinton.”

38 WestPointAOG.org TAKE A HIKE
Photos: Doug Kerr
Mountain State Park—Doodletown
Bear
To West Point
Above: One of the sights on the Doodletown hike is the Second June Cemetery, which was willed by Caleb June to his ancestors in 1871 and has been a burying ground for June family descendants ever since, with the latest burial taking place in 2014. Inset: Foundations without buildings is one of the factors that gives Doodletown its “ghost town” feel.

What: South Redoubt was part of the final expansion of the West Point defensive fortification system. These fortifications (redoubts 1, 2, 3, North and South) were built during the late spring and early summer of 1779 to control the high ground surrounding West Point on both sides of the river. During use, its three batteries (comprised of one 12-pound cannon and four 6-pound guns) were manned by 160 soldiers.

Where: While it’s only 1.7 miles east of West Point as the crow flies, accessing this hike requires heading south on 9W, crossing the Bear Mountain Bridge, and heading north on New York State Route 9D (approximately 11 miles). After passing Garrison Elementary School and St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in the Highlands, take a right on Snake Hill Road. Just three-tenths of a mile up the road on the right is the trailhead for North Redoubt (Red) trail. This will take you to South Redoubt trail, or you can save yourself some toil by going further up Snake Hill Road until you reach a dirt-road on your right (a bit before the Garrison Golf Course) that’ll take you past a house to the South Redoubt trailhead.

Why: Those who hike to South Redoubt are treated to the next best view of the Academy outside of an aerial shot. All academic buildings, barracks, and the Cadet Chapel are clearly visible. In addition, you get to see the “S”-shaped curve in the Hudson River and understand why General George Washington believed in the strategic importance of West Point in the war against the British.

Watch Out: Some hikers have complained that the trail gets overgrown in the summer. Also, it is not usual to be the only hiker on this trail. If solitude and the stillness of the woods is unsettling to you, hike this one with a partner.

West Point “Re/View”:

In addition to seeing West Point across the Hudson River, there is a significant “West Point” historic component to this hike. According to “22 Hikes in Philipstown,” a 2005 publication by the Philipstown Greenway Committee, “On September 25, 1780, George Washington was inspecting the South Redoubt at the very moment that Benedict Arnold was fleeing to the river from the West Point commandant’s headquarters just off Route 9D (which is visible to the south from the South Redoubt).”

WEST POINT | SUMMER 2023 39 TAKE A HIKE
Photos: Erika Norton/WPAOG
Fort Hill—South Redoubt
Above: The hike to South Redoubt in Garrison, New York is one of the easier hikes surrounding West Point. Inset: With a direct view of the West Point across the Hudson River, be sure to bring your camera on this hike.

Recognized: The 2023 Distinguished Graduates

Everyyear there is always something special about Graduation Week,” remarked Lieutenant General Steven Gilland ’90, the U.S. Military Academy’s 61st Superintendent, during the 2023 Alumni Luncheon. For one thing, Grad Week marks the occasion when plebes are officially recognized by the upper-class cadets of the Corps. It also marks the occasion when a select few members of the Long Gray Line are recognized as Distinguished Graduates. “For those in the Corps, Grad Week is our master class in inspiration,” continued Gilland. “As I look across the head tables in our cadet mess, I’m humbled by the decades of experience and selfless service represented by the 2023 Distinguished Graduates”: the Honorable James B. Peake ’66, Lieutenant General David F. Melcher ’76 (Retired), Mr. Richard L. Dalzell ’79, Mrs. Marene N. Allison ’80, General Daniel (Dan) B. Allyn ’81 (Retired), and General Austin S. (Scott) Miller ’83 (Retired).

“It’s humbling in the extreme, bordering on overwhelming, to be recognized as one of West Point’s Distinguished Graduates,” said Allyn, who’s 36-year military career is said to be a history of Army engagements over the last four decades and who excelled at leading soldiers and developing future leaders. “What makes this so humbling is that I know both peers and fellow leaders on whose shoulders I stood that enabled me to lead and be recognized with this award, of which they are more deserving.”

“Me…a Distinguished Grad? Never would I have thought when I entered West Point as a teenager in 1976 that I would be recognized as a Distinguished Graduate,” said Allison, a member of the first class of women to enter the Academy and co-founder of the network group West Point Women. Allison commissioned Military Police and later became an FBI Special Agent and cybersecurity professional for Johnson & Johnson. “When I raised my right hand for the oath on the Plain, it didn’t just say service in an Army uniform, and everything I’ve been able to do in cybersecurity, what many believe to be this nation’s newest battlefield, I learned at West Point,” she said. “Being recognized as a Distinguished Graduate has put all that I’ve accomplished into perspective and made me feel that I actually belong to West Point and the Long Gray Line.”

“West Point is about service to the nation,” said Peake, the first West Point graduate to serve as Army Surgeon General, retiring as a lieutenant general after a 38-year active-duty career and then becoming the 6th U.S. Secretary of Veteran Affairs. “It’s what is instilled in you, and so many in my class made the ultimate sacrifice serving in Vietnam and didn’t even think twice about it.”

“West Point is the foundation of how I operate; it has given me my mission,” said Dalzell, who developed a novel data warehouse strategy that helped position Wal-Mart to become America’s largest retailer and who later helped transform Amazon from an on-line retailer into a worldwide technology leader. “What I learned at the Academy, such as choosing the harder right instead of the easier wrong [from the Cadet Prayer], has stayed with me throughout my life.”

The Distinguished Graduate Award is presented to graduates of the United States Military Academy whose character, distinguished service and stature draw wholesome comparison to the qualities for which West Point strives, in keeping with its motto: Duty, Honor, Country.

“It’s all about Duty, Honor, Country,” said Miller, likely the most deployed leader in the Global War on Terror, one who commanded at every grade, including serving as the final commander of NATO’s Resolute Support Mission and United States ForcesAfghanistan, officially furling the mission flag in July 2021. “You may never reach these ideals, but if you use them as your North

WEST POINT ASSOCIATION OF GRADUATE S 40 WestPointAOG.org
Photo: Erika Norton/WPAOG

Star, they’ll take you to the right place.” Currently, Miller serves at USMA as a senior fellow for the Combating Terrorism Center. “I find it energizing to be working with today’s cadets,” said Miller. “They are better than the Corps was when I was here 40 years ago, and if I’m able to give them something they can use going forward, that’s a real positive.”

Melcher, who served 32 years in uniform before transitioning to executive posts in industry, agrees with Miller. “The young men and women of today are a notch above in terms of their academic skills and physical conditioning, and West Point is ever-more discriminating in terms of bringing in cadets who have these abilities,” he said. Recognizing that this new generation of cadets will be tomorrow’s leaders, Melcher and his wife, Marla, are active supporters of West Point, being members of the Ulysses S. Grant Lifetime Giving Society. “The Margin of Excellence is needed to make this world-class institution equal to the talent it attracts,” Melcher said, “and when and where I could help, I have tried to do so.

Recalling Superintendent Gilland’s remarks, the West Point Association of Graduates recognizes all the years of experience and selfless service represented by these Distinguished Graduates and across all generations of the Long Gray Line, especially in the ways they themselves recognize and support the Corps of Cadets. Please read the bios on the following pages to learn more about the 2023 Distinguished Graduate Award recipients.

Learn more about this year’s DGA recipients:

WEST POINT | SUMMER 2023 41
Photo: Erika Norton/WPAOG

2023 Distinguished Graduate Awards

The first West Point graduate to serve as Army Surgeon General, LTG (R) Jim Peake, M.D., is distinguished indeed, earning the Silver Star, a Purple Heart and the treasured Combat Infantryman Badge. After Airborne, Ranger and Pathfinder training, he began his career as a platoon leader with 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, deploying to Vietnam in 1967. He received his acceptance to Cornell University Medical College while he was in the hospital recovering from wounds he received in Vietnam. After completing cardio-thoracic specialty training, Peake was selected to launch an Open-Heart Surgery Program at Tripler Army Medical Center, which brought him recognition from both peers and chain of command. Following the Army War College in 1988, he was selected to command the 18th Medical Command in Korea. In 1992, he was promoted to brigadier general and assigned to Fort Bragg, NC as commander of the 44th Medical Brigade. In 2000, he was promoted to lieutenant general and received an assignment as the 40th Army Surgeon General and commander of the U.S. Army Medical Command, responsible for 50,000 medical personnel and 187 Army medical facilities worldwide. Peake retired from the Army in 2004 after a 38-year active-duty career, and in 2007 President George W. Bush nominated Peake to be the 6th U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Unanimously confirmed by the Senate, Peake immediately began to streamline systems related to transitioning military members to veteran status and expanded outreach, enrollment, and access through community-based outpatient clinics. “Countless Veterans benefited from Secretary Peake’s vision and leadership at the VA,” notes Congressman Chet Edwards, who chaired the U.S. House Military Construction and VA Appropriations Subcommittee when Peake was VA Secretary. “His empathy, combined with his humility and impeccable integrity, add to his effectiveness as a widely respected leader.”

“LTG (R) Dave Melcher is one of West Point’s most significant and loyal graduates,” says GEN (R) Richard Cody ’72, the 31st Vice Chief of Staff of the Army and a 2016 Distinguished Graduate Award recipient. “In uniform, as a captain of industry and as a private citizen, Dave has been a leader of character, commitment and integrity, and his moral compass always points true north.” In 32 years of uniformed service, Melcher served in the Corps of Engineers in both light and heavy divisions and as a White House Fellow before attaining his first star in 1999. As a general officer, Melcher served as commander, Southwest Engineer Division; as director, Army Program Analysis and Evaluation; as G-8, Army Deputy Chief of Staff; and as Military Deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the Army, Financial Management and Comptroller. As a captain of industry, Melcher was both President of ITT Defense and later President and CEO of Exelis, Inc., a New York Stock Exchange company that supported warfighters all over the world with critical services and equipment. He also founded Exelis Action Corps, a philanthropic organization of Exelis employees who volunteered on projects supporting veterans. In 2015, Melcher served as President and CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association and has served as a chairman or director on six corporate boards in the defense, medical product, insurance, and banking industries. Melcher is a lifetime supporter of West Point and the Corps of Cadets. He and his wife, Marla, are members of the Ulysses S. Grant Lifetime Giving Society and sponsors of a Chair in the Department of Social Sciences, and he currently leads the Class of 1976’s 50th Anniversary Gift Campaign. They also actively support the U.S. Army Museum, Homes for Our Troops, and the Wounded Warrior Project. “LTG Melcher has exhibited ‘Duty, Honor, Country’ in all his actions and endeavors throughout his service and well beyond,” says GEN James McConville ’81, the 40th Chief of Staff of the Army.

42 WestPointAOG.org Photos: Submitted
HON James B. Peake ’66 LTG (R) David F. Melcher ’76

“Rick Dalzell exemplifies the high personal integrity and commitment to the mission that U.S. military alumni share,” notes Jeff Bezos, founder, Executive Chairman, and former President and CEO of Amazon. Named its Chief Information Officer in 1997, Dalzell laid much of the foundation for the growth and success that Amazon maintains today. Dalzell began his active-duty service as a Signal Corps officer, serving in the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and later with the 44th Signal Battalion of the 7th Signal Brigade in Europe. Upon leaving the Army, he joined E-Systems ECI Division from which he was heavily recruited to Wal-Mart. Promoted to their Vice President of Information Systems, he was instrumental in developing a novel data warehouse strategy that encouraged partnership with business partners, helping position Wal-Mart to become America’s largest retailer. In 1993, in recognition of his leadership and accomplishments, Dalzell received the Sam M. Walton Award for Excellence. During his 10-year tenure at Amazon, Dalzell was promoted to Senior Vice President and is credited for playing a vital and decisive role in transforming Amazon from an on-line retailer to a worldwide technology leader, especially in the realm of cloud computing services, of which Amazon now enjoys well over a 30-percent global market share thanks to Dalzell’s visionary leadership. Throughout his career, Dalzell has been a supporter of West Point. Soon after his retirement from Amazon in 2007, he became a supporter of the Cadet Study Abroad Program. He has consistently been a mentor to cadets, speaking frequently with them about leadership, technology, systems integration, and foreign study experiences. In recognition of his generosity, Dalzell was recently invited by the Chairman of the Board of the West Point Association of Graduates to join a select group of 30 alumni and friends of the Academy to serve on the Campaign Cabinet for West Point Ready, a $600.5 million campaign to benefit USMA and WPAOG.

When one reads about the life and career of Marene Allison, the word “trailblazer” consistently appears. She was a member of the first class of women to enter the Academy in 1976. She joined the FBI as a Special Agent in 1986, a time when women accounted for only three percent of all Special Agents. And she accepted the position of Chief Information and Security Officer at Johnson & Johnson, another trailblazing opportunity given that women occupy only 17 percent of the top cybersecurity positions for Fortune 500 companies. Yet, as Erica Jeffries Purdo ’98 points out, “Marene stands out in the Class of 1980 as a woman who not only blazes trails, but who reaches back and pulls others along behind her.” In 2004, Allison and BG Niave Knell ’92 founded West Point Women (WPW), an extensive network of graduates created to provide mentorship, education and support to West Point women graduates and members of the Corps of Cadets. As a result of Allison’s leadership, approximately 4,000 women grads participate in WPW, and she has been influential in developing four WPW conferences and spearheading an endowment of more than $150,000. “Marene’s unwavering commitment to our Academy by ensuring it has a strong, enduring talent pipeline of honorable leaders to serve our Army and our nation is truly inspiring,” writes LTG (R) Nadja West ’82, the 44th Army Surgeon General and a 2022 Distinguished Graduate Award recipient. Beyond WPW, Allison has been helping recruit the next generation of young leaders for West Point through her appointment to the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services and as a liaison officer and congressional coordinator for the state of New Jersey. “Marene is not a ‘woman leader’: she is a leader of all people wherever she goes and whatever role she takes on, displaying the character West Point can be proud of,” says Timothy Murphy, the 13th Deputy Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

WEST POINT | SUMMER 2023 43 Photos: Submitted
Mr. Richard L. Dalzell ’79
WEST POINT ASSOCIATION OF GRADUATE S
Mrs. Marene N. Allison ’80

When one reads the nomination packet for GEN (R) Dan Allyn, one line in particular stands out: “Dan’s military career is the history of Army engagements throughout his 36 years of service.” Upon graduation, Allyn served in the 82nd Airborne Division and provided vital leadership during Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada (1983). After successfully commanding his first infantry company in Korea, Allyn was selected to command C Company, 1-75th Ranger Regiment, which executed a daring night combat jump on the Torrijos-Tocumen airfield in Panama during Operation Just Cause (1989). Months before 9/11, Allyn took command of 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, which was deployed to Kuwait in preparation for what would become Operation Iraqi Freedom (2001) and played a crucial role in the assault on Baghdad. During the “Surge” (2008-09), Allyn served as Chief of Staff of XVIII Airborne Corps, which comprised the nucleus of Multinational Corps-Iraq. In 2010, as the Deputy Commanding General of XVIII Airborne Corps, he deployed as the Deputy Commander of Joint Task Force-Haiti in response to a devastating earthquake on that island. A year later, Allyn took command of 1st Cavalry Division and deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (2011-12). Allyn synchronized the efforts of U.S. Forces, Afghan National Security Forces, and NATO allies to improve Afghan security, strengthen governance, and develop infrastructure. “Very few conventional force Army officers have been more involved in vitally important combat operations throughout their careers than Dan Allyn,” says the Honorable Lloyd Austin ’75, the 28th U.S. Secretary of Defense. After serving as the Commander of Forces Command, Allyn was named the 35th Vice Chief of Staff of the Army. He is a graduate of the Naval War College, and his awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star, the French Legion of Honor and the Gold Medal of Polish Honor.

GEN (R) Austin Scott Miller spent nearly 40 years in uniform with an astonishing track record of success that took him from the soccer pitch at West Point (defeating Navy in his final game) to the far reaches of conflict in complex geopolitical regions, including the Indo-Pacific, Africa, Middle East, and South Asia. An Airborne-Ranger, Infantry officer, he commanded at every grade, including a company in Korea, the TF Ranger assault force in Mogadishu during “Blackhawk Down,” the Joint Special Operations Command, and as the final commander of NATO’s Resolute Support Mission and United States Forces–Afghanistan. “Scott Miller led in the toughest of all circumstances, inspired the actions of his soldiers, and rallied the efforts of countless others,” wrote President Bill Clinton. Over 15 years in 1st SFOD-D, Miller continuously participated in combat operations, was wounded in action twice, and led “The Unit” as commander from 2005 to 2007 during some of the toughest combat operations while targeting Al Qaida in Iraq. Likely the most deployed leader in the Global War on Terror, he was one of the first Americans on the ground pursuing Osama bin Laden and other high value targets. GEN David Rodriguez ’76, who served with Miller, called him “without a doubt, the finest Combat Commander I ever observed.” In 2014, as commanding general of the United States Army Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Miller led the initiative to integrate women into the prestigious U.S. Army Ranger School, a significant advancement that laid the foundation for women to pursue top positions across the Army. His numerous decorations and honors include two awards of the coveted Combat Infantryman Badge, two Purple Hearts, the Silver Star and an unprecedented 20 Overseas Service Bars denoting more than 10 full years in combat zones. Miller currently serves at USMA as a senior fellow for the Combating Terrorism Center. 

44 WestPointAOG.org Photos: Submitted
WEST POINT ASSOCIATION OF
S
GEN (R) Daniel (Dan) B. Allyn ’81 GEN (R) Austin S. (Scott) Miller ’83
GRADUATE
2023 Distinguished Graduate Awards

The Class of ’76

and USAA

congratulate LTG (R) David F. Melcher

2023 Distinguished Graduate Award Recipient

Class of 1976, Current USAA Board Member and a Loyal USAA Member since 1975

Congratulations from your Classmates, Family, and Friends!

“If the board can only select one candidate this year, it must be Dan Allyn.” GEN (R) “Buck” Kernan

“Dan is a leader and person with impeccable character that has the utmost trust and confidence of all that have known and served with him.”

LTG (R) P. Ken Keen

“Dan has always served with great humility. He genuinely cares about everyone he works with.”

—Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ’75

GEN (R) Daniel (Dan) B. Allyn ’81 2023 Distinguished Graduate Award Recipient

MAILBOX

We regret that, because of limited space, we cannot publish all letters received. Letters may be edited and shortened for space. Submit comments or questions to Editor@wpaog.org, or chat with us on one of our WPAOG social media channels.

FROM: Mr. Dan Ludwig ’78

I just finished reading every page of the 2023 Spring issue and feel compelled to tell you and your team that this is the best and most informative issue I have seen! I especially liked the theme of the changes, covering so many topics, that have occurred over the past 80 years. Thank you for the great information. I have a better understanding of the Academy’s evolution since my time there.

RESPONSE:

Thank you for taking the time to tell us how much you enjoyed the 2023 Spring issue. We have received several emails of this variety and heard positive remarks from grads personally during end-of-year functions at the Academy. We appreciate them all and strive to put out a magazine worthy of this great institution and its accomplished alumni.

FROM: MAJ (R) Kent Troy ’81

My wife, Ingrid, and I thoroughly enjoyed the article “West Point, A Changing Landscape” in the Spring 2023 issue of West Point magazine. It provided insight to many monuments and helped portray the value and legacy of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. We would like to point out to your readers that the legendary Sedgwick Monument moved an additional time not mentioned in your article. The article says, or implies, that Sedgwick moved to its current location around 1970; however, when I was there (1977-81) and spun the spurs in December 1977 (and went pro, I might add), the Sedgwick Monument was

located on the north side of Cullum Road. Please note the attached picture of me spinning the spurs during daylight in the fall and you can see Trophy Point and other cannons in the background, and Sedgwick is facing the barracks with his back to the Hudson.

RESPONSE:

Fascinating! Thank you for adding to our coverage of this topic with your letter and picture.

FROM: Mr. Larry Watt ’73

I am writing about the “Take Seats! Mess Hall Traditions” article in the 2023 Spring issue. One of the most radical changes that wasn’t addressed was mandatory attendance for Mess Hall meals. Instead of having mandatory meals seven days a week for all three meals, I understand that the only mandatory meals are on Thursday. On other days cadets can choose to go through a buffet-style meal during prescribed hours or visit the various food trucks allowed on post. The later seems to be diametrically opposed to the healthy eating program that was announced a few years ago. This change also appears to reduce the cadet’s interaction with his or her company classmates. What is the rationale for this change?

RESPONSE:

Thank you for your comment. Since this was an article about traditions, we did not feel that it was appropriate to include USCC Standard Operating Procedures on meal attendance, especially since they change frequently. In the 2023 spring semester, lunch Monday-Friday and dinner on Thursday were mandatory for all cadets, and breakfast Monday-Friday was also mandatory for plebes. All optional meals are buffet-style dining to expand food choices and limit waste.

“No Excuse, Sir Or Ma’am”

In the “Who Remembers…? Teaching Tools at USMA” article in the 2023 Spring issue, COL Tina Hartley, Professor and Mathematics Department Head, is erroneously listed as a 1992 grad when in fact she is a member of the Class of 1990.

WEST POINT | SUMMER 2023 47 MAILBOX Photos: Submitted

Experiential Learning Today Develops the Leaders of Tomorrow: 2023 Projects Day

More than 1,000 cadets from all academic departments took part in West Point’s 24th Annual Projects Day Research Symposium in May, displaying research posters, giving presentations, and defending theses. “Projects Day is an incredible platform for our cadets to showcase their ingenuity, innovation, and problem-solving skills,” said Brigadier General Shane Reeves ’96, 15th Dean of the Academic Board. “Through this event, we empower our future Army leaders to take on complex challenges, adapt to new technologies and situations, and advance the mission of the U.S. Army.” From the Kimsey Center to Eisenhower Hall and from the West Point Club to Thayer Hall, more than 400 rigorous and robust research projects were featured on Projects Day, demonstrating the Academy’s belief in experiential learning and indicating how different the academic program is today than 10 or 20 years ago. “All you have to do is walk around post and you’ll see the incredible excellence of our cadets and the powerful combination of cadet education, development, and research at West Point, much of it funded by Margin of Excellence dollars generously

donated by our graduates,” said Reeves. “By providing our cadets with these hands-on experiences, we prepare them to excel in complex and unpredictable environments and to lead with confidence, competence, and character.” 

48 WestPointAOG.org 2023 PROJECTS DAY
Photos: Rebecca Rose/WPAOG; John Pellino/USMA PAO
WEST POINT | SUMMER 2023 49 2023 PROJECTS DAY
Photos: Erika Norton/WPAOG; John Pellino, Elizabeth Woodruff/USMA PAO

All-Season Grad Perks with the “Fun People”

He attended his senior prom at the West Point Club and his high school graduation in Eisenhower Hall. Years later, he had to ask someone, “By the way, what is MWR?” He laughs about it to this day. Now, as the MWR Marketing Director for West Point, his job is to answer that very question. “It may sound strange, but the biggest challenge we have is simply letting people know that MWR exists!” It is abundant but invisible; loved, yet strangely anonymous. Stanton and the rest of the MWR team are hard at work every day to help change that.

Down the hall from Stanton sits Chris Remillard, Chief of Community Recreation for MWR, with a prominent sign above his office door that reads, “We’re the Fun People.” He began working for MWR in 2002 while in college, as a lifeguard at Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey. “I think the most important thing for West Point residents and visitors to remember is that we have something for every season,” Remillard explains. The words flow easily, “…campgrounds, lakes, trips, special events, golf, shooting, equipment rentals, and one of only three ski facilities in the entire Army.”

Best of all, many of West Point’s MWR activities are available as Grad Perks to members of the Long Gray Line as part of the West Point Association of Graduates’ Rockbound Highland Home Program. West Point graduates receive exclusive access to a variety of facilities and services on Post simply by showing their Grad Pass now good for five years! (visit westpointaog.org/gradpass for additional information).

During warmer seasons, MWR operates two lakeside campgrounds, Round Pond and Lake Frederick, with cabins and camp sites that grads can book in advance. Round Pond is about a 12-minute drive from Stony Lonesome Gate, in the direction of Camp Buckner. It offers camping spots for “vehicular” camping, in addition to spots for personal or family tents. Grads using the campground can also enjoy swimming in Round Pond, renting an assortment of boats, or fishing off the camp’s two piers. There’s also an archery range, a hiking trail, and numerous picnic sites.

The Lake Frederick facility, roughly 20 minutes from Stony Lonesome Gate, is home to eight beautiful family bunk houses, just yards away from the 19-acre lake. Each house comes with its own fire pit. The Lake Frederick Recreation area also has a grass field for tent camping and more than 300 feet of beach for swimming, building sandcastles and waterside relaxation. A well-groomed 1.1-mile hiking loop on the far side of the lake offers a peaceful walk in the woods. Catch-and-release fishing is allowed in the lake, and a recently framed photo of a 9-pound bass that presumably still lives in the lake adorns the facility’s office space. Danny Eichner is the full-time Facilities Manager at Lake Frederick and a year-round resident at the site. He played a central role in the 2015 renovation of the facility. In fact, he built the eight houses that he and his wife, Janet, now manage. The Eichners take deep pride in their work and genuinely enjoy hosting their steady flow of visitors. In addition to a full spectrum of service members and veterans, they also host

50 WestPointAOG.org ALL-SEASON GRAD PERKS WITH THE “FUN PEOPLE”
Photo: USMA PAO Above: Round Pond which is stocked with brook, brown, and rainbow trout each spring is a great place at West Point to fish.
Derrick Stanton grew up in an activeduty Army family and, for years, was engaged in a wide variety of U.S. Army Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) activities around the world—he just didn’t know it.

frequent visits from deer, racoons, black bears, and a plethora of other wildlife. On the human side, the Eichners hint at their special attachment to the Corps of Cadets. “When we have cadets out here, we treat them like they’re our own kids,” says Janet. That’s not a big stretch, as there are two academy graduates in the family: Daniel, USMA 2014; and Brian, USNA 2019.

Another major warm-weather attraction available to grads through Grad Perks is the West Point Golf Course. Immediately adjacent to West Point, the course offers 18 beautiful fairways on a mountain layout. Watch out for the 7th hole: woods on left and right, thick rough, and water 20 yards from the green. At present, a major addition to the golf course is under construction. MWR hopes to start the 2024 golf season with the grand opening of a 12,500-square-foot clubhouse with a pro shop, banquet space for 150, and exterior patio space for 75.

When the cold weather drives players from the golf course, ski season is not far behind. Co-located with the West Point Golf Course is the Victor Constant Ski Slope. It offers traditional downhill runs for skiers and snowboarders, in addition to a less challenging hill for beginners and young children. The golf course also serves as a fantastic cross-country ski option. There is a fully equipped rental facility on-site where grads can rent any equipment needed to hit the slopes or hit the trail.

WEST POINT | SUMMER 2023 51 ALL-SEASON
WITH THE “FUN PEOPLE”
GRAD PERKS
Photos: Brian Wetzler/WPAOG; MWR (L to R): Derrick Stanton, the MWR Marketing Director for West Point; Chris Remillard, Chief of Community Recreation for West Point MWR; Randi Gass, Business Manager for the Tronsrue Marksmanship Center; and Danny Eichner (with his wife, Janet), Facilities Manager of the Lake Frederick Recreation Area. Boating (canoes, paddle boats, and rowboats are available to rent) is one of several activities guests can enjoy at the Lake Frederick Recreation Area, along with basketball, volleyball, hiking, and swimming.
“It may sound strange, but the biggest challenge we have is simply letting people know that MWR exists!”
— Derrick Stanton, MWR Marketing Director

For grads seeking additional outdoor recreation, MWR also offers activities through Morgan Farm Stables & Kennel, located 3 miles south of Thayer Gate and surrounded by beautiful meadows and woods, providing an ideal setting for trail rides on horseback. MWR also provides the Outdoor Recreation Equipment Checkout Center, where grads can rent outdoor equipment for hiking and backpacking, canoeing, kayaking, rock climbing, mountain biking, paintball and more. Finally, for those grads with a current New York State License for hunting and/or fishing, MWR grants permits to hunt/fish the West Point Reservation. West Point hunters can pursue a wide variety of small-game and big-game species, and Bull Pond, Lusk Reservoir, Round Pond and some streams around West Point are each stocked in the early spring with approximately 3,400 brook, brown, and rainbow trout 8-16 inches in length.

Given that weather is always a factor with outdoor activities, MWR also has some indoor grad perks should wind, rain, or lightning force grads inside. A relatively recent addition to the MWR recreation list is the Tronsrue Marksmanship Center, the only MWR-managed indoor shooting range in the entire Army.

Randi Gass is the Business Manager at Tronsrue and has been

passionately serving with MWR for 19 years. “We may not be wearing the green suits, but we work for you—graduates and veterans,” she says. In addition to important work directly supporting the Corps of Cadets, Gass and her staff help train shooters of all skill levels, including those who have never handled a weapon. Every member of her staff is a trained instructor. “We give our guests as much individual attention and training as they need,” she says. Tronsrue rents pistols and safety gear, and guests can purchase ammunition on-site.

Grads who are interested in MWR’s activities—outdoor or indoor—are encouraged to visit MWR’s website at westpoint. armymwr.com . The MWR staff is eager to assist all their guests. So, if you are a grad with a penchant for the outdoors, perhaps it’s time to plan a trip to visit the “Fun People.” 

Learn more about MWR and view maps of the sites mentioned in this article:

52 WestPointAOG.org ALL-SEASON GRAD PERKS WITH THE “FUN PEOPLE”
Photos: MWR
“I think the most important thing for West Point residents and visitors to remember is that we have something for every season.”
— Chris Remillard, Chief of Community Recreation for MWR
Clockwise from top left: The Victor Constant Ski Area, which operates daily from December to March (weather permitting), offers two 3,000-feet-plus runs, two black diamond trails, and a vertical drop of nearly 500 feet. The 12th Annual West Point Oktoberfest, which was open to the public, was held at the Victor Constant Ski Area in 2022 outside of the Class of ’48 Ski Lodge. Cabins, with both mountain and lake views, are available for grads to rent at MWR's Lake Frederick Recreation Area. With its hilly, tree-lined terrain and fast, slopping greens, the West Point Golf Course, a Robert Trent Jones Sr.-designed 18-hole course, measures 6,036 yards from the tips for a par of 70 and a challenge for all skill levels.

Where There’s a “Will” There’s a Way

“You generally leave your estate to the people who mean the most to you. And to us, that is West Point…to donate to an American icon like West Point is an honor. Without it I doubt we would be the nation we are today.”

—Andy Shaffer ’68 and his wife Betty, on leaving their entire estate to the Academy through the West Point Association of Graduates

Since 1869, the West Point Association of Graduates has been dedicated to supporting the graduates of the United States Military Academy. When you make a gift to us as part of your estate or financial plans, you become an integral part in continuing our historic traditions for years to come.

WEST POINT ASSOCIATION OF GRADUATE S
Cullum Hall was built with funds from the 1892 bequest of George W. Cullum, Class of 1833.
Contact the WPAOG Planned Giving Office at 845.446.1627 or plannedgiving@wpaog.org , or visit WestPointAOG.GiftPlans.org , to learn more.

THE OUTDOOR CORPS

54 WestPointAOG.org

The Directorate of Cadet Activities’ (DCA) Extracurricular Program

While all clubs support the pillars of West Point leader development, they are divided into seven categories based on their supporting agency: competitive sports (Department of Physical Education), academic (Office of the Dean), military (Department of Military Instruction), religious (USCC Chaplain), diversity (Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Equal Opportunity), support (USCC), and hobby (DCA). Yet, perhaps there is another way to classify DCA clubs, one based on those that incorporate the outdoor resources of West Point, the Hudson Valley, and the Northeast into their activities. From the Bass Fishing Club to the Cadet Hunting Club, clubs of this kind foster a lifelong appreciation for outdoor sportsmanship as well as the military profession through cadet-officer mentorship.

CYCLING TEAM

“The West Point Cycling Team uses the outdoor resources surrounding West Point in a variety of ways throughout the academic year. We use the training area to practice mountain biking and to practice for races throughout the country; we use the roads on and around West Point to train for the road-racing season, and we bike in the open grassy areas to dial in cyclocross skills. The beautiful outdoor resources around West Point provide the Cycling Team with the ability to train for a variety of different race styles. Without access to these resources, we would not be able to train and compete at a national level.”

- Major Brett Rocha ’12; Instructor, Department of Civil & Mechanical Engineering; Officer in Charge, Cycling Team

“Being a California native, I had always wanted to live somewhere that had four seasons, and this was a consideration when applying to West Point. Now that I’m here, I never realized how I took for granted the privilege of using the outdoors yearround. Although there are times when I wish I did not have to slog through the snow to class, I truly appreciate the beauty of the trees losing their autumn leaves, signaling the start of the

WEST POINT | SUMMER 2023 55 THE OUTDOOR CORPS
Photo: Submitted
offers more than 130 diverse teams and clubs for cadets to join.
CDT Sierra Zoe Bennett-Manke ’25 and Coach Sue Kligerman (red jacket), Director of the Mountaineering Club, on the second pitch of the legendary High Exposure route at the “Gunks.”

bright white snow contrasting against our gray backdrop. Being a member of the Cycling Team and riding my bike every day allows me to experience the changing seasons, and each day I’m reminded how the outdoors looks just a little bit different than the day before.”

- Cadet Olivia Romo ’25 (from Alamo, California)

TRIATHLON TEAM

“The Army West Point Triathlon Team is fortunate to have and use the many natural resources in and around West Point to train the team to compete at the highest levels of collegiate triathlon, and beyond, to include national and world championships. Having access to Camp Buckner and Lake Popolopen allows the team to train in open water under the supervision of our lifeguard and coach for much of the fall and late spring. Open-water swimming is a key discipline in the sport and requires training and techniques that cannot be adequately simulated in a swimming pool. We can train our team to swim in packs, adjust to weather and sunlight conditions, and site to turning buoys in the lake. We’re also able to ride our bikes from West Point to Camp Buckner and around the local areas, including Bear Mountain. The varied and hilly terrain allows our team to train under tough circumstances, which promotes fitness and prepares team members for some of the most challenging triathlon courses around the world. Of course, our final discipline is running, and there are few places better to see amazing nature views than to run along the historic roads and

trails at West Point. From the challenging climbs to the flat track down by the river, West Point allows multiple running experiences where we can safely train year-round.”

- Dr. Ken Allen ’93; Professor of Nuclear Engineering and Nuclear Engineering Program Director, Department of Physics and Nuclear Engineering; Officer in Charge, Triathlon Team

“Triathlon has given me a team that I can train with and has given me some of my closest friends at West Point. The sport has also given me an appreciation for the outdoors. We train outdoors in the fall, spring, and summer, and still run outside in winter. One of my favorite workouts is biking to the top of Bear Mountain in the fall. The leaves are pretty and the view from the top is awesome.”

- Now Second Lieutenant Jonah Park ’23, Team Captain (from Overland Park, Kansas)

NORDIC SKI TEAM

“The Army West Point Nordic Ski Team provides a great way for cadets to experience and appreciate winter in the northeastern United States. While snowfall here in the Hudson Valley during our most recent winters has been minimal or tricky for crosscountry skiing (icy or not deep enough for ski grooming), the team can always find locations within a three-to-five hour drive that do have snow. Just this past season alone, we’ve spent time at Lake

56 WestPointAOG.org THE OUTDOOR CORPS
Photos: Submitted; CDT Hana Myers
’25 Placid, NY, skiing at the site of the 1980 Olympic Winter Games; at Paul Smith ’s College Visitor Interpretive Center in Left: Nordic Ski Team photo on the ski trail over the entrance to Mount Van Hovenburg Olympic Center in Lake Placid, NY taken in January 2023. Middle: CDT Shawn Mather ’25 of the Orienteering Team sprinting to his final point, the “go!” control, on his course (CDT Mather, along with CDT Hana Myers ’25 and CDT Holden Sopoti ’25, was recently selected to the U.S. Orienteering Junior National Team and competed at the Junior World Orienteering Championships in Romania this summer). Right: Then CDT Spencer Weisgram ’23 of the Cycling Team riding the mud in a cyclocross race.

New York’s Adirondack Park; and in northern Vermont at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center and the Vermont National Guard’s Camp Ethan Allen Training Site. At Camp Ethan Allen, our cadets were able to observe the National Guard Biathlon Championships and got the chance to ski and shoot with National Guard athletes from across the United States. The team members have been able to visit great destinations in the northeast and make connections with other military athletes.”

- Laura Mosher; Cadet Engagement Librarian, USMA Library; Officer in Charge, Nordic Ski Team

“Our purpose as soldiers is to be uncomfortable so other people don’t have to be. By placing ourselves in situations that are uncomfortable as members of the Nordic Ski Team and trying new things that are hard and that require strength, endurance, and aerodynamic efficiency to tackle the outdoor obstacles associated with our sport, we’re learning to adapt and learning to enjoy these situations, which is the essential task of training and of West Point in general.”

- Cadet Orion Rolater ’25 (from Plano, Texas)

ORIENTEERING TEAM

“Orienteering competitions seek unique and difficult terrain to test competitors. The vast training areas and forest resources surrounding West Point provide countless opportunities to practice the many skills necessary to improve the team’s ability to navigate precisely under pressure. Throughout the year, the Orienteering Team uses virtually all the training area land to

continuously introduce unfamiliar and challenging terrain. West Point’s unique set of resources rapidly develops our skills and leads to success at the national and international level. The outdoor resources at West Point also afford the Orienteering Team the opportunity to host a nationally ranked event each spring. This event attracts hundreds of competitors from across North America. It’s hosted by the Orienteering Team cadets, contributing to our professional development and helping us build the skills needed to plan and execute complex training events as officers.”

- Cadet Hana Myers ’25, member of the Orienteering Team (from Steilacoom, Washington)

“Moving from Pennsylvania to Florida during my second year of middle school, I happily joined my school’s cross country team but lost out on the enjoyment I had exploring the woods, as the Florida undergrowth is too thick to navigate. Joining the Orienteering Team at West Point brought back the excitement of being outdoors while combining it with the rigor of a cross country race. Every day that I run through the hills around West Point, I’m reminded of fond childhood memories and face exciting navigational challenges.”

- Cadet Owen Taylor ’26 (from Geneva, Florida)

MOUNTAINEERING CLUB

“The Mountaineering Club uses multiple outdoor resources around West Point. It capitalizes on the existing rock formations around post to practice trad, sport, and ice climbing, in addition

WEST POINT | SUMMER 2023 57 THE OUTDOOR CORPS
Photos: sport-memories.com
The start of the Annual West Point Triathlon (swimming event), which is held each fall at Camp Buckner during A-Day weekend.

to using the Class of 1979 Rock Climbing Wall in Arvin Gymnasium. Having outdoor resources provides the team with realistic training close to post, which allows for a regular practice schedule. Some of the outdoor resources it uses are the stone wall near the old MP barracks (The MP Wall), the rock face near South Dock for sport climbing (The PI Wall), and the rock face behind Arvin Gym, which freezes over during winter and allows the team to practice ice climbing. On weekends the Mountaineering Club also organizes trips to the Catskill Mountains and the Shawangunk Mountains (“the Gunks”— home to the best traditional rock climbing in the country, offering climbs of all levels of difficulty) to practice the skills learned on Post in more in-depth.

“I was raised in a coastal town with relatively no elevation change, and my hobbies related to coastal activities such as surfing and fishing. During plebe year, I found myself missing these hobbies and noticed a flyer promoting the Mountaineering Club, which emphasized that anyone could

try out, regardless of experience. I have been on the team for three years now, and, as the current CIC, I can attest to the fact that the majority of plebes brought on have little to no prior experience. The Mountaineering Club introduced me not only to a new hobby I have come to love but also to extremely knowledgeable coaches and like-minded peers who have helped mold me into a capable mountaineer and a better leader. The lessons I’ve learned from being a part of the Mountaineering Club go much further than technical mountaineering skills, and I have no doubt that I will carry them with me throughout my career as an Army officer, and as a mountaineer.”

- Cadet John McKinney ’24, Cadet in Charge (from Wilmington, North Carolina)

CADET FLY FISHING CLUB

“The area around USMA provides a wonderful setting for cadets to learn fly fishing. When a cadet needs to decompress for an hour, they can travel to Lusk Reservoir, ‘in their backyard,’ to do some fly fishing. The goal of the club is to introduce fly fishing as an activity that may be needed as a resiliency tool in future years. Mike Adams ’02 set the course for the club when he was its Cadet in Charge (CIC), establishing a program that focused on flyfishing techniques, crafts (fly tying and rod building), and conservation. Sadly, his life and love of fly fishing were cut short in Iraq on March 16, 2004, but his vision to educate, train, and inspire the future leaders of this nation through fly fishing continues. Today’s club continues to use the outdoor resources around USMA to introduce an activity that cadets can use and then pass along later in a situation where the activity may be a lifesaving tool. ‘Over the years since I graduated, I found fishing to be one of the most therapeutic activities for me personally and a great activity to introduce to peers,’ notes Lieutenant Colonel Max Ferguson ’05 (CIC when he was with the club) ‘Frankly, there is no better way to open meaningful and vulnerable conversations with friends who have heavy hearts than on the water, as there is something disarming about fishing with a friend, among the trees, stalking fish.’”

- Lieutenant Colonel Ron Hasz ’95; Instructor, Department of Physics and Nuclear Engineering; Officer in Charge, Cadet Fly Fishing Club

“Managing stress is fundamental to success as a cadet, and for myself and many others, that management takes the form of fly fishing. From trips to the Salmon River in Pulaski, New York, to casting clinics at Lusk Reservoir, the USMA Fly Fishing Club allows me to recharge and reset so that I can maintain high energy levels during the academic year. I would not be the same person I am now if it wasn’t for this club.”

- Cadet Jack Hager ’24 (from Flint, Texas)

Other outdoor DCA clubs include the Alpine Ski Team, the Bass Fishing Club, the Equestrian Team, the Ski Club, the Marathon Team, the Crew Team, and the Hunting Club. All DCA clubs are supported in large part by Margin of Excellence funding through private giving. 

58 WestPointAOG.org THE OUTDOOR CORPS Photos: Submitted
Then CDT Hunter Choy ’23 displays an 18-inch brook trout he caught while with the Cadet Fly Fishing Club. Below: The mantra for the Cadet Fly Fishing Club, which has never lost to Navy in an Army-Navy fly fishing competition, beating them again, 77-43 [points awarded per type of fish caught], on April 22, 2023.

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WEST POINT ASSOCIATION OF GRADUATE S

Be Thou at Peace

Lt Col Richard B. Fowler USAF, Retired 1944

Brig Gen Samuel K. Lessey Jr. USAF, Retired 1945

COL Joseph P. Pepe USA, Retired 1946

COL Guy K. Troy USA, Retired 1946

Lt Col Matthew T. Henrikson USAF, Retired 1950

LTG Bennett L. Lewis USA, Retired 1950

LTC Ira J. Ward USA, Retired 1950

COL Richard R. Wyrough USA, Retired 1950

LTC Alan Matthew R. Dean USA, Retired 1951

BG Florencio F. Magsino USA, Retired 1951

Mr. Teodoro Picado Jr. 1951

BG James E. Armstrong USA, Retired 1952

Mr. Malcolm E. Craig 1952

COL Harry V. Dutchyshyn USA, Retired 1952

COL Robert S. Holmes USA, Retired 1952

Lt Col George L. Rule Jr. USAF, Retired 1952

Mr. Erhart E. Demand Jr. 1953

LTC Samuel H. Fisher Jr. USA, Retired 1953

Mr. Adolph E. Mayer 1953

COL John D. Smythe USA, Retired 1953

Maj Donald K. Sykes USAF, Retired 1953

COL Howard B. Thompson USA, Retired 1953

LTC Loren M. Eberhart USA, Retired 1954

Dr. Robert E. Fromm 1954

Mr. James N. Halvatgis 1954

Mr. Paul R. Jenkins Jr. 1954

COL Robert E. Keener USA, Retired 1954

LTC Richard H. Sugg USA, Retired 1954

LTC James R. Whitley Sr. USA, Retired 1954

COL Paul Bazilwich Jr. USA, Retired 1955

Mr. Kenneth L. Donaldson 1955

Mr. Peter N. Fikaris 1955

Mr. John A. Myers 1955

MAJ John W. Steakley Sr. USA, Retired 1955

GEN Frederick F. Woerner Jr. USA, Retired 1955

Mr. Thomas W. Keeley 1957

Mr. Leo D. McEvoy 1957

Dr. Russell W. Ramsey 1957

Deaths reported from March 16, 2023 – June 15, 2023

LTC Charles L. Raymond USA, Retired 1957

Mr. Charles R. Sprague 1957

Mr. Homer B. Jenkins III 1958

Col Norman H. Monson USAF, Retired 1958

Mr. Alan W. Baldwin 1959

COL Raymond C. Baugh USA, Retired 1959

LTC Robert E. Holman Jr. USA, Retired 1959

LTC Gerald G. Epley Jr. USA, Retired 1960

COL William G. Hanne USA, Retired 1960

Dr. Mark Lowry II 1960

LTC Alfred K. Richeson USA, Retired 1960

LTC Morris F. Hanson Jr. USA, Retired 1961

LTC Alexander J. Stuart III USA, Retired 1961

Mr. Keith E. Adams 1962

LTC John W. Dargle USA, Retired

MAJ Francis J. Sazama Jr. USA, Retired

Dr. Todd D. Stong

COL David L. Windom USA, Retired

BG Larry R. Capps USA, Retired

Mr. Walter D. Downey Jr.

CPT George I.P. Lodoen USA, Retired

Mr. Dennis C. Murphy

COL Donald L. Siebenaler USA, Retired

Mr. Kent R. Allen

Lt Col Robert T. Crowder II USAF, Retired

BG Anthony E. Hartle

MAJ

Mr.

MG

Mr.

MAJ

LTC

MAJ

LTC

Mr.

COL

Mr. Stephen S. Powell

MAJ

Mr. John R. Labrucherie

Mr.

MAJ

Lt

Mr.

MAJ

60 WestPointAOG.org BE THOU AT PEACE
1962
1962
1962
1962
1963
1963
1963
1963
1963
1964
1964
USA, Retired 1964 Mr. Jeffrey L. Merrill 1964 Mr. Thomas C. Roberts 1964 COL David E. Roesler USA, Retired 1964 Mr. Stephen C. Burrell 1965 Mr. Thomas H. Carll 1965 LTC John R. Malpass USA, Retired 1965 MAJ Michael J. Matteson USA, Retired 1965 Mr. Walter E. Nelson Jr. 1965 Dr. John Redmond III 1966 COL Michael Norton USA, Retired 1967 Mr. Neil F. Cowperthwaite 1968 LTG Charles S. Mahan Jr. USA, Retired 1968 Mr. F. Gordon Zophy II 1968
Ernest C. Adams 1969
Mr.
John K. Christian USA, Retired 1969
Lee C. Carlson 1970
Mr.
Raymond P. Cossette 1970
Robert A. Meier Jr. 1970
Richard C. Goodwin 1971
Douglas A. Meier 1971
Mr.
Dr.
Mr.
Terrill K. Moffett USAR, Retired 1971
C. Michael Weldon 1971
Richard D. Lyons USA, Retired 1973
Alton C. McKennon Jr. USA, Retired 1973
Mr.
LTC
COL
John L. Nicodemus 1973
Michael D. Wilcomb USA,
1973
Retired
1976
James W. Munday Jr. USA, Retired
1977
Ronald E. Loveland USAR, Retired
1977
John B. Wolters USA, Retired
1977
Daniel D. Wood Jr.
1979
Timothy J. Golden
Retired 1979
Thomas J. O'Donnell USA,
1979
1979
Steven G. Schauwecker USA, Retired
1981
1982
Mr. Kevin F. DeHart
1984
Mrs. Diane Brunn
1986
Mr. Mark A. McCoy
1987
Mr. Jeffrey S. Allar
1990
Mr. Scott A. Belanger
1991
Mr. Joseph B. Gudenburr IV
1993
Mr. James M. Beals
1993
Todd C. Soucy
USA, Retired 1994
Todd E. Jackins
Retired 1994
Col Michael A. Peters USAFR,
LaRoque 1995
Mr. Paul W.
Rau 2006
Mr. Brian D.
Sean P. Flachs 2008
Trevor T. Graves USA 2009
M. Fisher USA 2016
1LT Dominique

Past in Review

One hundred years ago, on September 15, 1923, the very first issue of The Pointer was published and disseminated to the Corps of Cadets. Today, only half of West Point’s 55,000-plus living graduates read The Pointer as a cadet because its last issue was printed in Academic Year 1996. Before 1923, the Howitzer contained many samples of cadet creativity in both the written word and visual art.

After an opening letter by General of the Armies John J. Pershing, Class of 1886, Brigadier General Fred W. Sladen, Class of 1890, the Superintendent at that time, introduced The Pointer by stating, “We should foster in the student body a legitimate self-expression which is not only an academic need, but which will later be an asset of great worth in carrying out the new and larger aims of our army. And in imposing on the

editorial staff the obligation of employing their utmost ingenuity and originality in accomplishing an unfamiliar task, we are surely training them for the severer tests of the same kind which will many times confront them in their chosen profession.” Sladen’s words proved prescient, and decades later The Pointer was still displaying the ingenuity and originality of the Corps of Cadets on a bi-weekly, then monthly, basis.

The first issues of the magazine were a blend of newspaper, literary journal, and satire mediums. Summer training, updates on athletic teams, photographs and Academy news were interspersed with poems, plays, ditties, comics, and jokes. For decades, The Pointer had themed issues throughout the academic year. There was an Army-Navy issue, summer furlough, rings, cars,

“femmes,” and sometimes even an annual issue compiled by Old Grads. The 1939 brochure “West Point: A Brief Sketch” stated, “Behind the gray walls of West Point all is not stern discipline, cadets do not study in full dress coats, nor plebes sleep at attention,” and then highlighted the 16-year-old magazine as an example of cadet entertainment, noting that it “has several times won high places in competition with other college magazines.”

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Photos and images: The Pointer archives Top: The Pointer covers from September 1923; January 1940; March 1991. Right: Cartoon by Ray Andrews ’60, whose company commander once confiscated his art supplies to curtail his submissions to The Pointer

By the 1970s, issues were themed according to brainstorming sessions, and the submissions gathered by the editorial staff and most “news” were located in other places, including the Pointer View ’s four-page Slum and Gravy section, which was edited by another club within the Corps of Cadets (The Pointer and Pointer View are two completely different publications; the Pointer View was the weekly newspaper produced by the Public Affairs Office of USMA). The Pointer was much more than satiric

articles and witty cartoons: It was a business endeavor that sold advertisements to local and national brands, and most issues were comprised of roughly 40 percent advertisements. The staff also created and sold West Point calendars, cadet notecards (usually with a class crest on the front), and holiday greeting cards. Also standard in every issue was a commentary by Pyrene, the Washington Hall cadet mess cat and “head mouser,” who anonymously mused about and critiqued changes in the Corps, new rules and regulations, and lamented days gone by.

Cadets found a place on The Pointer staff in various ways; in most cases they were recruited by someone already on the staff who noticed an article, drawing or humorous work they had already completed. When queried, former editors and staff members fondly recalled their days bringing humor to the Corps, and their reminiscences (and artwork) could easily fill an entire issue. Here’ s a brief sampling of memories from a few alumni of The Pointer : Ray Andrews ’60: Inspired by cadet antics and my imagination, I

submitted many cartoons to The Pointer in my plebe and yearling years but one cartoon about a mess hall area commander upset my company commander, and I was “put out of business.” I picked up cartooning again after my military service and published a significant amount of work, including 75 cartoons in the class 50th Reunion book.

Richard Bridges ’71: Most of our content was produced in-house, although sometimes current events generated articles. I remember when Ward Just (a noted war correspondent and journalist of the time) wrote a

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and images: The Pointer archives
Left: Cadets in Hell cartoon from a 1991 issue. Right: Advertisement from 1970 that proclaimed, “Tell her why you can’t be with her on Valentine’s Day. Use the time you’ve saved for better things―like shining your shoes. Cut out, fold on dotted line, sign and send.” One of the numerous renditions of Pyrene Class of 1977 holding up Bugle Notes in 1974 “The People’s Pointer” issue.

book about cadets and the military; I took him to task personally for inaccuracies. I got a nice letter from him, which we put in The Pointer, along with interviews with the cadets he interviewed for the article. My favorite drawing was by Gary Kirchberger ’71, the art editor, representing trout as symbols of our different kind of trousers: white trout, green trout, etc.

Mike Conrad ’80: My favorite aspect of working on The Pointer was that it was just plain fun! As editor in chief I had a staff of extremely talented writers, artists and journalists who all felt the same way, and we were able to brainstorm some pretty amazing stuff. Posing some of the photographs got us a lot of double-takes (especially parodies of some mainstream ads back then, notably the repeating ad “What kind of man reads The Pointer ?”). We did not want to be a command-information organ, so our OIC wisely scheduled a meeting with the Commandant for one particular issue to show him what we were planning to publish and thereby head off any reprisals.

George Hegedus ’93: The Pointer was fun to put together. No software at that time, so we printed out articles and then I, as editor, literally cut and

pasted them onto the layout pages with glue. Just the nature of what goes on in cadet life inspired the content—the stories Old Grads tell to this day. I was told “it’s a target-rich environment for humor.” Our cartoonists and writers were amazing, and I was glad we could compile “Cadets in Hell” into a special edition at the end of firstie year.

Mike Jason ’95: There I was, at the zenith of my mediocre cadet career, my first multi-page cartoon accepted by the infamous The Pointer magazine, only to witness its demise. My opus magnum, “Beavis and Butthead go to Airborne School ” would never see the light of day; who knows where life might have taken me!

Sean M. Smith ’95: “Beavis and Butthead go to Airborne School ” was, in fact, excellent.

Tom Kurkjian ’68: During Beast Barracks each year The Pointer made a presentation to the new class; it was the most remembered presentation of my Beast. When I was managing editor as a firstie, some of the underclassmen wanted to write about contemporary topics (like Vietnam and mandatory chapel) and the compromise was a detachable center section, then a standalone piece, known as the “Mandate” in 1967-68.

Amy (McDonald) Mulligan ’84: One of my best memories was traveling to New York City with everyone to go to the offices and studios of MAD magazine. That was what we modeled ourselves after back then. My favorite issue was a parody of GQ magazine, it was so much fun to shoot! As editor in chief, I was called into the Commandant’s office only twice.

Chuck Petruska ’68: I thoroughly enjoyed my time on The Pointer. I got involved with the business side of the magazine as a plebe when I was “drafted” by my platoon leader to hustle subscriptions…and was later asked to join the business staff. I stayed involved, to a great extent, because of my classmate John Calabro ’68, the “heart” of the magazine at the time.

Gus Stafford ’81: The Pointer provided a welcome outlet for our creative abilities. It was a welcome distraction from academics and the duties of the day. We were largely unconstrained in what we produced—providing freedom in the midst of West Point’s strict military structure. We were able to poke irreverent fun at the administration, other cadets, and ourselves, all for the greater enjoyment of the Corps. When the magazines went out, the Corps dropped what they were doing and read them. Remember,

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Photos and images: The Pointer archives
Above and right: Photography in The Pointer often mimicked culturally iconic poses.

we had no telephones (except those in the basement), no computers, and no TV except in the company day room…The Pointer had a corner on the entertainment market.

was the 50th anniversary issue of The Pointer. In lieu of taking spring leave I spent one week working in the archive of The Pointer and assembled material from the 1920s to the 1970s. Most of our inspiration came from the absurdity of cadet life and the immense contrast with the outside world. One special issue we did was a send-up of China’s Cultural Revolution. It was titled “The People’s Pointer,” and we photographed cadets holding up their Bugle Notes in a parody of Mao’s Little Red Book.

Sadly, the last issue of The Pointer was printed in spring 1996 after a couple years of extensive content editing by the powers that be, and there was only one advertiser to defray the cost of production. By this time, most of the literary submissions (poetry, short stories, and artwork) were incorporated into the Circle and the Spiral journal, which began in 1991.

Barbara Maroney, DCA’s Publications Coordinator from 1988-2000, remarked that there were some really talented artists on the staff that did not have another outlet to showcase their work, both serious and satirical. To fill the gap after The Pointer ceased publication, Mike Nemeth ’04 was well known for creating an underground satirical newsletter under the auspices of “Centerstall” during his time as a cadet. With the current prevalence of publishing software, photo manipulation, and social media, cadet humor can be created and transmitted almost instantaneously. The Commandant in 1923, Colonel Merch B. Stewart, Class of 1896, could not have foreseen changes in technology but did predict in the initial 1923 issue: “The Pointer assumes for itself a mission of more than immediate importance.” Mission accomplished. Thank you to The Pointer for brightening the gray of West Point! 

64 WestPointAOG.org PAST IN REVIEW Photos and images: The Pointer archives
Charles Westenhoff ’74: My favorite product of my time as editor in chief Cartoon from the 50th anniversary issue of The Pointer, “The Children’s Book of West Point” by John Calabro ’68 and Geary Danihy ex-’68. Left: 1980 advertisement for The Pointer Right: 1938 cartoon by Joseph Dickman ’39.

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