West Point Magazine Winter 2022

Page 54

WINTER 2022 In This Issue: Character Education at West Point A Publication of the West Point Association of Graduates WEST POINT ASSOCIATION OF GRADUATE S
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IN THIS ISSUE |

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, 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

DESIGN

Marguerite Smith

CONTENT

Keith Hamel Erika Norton

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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: Cadets stand with sabers drawn during a Graduation Parade on the Plain.

Character Education at West Point

5 COVER STORY | The System Meets the Framework: Character Education at USMA

A Character Education Framework dedicated to the acquisition and development of key virtues has been incorporated into the West Point Leader Development System

9 Integrating Character at West Point

15 Margin of Excellence Program Aids

2022 Rhodes Scholars

18 The Writing Way and Wellness Day

24 2021 Nininger Award Presented to COL James R. Enos ’00

28 Army-Navy Weekend 2021

34 Triumphant Thriller in Texas!

35 USMA 2022 Branch Night

36 Inside Character Development: The Simon Center for the Professional Military Ethic

38 Building Sentinels of Trust: MX400, the Superintendent’s Capstone Course on Officership

42 The Cadet Character Education Program

46 The Committee Leads, The System Evolves, The Code Endures

The Cadet Honor Code, System, and Committee form a triumvirate that sets USMA apart from other schools and binds all generations of the Long Gray Line.

52 2021 Thayer Award: Dr. Mae C. Jemison

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56 The Art of Horsemanship and the West Point Equestrian Team

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VOLUME 12, ISSUE 1 • WINTER 2022 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. From Your West Point Association of Graduates
Photo: Matthew Moeller/USMA PAO
From the Chairman
4 From the Superintendent
14 Gripping Hands
WPAOG
Military Retiree Recognition Program
16 Mailbox
WPAOG News
Corner
27 Parents
Poster:
Be Thou at Peace
Past in Review DEPARTMENTS ADVERTISERS Balfour 59 Century 21 C2 Citizens Watch C4 Battle Monument Group 17 The Gift Shop 27 Herff Jones 45 Patriots Colony 45 SACC 21 USAA 1, C3
Michie Stadium— First Sellout Since COVID Pandemic 62
63

Dear Fellow Graduates:

Serving as Chairman of our Association of Graduates for the past four years has been an inspirational and satisfying experience. I leave with a heightened sense of pride and admiration for our alma mater, WPAOG and you, our graduates. Those of us fortunate enough to have the opportunity to serve in WPAOG governance positions fully understand that the essence of our organization is our strong, vibrant alumni body. Your Board and Advisory Council, along with the dedicated professionals at Herbert Hall, exist to serve West Point and the entire Long Gray Line. In doing so we are ever mindful of our vision to be the most highly connected alumni body in the world. The past four years have demonstrated the resiliency and resourcefulness of your Association in the face of multiple challenges.

As I began my tenure as Chairman, WPAOG was well on its way to planning the 150th anniversary of the 1869 founding of our Association. Throughout 2019, we rejoiced together in honoring the past, celebrating the present, and embracing the future. Some of the euphoria began to dissipate in 2020 as our institution and graduates confronted nationwide social unrest and hyper-partisan politics along with the threat of COVID. We learned that our expanding, increasingly younger and more diverse graduate body held widely differing views on contemporary issues, and those issues had a profound effect on how we viewed certain aspects of our past and chartered our course for the future. Though fissures began to appear within our ranks, it is my belief that our ability to openly discuss differences, embrace necessary change, and focus on common bonds rather than divergent views made us stronger. Since 1869 your alumni association has evolved with the needs of West Point and its graduates. We will continue to evolve as we strive to serve all, while relying on the continuity embedded in our shared values and ideals.

In early March 2020, as the world was forced to adjust to the realities of the COVID pandemic, there were correspondingly drastic changes to the way of life at West Point for cadets, staff and faculty, and WPAOG. Undeterred by the necessity to work remotely, the WPAOG staff continued to meet the needs of the Academy and Long Gray Line. Your leadership team at Herbert Hall not only continued the march but added new programs and services for graduates. After standing up an AOG Emergency Operations Center, they launched a new suicide prevention program and created virtual versions of major events like Reunions, Founders Days, Donor Tribute Days, and an Army-Navy Tailgate that I’m convinced helped us to a resounding victory over Navy at Michie Stadium in December 2020. Perhaps there is no better example of perseverance in the midst of COVID than the alumni-funded, specially produced program for the 2020 Graduation. Through graduate generosity, WPAOG made it possible to livestream the event so that family members, friends, and others denied access due to health restrictions could celebrate with members of the Class of 2020. We also continued to advance alumni support initiatives begun prior to COVID. These include an enhanced Career Services Program and the Sallyport app. The former now offers a comprehensive menu of services and programs and has helped hundreds of grads making the transition to a post-military career or

between civilian positions, while the latter enables West Point Societies to leverage technology to manage memberships, communications, and events to increase graduate engagement and facilitate networking. Sallyport now includes Grad Link, which connects graduates to one another around the world.

Commitment to support the cadet experience and enhance the Academy’s competitiveness for attracting our nation’s best and brightest cadets and faculty remain steadfast goals. Recent WPAOG gift-funded construction and renovation projects include the Anderson Athletic Center, the new home for the Army West Point Sprint Football, Volleyball and Softball teams; the General Crosbie E. Saint Equestrian Center, an indoor riding area and stables built to support the Cadet Equestrian Team and the community; and the Ulysses S. Grant Monument on the Plain. Completion of multiple construction projects and hundreds of Margin of Excellence enhancements to the cadet experience attest to your generous support for the Academy. Thanks to your philanthropic spirit and the superb efforts of our Development, Finance and Investment agencies, over the past four years we have doubled our funds under management to an all-time high of well over $500M. During the same period the alumni participation rate increased from 32 to 38 percent, which puts us ahead of most Ivy League institutions and far ahead of the other service academies. To maintain momentum in support of West Point, we recently launched the next comprehensive fundraising campaign, which you will hear more about in the coming months.

There is much for the Long Gray Line and your Association to be proud of over the last four years: ever-expanding initiatives to connect and embrace all graduates; increasing engagement with cadets, parents, and surviving spouses; and achieving national recognition for excellence by earning GuideStar’s highest rating for a nonprofit and garnering eight American Business Awards and 12 Council for the Advancement of Education Awards for our programs in support of cadets and graduates. Moreover, we enjoy increasingly close working relationships with USMA, AWPAA and the entire West Point community. These relations are facilitated through the energetic, wholistic leadership of Lieutenant General Darryl Williams ’83, a Superintendent who fully appreciates and exclaims the important role of WPAOG in accomplishing the West Point mission.

WPAOG remains committed to meet the changing needs of West Point and its graduates. We enjoy a continuous flow of volunteers who today populate our exceptionally talented, professional, and aware Board of Directors and Advisory Council, as well as a dedicated, selfless collection of Class, Society and Parents Club leaders. Our next Chair will lead the most diverse Board in our history and benefit from the continuity of a seasoned management staff under the leadership of our accomplished President & CEO, Todd Browne. I depart forever thankful for the opportunity to serve you and West Point and fully confident that under Bob McDonald’s stewardship WPAOG will continue to evolve and excel. Go Army!

WEST POINT | WINTER 2022 3 FROM THE CHAIRMAN

Fellow Members of the Long Gray Line:

It was great to welcome many of you back to West Point this past fall for class reunions, football games and other Academy and alumni events. I enjoyed connecting with you, both here and throughout the country through various engagements, and am always inspired by your support, commitment and passion for your alma mater and the Corps of Cadets.

As you read this, the Corps is back in action after a well-deserved winter break and an outstanding fall semester. Our cadets demonstrated excellence in every endeavor, from the classroom to the fields of friendly strife. We retained the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy at West Point with an exciting overtime win over Air Force in Arlington, Texas, played a hard-fought game against Navy at MetLife Stadium, and returned to Fort Worth to take on Missouri in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl.

I’m also pleased to announce that Krista Flinkstrom, Veronica Lucian, Hannah Blakey and our First Captain Holland Pratt were among the 32 nationally selected Rhodes Scholars for 2022, while Emma San Martin, Henry Thompson and Tommy Hall were named 2022 Marshall Scholars. This year, we lead the nation with the most Marshall Scholars and tied with Harvard University for first in the nation for most Rhodes Scholars. This marks West Point’s best year ever with the most combined Rhodes and Marshall Scholars and reflects the tremendous academic excellence inherent here.

One of the highlights of fall semester 2021 was USMA’s participation in the annual Association of the United States Army (AUSA) annual meeting and exposition in Washington, DC. Cadets engaged with Army senior leaders and showcased some of their great research that supports Army modernization priorities. In addition, USMA and Army leaders, past and present, were featured in a panel discussion about the importance of character as the essential ingredient to building cohesive teams.

The United States Army is guided by a “People First” mindset and a “Winning Matters” attitude. People are the Army’s greatest strength and most important weapon system, and we win because of our talented people. People accomplish the Army’s mission to deploy, fight, and win against any adversary, anytime and anywhere, on the increasingly complex and dynamic 21st century battlefield.

People are the core of Army readiness because they grow into cohesive teams, where each member of the team takes care of the other and everyone treats each other with dignity and respect, while doing the right things in the right way.

At the United States Military Academy, we contribute to Army readiness through the approximately 1,000 new officers we graduate each year who will lead those cohesive teams to fight and win in the crucible of ground combat. Throughout their 47month experience at West Point, we develop cadets into leaders of character who are trained, disciplined, and fit.

Character is the essential ingredient—the “secret sauce,” if you will—to cohesive teams and ultimately to readiness. Leaders of

character create trust within their units, which is the foundation upon which to build and sustain cohesion. And cohesive teams are the foundation to Army readiness at all levels. Simply put, character creates cohesion, which creates readiness.

Character development is the most important thing we do at West Point because it’s critically important to readiness. That’s also why one of our lines of effort is cultivating a culture of character growth that is central to our leader development approach. We deliberately and purposefully integrate character into every aspect of the cadets’ experience, from the classroom to the locker room and everything in between. Cultivating this culture means that character development is a team sport, where every member of the USMA Team—staff, faculty, coaches, and alumni—has a role in developing character in these future leaders.

The education, training, and lessons cadets learn at West Point sustain them as they graduate and commission into the Army and lead cohesive teams that will fight and win on the 21st century battlefield. They’ll be successful and win not just because they’re competent, but because they’re leaders of character who will create the trust within their units necessary to build and sustain cohesion. They’ll live honorably, lead honorably, and demonstrate excellence and character, in both the big decisions as well as the numerous little decisions every leader makes daily. They’ll demonstrate character in those “middle of the night” decisions when no one is looking. They’ll win in those complex and uncertain environments and in those moments where character rises.

Those who have had the responsibility and privilege of leadership in the Army understand the importance of character, and so does the Corps. At the AUSA panel, our First Captain Holland Pratt explained that part of character, cohesion and readiness is the ability to trust and rely on your teammates in tough situations. “Your team was successful not because [its members] all had individual techniques that made you special,” she said. “Your team was successful because you all could rely on one another to do your individual parts to accomplish that mission set.”

This issue of West Point magazine focuses on character and its primacy in our leader development efforts. In this issue, several leaders from across the Academy explain the importance of character development and our efforts as an institution to build and cultivate a culture of character growth, to include the great work of the Simon Center for the Professional Military Ethic and the new Character Integration Advisory Group, and the new character education initiatives introduced during last year’s Cadet Summer Training.

On behalf of the USMA Team, thank you for all you do for our Academy and the Corps of Cadets, and best wishes to you and your families for a happy and healthy 2022!

4 WestPointAOG.org FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT

The System Meets the Framework: Character Education at USMA

The United States Military Academy at West Point has always made it its mission to develop leaders of character. For the last generation or so, the model used for this mission has been the West Point Leader Development System (WPLDS). WPLDS is the integration of individual leader development across USMA’s four pillar programs (academic, military, physical, character) with leadership development opportunities throughout the West Point 47-month experience.

WEST POINT | WINTER 2022 5
Photo: Tommy Gilligan/USMA PAO

Moral Virtues

Character traits that respect the humanity of ourselves and others, enabling healthy relationships.

Examples:

courage, compassion, honesty, justice, respect

Thesecond category mentioned includes formal and progressive leadership roles within the Corps of Cadets (both during the academic year and summer training) as well as abiding by the Cadet Honor Code, participating in formal ceremonies to mark milestones, and living within a culture whose members are dedicated to building, reinforcing, and refining leadership and character growth. Cadets who complete the WPLDS model become graduates who live honorably, lead honorably, and demonstrate excellence. In other words, they take morally and ethically appropriate actions regardless of personal consequences (live honorably), they enforce standards and influence others to achieve the mission in accordance to Army values (lead honorably), and they make sound and timely decisions, seeking feedback regarding these choices and reflecting on that feedback (demonstrate excellence).

Civic Virtues

Character traits that serve the common good, enabling thriving communities.

Examples:

citizenship, civility, neighborliness, service, volunteering

With the establishment of the Character Integration Advisory Group (CIAG) in January 2020, a Character Education Framework has been introduced to WPLDS to guide the Academy’s effort to graduate leaders of character. This Framework is an adaption of a pioneering research project undertaken by the Jubilee Center for Character & Virtues, which is housed within the University of Birmingham in England. According to “A Framework for Character Education in Schools,” which could be thought of as the Jubilee Center’s manifesto, “Flourishing is the aim of character education.” Most people understand “flourishing” as achieving happiness in life, but for the Jubilee Center and its approach to character education it also means fulfilling one’s potential. A West Point graduate flourishes by becoming an exemplar leader of character, but to get to this stage requires the acquisition and development of key virtues, which is the point of character education at West Point.

“We don’t commission a cadet who can’t pass the Indoor Obstacle Course Test, nor should we commission a cadet with poor character,” says Dr. Scott Parsons, CIAG’s Character Development Integrator for USMA’s Military Program. “We understand that the moral reasoning of an 18- to 22-year-old cadet is not at the same level of an officer in their 30s and 40s, but research shows that developing habituation—bringing up virtues, discussing them, and giving cadets opportunities to practice them—will go a long way to helping West Point achieve its mission of developing leaders of character,” Parsons says.

6 WestPointAOG.org THE SYSTEM MEETS THE FRAMEWORK: CHARACTER EDUCATION AT USMA
Photos: Brandon O’Connor; Mike Strasser/USMA PAO
“Research shows that developing habituation—bringing up virtues, discussing them, and giving cadets opportunities to practice them—will go a long way to helping West Point achieve its mission of developing leaders of character.”
— Dr. Scott Parsons, CIAG

Two of the virtues that West Point seeks to instill in cadets— moral virtues and intellectual virtues—go all the way back to Aristotle. Moral virtues, such as compassion and respect, are traits that respect the humanity of ourselves and others, enabling healthy relationships; while intellectual virtues, such as critical thinking and reflection, are traits that enhance learning, enabling the pursuit of knowledge and truth. Two additional virtues that West Point wants cadets to master are neoAristotelian constructs: civic virtues, or traits that serve the common good (e.g., civility and service), and performance virtues, or traits that make it possible for intentions or goals to be realized or achieved (e.g., confidence, perseverance, teamwork). Finally, West Point has introduced martial virtues into the mix, which are virtues that are vitally important to the Army profession, including duty, honor, and patriotism. “The Framework encourages people to develop virtues that are important to their profession,” notes Parsons.

With these virtues in place, West Point makes known to cadets early on the traits they will need to succeed as a leader of character in the U.S. Army. “While they should pick up on these positive character traits over their time in the Army, especially if they reach the field-grade officer level, we want to introduce these virtues to cadets early on to get them to think of these virtues in the context of their academic classes and military training so that West Point can fulfill its mission of graduating and commissioning leaders of character,” Parsons says. “The Framework helps us be very deliberate in our character education process and development process.”

Intellectual Virtues

Character traits that enhance learning and thinking, enabling the pursuit of knowledge and truth.

Examples:

autonomy, critical thinking, judgment, reasoning, reflection

Virtue literacy is an essential component within the Framework. “You can’t really talk about the traits essential to our profession unless you understand their definitions and how they work in context,” says Parsons. “If left up to our own devices, someone might think of empathy as simply being kind to someone, someone else might think of it as putting oneself in another’s shoes, and a third might see empathy as helping someone further his or her cause in some way.” Similar to the way in which soldiers learn the meaning of Army acronyms, Parsons believes that character education needs a common lexicon so that cadets, officers, NCOs, and civilians at the Academy all have a common understanding of virtues and how they apply to the Army profession.

There is a second stage to virtue literacy that the Character Education Framework at West Point works to develop among cadets. This involves developing the ability and willpower to apply virtues in real-life contexts. Within this stage virtue literacy

Performance Virtues

Character traits that make it possible for intentions to be realized, enabling the achievement of goals.

Examples:

confidence, motivation, perseverance, resilience, teamwork

WEST POINT | WINTER 2022 7 THE SYSTEM MEETS THE FRAMEWORK: CHARACTER EDUCATION AT USMA
Photos: Elizabeth Woodruff/USMA PAO
“You can’t really talk about the traits essential to our profession unless you understand their definitions and how they work in context.”
— Dr. Scott Parsons, CIAG

Military (Martial) Virtues

Character traits that must be exceptionally strong to serve honorably in the Profession of Arms.

Examples:

patriotism, courage, honor, discipline, selflessness, duty

also takes into account virtue perception, or noticing situations calling for the application of virtues, and virtue reasoning, or discernment and deliberative action about virtues, including situations during which virtues conflict or collide.

But the Character Education Framework is more than just the two stages of virtue literacy. At West Point it is also about practicing virtuous behavior. “You can read a book or watch a video online on how to shoot free throws in basketball, but until you go out and actually practice taking shots and develop the muscle memory needed to get better each day you will not develop excellence in the sport,” says Parsons. “The same idea applies to a virtuous act say, courage or gratitude.” By practicing virtuous behavior, during which some virtues will collide (e.g., following the toleration clause of the Honor Code versus being loyal to your “battle buddy” in the vein of adhering to the Warrior Ethos), cadets will develop practical wisdom, or what Aristotelian philosophy calls “phronesis.” Through experience and critical reflection over their 47-month experience, cadets gain practical wisdom from a variety of situations that enable them to perceive, understand, and act admirably in complex situations, sometimes even in situations for which virtues are in conflict or for which all options are regrettable. But the more they practice phronesis, the more they begin to embody moral, intellectual, civic, performance, and martial virtues, and the more they become leaders of character who live honorably, lead honorably, and demonstrate excellence. 

Phronesis

Phronesis is the virtue that enables us to perceive, understand, and act admirably in complex situations. This includes discerning what to do and how to do it in situations where virtues conflict or when all options are regrettable.

8 WestPointAOG.org THE SYSTEM MEETS THE FRAMEWORK: CHARACTER EDUCATION AT USMA
Photos: Christopher Hennen/USMA PAO; Nile Clarke
“While they should pick up on these positive character traits over their time in the Army, especially if they reach the field-grade officer level, we want to introduce these virtues to cadets early on to get them to think of these virtues in the context of their academic classes and military training so that West Point can fulfill its mission of graduating and commissioning leaders of character.”
— Dr. Scott Parsons, CIAG

Integrating Character at West Point

InJanuary 2019, the Office of People Analytics released the results of the 2018 Service Academy Gender Relations Survey (SAGR), which was conducted on behalf of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. According to the survey, the rates of unwanted sexual contact at the United States Military Academy increased for both women and men in 2018 compared to the 2016 SAGR. Internal USMA data showing rising levels of toleration, sub-unit loyalties, and behavior-revealing character problems among the Corps compounded the problem. Lieutenant General Darryl Williams ’83, the 60th USMA Superintendent, knowing that character development is the primary mission of West Point, vowed to confront the problem and reverse its impact at the Academy.

Enter the CIAG, the Character Integration Advisory Group at West Point.

The CIAG was formed based on the recommendation of the Character Integration Tiger Team (CITT), an ad hoc committee the Superintendent commissioned in the fall of 2019 to address character matters. The CITT was co-chaired by Dr. Jeffrey Peterson ’87, who was serving as the Chair for the Study of Officership at the Simon Center for Professional Military Ethic (SCPME), and Colonel Darcy Schnack ’96, the Director of the Center for Enhanced Performance. As the CITT investigated character matters at the Academy, it started to realize that, despite all the great systems and programs that West Point has in place for character development, there was an

WEST POINT | WINTER 2022 9 Photo: Submitted
Top Row: (left to right) Mr. Paul Berghaus ’95, Spiritual Wellness Advisor; Dr. Jeffrey Peterson ’87, CIAG Director; Dr. Scott Parsons, Military Integrator. Middle Row: (left to right) Dr. Elise Dykhuis, Data Analyst; Dr. Ray Fredrick, USMAPS Integrator; Dr. Orin Strauchler, Holistic Wellness Integrator. Bottom Row: (left to right) Dr. Elizabeth Snyder, Academic Integrator; Ms. Nadine Dubina, Physical Integrator; Dr. Yasmine Kalkstein, Lead Character Integrator; Dr. Ryan Erbe, Emotional Wellness Advisor.

overall character accountability and integration issue. In other words, the systems and programs for character development were compartmentalized and not necessarily integrated to create the conditions for maximum character growth. To improve this situation, the CIAG was established in January 2020 with Peterson as its first Director.

The initial mission of the CIAG was to “Elevate, promote, integrate, and lead character development within the West Point Leader Development System.” That mission has evolved to become “To integrate character development and advise leaders on matters related to character development.” “The goal of the CIAG isn’t to take over or direct character development but rather to start putting in place accountability—an understanding of what is happening where, what the gaps are, and what the redundancies are,” says Dr. Yasmine Kalkstein, the CIAG’s Lead Integrator. “While character-related training and education is executed all over USMA, it is the CIAG’s responsibility to know about it, advise on it, and integrate it into the overall flow of the West Point mission.”

To assist in fulfilling its mission, the CIAG has hired a team of nine integrators, highly credentialed academics from diverse

backgrounds who can assist with creating initiatives and who can monitor any character development gaps within the West Point Leader Development System. “In addition to integrating within different directorates of the Academy (such as ODIA or USCC), our integrators are also teaching in numerous departments—Math, Behavioral Sciences and Leadership, English and Philosophy, Geography and Environmental Engineering, Physical Education, Center for Enhanced Performance, and the Prep School—which allows us to have a more holistic understanding of everything going on at West Point and thus advise the Superintendent on character issues impacting the Academy,” says Kalkstein. Not only do the integrators address the major West Point programs (academic, military, and physical) as they relate to character, they also integrate areas pertaining to wellness into character, including spiritual wellness, socio-emotional wellness, and holistic wellness. “Wellness is essential to character,” says Kalkstein. “We operate under the assumption that improving overall wellness leads cadets to be more likely to choose the harder right over the easier wrong.”

Another interesting point that Kalkstein highlights about her team is that they are all civilians, with some coming from

10 WestPointAOG.org INTEGRATING CHARACTER AT WEST POINT
Live Honorably Right Actions Right Time Right Motivation Right Attitude Relational Character Application of virtues that promote healthy relationships and wellness Professional Character Application of virtues in a military context to serve the nation honorably. Lead Honorably Solve Problems Accomplish Mission Include Others Steward Profession CultureofCharacterGrowth CultureofCharacterGrowth RoleModels StructuredRe ection GrowthMindset ArmyEthic SocialNorms
Culture of Character Growth Rewards Developmental Experiences Punishments Cadet Honor Code, Respect Creed, Cadet Creed VIRTUES Moral, Civic, Military, Intellectual, Performance Relational Character PHRONESIS Trustworthy Character Professional Character Character Education and Culture of Character Growth
CIAG Mission:
To integrate character development and advise leaders on matters related to character development.
Policies/Rules

Character Growth Seminar Pilot

One of the Character Integration Advisory Group’s (CIAG) pilot programs is CG100, a year-long seminar for plebes that supports their character growth as they transition from adolescence to emerging adulthood and from civilian to military life. According to Dr. Ryan G. Erbe, the Emotional Wellness Advisor for the CIAG and one of the professors teaching the course, the course challenges cadets to examine their values from two perspectives: the values they bring to West Point from their upbringing and the values they have committed to uphold by becoming a West Point cadet. As a result, the course pursues a number of objectives in the character development of these first-year cadets, including laying a solid foundation of the West Point Honor System, integrating them within the Army profession, fostering virtue literacy, and incorporating practical skills and habits of reflection in order to foster growth in both relational and professional character. Developing leaders of character is the core of USMA’s mission; however, prior to CG100, cadets didn’t seem to have a unified orientation to Army values, the West Point Honor System, and officership. “To date, there is no course specifically and explicitly devoted to the character development of cadets,” Erbe said. “This pilot is being tried

to fill that gap.” Erbe believes there is a real advantage to experiencing a weekly, consistent seminar focused on individual character growth that isn’t about grades. Currently, the once-a-week course is being piloted with two plebe cohorts, a total of 72 cadets, who are participating in the seminar in lieu of the Cadet Character Education Program (CCEP, see page 42). A combination of instructors from the Simon Center for Professional Military Ethics, the CIAG, and the Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention program teach the course. Last fall, CG100 was taught by Dr. Pete Kilner (SCPME), Dr. Orin Strauchler (CIAG), Ms. Stacey Rosenberg (SHARP), Dr. Corrine Wilsey (SHARP), and Dr. Ryan Erbe (CIAG).

“We are relying on cadet perspectives, faculty perspectives, TAC perspectives, and survey data to assess the outcomes we are interested in related to character development before scaling up CG100,” Erbe said. “Pending the results of our pilot, the decision to become a more permanent seminar will involve USMA leadership creating the time and space if they view this as a priority.”

Text adapted from westpoint.edu/node/5631 and used with permission.

WEST POINT | WINTER 2022 11 INTEGRATING CHARACTER AT WEST POINT Photo: USMA PAO

military backgrounds. This allows them to have a long view regarding character development at West Point. “We want to have a view that extends several years into the future,” she says. “When you think about culture change within an institution, you need to think in years, not weeks.” And the CIAG is also forward looking, hoping to positively affect character issues not just at West Point but within the Army as well. “The character issues we are tackling at the CIAG are not just West Point problems; they are Army problems,” Kalkstein says. “We are trying to impact and influence the next generation of leaders who are going to have to deal with these problems in their units and beyond.”

To this end, the CIAG has begun piloting courses and introducing programs into Cadet Summer Training that create an integrated 47-month character development experience for cadets. The goal of all these programs is to cultivate virtues within cadets so that they can become model officers within the Profession of Arms. These virtues include moral virtues, traits that respect the humanity of oneself and others; civic virtues, traits that serve the community or common good; intellectual virtues, traits that enhance learning and thinking; and performance virtues, traits that make it possible to achieve goals.

CIAG Staff Positions

Lead Integrator (SCPME)

Data Analyst/Scientist (SCPME)

Spiritual Wellness (SCPME)

Program Integrator (CMDT-Military)

Program Integrators (CMDT-Physical)

Holistic Wellness (CMDT)

Program Integrator (Dean-Academic)

Emotional Wellness (Dean-CEP)

Program Integrator (USMAPS)

“We want to develop a broad character approach for cadets so that they always do the right thing, at the right time, and for the right reason,” says Dr. Jeffrey Peterson, CIAG Director.

According to Dr. Elise Dykhuis, CIAG’s Data Analyst, and Dr. Peter Meindl, SCPME’s Chair for Honor and Character Assessment, the Academy is currently working on assessing the above virtues among cadets from a variety of angles. “We take a quantitative and qualitative approach to measuring cadets’ character,” they say. “We lean on surveys—self-report, peer evaluations, and post climate surveys—to assess the overall state of the Corps, but we also conduct focus groups to gain further insights into survey results.” In the future, Dykhuis and Meindl plan on using more “performance” (i.e., behavioral) measures to better assess character. “Assessing character is difficult, but, when it’s done right, it can add fuel to character development efforts in a number of different ways,” they say.

Looking to the future herself, Kalkstein has several initiatives she hopes that the CIAG can soon implement. “Knowing how character can be both caught and taught, there is a real opportunity for faculty development,” she says. She also wants to find ways to make the lessons that the CIAG impart more personal and meaningful through inspirational and motivational teaching methods. “I believe the content is there, but we need to find the best way to inspire and motivate cadets,” Kalkstein says. Finally, she would like to add a research and development element to the CIAG, which would allow the group to pilot novel approaches to developing character. “This is an amazing place full of motivated people who want to do great things… and in so many cases they are already doing great things!” Kalkstein says, “but I think there are opportunities to help connect these ideas, advise on them, and make things better.”

“Developing character is more complex than we have thought in the past, when we assumed that a cadet’s character was fully formed by the time he or she arrived at the Academy,” says Peterson. “With the CIAG and its virtue-ethics framework—guided by the idea that character is ‘caught’ within West Point’s culture, ‘taught’ in a theoretically sound educational sequence, and ‘sought’ by cadets who want to strengthen their character—West Point is committed more than ever to developing leaders of character who live honorably, lead honorably, and demonstrate excellence.” 

12 WestPointAOG.org INTEGRATING CHARACTER AT WEST POINT
“With the CIAG and its virtue-ethics framework—guided by the idea that character is ‘caught ’ within West Point’s culture, ‘taught ’ in a theoretically sound educational sequence, and ‘sought ’ by cadets who want to strengthen their character—West Point is committed more than ever to developing leaders of character who live honorably, lead honorably, and demonstrate excellence.”
— Dr. Jeffrey Peterson ’87, CIAG Director

Relational Character Course Pilot

USMA’s other pilot course is RC101. Labeled “Relational Character,” this course applies virtues to healthy relationships and overall wellness. According to Ms. Stacey Rosenberg, the Program Deputy Manager for West Point’s Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) program and the course’s creator, RC101 is designed to help cadets become better grounded in the Army values: loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage. “Before one can support others, individuals must look inward to assess their own values and beliefs,” Rosenberg said.

The course teaches cadets about harmful behaviors, as well as intervention and prevention techniques when it comes to topics such as trauma, bystander intervention, sexism, racism, and cultural norms. By the end of the course, cadets should know how to develop and lead training sessions and discussions involving these and other sensitive topics. “We want to ensure that our cadet leadership has been trained in how to lead others in this space,” Rosenberg said, citing the after-effects of an unhealthy relationship and dealing with the death of a loved one as popular topics. This course was developed in response to the Army’s goal of reducing—with the aspirational goal of ultimately eliminating—the corrosive elements of sexism, sexual harassment, sexual assault, racism and extremism within units.

In line with the Army People Strategy’s Strategic Outcomes, by 2028 the goal is to have all members of the Army treat one another with “dignity and respect, retaining the trust and confidence of both the American people and each other.”

“We are actively reshaping the culture of USMA towards one of true dignity and respect for all people—a culture where sexual violence, racial violence, and other forms of violence and discrimination are simply not tolerated,” Rosenberg said.

In the first iteration of the RC101 pilot, each TAC selected one cadet from his or her company, for a total of 36 cadets, to attend the course virtually during STAP 2 in the summer of 2020. The intention was for these cadets to support their companies during AY 2020-21 as Trust and Respect cadets.

In the summer of 2021, 20 self-selected cadets, including this year’s Trust Captain and the majority of the regimental and brigade-level Trust staff, attended a week-long intensive version of RC101. The Academy conducted this course as a pilot over two consecutive summers and is now working on making this a permanent course. Rosenberg taught both pilots with support from other Academy instructors. The details around who else may be teaching in the future are still being worked out, but the intention is for SHARP Prevention Specialists to continue to lead the teaching effort.

WEST POINT | WINTER 2022 13 INTEGRATING CHARACTER AT WEST POINT Photo: CDT Marco Copat ’22/USMA PAO

Gripping Hands

1976

Hiring Our Heroes Honors McDonald

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes initiative presented its 2021 President’s Award for Lifetime Achievement to the Honorable Robert A. McDonald ’75, 8th Secretary of Veterans Affairs and retired Chairman, President and CEO of Procter & Gamble, for his leadership in creating long-term economic opportunities that allow transitioning service members, veterans, military spouses, and caregivers to thrive in their careers. “His commitment to our heroes continues through his advocacy for veterans transitioning to civilian life,” said President Barack Obama in a November 17 letter congratulating McDonald.

WPAOG Annual Meeting Election Results

On November 16, 2021, at the WPAOG Annual Meeting, the following members were elected to positions on the Board of Directors and the Advisory Council:

For three-year term as Chair of the Board beginning January 1, 2022: Robert A. McDonald ’75

For three-year term as Vice Chair of the Board beginning January 1, 2022: Herman E. Bulls ’78

For three-year term as Director beginning January 1, 2022:

Mark W. House ’80

Dana J.H. Pittard ’81

Scott M. Sauer ’86

Charles C. Correll Jr. ’89

Erica Jeffries Purdo ’98

For two-year term as Director beginning January 1, 2022, to serve the unexpired term of the Director elected as Board Chair: Thomas E. Ayres ’84

For three-year term as Advisor-at-Large beginning January 1, 2022:

Douglass S. Heckman ’81

William E. Rapp ’84

Elizabeth G. Kubala ’93

Amanda M. Coussoule ’97

Hise Gibson ’97

Christopher F. Oliver ’02

1982

Gorsky Joins Apple’s Board of Directors

Alex Gorsky, Chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson, has been elected to Apple’s Board of Directors. “Alex has long been a visionary in healthcare, applying his tremendous insight, experience, and passion for technology to the cause of improving lives and building healthier communities,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.

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 Class

COL Christopher W. Wendland 1994

LTC Andrew R. Atkins 2000

LTC Andrew D. Swedberg 2000

MAJ Robert D. Gordon 2000

14 WestPointAOG.org GRIPPING HANDS
Photos: Provided by J&J’s Communications Group; WPAOG archives
“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

Margin of Excellence Program Aids 2022 Rhodes Scholars

Four cadets from the Class of 2022—Hannah Blakey, Krista Flinkstrom, Veronica Lucian, and Holland Pratt—were among the 32 U.S. Rhodes Scholarship awardees named on November 21, 2021. The last time West Point had four Rhodes Scholars in one year was in 1959. With four recipients, USMA tied Harvard for the most Rhodes Scholars heading to the University of Oxford to study for a master’s degree in the fall of 2022.

“These cadets epitomize what it means to be a soldierscholar and exemplify the diverse intellectual capital that West Point provides for the nation,” said Brigadier General Shane Reeves ’96, Dean of the Academic Board. “As we celebrate this historic Rhodes cohort, we also celebrate the tremendous team that supported them through this process and their four years at West Point.”

Part of that support comes from the Graduate Scholarship Program, a Margin of Excellence initiative sponsored by the West Point Association of Graduates. The program consists of both a formal course sequence and developmental experiences beyond the classroom. Despite the outcome of their scholarship application, cadets emerge from this program with the skill and experiences needed to become well-rounded leaders who can meet the challenges of the 21st century, as just applying for a graduate scholarship requires them to think critically, work collaboratively, and formulate visions of their future service.

USMA’s 2022 Rhodes Scholars

Cadet Hannah Blakey, a native of Detroit, Michigan, plans to earn a Master of Science in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies, and a Master of Science in EvidenceBased Social Intervention and Policy Evaluation.

Cadet Krista Flinkstrom is an economics major who will pursue a Master of Science in Economics for Development, and a Master of Science in Global Health and Epidemiology.

Cadet Veronica Lucian is a life science major with a minor in nuclear science and as a Rhodes Scholar will read for a Master of Science in Materials, hoping to serve in the U.S. Army as a joint researcher and trauma surgeon.

Cadet Holland Pratt, the First Captain of the Corps of Cadets, will be attending Oxford to study for a Master of Science in Global Governance and Diplomacy, and a Master of Science in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies. 

Learn more about Moments that Matter. Hold over the QR Code image at right and click on the link that appears. Or go to WestPoint AOG .org/2030StrategicPlan

WEST POINT | WINTER 2022 15 MARGIN OF EXCELLENCE PROGRAM AIDS 2022 RHODES SCHOLARS Photo: USMA PAO
Rhodes Scholar winners from the Class of 2022 include (left to right) CDTs Hannah Blakey, Holland Pratt, Veronica Lucian and Krista Flinkstrom.

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: Robert A. Melott ’58

Regarding the article “No Fun Without Music, No Music Without Fun! The West Point Cadet Glee Club” in the 2021 Fall issue, the point about MAJ William H. Schempf becoming the Officer in Charge of the Glee Club in 1957 is incorrect. I was a member of the Glee Club from 1955 until my graduation in 1958. CPT Barry Drewes was the director of the Glee Club in 1955-56, and then CWO Fred W. Boots, on the USMA Band staff, became director of the Glee Club, remaining so at least through June Week of 1958. This is not intended as a criticism of the work of SSG Wren, the author of the article. It is interesting, well written, and to the best of my knowledge otherwise accurate. This is only an effort to correct the record and to give Fred Boots the recognition and appreciation he deserves. Fred Boots was a talented musician, a fine leader, and a good friend to those of us who were fortunate enough to have him as a director.

RESPONSE:

Thank you for your letter to correct the history. SSG Wren looked again into the West Point Band’s records and indeed confirms that CWO Fred Boots directed the ensemble from 1956 to 1958. MAJ William Schempf became Officer in Charge of the Glee Club beginning in 1958. Both she and West Point magazine regret this error.

FROM: Charles T. “Chip” Sniffin ’79

While reviewing the 2021 Fall issue of West Point magazine I came across the two-page layout featuring a wreath laying event at Thayer Monument. I paused to read the quote at the bottom, “History is dependent on the new generation to write a new chapter.” Looking at the picture I was reminded of the History Department poster, from an earlier age, that proudly proclaimed, “Much of the history we teach at the United States Military Academy was made by the people we taught.” I then noted that the featured quote on the picture was attributed to LaMelo Ball. Wait a minute! A quote about history in West Point magazine from LaMelo Ball? Really?

I did notice another quote from Mr. Ball, that sums up my perspective about his inclusion in this issue: “Life is sweet, but sometimes old people just don’t get it.” Although I may be “older,” what I don’t get, in this case, is how or why a professional basketball player with no connection to West

Point and very little connection to substantive history was selected as a history source in West Point magazine?

Additionally, in reviewing Mr. Ball’s history, I learned that in 2017 he was quoted using a very inappropriate racial slur during a “WWE Raw” segment and that an apology was later issued for his comments.

Although Mr. Ball was named by the NBA as the Kia NBA Rookie of the Year for the 2020-21 season, I’m not sure that should qualify him to be quoted in this publication. All said, I hope that the editorial staff of this outstanding magazine will “step up its game” and exercise greater diligence in determining who and what should be featured in future issues.

RESPONSE:

We received several responses regarding the quote used for the 2021 Fall issue’s poster, and we appreciate them all.

The quote was selected more for what it said rather than who said it. The wreath-laying ceremony at Thayer Statue is typically an occasion for which the oldest member of the Long Gray Line in attendance and a representative of the youngest members of the Long Gray Line (cadets) come together to honor the Father of the Academy. In May 2021, due to COVID, then First Captain Reilly McGinnis ’21 placed the wreath solo, on behalf of all USMA alumni. Given this, we felt a quote addressing “history” and a new “generation [writing] a new chapter” to a long-standing tradition was appropriate. We used a keyword search and found what we believed was a suitable quote for the image.

Looking into the matter now, we have learned that the source of this quote is really a 2017 marketing campaign for Ball’s “Big Baller Brand.” When he (or his publicist) said, “History is dependent on the new generation to write the next chapter,” it was aimed at his older brother Lonzo Ball, who was a rookie playing for the Lost Angeles Lakers at the time. In the same marketing video, Ball also said, “Sometimes old people just don’t get it.” Both lines seemed to be said in jest toward his brother, as if he were saying, “Move over big brother, I am coming up, and I’m going to write my own history for our family and the NBA.”

In the future, we will dig deeper into the background of the quotes we use for the poster.

16 WestPointAOG.org MAILBOX
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The Writing Way and Wellness Day

18 WestPointAOG.org
Submitted
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Military Ethic (SCPME),

In addition to learning about Army values and the Cadet Honor Code, new cadets received seven hours of dedicated character training during CBT 2019, mostly focused on the topics of honor and respect. Six hours of this character training included squad-level conversations that drew upon the cadre’s and new cadets’ life experiences and engaged them in thinking about what it means to live honorably as West Point cadets. For CBT 2021, DMI, through support from the Character Integration Advisory Group (CIAG), built upon this character training with new initiatives designed to target the virtue literacy and holistic health of the members of the Class of 2025.

Character Journals

In the fall of 2020, Command Sergeant Major Ken Killingsworth, the 25th Command Sergeant Major of the U.S. Corps of Cadets, observed a new initiative in U.S. Army Basic Training called “The First 100 Yards.” In addition to serving as an adjustment period for new recruits, “The First 100 Yards” initiative placed a great deal of value on the practice of reflection. Killingsworth then approached Dr. Scott Parsons, an Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Ethics within the Department of English and Philosophy and a Character Development Integrator for USMA’s Military Program, and asked for his thoughts. Through his research into character education and neo-Aristotelian virtue ethics, Parsons was familiar with the use of reflection journals in other professions and told Killingsworth that such a journal could assist cadets in their character education and virtue formation at West Point. Killingsworth loved the idea, and Parsons was soon at work developing character journals for CBT 2021.

According to an article Parsons submitted to Good Thought, a journal on virtues published by the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University, “The purpose of the character journal is to aid the cadet in reflecting on their own character and virtues by observing which virtues were the most influential throughout their day.” To assist new cadets with what may have been unfamiliar terminology, each character journal provided the definitions of more than two dozen specific virtues, showing how each corresponded to five specific virtue categories: moral, intellectual, civic, performance, and military. “New cadets were to reflect on the training they did on any given day in terms of three virtues,” Parsons said. “At the end of the week the character journal asked them to reflect on the virtues they used over the week and which of 32 posted virtues they would like to focus on during the next week and why.” To develop the new cadets’ virtue literacy, Parsons spent the dedicated New Cadet Journal

Time of CBT with one squad at a time for an hour after dinner, Tuesday through Thursday, in order to observe and engage with them on character and virtue, and each week he moved to a different CBT company. “Through cadet journaling, cadets became familiar with the ideas of virtues and received a foundation for future virtue literacy,” Parsons said. “This will help them later when they are reflecting more on virtues in the classroom and during their military training about what it means to be a military officer.”

Cadet Alayna Washington ’25 reported that character journaling during CBT allowed her to understand Army and West Point culture better and helped her to create a balance between maintaining a regimented mindset while executing training missions and being resolute in her drive to succeed and remain supportive of her peers. “It helps to sit and think about which virtues we enacted throughout the day: whether it’s staying loyal to the Army, being supportive of one another, or having grit and preparing our minds for officership when we join the Army,” Washington said. “I realized that having grit is important, but the journals made me realize that I need to improve my level of patience as well.”

“The character journals used this summer were an opportunity to help new cadets reflect on virtues and goal setting and to have small group discussions with their squad leader and squadmates about how they can better support each other, know each other, and hold each other accountable,” said CIAG Director Dr. Jeffrey Peterson ’87. “We’ll also run a pilot of a similar programs during Cadet Field Training next summer so that the Class of 2025 will have at least two experiences of incorporating journaling, with its opportunities for reflecting on character growth and building cohesive teams, during two of their four summers at West Point.” Even if a cadet thinks that journaling doesn’t personally benefit him or her, Peterson believes that the

WEST POINT | WINTER 2022 19 THE WRITING WAY AND WELLNESS DAY
In 2019, the United States Military Academy’s Department of Military Instruction (DMI), in conjunction with the Simon Center for the Professional
introduced changes to the ways in which new cadets received character training during Cadet Basic Training (CBT).
“It helps to sit and think about which virtues we enacted throughout the day: whether it’s staying loyal to the Army, being supportive of one another, or having grit and preparing our minds for officership when we join the Army.”
Previous page: CDT Emmett Lepp '23 leads a squad of new cadets in a character journal assignment during Cadet Reflection Hour.
— CDT Alayna Washington ’25

journals are still worthwhile for character development. “There is still an opportunity to get to know your teammates better, there is still an opportunity to better understand the language of virtue and the expectations of a West Point cadet, and there is still an opportunity to improve one’s personal knowledge about character and how it impacts one’s life,” he said.

Wellness Day

A second initiative that DMI introduced for CBT 2021 was Wellness Day, which occurred toward the end of Beast as the new cadets were encamped at Lake Frederick on the West Point Training Reservation. Wellness Day was designed to help them solidify their understanding of character development and to prepare them for the academic year.

Preparation for Wellness Day began several months beforehand. Staff members from the CIAG held a meeting with Killingsworth to discuss the objectives for Wellness Day, which stems from his familiarity with the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program (RASP), an intense, eight-week course designed to test a soldier’s physical and mental strength under extreme conditions. “Our take on RASP can be broken down into three parts,” Killingsworth said: “The first part is the goal setting associated with the military training in Beast; the second part is the character piece, generating discussions every day on character development, character virtues, the importance of

character to the Profession of Arms; and the third part is the concept of wellness.”

Dr. Orin Strauchler, the Holistic Wellness Integrator for CIAG, was responsible for taking the intent of the USCC command sergeant major and turning it into an operational idea to help cadets make sense of their basic training experience. “Command Sergeant Major Killingsworth clarified that ‘morale’ and ‘wellness’ are two different concepts, and one of the guidelines we developed was clearly distinguishing the two so that the new cadets came away from the event with a clear understanding of wellness,” Strauchler said. “I worked closely with the other character development integrators to brainstorm the fun activities that corresponded with the guidelines we had established to help cadets fully intuit what it means to live well and be resilient.”

Throughout Wellness Day new cadets participated in recreational sports, a rock-paper-scissors tournament, talent shows and an awards ceremony. Everything on Wellness Day boiled down to ensuring that every recreational activity or training event taught cadets lessons to strengthen their resolve as an individual and as a team member. Furthermore, the implementation of Wellness Day, which incorporated lessons cadets learned from their character journals, allowed cadets to have discussions on what they learned about themselves during CBT, how they developed character, and how they plan to

20 WestPointAOG.org THE WRITING WAY AND WELLNESS DAY
Photo: Chris Hennen/USMA PAO Dr. Ray Fredrick (center), CIAG's USMAPS Integrator, works with a squad of new cadets during CBT Wellness Day on August 7, 2021.

maintain the momentum of character development and team cohesion into the academic year.

“The problem we typically have is that many cadets believe, ‘I just need grit’ to get through West Point,” said Strauchler. “Grit is important, but it’s not the only element that leads to success and resiliency—teaching cadets that they can rely on each other and that seeking help will make them more resilient is essential to the character development process.” Wellness Day demonstrated to new cadets the importance of support in West Point’s 47-month developmental experience. “It showed them how to express themselves in a way that allows them to deal with internal issues in a constructive, more therapeutic way,” Strauchler said.

The CIAG and the Simon Center for Professional Military Ethic conducted assessment on both character journaling and

Wellness Day. Parsons expects that the benefits from these new initiatives will pay off in four to six years. “It takes time for a new character development program to take off,” he said. “We are laying the foundation now, but by the time the members of the Class of 2025 are the cadre members themselves for a fresh cohort of new cadets, then these novel initiatives will start to become traditional aspects of the West Point character development experience.” 

Edited portions of this article were taken from Jorge Garcia’s article “Sustaining Wellness with Character Development, West Point Educates Cadets on Character Reflection, Team Cohesion,” which appeared in the August 19, 2021 edition of the Pointer View, West Point’s civilian enterprise newspaper. The changes have been approved by Eric Bartelt, Pointer View’s Managing Editor, and they are published with his permission.

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 Explore graduate school options.

WEST POINT | WINTER 2022 21 THE WRITING WAY AND WELLNESS DAY
“Many cadets believe, ‘I just need grit’ to get through West Point. Grit is important, but it’s not the only element that leads to success and resiliency— teaching cadets that they can rely on each other and that seeking help will make them more resilient is essential to the character development process.”
— Dr. Orin Strauchler, Holistic Wellness Integrator, CIAG
To register for any SACC as an attendee or employer, go to sacc-jobfair.com WPAOG Career Services 845.446.1618 Email: careers@wpaog.org WPAOG Career Services can help! If you would like more information about WPAOG Career Services visit wpaogcareers.org WEST POINT ASSOCIATION OF GRADUATE S Planning a career transition? Start here. Jacksonville, FL Feb 24–25, 2022 Washington, DC May 5–6, 2022 San Diego, CA Aug 25–26, 2022 Dallas, TX Oct 27–28, 2022

Listen to the New WPAOG Podcast!

The West Point Association of Graduates recently launched an online podcast, which is distributed through PodBean and is available via Amazon Audible, Google Podcasts, and iHeartRadio. Focusing on tailored audible communications to further inform our alumni on current WPAOG projects, events, and USMA updates, the podcast provides a channel of customized content featuring compelling grad stories for USMA alumni and the West Point community. So far, the podcast has featured interviews from BG (R) Daniel Kaufman ’68, the 12th Dean of the USMA Academic Board; Mike Buddie, the current USMA Director of Athletics; and Dan Futrell, the CEO of the Pat Tillman Foundation. Be sure to follow the podcast to get alerts when new monthly episodes are released. Scan the QR code (above right) to follow the podcast and receive alerts.

Anderson Athletic Center Ribbon Cutting

WPAOG and the Army West Point Athletic Association held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Anderson Athletic Center on October 22, 2021 at West Point. The renovation of the Anderson Athletic Center was made possible by lead donor Mr. Lee Anderson ’61 and his wife, Penny, (pictured below, second and third from right) as well as by other major donors to the project. The center is a state-of-the-art facility for the Army West Point Sprint Football, Softball, and Volleyball teams.

Announcement of WPAOG 2022 Annual Meeting

The Annual Meeting of the membership of the West Point Association of Graduates shall take place on Tuesday, November 15, 2022 at 5:00pm Eastern Time at the Herbert Alumni Center, West Point, New York. At the Annual Meeting, the 2022 election of members of the

Board of Directors and at-large members of the Advisory Council shall take place. Information on the nomination process for Director and Advisor-at-Large positions is published at WestPointAOG.org/nominationpolicy.

22 WestPointAOG.org WPAOG NEWS
Photos: Erika Norton/WPAOG; Nile Clarke
WPAOG News

WPAOG Dedicates New Equestrian Center

The West Point Association of Graduates held a ribboncutting ceremony on October 1, 2021 to officially open the new General Crosbie E. Saint Equestrian Center for the United States Military Academy, named after West Point grad GEN (R) Crosbie E. Saint ’58, who served as commander, United States Army Europe from 1988 to 1992. The equestrian center will feature traditional training for both novice and experienced riders. It will also ensure consistent year-round training for the West Point Equestrian Team and will host equestrian events. During the ribboncutting, WPAOG’s Kristin Sorenson, VP of Development, thanked all the donors whose support made the new facility possible. (See story on page 56.)

WPAOG Hosts Superintendent’s Circle Weekend

WPAOG was honored to host members of the Superintendent’s Circle on September 24 and 25 at the annual Superintendent’s Circle Weekend. The weekend included a Friday evening luau at Herbert Hall with members of the USMA and WPAOG leader teams as well as the Army-Miami OH football game on Saturday.

Superintendent’s Circle Weekend recognized all donors who made gifts of $2,500 or more in 2020 to the Superintendent’s Annual Fund or the West Point Parents Fund.

2021 Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Conference

USMA held the 18th Annual West Point Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Conference on September 9, 2021. The theme of this year’s conference was “Developing Inclusive Leaders for Future Readiness.” The event’s keynote speaker was LTG Gary M. Brito, currently the U.S. Army’s 49th Deputy Chief of Staff, G-1. LTG (R) Joe DeFrancisco ’65, WPAOG Chairman, and Todd Browne ’85, WPAOG President and CEO, also attended and spoke at the conference.

WEST POINT | WINTER 2022 23 WPAOG NEWS
Erika Norton/WPAOG; Nile Clarke WEST POINT ASSOCIATION OF GRADUATE S
Photos:

2021 NININGER AWARD

Presented to COL James R. Enos ’00

Whenthe 2021 recipient for the Alexander R. Nininger Award for Valor at Arms, then Lieutenant Colonel James R. Enos ’00, addressed the West Point Corps of Cadets, he told his audience of future Army officers to prepare for anything.

“When the Class of 2022 graduates in 211 days, you will be the first class in 20 years to graduate when our nation is not at war,” Enos said. “There is no patch chart, no pre-planned deployment schedule. As future platoon leaders, you will have to prepare to deploy at any time.”

Enos stressed the importance of being prepared because, like so many in the Army, what he thought his future career would look like changed in a day. When Enos and the Class of 2000 entered West Point in 1996, the Cold War had just ended, there were no major global adversaries, and only a few staff and faculty had combat experience in places like Grenada, Panama or Kuwait. When his class graduated in May 2000 and entered the Army, the major deployment was a peacekeeping operation in Kosovo. As a platoon leader in the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault),

Enos assumed the Division Ready Force in early September 2001. On September 11, Enos and his team went to work to conduct air assault leader training with no idea the entire trajectory of their Army careers would change that morning. While deployed in Iraq, then Captain Enos was again faced with shifting plans while serving as the company commander for Dog Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment in Ar Ramadi, Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. On Thanksgiving Day in 2006, a local Sheik made a desperate phone call saying his tribe was under attack from al-Qaida. Dog Company had planned on focusing on the city, but they moved to this area which was more rural.

A few days later, on December 4, 2006, Dog Company was participating in an operation to attack and clear the insurgent stronghold of SOFIA and SAJARIAH. That afternoon, one of Enos’s platoons came under fire, and, within 15 minutes, his entire company was receiving heavy enemy fire.

24 WestPointAOG.org Photos: Submitted;
Nile Clarke
Above: West Point Association of Graduates President & CEO Todd A. Browne ’85 congratulates now COL James R. Enos ’00 as he receives the 2021 Alexander R. Nininger Award for Valor at Arms.

“That’s really where training starts to take over,” Enos said in an interview describing the harrowing day. “Especially as a company commander or platoon leader, your job is almost to think two or three steps in advance to figure out how to set conditions and what assets to bring in the fight.”

While under intense fire himself, Enos was able to crawl over and around rooftops to direct devastating close air support, mortar, and artillery strikes onto identified enemy positions. At the same time, he continued to direct four tanks and the fires of his three platoons to suppress and destroy additional enemy positions. Under these covering fires, he directed the evacuation of four badly wounded soldiers, which saved their lives.

Enos was awarded the Silver Star for his actions that day. The citation reads: “Throughout this entire action, Captain Enos demonstrated strong and calm leadership while directing a

chaotic battle and personally under constant enemy fire. His leadership kept the company in the fight and the enemy was killed and driven from the battlefield that day.”

Enos attributes the success of that day not only to his training but also to the fact that, in 2006, almost everyone he worked with had experience in combat. He said he trusted the soldiers to do their jobs, and they did what they needed to do, including the fire supporters who identified, located, and destroyed enemy mortars. He trusted his squad leaders who rushed to the rooftop of a building after it exploded to evacuate the wounded from 2nd Platoon. He trusted his team leaders who exposed themselves to enemy fire to help the wounded to cover, as well as his executive officer, Jeff Pringle, who led the convoy back and forth and up and down a road that nobody had cleared for explosives in order to evacuate the wounded. His radio telephone operator, Corporal

WEST POINT | WINTER 2022 25 2021 NININGER AWARD PRESENTED TO COL JAMES R. ENOS ’00 Photos: Nile Clarke
First Captain Cadet Holland Pratt ’22 presents Enos, the 2021 recipient of the Alexander R. Nininger Award for Valor at Arms, with a gift from the Corps of Cadets. Upon receiving the 2021 Alexander R. Nininger Award for Valor at Arms, Enos delivers his acceptance remarks to distinguished guests and the Corps of Cadets.

Josh Mott, made sure Enos could direct his company while under fire. Several of these soldiers received Bronze Stars for valor that day as well.

In bestowing Enos with the 2021 Nininger Award, the West Point Association of Graduates recognizes his personal bravery and leadership and regards him as a representative of all West Point-commissioned officers who have heroically led soldiers in combat. The Nininger Award was established on a suggestion from Mr. Doug Kenna ’45 that WPAOG bring the valorous combat deeds of West Point graduates in the Global War on Terror to the attention of the Corps of Cadets. Through an endowment created by Mr. Kenna and his wife, Jean, the award has been presented annually since 2006 and is named in honor of Second Lieutenant Alexander R. “Sandy” Nininger Jr. ’41, the first recipient of the Medal of Honor in World War II.

In addition to the Silver Star and the 2021 Nininger Award, Enos has been awarded the Bronze Star with oak leaf cluster, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, and Army Commendation Medal with “V” device. Additionally, he is Ranger, Airborne, and Air Assault qualified and has earned the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Expert Infantryman Badge, and the Joint Staff Identification Badge.

Currently, Enos, who was promoted to colonel shortly after receiving the Nininger Award, is back at West Point serving as the Director of the Operations Research Center and teaching classes in system dynamics and Lean Six Sigma. He tells cadets that the challenges he faced at West Point as a cadet, such as Beast Barracks, rigorous academics, getting punched in the face during boxing class, and being able to juggle all of those things prepared him with the agility and resiliency he needed to win that day in Iraq.

“You need two things to win on the battlefield, the skill and the will to win,” Enos told cadets. “You gain the skill by preparing, training, and focusing on the fundamentals. The will is something else. It comes from knowing thousands of graduates who form the Long Gray Line stand behind you. It comes from knowing your soldiers are descendants of the Minutemen who fought at Lexington and Concord, the Buffalo Soldiers who secured the West, and the Rangers who scaled Pointe Du Hoc. You will go on to graduate in a few months, or in a few years, and you will win on whatever battlefield you wind up fighting on, because the Long Gray Line has never, and will never, fail our country.”

26 WestPointAOG.org 2021 NININGER AWARD PRESENTED TO COL JAMES R. ENOS ’00
Photo: Nile Clarke
2021 Alexander R. Nininger Award for Valor at Arms recipient COL James R. Enos ’00 speaks with cadets taking MX400: Officership, the final military development course for West Point cadets. Enos had the opportunity to talk with them about combat operations in Ramadi and the battle for which he was awarded the Silver Star.

Parents Corner

WPPC of Greater Houston Texas Tamale Tailgate

The West Point Parent Club (WPPC) of Greater Houston, with support from the WPPC of South Texas and the WPPC of North Texas, hosted the Texas Tamale Tailgate at the ’49er Lodge at West Point in October, providing a Texas feast to 400 cadets and guests. The meal included tamales, brisket, ribs, sausage, sides, and a huge selection of both donated and homemade desserts. In support of the West Point Parents Fund, WPPC of Greater Houston presented a check for $2,000 to WPAOG President and CEO Todd Browne ’85 and WPAOG Parent Giving Officer Shelisa Baskerville.

Family Weekend 2021

Approximately 1,300 families visited West Point for Family Weekend 2021. Parents and guests participated in a self-guided tour of the West Point Cemetery, heard remarks from the Superintendent and other West Point senior leaders, visited the “Cadet Club Showcase” at Trophy Point (which featured performances by the Spirit Band, Cadet Glee Club, Cadet Rock Band, Pipes and Drums, and Cadet Drill Team), and had the opportunity to attend the numerous sporting events happening at West Point over that weekend. The weekend culminated with a Hudson River Boat Ride on Sunday (pictured). Best of all, parents were able to enjoy some time with their cadet son or daughter.

WEST POINT | WINTER 2022 27 Photos: Submitted PARENTS
CORNER
*Minimum order per class is 2 mats • Measures 18x30 inches • Any class motto and year* • Orders close 2/28/22 • April Delivery • Made in the USA • Y687/$45 • Made from coconut fiber
An excellent dirt trapper with a special twist WELCOME MATS
ARMY-NAVY WEEKEND 2021 ARMY-NAVY TAILGATE PREGAME 28 WestPointAOG.org
Photos: Erika Norton/WPAOG; CDT Hannah Lamb ’23/USMA PAO

MARATHON TEAM BALL RUN

PATRIOT GAMES

The 122nd meeting between Army and Navy was a game of two halves. Army possessed the ball for 17:24 in the first half and went into the locker room with a 13-7 lead, thanks to a 56-yard touchdown run and two field goals. In the second half, Army held the ball for only 8:11 and was shutout by Navy’s stifling defense. The final score was 17-13.

Despite the final score, Army-Navy weekend was a success for the Academy. The West Point Marathon Team conducted their annual ball run, stopping at a series of 9/11 memorials along their route, including one at the Empty Sky Memorial in Jersey City, New Jersey, where team members paid their respects at a wreath-laying ceremony, joined by local first responders. The cadets also edged out the midshipmen at the 2021 Annual Patriot Games, which featured tests of strength and endurance, including an obstacle relay race inside MetLife Stadium before kickoff. Finally, WPAOG hosted a splendid and memorable tailgate for the big game, complete with performances by the Benny Havens Band, the Cadet Spirit Band, and the Hellcats, who led all those in attendance in the Rocket.

WEST POINT | WINTER 2022 29
Photos: CDT Hannah Lamb ’23, CDT Tyler Williams ’23, Elizabeth Woodruff/USMA PAO

PREGAME

30 WestPointAOG.org
Photos: CDT Hannah Lamb ’23, CDT Tyler WIlliams ’23/USMA PAO; Robin Gottesman

This year’s game was played in MetLife Stadium at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The game commemorated the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, with ground zero only 11 miles away from the field. The Black Knights’ uniform honored the Operational Detachment Alphas of Task Force Dagger from the 5th Special Forces Group, who rapidly deployed to Afghanistan in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. Each uniform had a Task Force Dagger patch on the left shoulder and an American flag on the right. The uniform also featured the Special Forces’ motto, the Latin phrase De Oppresso Liber (To Liberate the Oppressed), on the right front plate and the words “United We Stand” across the back. 

WEST POINT | WINTER 2022 31 Photos:
MARCH ON
CDT Tyler Williams ’23, Elizabeth Woodruff/USMA PAO
“People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society.”
—Vince Lombardi
Photo: CDT Stephen Litterini ’24/USMA PAO

Triumphant Thriller in Texas!

Thanks to a last-second 41-yard field goal by Cole Talley ’24, the Army West Point Black Knights (9-4) capped their football season with a thrilling victory, 24-22, against the Missouri Tigers (6-7) in the 2021 Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl. The Tigers controlled the first half and entered the locker room with a 16-7 lead. But Army never stopped fighting, even when its starting quarterback, Christian Anderson ’21, left the game late in the third quarter due to an ankle injury. Linebacker Arik Smith ’22, who had 12 tackles and earned the game’s MVP award, led the fight for the defense, while running back Jakobi Buchanan ’24, who gained 68 yards on the ground and scored a touchdown, shined on offense.

With the Black Knights down 16-14 early in the fourth quarter, backup quarterback Tyhier Tyler ’23 stepped in and threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Brandon Walters ’22 on a gutsy 4th and 2 call that completely fooled the defense (Army was 5/5 on 4th down in the game). Trailing 21-16, Missouri mounted an 11-play, 83-yard

touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter to take a 22-21 lead, but they missed a two-point conversion attempt and left 1:11 on the clock for Army. This was all Jabari Laws ’22, Army’s third quarterback for the game, needed. He moved the offense 51 yards in eight plays to the Missouri 24-yard line. That’s when Talley, who had missed a field goal from nearly the same distance in the first quarter, kicked the winner with 0:03 left on the clock to cement his legacy in Army West Point Football history. Speaking of history, this was Army’s fourth Armed Forces Bowl title (4-0)—2010, 2017, 2018, 2021—and its first victory over an SEC opponent since 1990.

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Photos: Army West Point Athletics/Ellman Photography

USMA 2022 Branch Night

On December 2, 2021, Branch Night, the members of the Class of 2022 learned in which of the Army’s 17 branches they will be serving after graduation. “Each branch in our Army is important,” said General Richard Cody ’72 (Retired), former Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army and the guest speaker for the event. “The Army is undergoing the largest transformation change in over four decades...changes that are going to dramatically alter the way the Army will fight in the future, how it will be organized, and how it will train.” Cody and more than 50 members of the Class of 1972, the 50-Year Affiliate Class for the Class of 2022, were able to attend Branch Night and present the firsties with a 50-Year Affiliate class coin as well as their “first brass” branch insignia pins. This was the third year of the Army’s Talent Based Branching model. In this model cadets compete and interview for their branch of choice, and branch commandants vote on their preferred cadets. More than 92 percent of the members of the Class of 2022 received a branch in their top three preferences, and 74 percent received their number one branch preference. The Class of 2022 has 72 percent of its members branching into Combat Arms (Infantry, Armor, Field Artillery, Air Defense Artillery, Engineers, and Aviation) and 86 percent are joining a Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) branch, which consists of traditional Combat Arms plus Cyber, Military Intelligence, and the Signal Corps. 

WEST POINT | WINTER 2022 35 Photos: Erika Norton/WPAOG USMA 2022
BRANCH ALLOCATIONS Air Defense Artillery 60 Adjutant General 13 Armor 97 Aviation 97 Chemical Corps 8 Cyber 42 Engineers 133 Field Artillery 145 Finance Corps 7 Infantry 199 Military Intelligence 70 Military Police 14 Medical Service 21 Ordnance/EOD 16/16 Quarter Master 26 Signal Corps 41 Transportation Corps 21

Inside Character Development: The Simon Center for the Professional Military Ethic

The Simon Center for the Professional Military Ethic (SCPME) was established in 1999 to coordinate and lead the Commandant’s character-development program for cadets. The SCPME is one of five directorates under the purview of the Commandant of Cadets—along with the Department of Military Instruction, the Department of Physical Education, the Brigade Tactical Department, and the Directorate of Cadet Activities.

In 2015, when the Academy formally established character as the fourth pillar of cadet development, the Simon Center for the Professional Military Ethic was designated the proponent for this program. The character program operates along three lines of effort: stewardship of the Cadet Honor Code; the Cadet Character Education Program (CCEP); and MX400: Officership.

The SCPME considers stewardship of the Cadet Honor Code to be its most important line of effort. It stewards the Code through its operations with the Cadet Honor Committee, the

Honor System, and the CCEP. An officer assigned to the SCPME, the Special Assistant to the Commandant for Honor (SAH), is the principal advisor to the Commandant and Superintendent on matters related to the Cadet Honor Code and the Honor System. The SAH trains all members of the Cadet Honor Committee and then coaches and supervises their execution of Honor investigations, hearings, and boards. Other SCPME personnel support honor education and rehabilitation. The Hottell ’64 Chair for Character Development and the

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Photo: Nile Clarke
Above: Originally built in 1851, the former "1st Division" of old Central Barracks houses the Simon Center for the Professional Military Ethic.

Education Officer together partner with each year’s Cadet Honor Education Officer to develop Honor-education lessons.

The SCPME’s Special Assistant to the Commandant for Character manages a rehabilitation program for cadets who are retained after violating the Honor Code.

The CCEP educates and inspires cadets to develop greater personal virtue and commitment to the Army’s professional ethic throughout their 47-month experience. Incorporating principles of character education as well as command-directed priorities, the SCPME designs and develops character-education lessons that are taught by cadets and volunteers from the staff and faculty.

The SCPME’s third line of effort is the Superintendent’s capstone course, MX400: Officership. The course integrates goals of the Academic, Military, and Character programs, highlighting the complex demands that are placed on officers. MX400 builds upon what cadets have learned at West Point to help them prepare for the character challenges of officership. MX400 is a three-credit core course taken by all firsties and taught by faculty assigned to the SCPME.

The SCPME has always been led by an Army colonel with significant operational experience. Its current Director is Colonel Kwenton Kuhlman ’99, who is slated to assume command of a Stryker brigade this summer. The SCPME’s TDA authorizes 15 officers, one NCO, and two civilian staff, as well as four civilian professor positions supported by gift funds: a visiting scholar who is typically a retired general officer, the Class of 1969 Chair for the Study of Officership, the Hottell ’64

Chair for Character Development, and the Chair for Honor and Character Assessment.

The SCPME’s physical location conveys the central role that character has at West Point. Its offices fill Building 747, the old 1st Division Barracks (originally built in 1851), which stands alone in Central Area. Nininger Hall, the site of Honor hearings and boards, is on the fourth floor. 

Simon Center Staff Positions

SCPME Deputy Director (LTC)

Special Assistant Honor (CPT/MAJ)

Honor NCO (SFC)

Honor Secretary (GS-05)

Education Officer (CPT/MAJ)

Special Assistant Respect (CPT/MAJ)

MX400 Faculty (9 x CPT/MAJ)

Chair for Character Development

Chair for Officership

Chair for Honor and Character Assessment

WEST POINT | WINTER 2022 37 INSIDE CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT: THE SIMON CENTER FOR THE PROFESSIONAL MILITARY ETHIC Photo: Submitted
Top row: (left to right) LTC (R) Dave Jones ’85, CPT Brian Martinez, CPT Ryan Torres, Ms. Evelyn Lovo-Blanco, MAJ Ben Elliott ’07, CPT Matthew Arevian, CPT Tiarra McDaniel. Row 3: (left to right) CPT Marc Meybaum ’12, LTC Ken Segelhorst, SSG Atasha Baptist, LTC Ian Smith ’06. Row 2: (left to right) LTC (R) Pete Kilner ’90, PhD., CPT Adam Wendoloski, CPT Sarah Ryan ’11, Dr. Pete Meindl. Front row: (left to right) LTC Matt Arbogast, COL Kwenton Kuhlman ’99, MAJ Tom Dull.

Building Sentinels of Trust: MX400, the Superintendent’s Capstone Course on Officership

Theprimary function of military organizations is to professionally manage the application of violence. Within the United States Army, these organizations often perform extremely well, earning the trust of national leaders and the society they protect. However, when Army units fail, the repercussions often have tragic and long-lasting impacts. The stakes are high in the Profession of Arms; there is simply no second place in combat. However, success is not only measured by the accomplishment of a military objective but also through the processes used to achieve the desired endstate. Winning is critical, but winning in ways consistent with our shared values as a nation is paramount. This idea of winning in the right way requires moral leadership.

Members of the U.S. Army swear to support and defend the U.S. Constitution, an inalienable set of humankind’s greatest ideals. These ideals are an enduring strategic advantage, not a constraint to victory. We do not win despite our values; we win because of our values. Although our ideology cannot be physically destroyed by an external enemy, we can endanger our way of life when we fail to uphold the basic moral standards initially prescribed by our Constitution and reinforced through our Army Ethic. For a military sworn to protect and uphold our nation’s ideals, dispensing of our ideology for what appears to be a short-term gain runs counter to our overall purpose. As seen throughout our nation’s history, upholding a high moral standard is not always easy—it requires character, competence,

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Photo: Erika Norton/WPAOG
Above: A newly commissioned Armor officer from the Class of 2021 at his bar-pinning ceremony on the grounds of Herbert Alumni Center.

and commitment. In a profession that is sanctioned to impose our nation’s will through violence, we are often asked to judiciously end human life in some of the most complex environments imaginable. War is uncertain, and extremely difficult judgment calls are a core feature of military leadership. When leaders get it wrong, they can do a lot of damage, to a lot of people, including themselves! Thus, our nation needs valuesbased sentinels of trust who can navigate the complexities of combat without sacrificing our fundamental principles. Our nation needs moral leaders of character: We need officers!

When producing these officers, West Point seeks to integrate individual leader development programs in a way that helps these future leaders internalize a professional identity that is consistent with the Army Ethic. Identity and human development theorists often suggest that the transition from student to leader requires an important shift in identity, and this process necessitates a convergence of values, challenging experiences, and self-reflection. As suggested by the leadership development expert David Day, a capstone academic event can accelerate the identity transformation process and produce selfaware leaders who have internalized their role as professionals. At the United States Military Academy (USMA), this integrative process is orchestrated through the progressive West Point Leader Development System, which culminates with a crucible academic experience called MX400: Officership.

MX400, the Superintendent’s capstone course, is required of all First Class cadets and fills an identified need to integrate the core curriculum and developmental experiences at USMA. Since 2014, this course has evolved to meet the extensive requirements for an integrative capstone and currently serves as the connective tissue that strengthens the bond among the various interdisciplinary experiences. The bridging strategy for this course is unique, as it uses an academic setting to merge disparate disciplines, programs, and learning models into a cohesive framework for cadets to internalize their professional identity as commissioned leaders of character. Using a seminar style format, cadets learn and apply the foundations of officership, characteristics of the Army profession, and the principles of Mission Command. As MX400 evolved, the

curriculum was refined to harness the benefits of the experiential learning cycle, deliver an innovative pedagogy aimed at developing leaders of character, and offer a deliberate process for self-reflection.

As an integral part of developing these leaders of character, MX400 is uniquely designed to integrate cadet learning across the academic, military and character programs. Detailed assessments over the past three years strongly indicate that MX400 is successful in helping build confidence in our graduates’ professional knowledge, shaping their professional identity, and inspiring them to embrace their roles as commissioned leaders of character. In addition to the assessment metrics collected on the course, cadets often provide anecdotal testimonials endorsing the enduring value. As they reflect on their own unique developmental path through West Point, they hone the professional skills of critical thinking and effective communication. They also gain confidence in their ability to synthesize concepts as they generate interdisciplinary approaches to solve realistic military problems. Overall, successful completion of MX400 enhances their ability in the six key areas shown below.

1. Apply doctrinal principles to military and leadership problems.

2. Reflect on their West Point experience to develop expertise and strengthen character.

3. Demonstrate critical thinking, collaboration, and effective communication.

4. Formulate and present interdisciplinary solutions to complex military problems.

5. Demonstrate professional excellence with self-directed learning.

6. Integrate honorable service concepts into interdisciplinary solutions.

WEST POINT | WINTER 2022 39 BUILDING SENTINELS OF TRUST: MX400, THE SUPERINTENDENT’S CAPSTONE COURSE ON OFFICERSHIP
“MX400 was genuinely the most developmental class I had at West Point. Not only did I learn more about how to be an officer, but I was challenged to think about various leadership dilemmas and determine how to best respond to situations I may very likely encounter during my years of service. I still carry my green MX400 notebook with me today. I have pulled it out during so many Engineer BOLC classes while discussing things like Mission Command, multidomain operations, the Army profession, and many other aspects of leadership. I’m so thankful to have learned about all of these things before commissioning as an officer.”
— 2LT Reilly McGinnis ’21

The measured achievement of these goals begs an important question: How are these lofty developmental challenges obtained? Using a seminar style format, the course is designed to generate key reflection opportunities and highlight an array of poignant case studies that encapsulate the enduring challenges associated with the expert practice of commissioned military service. The course progresses through segments that include the “Professional Challenge,” “Professional Identity,” and “Professional Responsibility” blocks, as well as two book-length case study blocks. These learning blocks allow each cadet to acquire new knowledge and to integrate learned knowledge from previous classes in the core curriculum, to critically read about the Army profession as lifelong learners who study history in both breadth and depth, to reflect on their identity transformation and their readiness for the future operating environment, and, finally, to rehearse future challenges through practical exercises that enhance their expertise and decisionmaking abilities.

The Professional Challenge block introduces cadets to multidomain operations and the complexity of the future operating environment, while reminding them of the need to appropriately practice followership. Since military effectiveness depends upon prompt and enthusiastic obedience, the Army culture and regulations require subordinates to comply with commander’s orders. Yet, on some occasions the best way to

accomplish the mission may seem counter to the original order. Initial course discussions consider how the volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity of modern warfare could cause some orders to appear obsolete. Cadets learn to navigate the dilemma between obedience and prudence without falling into a pitfall of disobedient behaviors that can create toxic environments. The Professional Challenge segment concludes with two fundamental tools that help officers lead through this complexity: Mission Command and critical thinking. They learn the principles of Mission Command and the commander’s role in the operations process, while unpacking the elements of thought and intellectual virtues (e.g. humility, empathy, fairmindedness) associated with critical thinking. Using these tools, cadets enhance their professional judgment that they can later exercise to seize unforeseen opportunities and lead through complexity.

The Professional Identity segment introduces cadets to the intricacies of the Army profession, challenging them to consider the gravity associated with accepting a commission, taking the solemn Oath of Office, and embracing the challenges of maintaining trust internally within the Army and externally to society and our civil authorities. They are given time to reflect on the Army Ethic and how their professional identity is essential to serving as a sentinel of trust for the nation. They consider how trust serves as the lubricant of our profession and

40 WestPointAOG.org BUILDING SENTINELS OF TRUST: MX400, THE SUPERINTENDENT’S CAPSTONE COURSE ON OFFICERSHIP Photos: Delancey Pryor III/USMA PAO; Submitted.
Left: Cadets from CPT Adam Wendoloski’s MX400: Officership course supported the October 7, 2021 Oath of Enlistment for members of the Albany Recruiting Battalion as part of a lesson block discussing civil-military relations and the demographics of new soldiers. Right: GEN (R) Martin Dempsey '74 and his wife, Deanie, visited an MX400 class in fall 2021 to discuss ethical fading in the Professional Responsibility segment of the course.
CRITICAL EVENTS: Integrative Challenge and TEE BLOCK 5: Black Hearts (book) BLOCK 4: Professional Responsibility BLOCK 3: Platoon Leader (book) BLOCK 2: Professional Identity BLOCK 1: Professional Challenge Live Honorably— Lead Honorably— Demonstrate Excellence

that officers are certified in character, competence and commitment. They also unpack the multidimensional nature of trust and appreciate its importance to professional autonomy. Lessons are designed to help cadets reflect on their own trustworthiness and how to navigate the trust repair process once it is broken. They also consider the potential impact of their own propensity to trust others and how the willingness to be vulnerable has implications to the proper practice of Mission Command. In additional to helping cadets understand the key characteristics of the Army profession, this instructional block also introduces cadets to the four fields of military expertise that constitute the body of abstract knowledge associated with officership: military-technical, moral-ethical, leader and human development, and geo-cultural and political. Most important to the Professional Identity segment, cadets learn the importance of volitional acceptance of the Army Ethic and how internalization of their professional identity is a non-negotiable requirement for accepting the commission.

The Professional Responsibility segment prepares cadets for their responsibilities to provide moral leadership. Because there is no grace period for moral leadership, this instructional block builds their capacity for making moral decisions and taking moral action on their first day as a commissioned leader of character. During this segment, cadets are challenged with complex moral choices and ethical decision-making scenarios. In most situations, the right choice is clear, but choosing that right choice is difficult. Notable authors have called this the “moral judgment-action gap” and suggested methods for closing this gap with moral courage. Since examples of moral leadership failures are easy to find and organizations can sometimes succumb to ethical fading, cadets are required to complete a reflection assignment to explore their own past moral failure. They are required to review their own moral capabilities and how their awareness, knowledge, emotions, and identity can influence the moral reasoning process. Cadets also consider their vulnerability to moral disengagement and leader derailment, along with how to recognize harmful moral rationalizations that can harm the ethical culture in their units. Strategies for building their own moral strength and developing authentic moral leaders within their unit are also explored. This block of instruction includes the salient notion of unlimited liability, which includes a reflection of the volitional risks and sacrifices they will accept as a leader in a profession that requires its youngest members to make life and death decisions. Officers must accept this unlimited liability and use it to motivate themselves to develop the expertise and to provide the leadership necessary to minimize death and injury. Along with the intense responsibilities of unlimited liability, cadets consider how they can ensure the ethical use of force and provide soldiers with the moral justification for killing in war. This Professional Responsibility segment highlights the importance of their role and the necessity to take our profession seriously and ensure we are doing everything to master our trade.

Delivered by a competitively selected team of officers from the Simon Center for the Professional Military Ethic, MX400 prepares graduates for the demands of the profession and is the

culminating event of the West Point experience. It helps certify them in character, competence, and commitment, while providing opportunities for them to reflect on their own readiness to lead within the Profession of Arms. Winning in the right way requires trusted stewards of the profession who are ready, able, and eager to provide the moral leadership for our nation. The Superintendent’s capstone course is specifically designed to produce graduates who are fully prepared to exercise the expert practice of commissioned military service and uphold the great moral office they will fulfill as leaders of character. While the practice of officership will remain hard and increasingly complex, West Point remains confident that the West Point Leader Development System and MX400 are generating the type of trustworthy leaders of character that are comfortable with ambiguity and ready to make the difficult judgment calls required in the Profession of Arms.

LTC Matt Arbogast, Ph.D., is the Deputy Director for West Point’s Simon Center for the Professional Military Ethic. He started his career as a scout platoon leader in the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment and deployed to his first combat tour in 2001 to support Operation Enduring Freedom. He also served two tours in Iraq with the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team and the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division. As an Assistant Professor at the United States Military Academy, he served as Course Director for the Superintendent’s capstone course on Officership.

WEST POINT | WINTER 2022 41 BUILDING SENTINELS OF TRUST: MX400, THE SUPERINTENDENT’S CAPSTONE COURSE ON OFFICERSHIP
“What I learned in MX400 as a cadet has served as my North-seeking arrow in guiding me morally and ethically in this profession. In my first two years on the operational side of the Army, I have been in complex situations that I never would have imagined. What prepared me to handle these situations was our discussions in MX400. I have leaned on models, theories and examples from that course and put them towards my critical thinking and decision making as a platoon leader.”
— 1LT Keegan West ’19

The Cadet Character Education Program

TheCadet Character Education Program (CCEP) may be an unfamiliar term to many graduates, but its purpose and structure probably are not. The CCEP provides intermittent “doses” of ungraded educational experiences during which cadets can focus solely on their character. CCEP lessons are held during the Commandant’s Hour, which occurs immediately after lunch on five to 10 days per semester (depending on the year group), and these lessons are usually led by other cadets or volunteers from the staff and faculty.

In years past, antecedent versions of the CCEP were referred to as Honor and Respect classes, Values Education, the Professional Military Ethic Education (PMEE), and the Cadet Character Development Program (CCDP).

West Point’s character program defines good character as a person’s reliability to do what is right, in a right way, for the right reasons, with a positive attitude, and in every situation— personal and professional. USMA recognizes that character develops through multiple modes: it is mostly caught, can be taught, and must be sought. The CCEP focuses on teaching what can be taught about character while also supporting the social and self-directed aspects of character development.

Today’s CCEP is oriented along three lines of effort: “Honor Education,” “Personal Character,” and “the Army’s Professional Ethic.” Honor, the linchpin of character development at West Point, develops both personal virtues and professional values. Honorable cadets not only embrace the virtues that characterize the spirit of the code—honesty, fairness and respect—they also uphold the professional value of enforcing the ethical standards of their professional community, the Corps of Cadets.

Cadets are the primary stewards of Honor Education. During the six weeks of Cadet Basic Training (CBT), new cadets receive three hours of Honor Education. After an introductory address by the Cadet Honor Captain, all new cadet honor training is led by their CBT cadre. During the academic year, members of the Cadet Honor Committee teach all CCEP Honor lessons. Company Honor representatives receive lesson plans from the Cadet Honor Education Officer, a firstie on the Brigade Honor Staff, and then facilitate the instruction at their company level. Plebes and yearlings participate in three to four hours of Honor Education per academic year.

The CCEP’s second line of effort nurtures cadets’ growth of personal character, independent of their identities as future

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Photo: Nile Clarke
Above: During the “Inspiration to Serve” West Point
for
reflect before the
of CPT
Cemetery Tour, an annual event
Third Class cadets prior to Affirmation, a member of the Class of 2023 takes a moment to
gravesite
Matthew Ferrara '05, who was killed in action in November 2007 while serving as a first lieutenant in Afghanistan.

officers. People of good character develop and practice virtues, which are positive character traits that are both intrinsically fulfilling and publicly admired, such as compassion, intellectual humility, and perseverance. Cadets learn that trustworthy character entails excellence in all domains of virtues—moral, civic, martial, intellectual, and performance—and that the exercise of virtues leads to flourishing lives and thriving organizations. All CCEP lessons are designed to help cadets develop greater “character literacy” so they can reflect more deeply on their own character growth and coach others to do the same.

The CCEP is designed to motivate cadets to want to live virtuously and to provide them with knowledge and skills that help them achieve their character goals. For example, in the fall of 2021, Scott Mercier, a former world-class cyclist who refused to participate in the cheating scheme of the nowinfamous U.S. Postal Service team, addressed all yearlings and plebes. These cadets were inspired by Mercier’s personal story of sacrificing a lucrative career and international fame in order to maintain his integrity and to uphold the honor of the sport he loved. Twice each year, all cadets complete a Character Assessment Survey that enables them to reflect on and assess their own character, as well as that of their classmates. The survey provides immediate feedback to the cadets on their character strengths and weaknesses and guides them through a character-improvement, goal-setting exercise.

Over the past year, cadets have also participated in individual and small-group exercises to learn about the foundational virtues of self-control, integrity, and humility, as well as how to strengthen those virtues in themselves. As much as possible, the CCEP lessons incorporate practice. Last spring, each cadet completed a practical exercise that began by using an “appreciation inventory” to guide their recollection of people who helped them over the past few years to develop in any way: academic, physical, military, character, or personal. Each cadet was then provided with a thank-you card and envelope and encouraged to express their gratitude to one of those people. The event was so popular that the SCPME made free thank-you

cards available for pickup during Graduation Week, and hundreds of cadets seized the opportunity to express more gratitude to more people.

The CCEP’s third line of effort seeks to inculcate in cadets the Army’s professional ethic. During CBT, new cadets memorize and discuss the Army Values. Last summer, the new cadets also had CCEP training on the Fourth of July during which they read aloud excerpts from some of our nation’s most significant civic documents—the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Gettysburg Address—and engaged in cadre-led, small-group discussions about the moral ideals expressed in those foundational texts. The lesson concluded with the new cadets re-taking the Cadet Oath. On its own initiative,

WEST POINT | WINTER 2022 43 THE CADET CHARACTER EDUCATION PROGRAM Photos: Submitted; Erika Norton/WPAOG
Scott Mercier (right), who turned down a career with the U.S. Postal Service Cycling Team rather than participate in a cheating scandal, speaks with Third and Fourth Class cadets after a CCEP event.
“The Inspiration to Serve event was impactful. It gave me an opportunity to pause and reflect on the gravity of the job I wish to undertake, and it filled me with pride to see all of those who have come before me and allowed me to feel a deep sense of connection to the past,”
— CDT Melic Belong ’23, Class President
LTC (R) Pete Kilner ’90, Ph.D. and Class of 2023 President CDT Melic Belong before Kilner's presentation to the Second Class on the moral justification of killing in war.

one CBT company chose to re-administer the oath in the West Point Cemetery amidst the gravesites of graduates who gave their lives defending the Constitution’s ideals.

The new cadets appreciated the opportunity to develop a more mature patriotism. One new cadet wrote that the lesson “was really useful in inspiring me and reminding me why I chose to come to West Point and how I want to live my future”; another reported that the CCEP experience “had a lot of people in tears.”

Another CCEP lesson that fosters commitment to the Army Ethic occurs prior to Affirmation. Second-semester yearlings participate in the annual “Inspiration to Serve” Cemetery Tour and Pre-Affirmation Reflection. During this event, the cadets visit the gravesites of graduates who were killed in war, learn about their lives and honor their sacrifices, and then engage in a TAC-led reflective conversation on selfless service, unlimited liability, and their own upcoming decision to affirm their commitment to the Profession of Arms.

“The Inspiration to Serve event was impactful,” reflected Cadet Melic Belong, President of the Class of 2023. “It gave me an opportunity to pause and reflect on the gravity of the job I wish to undertake, and it filled me with pride to see all of those who have come before me and allowed me to feel a deep sense of connection to the past,” noting that each headstone represents a life lived in service to the ideals West Point holds dear. Belong continued, “[The event] highlights the unique and awesome responsibility we all have to become our best selves; to become worthy of the trust emplaced in us by our soldiers and by the American people.”

For cows and firsties, all of whom have affirmed into the Army profession, the CCEP focuses entirely on character within the context of officership. The cadets participate in two “Leader Challenges” each semester. Each Leader Challenge uses video interviews and small-group conversations to engage cadets in a true, values-based dilemma that was experienced by a junior officer, as told by that officer. Recent Leader Challenges have

forced cadets to wrestle with decisions they might have to make as officers: Should I follow an order that I think needlessly risks my soldiers’ lives? What should I do when my senior rater is falsifying pre-deployment training reports? How should I respond when a fellow lieutenant is drinking alcohol during training? Conducted at the platoon-level with a faculty coach, Leader Challenges provide cadets with mental rehearsals for exercising moral judgment and leadership in complex situations. In many ways, the Leader Challenge is the crown jewel of the CCEP. Cadets appreciate that the problems aren’t scripted and that the solutions aren’t approved. In most Leader Challenge sessions, it’s reasonable that good leaders will disagree on the best course of action. Recently, more than 1,000 graduates provided feedback on the program. “I think the Leader Challenge exercises were very beneficial to me, as I have already encountered some questionable instances of my own,” noted a graduate from the Class of 2020. “Thinking back on those Leader Challenges helped me think critically about the situations I have been put in and helped me make honorable choices in facing those situations.”

Based on the strength of character exhibited by USMA’s graduates, the CCEP’s regular doses of moral-compass recalibrations and character conversations do seem to make a difference for good. Combining theory and practice, today’s CCEP continues to support cadets’ four-year development into leaders of character who live honorably, lead honorably, and inspire others to do the same. 

LTC (R) Pete Kilner ’90, Ph.D., is the John A. Hottell ’64 Chair for Character Development at West Point’s Simon Center for the Professional Military Ethic. He served tours as an Infantry officer and philosophy instructor before being designated an Academy Professor of Leader Development and Organizational Learning. A leader of the Company Command and Platoon Leader professional forums during their lifespans, he deployed multiples times to Iraq and Afghanistan to research the combat leadership experiences of junior officers.

44 WestPointAOG.org THE CADET CHARACTER EDUCATION PROGRAM
Photos: Erika Norton/WPAOG; Nile Clarke Left: Kilner speaks with a Second Class cadet after his “moral justification of killing in war” lecture. Right: Kilner coaches 3rd Platoon, Company B-3 during one of the Leader Challenge sessions held during the 2021 fall semester.

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looks out for you.”

The Committee Leads, The System Evolves, The Code Endures

“I think everyone familiar with West Point would instantly agree that the one thing that has set it definitely apart from every other school in the world is the fact that for a great number of years it has not only had an ‘honor’ system, but that the system has actually worked.”

— Dwight D. Eisenhower, Class of 1915, in the 1949 Report to the Superintendent

46 WestPointAOG.org
Photos: Erika Norton/WPAOG; SSG Chrissy Rivers/USMA Band
Above: Members of the Cadet Honor Executive Staff bookend a memorial displaying the Code they are entrusted to steward and pass along to all members of the Corps.

Honor is an essential element to developing leaders of character at the United States Military Academy. Just look at its central position in the West Point motto: Duty, Honor, Country. For most people, honor at the Academy means the Cadet Honor Code, 12 words that provide the foundation for character development among the Corps of Cadets; but there is also the Cadet Honor System, a process designed to ensure that cadets internalize the spirit of the Cadet Honor Code and to adjudicate violations of the Code; and there is the Cadet Honor Committee, a select group of cadets who investigate honor matters, educate the Corps in topics involving honor, and exercise formal oversight of the Cadet Honor System. Together, these three aspects—Code, System, Committee—form one of West Point’s fundamental values and, as then Superintendent Lieutenant General Dan Christman ’65 said in a 2000 article for Assembly magazine, bind all generations of the Long Gray Line, “allowing graduates to ‘grip hands’ across the ages.”

The Cadet Honor Code

The idea of a Cadet Honor Code at West Point is older than the Academy itself. According to Theodore Crackel, author of West Point: A Bicentennial History, “It was derived from the code of honor of officers and gentlemen—a code that required that their word be their bond.” For years, “the code continued as an unwritten prohibition against lying and ungentlemanly conduct,” he says, “passed from class to class through informal mechanisms by the upperclassmen.” In the years following the Civil War, cadets enforced and preserved honor at the Academy

through some questionable and unofficial methods, including a vigilance committee and the practice of silencing cadets who had been determined by their peers to have violated the code.

In 1906, Charles Larned, USMA Professor of Drawing from 1876 to 1911, published an article in the Army and Navy Journa l in which he argued that the rules and codes governing the U.S. Military Academy made its diploma “a comprehensive guaranty of character…having but few parallels on earth.” A year later this article was retitled “Corps Honor” and appeared in the first edition of the West Point Hand-Book (the precursor to Bugle Notes). Among other things, Larned’s article advocated that a cadet should not lie, cheat, steal, or slander. “A true code of honor stands in its integrity for right doing all around,” he wrote.

A little more than a decade later, Colonel Clayton Wheat, the West Point chaplain, composed the Cadet Prayer, which amplified the aspects of honor highlighted by Larned—“ideals and principles which have long been fostered in the Corps,” Wheat later said in the “Origin of the Cadet Prayer” section of Bugle Notes. With passages focused on “honest dealing and clean thinking,” “choos[ing] the harder right instead of the easier wrong,” and “maintain[ing] the honor of the Corps untarnished and unsullied,” it is easy to see the Cadet Honor Code starting to take shape with clear tenets.

In 1933, a cadet attempted to apply the succinct prohibitions of the Cadet Honor Code—lying, cheating, stealing, and toleration—to specific cadet activities, particularly academic work and absence cards; but it wasn’t until 1947 that the Cadet

WEST POINT | WINTER 2022 47

Honor Code, as it is known today, became officially recognized. In a paper titled “West Point Honor System: Its Objectives and Procedures,” Major General Maxwell Taylor ’22, the 40th Superintendent, wrote, “Although there are many cadet regulations which are related to the Honor System, the System has never outgrown its simple meaning—that a cadet will neither lie, cheat nor steal.” In 1970, the non-toleration clause was formally added to the Cadet Honor Code, but such a prohibition was widely known and practiced among the Corps for decades prior. “From at least 1900, an unwritten prohibition against toleration was in existence,” writes the author of “History of the Honor Code and System, 1802-Present,” an article appearing in the June 1977 issue of Assembly magazine. “In fact, no statement by any former member of the Corps has been found that indicates that non-toleration was not an implied part of the Honor Code.” In 1998, “A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do” was etched into a memorial at West Point’s Honor Plaza (a gift of the Class of 1957), reminding cadets every day of the minimal standard of ethical behavior to which they must abide.

But the Cadet Honor Code is more than just 12 words memorialized in granite: There is a spirit to the Code that goes

beyond complying to the four prohibitive requirements. Through the 47-month West Point experience, the Cadet Honor System, with the help of the Cadet Honor Committee, leads cadets to an internalization of the spirit of the Cadet Honor Code prior to commissioning. As noted in a previous version of USCC PAM 15-1 The Cadet Honor Code, System, and Committee Procedures, “Cadets who embrace the spirit of the Code think of the Cadet Honor Code as a set of broad and fundamental principles, not as a list of prohibitions.” In other words, they start to “embrace truthfulness,” “call for compete fairness,” “require respect,” and “demand a professional responsibility to uphold the ethical standards.” This is not just “honor” but “honorable living.” “Therein lays the essence of becoming a leader of character,” concludes PAM 15-1, “dedicated to living a life of personal integrity in selfless service to the nation.”

The Cadet Honor System

As noted above, the Cadet Honor System is the means by which the cadets internalize the values of the Cadet Honor Code and thereby follow its tenets because they are aspiring to an ethic, not because they are motivated by fear of consequences. There are many parts to the Cadet Honor System, including honor

48 WestPointAOG.org THE COMMITTEE LEADS, THE SYSTEM EVOLVES, THE CODE ENDURES Graphic: Submitted
✱ Cadet Advisory Board (CAB) SLDP-H Enrollment Legal Transcripts ✱ Honor Investagative Hearing (HIH) FOUND Immediate counseling by SAH & consequences in effect Legal Review SLDP-H Complete Superintendent’s Adjudication ✱ Preliminary Hearing Commandant Meeting Case Served by Honor Committee CoC Recommendations for adjudication (Cadet, TAC, RTO, BTO) Potential Violation (Approach for Clarification) ✱ Case Incepted by Honor Committee ✱ Case Investigated by Honor Committee Case Reviewed by Honor Committee Legal Review Commandant Referral Rights waiver 7 days 2 days ~10 days ~12 days ~15 Days (~90 days total) No Representation* (4-6 months) Admit Contest 5 days Drop Not Found Drop ~15 Days ~10-30 Days *Days = Duty Days KEY ✱ Investigative Team Cadets Staff/Faculty/Coaches SJA SCPME Commandant Superintendent ~2 Days Legal review for sufficiency USCC PAM 15-1 Honor Process (as of April 19, 2021)

education, procedural matters for alleged honor violations, and rehabilitative programs.

In the first hundred years or so of the Academy’s existence the Cadet Honor System, similar to the Cadet Honor Code, was an informal process. During this time, typically the cadet chain of command confronted cadets guilty of honor violations and demanded that they leave the Academy. The officers in charge of West Point only got involved in serious cases. In 1922, then Superintendent Brigadier General Douglas MacArthur, Class of 1903, established the Cadet Honor Committee and formalized the Cadet Honor System. According to Lance Betros in his book Carved in Granite: West Point Since 1902 , “The MacArthur reforms created a two-level system for enforcing the honor code and gave the new honor committee an integral part in it.” Under this system, the Cadet Honor Committee conducted investigations but had no legal authority to dismiss a cadet found guilty. Most “found” cadets did resign, however, as appealing the verdict meant an officer-run court martial, and even if a cadet was acquitted by the officers he would be ostracized for the remainder of his time at the Academy.

Following the 1976 “electrical engineering exam” cheating scandal, the Academy adopted reforms to the Cadet Honor System. One of the revisions was the elimination of the two-tier system, replacing it with the single, due process Full Honor

Investigative Hearing conducted by cadets and supervised by officers. Also, in 1977, the Superintendent was given the authority to exercise discretion in honor violations, opting in some cases for a developmental alternative to the sanction of separation. Based on the circumstances of each case, the Superintendent chooses to separate or grant discretion to each cadet who has violated the code.

Today, as highlighted by Captain Tiarra McDaniel, Special Assistant to the Commandant for Honor, the adjudication portion of the Cadet Honor System is an extremely detailed process consisting of three phases: investigation and referral, formal honor hearings, and post-hearing procedures. Each phase of the process is governed by internal deadlines, and the entire matter is reviewed by USMA Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, ensuring that the rights of cadets are being protected. As presently constituted, today’s Cadet Honor System is a balance between maintaining the honor of the corps, allowing opportunities to learn from failure, the requirements of due process and fairness, and the need to steward the profession.

When discretion became increasingly common in the ’90s, the USMA Honor Mentorship Program was established. Today that program is known as the Special Leader Development Program for Honor, or SLDP-H. “SLDP is a family of programs at the Academy that are rehabilitative in nature and designed to

WEST POINT | WINTER 2022 49 THE COMMITTEE LEADS, THE SYSTEM EVOLVES, THE CODE ENDURES
Photo: Nile Clarke
Members of the Cadet Honor Executive Staff meet in Nininger Hall on the fourth floor of 1st Division Barracks to discuss Honorable Living Day.

address deficiencies in a cadet’s character,” says Captain Ryan Torres, Special Assistant to the Commandant for Character (SAC-C). “SLDP-H is typically a four-to-six-month process that takes cadets found on honor on a reflective journey to explore Army and West Point values with the help of a developmental coach.”

When completed to standard, SLDP-H is roughly equivalent to a 1.0 credit hour course. Cadets in the program are required to write an X-Y case that describes their violation, write a fivepage character self-assessment, and then write 15 reflective journal entries that respond to questions posed by their developmental coach, who is a volunteer from the staff or faculty. Each cadet in SLDP-H must also interview someone whom they consider to be a military role model, as well as identify and complete a project that supports West Point’s honor community. Finally, each cadet must write an eight-page summative essay reflecting on their personal growth during the program. After completing all these requirements to the satisfaction of their developmental coach, the SLDP-H cadet submits a binder to the SAC-C containing all the written materials, including descriptions of and reflections on their role-model interview and developmental project. The Director of the Simon Center for the Professional Military Ethic then reviews the binder before submitting it to the Brigade Tactical Department, where the cadet’s company chain of command has an opportunity to review the material to see if the cadet’s SLDP-H work matches his or her current operating behaviors in the Corps. “The process has multiple tollgates that the packets must clear before the packet is put on the Superintendent’s desk for his final approval,” Torres says. The Superintendent may separate any cadet who fails to satisfactorily meet the requirements of SLDP-H.

Cadets who do complete SLDP-H often become powerful advocates for honorable living among the Corps. “They have experienced the shame of losing the trust of others,” says Lieutenant Colonel Pete Kilner ’90 (Retired), Ph.D., the Chair for Character Development, “followed by the satisfaction of developing their character and beginning to earn back that trust, and they know viscerally how much their honor means to them, so they are determined to live honorably.” As a result of the program’s extensive reflection, coaching, and role modeling, those who complete SLDP-H are fully committed to becoming leaders of character and living up to the legacy of the Long Gray Line.

The Cadet Honor Committee

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Cadet Honor Committee. Called “cadets of the highest, allround [sic] character, who are most respected and influential in the Corps” by MacArthur in a correspondence to Major Robert Danford, Class of 1904, then Commandant of Cadets, the Cadet Honor Committee has evolved to have four functions: serve as role models of honorable character and conduct, honor education, investigations, and boards.

The original Cadet Honor Committee consisted of 13 members (a First Class cadet from each company serving as an

50 WestPointAOG.org THE COMMITTEE LEADS, THE SYSTEM EVOLVES, THE CODE ENDURES
Photo: Nile Clarke
“Being the Brigade Honor Captain is both challenging and rewarding. It’s rewarding in that I was the first touchpoint of the Cadet Honor Code when I spoke to every new cadet from the Class of 2025 during Cadet Basic Training this summer, but it’s challenging because I have to write recommendations to the Superintendent and the Commandant for punishments for cadets who have been found on honor, and it’s hard to have to judge one’s peers.”
— CDT Teddy Lepcio ’22, Brigade Honor Captain
CDT Teddy Lepcio ’22, Brigade Honor Captain.

honor rep in addition to a chairman, who was the president of the First Class). Today the Cadet Honor Committee is more than six times that number: 14 of whom comprise the Cadet Honor Executive Staff and one First Class cadet and one Second Class cadet from each company.

According to McDaniel, the names of cadets for the Cadet Honor Executive Staff are submitted to the Honor Office, and these candidates are screened for conduct violations, academic grades, and leadership qualities. They are then interviewed by the Honor Officer, the SCPME Director, and the Commandant before serving. Company Honor Representatives are selected by their company peers and vetted by the company TAC team. The Superintendent has final approval for the cadet serving as Brigade Honor Captain.

This year’s Honor Captain is Cadet Teddy Lepcio ’22, a pitcher on the Army West Point Baseball Team from Chattanooga, Tennessee, who will be commissioned as a Field Artillery officer upon graduation. “Being the Brigade Honor Captain is both challenging and rewarding,” he says. “It’s rewarding in that I was the first touchpoint of the Cadet Honor Code when I spoke to every new cadet from the Class of 2025 during Cadet Basic Training this summer, but it’s challenging because I have to write recommendations to the Superintendent and the Commandant for punishments for cadets who have been found on honor, and it’s hard to have to judge one’s peers.”

While judging one’s peers is a challenge, Lepcio believes that the potential for one-on-one relationships the Cadet Honor Committee can have with members of the Corps is its greatest

attribute. “The Simon Center leverages the Cadet Honor Committee, which has a larger staff than any of the other cadet character staffs, for its peer leadership,” he says. “It is really important that we have that cadet-to-cadet leadership about character,” Lepcio says. “At the end of the day, it is about achieving the mission of West Point, and that is developing leaders of character.”

When he was a plebe, Lepcio says that he feared the Cadet Honor Committee and its enforcement of the Cadet Honor Code. “I was so worried that one misstep would mean the end of my West Point career,” he says. During his cow year he became one of his company’s honor representatives and he began to think deeply about the Cadet Honor Code and the Cadet Honor System and why cadets should aspire to honor values rather than just follow the code because it is a regulation. “Rather than seeing the Cadet Honor Code as simply not lying, cheating, stealing, or tolerating, I began to think more deeply about the spirit of the Code, and to see how internalization of it builds pride in integrity of self and respect of others,” Lepcio says. And, thanks to his honor training, both as an underclass cadet and as a member of the Cadet Honor Committee, he understands that the country is expecting him to be of the highest character as a U.S. Army officer. “The long-standing reputation of graduates from the United States Military Academy has been one of leaders of character who live honorably, lead honorably and demonstrate excellence in all facets of life.” Lepcio says. “In order to maintain this reputation, we must commit ourselves over four years to developing into leaders that repeatedly make the right moral and ethical decisions.” 

WEST POINT | WINTER 2022 51 THE COMMITTEE LEADS, THE SYSTEM EVOLVES, THE CODE ENDURES Graphic: Submitted
Honor Secretary (x2) 1st Regimental Honor Representative 2nd Regimental Honor Representative 3rd Regimental Honor Representative 4th Regimental Honor Representative Company Honor Representative 1 First Class cadet 2 Second Class cadets Company Honor Representative 1 First Class cadet 2 Second Class cadets Company Honor Representative 1 First Class cadet 2 Second Class cadets Company Honor Representative 1 First Class cadet 2 Second Class cadets Honor Investigative Officer (x2) Honor Development Officer Honor Public Affairs Officer Honor Captain Honor Education Officer Honor Executive Officer Honor Support Officer
The Cadet Honor Committee

2021 THAYER AWARD

Dr. Mae C. Jemison

Whileintroducing Dr. Mae C. Jemison, the 2021 Sylvanus Thayer Award recipient, to the Corps of Cadets on October 7, 2021, Lieutenant General Darryl Williams ’83, the 60th U.S. Military Academy Superintendent, quoted poet Maya Angelou: “‘The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise.’ Dr. Mae Jemison has the distinction of having done both: touching the stars—and, more importantly—touching hearts and minds.”

Since 1958, the Thayer Award has been awarded annually to an outstanding U.S. citizen whose character and accomplishments exemplify personal devotion to the West Point motto, “Duty, Honor, Country.” A former NASA astronaut, Jemison has received national recognition for her pioneering work of integrating science with art and culture to solve problems and foster innovation.

Before the award ceremony, Jemison visited the Superintendent’s Conference Room to speak with West Point cadets from the Black and Gold Forum, the Margaret Corbin Forum, and other selected cadets interested in science and medicine. During each session, as well as in her speech to the entire Corps that evening, Jemison mentioned a mantra she carried with her throughout her time at NASA that continues to guide her today: “purpose.”

“I kept the word ‘purpose’ in front of my desk at NASA because I needed to understand and remind myself all the time that my purpose of having gone to NASA was because I wanted to fly in space,” Jemison told cadets. “It may sound strange to say, but I didn’t want to be an ‘astronaut’ because people see this role as synonymous with ‘flying in space.’ But the astronaut was a position at the job. My purpose there was I wanted to fly in space. I wanted to make contributions. And I reminded myself so

52 WestPointAOG.org Photos: USMA PAO
Above: Members of the Class of 2022 pose with Dr. Mae C. Jemison, the 2021 Thayer Award recipient, and Dr. Shane Reeves ’96, Dean of the Academic Board: (left to right) CDT Ryan Kreiser, CDT Samantha Houle, CDT Felita Zhang, CDT Alyssa Chellaraj, CDT Danielle Cross, Jemison, CDT Hannah Blakey, Reeves, CDT Peyton Visconti, CDT Emma San Martin, CDT Richard Russel, and CDT Holland Pratt.

that I didn’t lose focus on what I was doing. I didn’t get sidetracked because somebody might want me to do something different. So, I think when you’re looking at your vision, ask ‘What is your purpose?’”

Jemison also spoke to cadets about leadership, something she has experience in not only as an astronaut but as a medical doctor, engineer, social scientist, educator and dancer. After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University, as well as fulfilling the requirements for a Bachelor of Arts degree in African and Afro-American studies, she earned her Doctor of Medicine degree from Cornell Medical School. Jemison then joined the Peace Corps and served as a medical officer for two years in Sierra Leone and Liberia.

WEST POINT | WINTER 2022 53 THAYER AWARD 2021: DR. MAE C. JEMISON
Photos: U.S. Army photo by Christopher Hennen; USMA PAO First Captain Cadet Holland Pratt ’22 presents 2021 Sylvanus Thayer Award recipient Dr. Mae C. Jemison with a gift from the Corps of Cadets. 2021 Sylvanus Thayer Award recipient Dr. Mae C. Jemison addresses distinguished guests and the Corps of Cadets. LTG Darryl A. Williams ’83, 60th Superintendent of the United States Military Academy, and LTG (R) Joseph E. DeFrancisco '65, Chairman of the West Point Association of Graduates, present Dr. Mae C. Jemison with the 2021 Sylvanus Thayer Award.

On September 12, 1992, Jemison launched into space on the Space Shuttle Endeavor with six other astronauts, after being one of the few selected to join NASA Astronaut Group 12. The voyage made Jemison the first African American woman in space.

“In order to be a leader, you have to recognize that you don’t know everything,” Jemison told cadets, “and if you don’t know how to follow, it’s very difficult to get other people to follow you. You have to be a good follower. I know that I don’t always have to be the one in charge—that doesn’t mean giving up my responsibility. But it means sometimes letting other people take point, because they can do a better job on this than I can.” She told cadets that just because they might not be the one in charge, that doesn’t mean they can’t change the dynamics of a situation.

After serving as an astronaut with NASA for six years, Jemison began her career as a STEM educator, teaching at Dartmouth College, followed by serving as Professor-at-Large at Cornell University. Currently, she leads the 100 Year Starship project, a global initiative that aims to ensure that human space travel to another star is possible within the next 100 years and to enhance life on Earth.

Jemison told cadets that seeing their integrity and enthusiasm throughout the day’s events, which included a review of the Corps of Cadets assembled in formation on the Plain in her honor, inspired her and made her want to do better.

“They’re talking about what everybody says, ‘We want to get back to normal,’” Jemison said to a forum of cadets. “What normal? We all have to discover how we evolve to a better normal? We don’t want to go back to the way things were. We have more to do. People will tell you, ‘Hey, we’re waiting for the young folks to come save the world.’ Don’t let us off the hook. You will do what you need to do and have those new visions, move things forward. But don’t let the generation that’s there now off the hook. We have to do better too.”

Jemison stressed to the Corps that the past 18 months have been very different for so many Americans who have been bombarded with challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the social justice movement, the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by fellow U.S. citizens, the effects of climate change and a widening wealth gap. According to Jemison, these challenges will require not just cadets’ intellect but their empathy, compassion and a commitment to caring.

“Time is limited but it has infinite possibilities. There are 86,400 seconds in each day, and we can do with each of those seconds exactly as we please, but we can never get a single one of those seconds back,” Jemison said. “It’s what we decide to do with our time and the choices that make our time infinite with possibilities.”

54 WestPointAOG.org THAYER AWARD 2021: DR. MAE C. JEMISON
Photo: USMA PAO
2021 Sylvanus Thayer Award recipient Dr. Mae C. Jemison is pictured on the Plain with representatives from WPAOG, cadet leadership and USMA after the review in her honor.

Throughout the year, you may be asked to contribute to the following funds, each of which supports the Academy and WPAOG in important ways. Please accept our deepest gratitude for your support.

Superintendent’s and West Point Parents Fund

unrestricted funds for cadets and the Academy

Long Gray Line Fund

unrestricted funds for WPAOG alumni programs

Army A Club

unrestricted funds for intercollegiate athletics

Class Gift Funds restricted by classes in reunion campaigns

Other Restricted Funds restricted for specific programs

The Art of Horsemanship and the West Point Equestrian Team

Karissa Stubblefield ’22, Team Captain for the West Point Equestrian Team, mounted a beautiful chestnut horse named “Quantum” for the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) competition, which was hosted by Marist College at the Crosswinds Equestrian Center in Lagrangeville, New York. This was Stubblefield’s first competition of the 202122 season (last year all IHSA horse shows were virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic), and her coaches, Peter and Sherry Cashman, as well as a few riders from the West Point Equestrian Team, helped her into the saddle.

Cadet

my legs are in the correct position and my hands are in the right spot.”

Stubblefield herself had assisted her teammates just moments ago during the previous round of the competition. The team moved as one unit, with one goal, adjusting the stirrups and polishing Stubblefield’s boots to complete the look of an English hunt seat rider, which is also part of judging in the competition.

“Given that it has been a year and a half since an in-person showing, the big thing for me today is to complete the course, stay calm and ride like I do in practice,” Stubblefield said prior to the competition. “I will try to tweak little things to make sure

Stubblefield rode into the ring on Quantum, first cantering and then jumping with perfection as she started the Limit Class Competition. Her coaches and teammates applauded from the entry gate as each command that Stubblefield provided to Quantum was communicated to the horse through finely calculated movements of the hands, seat and legs. These commands, and the skill needed to execute them with precision, are taught by the Cashmans as part of the art of horsemanship at the United States Military Academy. As the competition continued, it was clear with every jump that Stubblefield, who had been used to riding in Western discipline rodeos growing up, had become proficient in the English discipline since attending West Point. Her quiet seat and steady hands reinforced this conclusion to her teammates and coaches.

More impressive, Stubblefield was assigned to Quantum just moments before the competition began. Called “Catch Riding,” this aspect of equestrian competitions requires riders to connect

56 WestPointAOG.org
Photo: Nile Clarke Above: Coaches Peter and Sherry Cashman (left) and the 14 members of the West Point Equestrian Team attended the first IHSA competition of the 2021-22 season on September 26, 2021. The event was hosted by Marist College and was held at the Crosswinds Equestrian Center in Lagrangeville, NY.

to and build trust with a horse in a short amount of time. “Catch riding is unique in the horse world,” says Peter Cashman. “Most riders practice over and over again on their own horse, but those who compete in catch riding have to get on a horse that some stranger warmed up and then have to figure out how to get that horse to jump before the first fence or else.”

Horsemanship has a long-standing history with the team and the Academy. In 1846 West Point built Thayer Hall, one of the biggest indoor equestrian training centers in the United States at the time. About 60 years later, in 1907, Black soldiers from the 9th and 10th Cavalry regiments, known as Buffalo Soldiers, were stationed at West Point as instructors to teach cadets military horsemanship, and they remained instructors at USMA until 1948.

Nearly 40 years later, on April 17, 1986, the Cashmans arrived at West Point. For the past 36 years they have been working at Morgan Farm, West Point’s horse boarding stable in Highland Falls, New York, and for the last 30 years they have been coaching the West Point Equestrian Team. Peter Cashman is currently the executive director for the IHSA, and he and Sherry were voted “Coach of the Year” multiple times by their peers in the Hudson Valley and New Jersey region. They are renowned for teaching cadets their trust techniques and training methods. The pair also introduced changes when they arrived, allowing cadet riders to have access to their horses as often as possible outside of military training.

WEST POINT | WINTER 2022 57 THE ART OF HORSEMANSHIP AND THE WEST POINT EQUESTRIAN TEAM Photos: Nile Clarke
West Point Equestrian Team member CDT Jennifer Taylor ’24 riding in the IHSA competition. West Point Equestrian Team Captain CDT Karissa Stubblefield ’22 riding Quantum during the IHSA competition.

Every year, the cadet riders that the Cashmans select for the Equestrian Team train hard to qualify for a place in the IHSA National Championship, which is held at various equestrian facilities across the country and includes upwards of almost 400 colleges and 10,000 students in the competition. The road to this competition begins in what is known as the “Gauntlet.” “The Gauntlet consists of six jumps in a row with ground rails,” says Peter Cashman. “We then take the riders through a series of exercises—trot, trot with eyes closed, trot without irons, trot without reins, and trot without stirrups—each designed to teach cadets to trust the horse.” Sherry Cashman notes that they also incorporate “bareback” riding in their training, which forces cadets to improve their balance because they are riding the horse without a saddle. This year, there are a total of 14 members of the West Point Equestrian Team, 10 of whom are plebes at various skill levels.

Amberle Kurkowski ’07, a former team captain, remembers well the lessons she learned from the Cashmans. “I will never forget the first time Coach Peter made me ride without stirrups,” she says. “At the time, I wasn’t sure I was going to make it, but having to ride without stirrups improved my balance, developed my core muscles and ultimately made me a better rider.” Kurkowski said that the lessons she learned while on the team still apply to her life today. “I run my own company, and the leadership lessons and discipline I learned as a member of the Equestrian Team have been passed on with success to my team of employees,” she says. “My daughters are also learning to ride, and I truly enjoy watching them learn the lessons of selfconfidence, leadership, and teamwork from their equine partners that I learned while riding.”

But being part of the Equestrian Team is more than just riding lessons. As Sherry Cashman points out, cadet riders assist with taking care of the horses and the mules at Morgan Farm as well. Cadets feed, wash, and brush the horses, before or after daily practices, and they clean the stalls and ready the horses for competitions. Most important, they also spend time with the majestic 1,200- to 1,400-pound animals. Callum, a beautiful bay Irish Sport Horse gelding, loves to knock on his stable door when cadet riders are at the stables. Callum once accompanied fox hunters, but he now has a new job and a new home with the other nine horses and two mules on the farm. The Cashmans say that there are two competitive athletes in this sport: the horse and the human. Both must learn to work together and trust each other quickly in order to succeed.

Mike White ’82, Senior Director of Major and Leadership Giving for the West Point Association of Graduates (WPAOG) and former Equestrian Team member, believes that the lessons cadets learn as members of the Equestrian Team can be instrumental in their lives. “Being on the Equestrian Team helped me cope with the stresses of Academy life and offered me an opportunity to compete against other colleges, including against the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst,” White says. “I formed bonds with my teammates that remain strong to this day, and after I left the Army I had a long career in the horse racing industry, which being an equestrian prepared me for as well.”

“Our cadet riders are very active in so many different things— schoolwork, military training, USCC duties—but their first priority is becoming an Army officer,” says Sherry Cashman. “Being a member of the Equestrian Team supports this by

58 WestPointAOG.org THE ART OF HORSEMANSHIP AND THE WEST POINT EQUESTRIAN TEAM
Photos: Courtesy National Archives, photo nos. 404-WS-6-4518-1, 404-WS-6-5465-3
“Our cadet riders are very active in so many different things—schoolwork, military training, USCC duties—but their first priority is becoming an Army officer. Being a member of the Equestrian Team supports this by reinforcing the value of good sportsmanship and emphasizing leadership qualities among the team.”
— Sherry Cashman, West Point Equestrian Team Coach
Buffalo Soldiers from the 9th and 10th Cavalry regiments training in Thayer Hall (left) and assembling in formation during a ceremony at USMA (right).
WEST POINT | WINTER 2022 59 WPAOG Recognizes our 2021 Entrepreneur Summit Sponsors 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 Reserve your space in the West Point Authors Bookshelf, a specially priced advertising section in West Point magazine showcasing books by West Point affiliated authors. The Bookshelf appears in our Fall and Spring issues to enable our more than 56,000 magazine readers to discover and support these books. Learn more about the Bookshelf and other WPAOG advertising and sponsorship opportunities on our website at WestPointAOG.org/Advertise
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reinforcing the value of good sportsmanship and emphasizing leadership qualities among the team.” Cashman notes that riding well and show production also play a big part, but they are secondary to USMA’s overall mission. “Of course, we would love for our riders to win every class and win blues, but if they come out and have a good ride, hopefully they will learn from the experience and earn a better ribbon next time,” she says.

Recently, on October 3, 2021, the West Point Equestrian Team won four blue ribbons while hosting their first IHSA horse competition. The competition took place at the General Crosbie E. Saint Equestrian Center, a newly constructed indoor horse arena for West Point. Rival teams from the Hudson Valley—including Marist College, SUNY-New Paltz, and Vassar College—traveled to Morgan Farm and rode, trotted, and jumped in the eight-team competition, which ended with the West Point Equestrian Team winning the title of High Point Reserve Champions. Two cadet riders, Lily Holtmeier ’25 and Jennifer Taylor ’24, took home blue ribbons and tied for the highest amount of points during their event as reserve High Point riders.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better comeback,” said Taylor. “I just tried to think about everything that Coach Sherry told me to do in practice—stay with the horse and be in peace with it, eyes up, heels down and quiet hands—it was amazing.”

The General Crosbie E. Saint Equestrian Center was officially opened and dedicated on October 1, 2021, just days before the

60 WestPointAOG.org THE ART OF HORSEMANSHIP AND THE WEST POINT EQUESTRIAN TEAM
Photos: Erika Norton/WPAOG; Alexandra Elfers/WPAOG; Nile Clarke The General Crosbie E. Saint Equestrian Center. COL (R) Debbie Lewis ’80, a former West Point Equestrian Team captain, visits with Callum at the General Crosbie E. Saint Equestrian Center. West Point Equestrian Team members performing in the indoor arena at the General Crosbie E. Saint Equestrian Center.
“I run my own company, and the leadership lessons and discipline I learned as a member of the Equestrian Team have been passed on with success to my team of employees.”
— Amberle Kurkowski ’07, former Equestrian Team captain

IHSA competition. WPAOG held a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the occasion, complete with a reception, a riding demonstration by the Equestrian Team and a tour of the facilities. The center is named after General Crosbie Edgerton Saint ’58, who served as Commander, United States Army Europe from 1988 to 1992. The general was also a 2012 Distinguished Graduate Award recipient. White was instrumental in facilitating the logistics, paperwork, and funding for the new Equestrian Center. The idea started with Colonel Debbie Lewis ’80 (Retired), who was team captain when she was a cadet and noticed that training outside in New York winters was extremely tough. Mr. David J. Roux and Mrs. Barbara W. Roux were the lead donors on the project. The new center has a stunning 17,500-square-foot indoor arena, a coaches’ office, tack rooms for riding equipment, and stalls for the horses. It is also home to Paladin the mule, West Point’s mascot, and Paladin’s new mule buddy, Ranger IV, who just arrived this October.

Cadets are excited about the building too. Being able to train all year round and compete more is something newcomer cadet rider Bill Luker ’25 is ready for. “I love competition and I love winning,” Luker says. “We are in the Army, and these horse competitions inspire friendly strife.”

With a new indoor arena, a new class of cadets ready to saddle up, and two coaches with 80-plus years of experience between them, the future looks bright for the Equestrian Team. The Cashmans have created an Equestrian Team family at West Point by supporting the cadets in and out of the arena and by encouraging cadets to care for their horses. “For the life of the rider and the life of the horse—two athletes competing,” says Peter Cashman. “Human athlete and horse athlete working together and riding together for a common goal.” Go Army Riding! 

This article is based on a draft submitted by Nile Clarke, former WPAOG staff, and has been edited for style, structure and substance.

WEST POINT | WINTER 2022 61 THE ART OF HORSEMANSHIP AND THE WEST POINT EQUESTRIAN TEAM
Photos: Erika Norton/WPAOG; Nile Clarke
The WPAOG ribbon cutting ceremony for the General Crosbie E. Saint Equestrian Center. Saint Equestrian Center for West Point.. West Point Equestrian Team member CDT Lily Holtmeier ’25 won a first place ribbon during the first IHSA competition hosted by USMA on October 3, 2021. CDT Jennifer Taylor ’24 tends to a team horse after a demonstration for donors at the WPAOG ribbon cutting ceremony for the General Crosbie E. Saint Equestrian Center.

Be Thou at Peace

Col Albert S.J. Tucker Jr. USAF, Retired 1943 JUN

COL Robert F. Shannon USA, Retired 1944

Lt Col Frank E. Cole USAF, Retired 1946

Mr. Oliver Moses IV 1946

Mr. Maurice Serotta 1946

Maj Gen Henry B. Stelling Jr. USAF, Retired 1948

Mr. Charles E. Cheever Jr. 1949

COL David R. Hughes USA, Retired 1950

LTC William E. Slavins USA, Retired 1950

Col John P. Streit USAF, Retired 1950

Mr. Laurance C. Dosh 1951

COL Thomas U. Harrold USA, Retired 1951

LTC Malcolm B. Tennant USA, Retired 1951

Mr. Richard F. Lamb 1952

MG Donald R. Lasher USA, Retired 1952

Mr. Richard D. Moore 1952

Mr. Reynold Thomas Jr. 1952

Mr. Louis V. Tomasetti 1952

Col Ed D. Davis USAF, Retired 1953

Brig Gen Frank M. Drew USAF, Retired 1953

BG Cary B. Hutchinson Jr. USA, Retired 1953

Dr. Louis A. Kaufman 1953

Mr. Ross B. Kenzie 1953

Mr. Herbert D. Peckham 1953

COL Donald A. Ramsay USA, Retired 1953

COL Rocco F. Ventrella Jr. USA, Retired 1953

Lt Col Carl B. Crews USAF, Retired 1954

COL Robert E. Goodwin USA, Retired 1954

Mr. Richard A. Grifenhagen 1954

COL Arthur F. Lykke Jr. USA, Retired 1954

COL Warren T. Palmer USA, Retired 1954

Mr. James G. Plunkett Jr. 1954

Mr. Kaye D. Lathrop 1955

Col Richard H. Prater USAF, Retired 1955

LTC Frank D. Troyan USA, Retired 1955

LTC William P. Baxter USA, Retired 1956

COL Howard G. Glock USA, Retired 1956

Mr. Carl F. Hattler 1956

Maj Neale M. Luft USAF, Retired 1956

Mr. Jerold A. Morgan 1956

LTC Edward F. Rhodes USA, Retired 1956

Mr. Charles F. Swezey 1956

Deaths reported from September 16 – December 15, 2021

COL Paul P. Winkel Jr. USA, Retired 1956

COL Edwin S. Olsmith Jr. USA, Retired 1957

Lt Col Walter J. Barnes USAF, Retired 1958

LTC James H. Jones USA, Retired 1958

Mr. Terry D. Snyder 1958

COL Dennis M. Duggan USA, Retired 1959

COL Victor M. Fernandez USA, Retired 1959

MG Nicholas S. H. Krawciw USA, Retired 1959

COL Stanley J. Zagalak USA, Retired 1959

LTC William M. Breit USA, Retired 1960

Mr. Theodore R. Dunn 1960

LTC James R. Ramos USA, Retired 1960

Lt Col Benjaman C. Glidden USAF, Retired 1961

Mr. Harmon R. Parmele 1961

COL Howard W. Randall USA, Retired 1961

LTC John B. Zimmerman USA, Retired 1961

LTC Roger W. Green Jr. USA, Retired 1962

COL Joe S. Johnson Jr. USA, Retired 1962

Mr. Anthony B. Lawson 1962

LTC Donald A. Price USA, Retired 1962

Col Richard T. Ryer USAF, Retired 1962

Dr. James A. Strohmeyer 1962

Mr. Charles D. Hartman III 1963

COL Dale F. Means USA, Retired

Mr. George Pappas

Mr. Hiram W. Warder II

LTC Daniel H. Hornbarger USA, Retired

Mr. Harold D. McCormack

Mr. Frank M. Arnall III

LTC Douglas L. Gibson USA, Retired

Mr. Michael J. O'Grady

Mr. Richard A. Sullivan

LTC Saint Elmo P. Tyner II USA, Retired

Mr. Louis L. Wheeler

Mr. Jesse M. Whitten

LTG David J. Kelley USA, Retired

Mr. Arthur C. Mosley Jr. 1966

Mr. Frederick R. Ulrich Jr. 1966

LTC Robert L. Harris Jr. USA, Retired 1967

Mr. Kenneth M. Day 1968

Col James E. Garrison III USAF, Retired 1968

Deacon Thomas C. McConnell 1968

Mr. Nicholas Nahorniak 1968

Mr. Richard L. Palke 1968

MG John J. Ryneska USA, Retired 1968

LTC Ronald L. Lucas USA, Retired 1969

Mr. Brian P. Locke 1970

COL Lynn D. Moore USA, Retired 1970

COL Stephen H. Strom USA, Retired 1970

Mr. Christopher B. Benham 1971

Mr. Kenneth L. Wyrick 1971

Mr. Nathan B.F. Shoaf 1972

Mr. William J. Ciccotti 1973

LTC Dale B. Mowry USA, Retired 1974

COL Richard F. Machamer Jr. USA, Retired 1975

LTC Richard A. Carlin USA, Retired 1976

MAJ Jose A. Fernandez USA, Retired 1976

GEN Raymond T. Odierno USA, Retired 1976

Mr. Steven Torres 1977

Mr. Douglas H. Gray 1978

LTC George R.E. Baker II USA, Retired 1979

COL John H. Bone Jr. USA, Retired 1979

Mr. Robert P. Wentzel 1979

Mr. Steven W. Berthot 1981

Mr. Joe E. Herr 1981

MG Warren E. Phipps Jr. USA, Retired 1982

COL Christopher D. Pokorny USAR 1983

LTC John E. Smidt USA, Retired 1983

LTC Laura A. Moore USA, Retired 1984

Dr. Ellis J. Williams 1985

COL Bernard E. Williford Jr. USA, Retired 1987

Mr. Jeffrey S. Castille 1989

Mr. John M. Tonra 1989

Mr. Todd R. Hutton 1990

Mr. Brian K. Tramel 1990

Mr. Gregory W. McHaas 1992

Mr. Arthur T. Cornelson 1994

MAJ Roman D. Izzo USA, Retired 2000

Dr. Ian Fishback 2001

CPT Benjamin E. Neusse USA, Retired 2004

Mr. Justin M. Rude 2006

Mr. Brandon D. Stevenson 2007

Mr. Collin E. Parker 2020

2nd Lt Anthony D. Wentz USAF 2020

62 WestPointAOG.org BE THOU AT PEACE
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Past in Review

George and Jerauld Olmsted: Brothers for Life, But Not at the 1921 Army-Navy Game

On November 26, 1921, the 24th ArmyNavy Game took place at the Polo Grounds in New York City before a crowd of roughly 45,000 spectators. In attendance at the game were Vice President and Mrs. Coolidge, Secretary of War John W. Weeks, and Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Robert E. Coontz. Cadet First Captain and regimental commander George H. Olmsted of Iowa, Class of 1922, led the West Point Corps of Cadets as they marched onto the field that cold, rainy day. Likewise, his older brother, Jerauld L. Olmsted, led the then Regiment of Midshipmen onto the field. Their

meeting 100 years ago on the “fields of friendly strife” was the only time in history that two brothers ever led their respective academies as they marched on to support their teams in the annual Army-Navy Game.

The game itself was a long, hard, physical slog in the mud. Army, led by legendary coach Charles Daly, hoped to use its speed to drive the ball in spurts and to score touchdowns quickly. But as various contemporary accounts of the game attest, it was Navy that proved the stronger team, leading Army in passes, yards gained, tackles, and first downs. After a sustained defensive struggle,

Navy found the end zone toward the close of the first half to take a one touchdown lead. Army battled furiously throughout the second half, but the Cadets were never able to score. In the end, Navy prevailed 7-0 and took an overall lead in the series, with 12 wins to 11 for Army and one tie.

Although George and Jerauld Olmsted were both members of the Class of 1922, they were a year apart in age, with Jerauld the elder of the two. However, both had been selected as leaders of their respective schools in 1921, and for good reasons.

WEST POINT | WINTER 2022 63 PAST IN REVIEW Photos: Submitted
Above:
“March
On” at the 24th Army-Navy Game at the Polo Grounds in New York City, 1921. Left: George H. Olmsted, USMA, Class of 1922. Right: Jerauld L. Olmsted, USNA, Class of 1922.

As a cadet, George Olmsted excelled in every endeavor he pursued. In addition to serving as First Captain, he graduated second in his class, was elected class president three years in a row, managed the Army Football Team, and was the Corps’ featherweight boxing champion. He also served as the first chairman of the Cadet Honor Committee, which had been established by Brigadier General Douglas MacArthur, Class of 1903, the Superintendent at that time, to provide a regulated process to govern enforcement of the Cadet Honor Code. Above all, George was always a truly selfless leader and admired friend.

Jerauld Olmsted enjoyed an equal level of success as a midshipman at Annapolis. Not only did he serve as commander of the Regiment of Midshipmen, Jerauld graduated first in his class academically, led and managed the Navy Soccer Team, and served as editor-in-chief of the yearbook. Having spent a year in the Navy prior to arriving at Annapolis, he was also a trusted mentor and valued tutor to his grateful classmates. Like his brother, he was admired and highly respected by his classmates.

The year of the 24th Army-Navy Game, 1921, was a fascinating year for cadets and midshipmen alike. All those who had entered West Point and Annapolis during the summer of 1918 had done so during the final year of World War I. With the country at war, they had been told initially that their classes would graduate in three years in order to help bring new officers into the Army and Navy more quickly. However, after the armistice, and over the course of the ensuing two years, it became apparent that the military was once again shrinking rapidly and would not need so many officers so quickly. At the beginning of his third year at West Point, George was named First Captain by MacArthur. His selection at that point in time was predicated on the belief that he and his

classmates would all graduate in June 1921. But not long thereafter, Congress got involved and decided to return West Point and Annapolis to the four-year courses of instruction that were the established norm. In another rare historical occurrence, George and his classmates were given the option to graduate in three years or to remain for the full four-year program. Persuaded in large measure by the example of their class president, nearly every member of what then became the West Point Class of 1922 decided to remain at the Academy for a fourth year. Consequently, George Olmsted’s tenure as First Captain was extended by MacArthur into the 192122 academic year, thus making him the only First Captain who served in that position for a period of longer than one academic year.

George and Jerauld Olmsted would go on to win significant notoriety at the time of their near simultaneous graduations from West Point and Annapolis. The New York Times published a large, two-page spread showcasing the graduation ceremonies and highlighting the fact that both brothers had been selected and served as the top leaders of their respective academies.

Tragically, just a year after graduating from Annapolis, Jerauld died suddenly of an unknown illness, believed to have been polio or spinal meningitis. Jerauld’s death spurred George to leave active duty and return to Iowa to support his father and the growing family insurance business. Over the subsequent 20 years, George built a network of insurance companies and banks throughout the central parts of the United States that thrived and survived throughout the Great Depression and into the 1940s.

George was recalled to active duty in World War II, during which he served once again under General MacArthur, this time in the China Theater of Operations. During his service in China, George became convinced that

the greatest American military leaders must be educated broadly. After serving once again during the Korean War, George returned permanently to civilian life and expanded his very successful banking and insurance conglomerate on the international level. In 1959, George established The Olmsted Foundation and endowed the Olmsted Scholar Program to provide outstanding young military leaders an opportunity to learn a foreign language, pursue graduate studies overseas, and acquire an indepth understanding of foreign cultures to better equip them to serve as senior leaders in the armed forces. Since then, a total of 727 military officers have been selected as Olmsted Scholars, including 140 graduates of West Point. These graduates are memorialized on the large perpetual plaque mounted in the third-floor rotunda of Thayer Hall, just outside Robinson Auditorium.

George Olmsted later became a major benefactor to West Point and other service academies. In 1986, he donated the funds needed to establish the West Point Museum, now known as Olmsted Hall, on the grounds of the former Ladycliff College in Highland Falls, just outside Thayer Gate. As part of this development, the entire contents of the former museum, housed until that time in Thayer Hall, were removed and relocated to the new museum.

Looking back today, a century removed from this unique and historic game, the legacies of George and Jerauld Olmsted can still be felt by cadets, midshipmen, academy alumni, and anyone else who attended or watched this year’s Army-Navy Game. It is a legacy of service. It is a legacy of excellence and achievement. But in George’s case, perhaps most of all it is a legacy of leadership and generosity to the beloved, Rockbound Highland Home that made him the man he became. 

64 WestPointAOG.org PAST IN REVIEW

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