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Vol 7, Issue 6
The Quill
October 2011
         In This Issue

WPST Helps Operation Welcome Home

Our Cadets – Rings, the Sequel!

Our Cadets - Luke Grant

Ad Hoc Meal Group Strikes Again!

USSAPC Holds Semiannual Breakfast

Ring Recovery

Special eBay Find Goes to West Point

West Point Reps Could Be Visiting Boys' Choir Of Tallahassee

West Point Moms Bake

Show Affinity With Lifetime Email

From Representation to Inclusion

Assn of Graduates Proposes A Design

West Pointers on Stamps

Army Relinquishes Fort Monroe

Happy Trails To You!

Thanks for the Memories

WPST Board of Directors Meeting Report - 09.26.11

The Philosophy of Ambiguity

This Man's Home Is a Castle

Embracing the Game, Preparing for Reality

It's That Time of Year Again

A Ride in a U2 Spy Plane

Note: this is an html listing of newsletters back to April 2008. Newsletters older than 6 months are text only (links will still work)
Note from the webmaster: Many photos in the stories are larger than we can display. If you see a photo you would like for your own personal use, right click on the image and select save as to have a copy (actual size) saved on your computer.



WHO:     WPST members/family, prospects/parents.  

WHAT:  Annual WPST Family Picnic

WHERE:       Barrington Park Clubhouse, Tallahassee

WHEN:   Saturday, October 15th   --  Doors open at NOON

WHY:     F4 - fun, food, fellowship, friends! 

We’ll again enjoy another ‘indoor picnic’ at the same beautiful facility as last year.  WPST will provide meat (chicken, ham, & either pork or beef), plates, cups, napkins, utensils, ice, & soda/tea.  Alcohol is authorized this year; it is an individual responsibility -- BYOB if you want.  

COST:  In 2010, it was $10 per person.  This year it is….FREE!  This is a  well deserved “thank you” perk, a tiny payback for the support and enthusiasm of WPST members since our early days way back in ‘03.  OK, we will ask you to bring a side dish – more on that in a follow-on message after we know how many will be attending.    

Barrington Park has ample parking, indoor & outdoor eating areas, media room (you won’t miss college football games), indoor basketball court, a gym, and a lot more.  Additional details via a final email mid next week.

Remember, Saturday, October 15th.  Doors open at NOON; we’ll eat @ 1pm.     

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WPST Helps Operation Welcome Home

Maryland Unit Meets More Flights of Returning Warriors Than  Any Other

As so many things these days, another email started a chain reaction that saw WPST climb into the saddle once again, riding to the sound of the guns.  This time, it was in support of Operation Welcome Home – Maryland.

The email, on August 8th, was from Wendy Wright, daughter of Pat Hidalgo and our departed, very much missed buddy, BG Pete Hidalgo, Class of 1958. 

She and husband, Will, are volunteers with Operation Welcome Home.  Wendy explained how the Maryland chapter greets more returning flights than any other organization, providing each soldier, sailor, marine or airman a welcoming handshake, a hug, goodie bag stuffed with snacks and trinkets, and cards of appreciation.  It’s both an expensive and labor-intensive operation that never stops. 

WPST got the engines turning…..emails between members most of that day and then the Board of Directors took direct action later the same day (8/8/11), authorizing a support grant from the WPST treasury to aid this worthwhile project.  Treasurer Greg Bisig ’81, got that check the way soon thereafter.  As is frequently the case when dealing with a good cause, and a mark of the folks representing us all in the WPST, several board members provided matching gifts, making WPST assistance more significant. 

Because Operation Welcome Home – MD also provides those cards in each goodie bag, WPST members went on a ‘card signing mission’.  Attendees at the ad hoc dinner at Andrews 228 and the annual Midsummer Pizza Party signed dozens of cards with personal notes, to be sent to Operation Welcome Home.  Each envelope had our logo outside – and scores of heartfelt messages inside.  

If you didn’t get a chance to support Operation Welcome Home at one of these events, you still can.  Here’s how………..


Below is the letter of appreciation received by WPST from Operation Welcome Home – MD’s founder and president, Kathy Thorp. 

Dear WPST –

I just received a note from our webmaster, Chuck Georgo regarding your support both financial and in getting the word out about our organization. Let me say thank you on behalf of all of us from Operation Welcome Home (MD) who are compassionate in our mission.

This grassroots organization was started March 2007, and since that time, we have greeted over 165,000 military personnel.  Last year alone was 44,000 military personnel through the international gates of BWI, Maryland! Of all the airports in the US, BWI receives the highest number of re-deployers annually. We average approximately 20 flights a month, some scheduled as noted on our web site, owhmd.org and others added with only a 24-48 hr notice. We have an event line set up for folks to call after 9am for more flights and time updates. (410-630-1555)

I am humbled by this accomplishment and honored to be working with a very dedicated crew of team leaders who do the behind the scenes to prepare and lead an event or two event per month. These team leaders consist of several husband and wives teams, veterans, and patriots who believe in our mission " to greet each and every military personnel who come through the doors at BWI". We then are surrounded by individuals, church groups and organizations like yourselves who wish to help in some way.

We greet approximately 3,800 personnel monthly and give them each a bag filled with snack size bag of chips, cookies, granola bar, candy, water and a card of appreciation.  Each donation we receive is given back to the troops, 100%. The bags are made on an assembly line approximately 40 minutes prior to  arrival, involving everyone who attends. Donations received at the events are used for following events, carefully counted ahead of time to have the right number for each bag according to the number on board.

This year we are working closely with Wreaths Across America, assisting them with the effort in their tradition of laying Christmas wreaths at all of our fallen at Arlington National Cemetery, and cemeteries across  the nation. For every wreath that is purchased for this occasion, OWH (MD) will receive $5.00 to help defray the cost of the snack bags. If you are interested, I attached the flier for your review. Any help in this effort would be most appreciative.

Other ways to assist OWH(MD) besides our primary goal of being present for our Hero's include a collection drive.  Several schools that have participated on Veterans Day to collect the snack bag items. Others have collected money and purchased us a gift card so we can purchase items in bulk. We now are at the point in our storage closest to cover only one more month of snacks, an unusual low for us.

- we always can use "welcome home" cards - schools, scouts, church groups, retirement communities have mailed, or dropped off some beautiful cards. The service men and women appreciated these cards immensely as they come from the heart. No envelopes are necessary.

- at times, we have had some exciting individuals come and entertain the troops - we will never forget the Kansas City Cheerleaders who were snowbound and wanted to support the troops. There was a smile on every face that day and we will be forever grateful! We have had talented individuals lead us in singing the National Anthem, and various Santa's volunteers help us during their busiest season.

- advertisement of OWH (MD) efforts is always a great way to help us out. We are always looking for volunteers especially the retired, who can show up without much notice. It is the unexpected flights that are ALL military, and for which we need more individuals to come and assist.
Also, If there is one point of contact for an organization who would like to post the dates of the events to their newspaper/newsletter, they can contact our web master and be placed on the list-serve> The  organization will receive one email a month with the dates of the events.

- we work closely with the Girls Scouts and their cookie drives, and always say the Pledge of Allegiance having the Scouts lead us in this time-honored tradition.

- we involve college students by placing them up front to help the servicemen/women with their luggage to free up a hand for shaking.  Volunteer hours for both high schools and colleges are given if needed.

  • BWI airport authorities, and the volunteer organization at the airport (Pathfinders) have been extremely supportive to our mission. We are not affiliated with the USO, although we do donate any item that is too big for the snack bags.

I hope this gives you some information of what we are all about. For all those veterans that come and assist, or assist remotely, we always say thank you! It is individuals like yourselves that gave us the freedoms that we have today. We honor you by greeting these fine young men and women, as many are not from the area and do not have family members to greet them. Feel free to call if you have any additional questions.

On a personal note, I wanted to share that my daughter is in the Army - an Army nurse working in El Paso, TX. One of my cousins, Peter Graff graduated from West Point a number of years ago.

Kathy Thorp
Founder of Operation Welcome Home (MD)
Husband: USNA class 77
Son: USNA class 09

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Our Cadets – Rings, the Sequel!

Brad Hitchens & Michael Van Oteghem, Class of 2012

Seriously, can you EVER have enough photos of such great rings? 

………………………………………………..We didn’t think so either, so here’s another!

Hitchens (L), VanOteghem (R)

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Our Cadets - Jason Rho

Jason Rho – Class of 2015

Beast Barracks behind him, academic year in full swing, Chiles High School in Tallahassee probably looks and feels like a lifetime ago for WPST’s Jason Rho, Class of 2015.

Life is hard as a Plebe – and, before all you dinosaurs start reminiscing and saying silly things that start with “When I was a Plebe….”, just remember it is still plenty tough and current cadets’ reference points are very different than days of yore.  The collective guess of the crack editorial staff at The Quill is that Jason is finding this year every bit as difficult.

Recently, however, he had the chance to ‘fall out’ and enjoy a nice meal, with some upper classman when Scott Grant visited the Academy and met the guys for an informal lunch.  Jason met some new faces, ones that might be able to lend a hand in coming days. 

Shown below in the group photo – Brad Hitchens ’12, Daren Evans ’14, Michael VanOteghem ’12, Jason, and Luke Grant ’12. 

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Our Cadets - Luke Grant

Luke Grant – Class of 2011

Luke and some buddies recently made a road trip to Niagara Falls.  Being his ever-quiet self, Dad (Scott) and Mom (Hope) Grant did not hear this from Luke.  One of Luke’s pals, probably a tripmate,  posted the shots below on Facebook.

No mention on Facebook or elsewhere of going over the edge in barrels to see if gravity works there…at least not that our trained WPST investigators have uncovered!

That’s Luke on the left (upper and middle photos) and center-right in the last shot. 

Good times!

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Our Officers - LT Amanda Cummins

Local Joint Service News
LT Amanda Cummins, USMC

A regular feature of The Quill is highlighting our local West Point cadets and graduates.  Most featured in this section have been mentored from application to graduation by members of the WPST Field Force (Admissiosn) team.

Many may not know, but the United States Naval Academy has a program similar to our own Field Force.  It is called Blue & Gold Officers.  These dedicated men and woman seek out and  mentor highly qualified applicants for possible admission to the Naval Academy.  One local Blue & Gold Officer is Mr. Chris Cummins.  Chris is very active in the program, and a very familiar site to WPST Field Force at the annual Congressional Academy Day and many other events. 

Chris and Tracy’s daughter, Lieutenant Amanda Cummins (center, below), was commissioned as a United States Marine Corps officer in ceremonies August 13th at the National Museum of the Marine Corps.  With Lieutenant  Cummins in the photo are her brother Greg, a Midshipman at USNA – Class of 2013, and sister Christie.

Recognizing that we’re all in this together (with the possible notable exception of Army-Navy game day!) the members of the West Point Society of Tallahassee extend heartiest congratulations to Lieutenant Cummins and her family. 

We’re proud to stand with all of you.    

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Ad Hoc Meal Group Strikes Again!

(L to R) Nina & Claude Shipley, Montse Webb, Karin Werner, Anntoinette and David Rich, Bill Webb, Bob Werner

Tan’s Asian Café

Our elite “hit-and-eat attack” commandos, the WPST Ad Hoc Mealers, swooped in on another local restaurant recently.  On Saturday, August 17th, the group had lunch at Tan’s Asian Café, delighting in varied fare and plenty of it.  Everyone that wanted went home with yummies for later. 

The concept was different this time around, too.  Instead of everyone ordering their own meal, the Webb’s worked with Anntoinette and Tan’s to choose a multitude of dishes, some familiar and others not so well known.  And though the numbers attending were fewer than at Andrews 228 in August and the food definitely is not to be confused with haute cuisine , the event was just as much fun and a good time was had by all present.  

Taking part in this ‘training exercise’ were Karin and Bob Werner ’55, Montse and Bill Webb ’57, Nina and Claude Shipley ’75, and Anntoinette and David Rich ’78. 

If you’d like to be added to the ‘alert roster’ for ‘future operations’, contact WPST Secretary David Rich.     

(L to R) WPST members pictured - Bill Webb, Nina & Claude Shipley, Montse Webb

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West Point Admissions “In the House”

Field Force Visits Tallahassee

More than 70 high schoolers with dreams of becoming the next generation of West Point graduates came from all over the panhandle and southern Georgia to listen to a West Point Admissions briefing from Major Tom Tolman on August 31st in Tallahassee.  Most were accompanied by parents.    

Major Tolman is a 2001 Academy graduate and the current Commander, Southeastern Region, Admissions.  He provided an informational brief, strongly advising candidates to prepare early and well because the competition is fierce.  Typically, tens of thousands annually apply for the competitive appointments – and only about 1250 get in.  At the conclusion of the evening, MAJ Tolman and members of the West Point Society of Tallahassee were available for questions.  

The event was coordinated by WPST Field Force, ably represented by WPST Field Force coordinators COL(Ret) Claude Shipley ’75 and COL(Ret) Charles Lawson.  BrigGen (USAF-Ret) Bill Webb, West Point Class of 1957, and Mr. Scott Grant assisted.  Scott is co-president of the United States Service Academy Parents Club – Big Bend.  He is the father of LT Adam Grant ’09 & Cadet Luke Grant ‘12.

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USSAPC Holds Semiannual Breakfast

Parents’ Group News

The United States Service Academy Parents Club – Big Bend (USAPC) had their semiannual fellowship breakfast on Saturday morning, August 24th and the venue was a new one – Seminole Winds buffet restaurant in Tallahassee.* 

West Point and Navy were well represented, with a few more “Hudson High” types than those sporting the blue and gold of “Canoe U”.  Unfortunately, some had to leave before photo taking time – we’ve learned our lesson and will snap away earlier next time around, you can bet on that.  A big black, gray, and gold apology to those not in the photos. 

A confirmed and reaffirmed….you always, always, always take two photos just in case.  See if you can tell why, first looking at the approved shot above and then the uh-oh shown below.  No intent to block people out; it just happened.  We’ve shared some chuckles over that since the event.  J  Above, left to right – Pam VanOteghem, Leonard Carson, David Rich, Don VanOteghem, Lisa Carson, Bill Webb, Claude Shipley, Lesa Evans, Kevin McGlynn, Cindie Hitchens, and Dennis Hitchens.    

West Point parents:
Brad and Cindie Hitchens (parents of Brad Hitchens, Class of 2012)
Don and Pam VanOteghem (parents of Michael VanOteghem, Class of 2012)
Scott & Hope Grant (USSAPC co-pres, parents of LT Adam Grant ’09 & Luke Grant, Class of 2012)
Lesa Evans (USSAPC treasurer, parent of Daren, Class of 2014)
Linda Rho (parent of Jason, Class of 2015)

Navy parents:
Kevin McGlynn (parent of Ensign James ’10 and John ’14)
Leonard & Lisa Carson (parents of Trevor, Class of 2015)

Bill Webb ’57, Claude Shipley ’75, and David Rich ’78 attended representing WPST.   

Next event for USSAPC is their fall “Operation Boodle Box”, a neat project providing fun-filled gift boxes to every Tallahassee-area cadet and midshipman.  If you’d like to take part, contact Scott or Hope Grant.  Their contact information can be found on the WPST members’ roster.

* Hearty recommendation – you can’t beat Seminole Winds $5.99 breakfast!  Add another $2 for coffee or a soft drink and it’s still the best deal in town.  Everything you can think of is included in the breakfast buffet line.  Actually, there’s more than you’d probably think of on the buffet line.  Food is well prepared, hot, and very tasty.  Here’s a tip – get the cinnamon roll.  Wow! 

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NorthCom's New Army Boss Says Terrorism is Top Concern

GEN Chuck Jacoby ‘78

By Tom Roeder, THE GAZETTE

The first non-pilot to lead U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command said Friday the lack of wings on his uniform doesn’t mean he can’t lead an aerial battle.

Army Gen. Charles “Chuck” Jacoby Jr., who took over the commands this summer, has flown nothing more complex than a parachute and has spent most of his 33-year career marching with infantry units. But Jacoby said his time as a top American commander in Iraq showed he’s more than a ground-pounder.

“I’m a joint commander and I have been a joint commander,” said Jacoby, referring to his time leading Marines, sailors and airmen in addition to soldiers overseas.

In that role, he said, he ordered fighters into combat as much as many of his flying brethren.

As Northern Command’s boss, he’s responsible for protecting America’s borders from attack and providing Defense Department resources to help out in civil disasters. Jacoby also heads NORAD,        a binational command that has defended America and Canada from air and missile attacks for more than 50 years. He’s the first Army general to hold the post.

The commands are headquartered at Peterson Air Force Base.

In his first meeting with reporters in Colorado, Jacoby said his chief concern remains terrorist attacks and he’s pushing his troops to think of every method enemies could use to strike American targets.

“We are constantly gaming what’s the next step and the step beyond,” Jacoby said.

Another worry for Jacoby and the rest of the military are austerity measures being discussed by Congress. The Pentagon has promised $75 billion in budget cuts through 2015. The Obama  administration is asking to increase that to $350 billion in  cuts over 10 years.

Budget cuts required under a measure passed this summer that raised the national debt ceiling could increase that total by another $600 billion unless other economies are found, lawmakers have said.

Jacoby said he expects to see some cuts soon, but doesn’t anticipate anything drastic because the anti-terror and other missions of his command are so crucial.

“There is a limit there,” he said. “There is a floor to the amount of risk we can accept.”


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Ring Recovery

R2’s September Update – David McClellan, Ring Recover

Last evening (Tuesday, 09/13/11) we were the high bidder at $2025.11 on the eBay sale of the Class of 1987 ring of Mr. Donald Ray Mudford, Cullum 44518.  Payment has just been made and we now await shipment of the ring.  The upward spiral of the cost of gold, now in excess of $1800 per ounce, has had an impact on our cost of recovery.  We passed on a Class of 1942 ring, name not know, recently because we just didn't want to exercise an eBay Buy-It-Now option in the amount of $2000 with no bidding accomplished to validate that cost.  Another party did so.

COL-Ret McGurk, Ring Recovery, has been working with a German national to recover the Class of 1987 ring of Colonel James Edward Saenz, Cullum 44683.  The seller is very helpful.  Payment in the amount of $850 has been sent to an intermediary, a member of the Class of 1988, living in Germany who will exchange it for the ring.  We expect the purchase to be completed when the German national returns from travel in early October.

COL-Ret McGurk also paid a helpful American citizen the amount of $450 to recover the class ring of the late MAJ (Ret'd) Michael Anthony White, Cullum 34250, from the Class of 1976.  The ring is now in the hands of his widow.

More to follow.  Questions happily answered.

We again must humbly ask for donations (tax deductible) that will allow us to continue our efforts. We sincerely ask, with bowed head and clasped hands, and at a time when we know finances are difficult for many.  Your donations would be most gratefully received and can be made via credit card at this link:


or by check that may be mailed to:

West Point Ring Recovery Program
c/o WP-ORG Inc.
3800 Buffalo Mountain Road
Willis, Virginia 24380

Donations will enable us to continue to recover and repatriate West Point rings.  Questions will be happily answered.  Please send them!  Next report will be for 2Q2010.  During the year, we recovered 11 rings!

If you wish to join our ring recovery list, which now includes 338 names, please ask via:


It’s easy to do and equally easy to unsubscribe.  We promise not to fill up your email inboxes.

On behalf of Bill O'Neill, '92 and COL Michael McGurk, '85 and very respectfully,

David McClellan
Proud Dad of a 2001 grad
Ring Recovery

Editor’s Note:  Please support Ring Recovery!  They are among the best values going and they perform a great service to every West Point grad, those living and those in the shadows.  As a longtime supporter, I vouch for them and the organization wholeheartedly, without and reservation whatsoever.
-- David Rich ’78,  Secretary/Editor, WPST


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USMA Treasure Discovered on eBay

Special Order No. 178, Dated October 31, 1874

Another eBay find!  This time, a 137-yr old, handwritten, historical treasure from an era before PowerPoint, nonstop staffing, and voluminous orders that go on and on about little or nothing. 

It seems the boys of the Class of ‘75…..that’s 1875……must have been a little rambunctuous.  Though it doesn’t provide the details, smart money says these guys were being unofficially-officially punished for something!  Headquarters do not issue a Special Order without reason.  And that is especially true for one that completely suspends all instruction to the First Class in artillery tactics, military signaling, and telegraphy classes – the backbone of military instruction of the day.   The suspension was followed by

“The Commandant of Cadets will cause the First Class to receive practical instruction in stable duty, saddling, unsaddling, grooming, and other matters essential in the elementary instruction of an officer of Cavalry”

By-name mention on the document: 

    Superintendent (Colonel) Thomas H. Ruger – Cullum 1633.  Graduated 3rd of 46, Class of 1854.  Born in NY, appointed from WI.  Resigned 1855.  Colonel of Volunteers -1861.  BrigGen US Volunteers – 1862.  Reappointed Colonel (Infantry) in 1866; 18th Superintendent USMA 1871-76; BrigGen 1886; MajGen 1895; Retired 1897.  Died 06/03/07, in Connecticut.   His tribute appears in the Annual Report, Association of Graduates, 1908.   See http://digital-library.usma.edu/libmedia/archives/aogreunion/V1908.PDF (pg133)   

    Adjutant (Captain) Robert H. Hall – Cullum 1878.  Graduated 32nd of 41.  Born MI, admitted from IL.  Commissioned Infantry.  Aide-de-camp to MG Hooker 1863-64; WIA Battle of Weldon RR; brevetted twice for gallantry.  USMA infantry tactics instructor 1871; USMA Adjutant 1871-78; Aide-de-Camp to MG Schofield (future 19th Superintendent of West Point, see “Schofield’s Definition of Discipline”*) 1878; President, Board to recommend US Army magazine rifle 1890-92.  BrigGen US Volunteers 1898; Brigade Commander 1898-1900, Philippine Insurrection.  Retired 1901, BrigGen.  Died Chicago, IL 12/29/29.  His tribute appears in the Annual Report, Association of Graduates, 1915.   See http://digital-library.usma.edu/libmedia/archives/aogreunion/V1915.PDF (pg. 176)  

Class of 1877 (Third Class Cadets)

  • Cadet Frederick Marsh – Cullum 2654.  Graduated 14 of 76.  Born in NY, appointed from MO.  Commissioned Artillery.  Action in the Philippine Insurrection.  USMA AsstProf 1886-88.  Retired in 1913; Colonel.  Reentered the Army for WWI, he was the AD CO of Coastal Defense Artillery, San Francisco 1917-19.  Died 03/07/38 in Washington, DC.  His tribute appears in the Annual Report, Association of Graduates, 1941.   See http://digital-library.usma.edu/libmedia/archives/aogreports/V1941.PDF  (pg. 114)  
  • Cadet Thomas H. Barry – Cullum 2679, graduated 39 of 76.  Born in and appointed from NY.  Commissioned Cavalry-Infantry.  Frontier duty 1877-87; Sioux War 1890-91; Philippine Insurrection 1900-01 (SSC-Silver Star equivalent).  BrigGen US Volunteers 1900-01.  Observer to Russian Army 1905.  MajGen 1908.  27th Superintendent, West Point 1910-1912. CG, Central Department, 1918-19. Retired 1919. Died 12/3019 in DC. His tribute appears in the Annual Report, Association of Graduates, 1920. See http://digital-library.usma.edu/libmedia/archives/aogreports/V1920.PDF (pg. 204)
  • Cadet Frank Lindsey Stevenson – Admitted from MA.  Did not graduate.
  • Cadet Daniel A. Frederick – Cullum 2708.  Graduated 68 of 76.  Born in and appointed from GA.  Commissioned Infantry.  Frontier duty 1877-92; Santiago de Cuba campaign, 1898; MAJ 45th US Volunteer Infantry 1899-190, Philippine Insurrection; Philippine Islands 1903-1905.  Retired 1917, Colonel.  Died 10/09/26 in Washington, DC. 
  • Cadet Charles P. Scovill – Admitted from OH.  Did not graduate.

Class of 1878 (Fourth Class Cadets)

  • Cadet Edward B. Ives – Cullum 2731.  Graduated 15th of 43.  Born in DC; Admitted from NY.  Commissioned Infantry; Frontier duty 1878-80 and 1882-88; AsstProf USMA 1880-81; Resigned 1889; NY National Guard 1890-98.  Captain of US Volunteers 1898.  Reappointed US Army 1899.  Captain.  Action in Philippine Insurrection. Died 12/30/03.  
  • Cadet Charles H. Grierson – Cullum 2792.  Graduated 33rd of 67.  Born in IL; appointed at large.  Originally Class of 1877, turned back to 1878.  Commissioned Cavalry.  Frontier duty 1879-98; LTC US Volunteers 1898-99; Retired 1915, Colonel.  Died in Washington, DC 05/21/28.
  • Cadet Robert G. Thornton – Admitted from VA.  Did not graduate.  
  • Cadet John H. Berard – At large appointment.  Did not graduate.
  • Cadet Millard F. Waltz – Cullum 2743.  Graduated 27th of 43.  Born in, appointed from MD. Commissioned Infantry.  Frontier duty 1878-82; PMS Garden City 1888-91; Santiago de Cuba campaign 1898 (SSC); C-of-S Army of Cuban Pacification; Philippine Insurrection.  Retired 1918, Colonel.  Died Ft. Sam Houston (TX), 08/20/36. His tribute appears in the Annual Report, Association of Graduates, 1937.                                        See http://digital-library.usma.edu/libmedia/archives/aogreports/V1937.PDF (pg. 93)
  • Cadet Charles M. Robinson – Admitted from MO.  Did not graduate. 

Additional sources:
http://digital-library.usma.edu/libmedia/archivers/oroc/v1874.pdf   Official Register of the Officers and Cadets of the US Military Academy, West Point, New York, June 1874 (lists COL Ruger as USMA Superintendent; CPT Hall as Adjutant)

*  Schofield’s Definition of Discipline (From “Bugle Notes”):  The discipline which makes the soldiers of a free country reliable in battle is not to be gained by harsh or tyrannical treatment. On the contrary, such treatment is far more likely to destroy than to make an army. It is possible to impart instruction and to give commands in such a manner and such a tone of voice to inspire in the soldier no feeling but an intense desire to obey, while the opposite manner and tone of voice cannot fail to excite strong resentment and a desire to disobey. The one mode or the other of dealing with subordinates springs from a corresponding spirit in the breast of the commander. He who feels the respect which is due to others cannot fail to inspire in them regard for himself, while he who feels, and hence manifests, disrespect toward others, especially his inferiors, cannot fail to inspire hatred against himself. – MajGen Schofield, Address to the Corps of Cadets August 11, 1879   

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Special eBay Find Goes to West Point

Document Accepted for Historical Collection

As regular readers may remember, the previous issue had the story of a particularly noteworthy document found on eBay.  That document was West Point HQ Special Order #178, dated October 31, 1874.    

The document (shown below) was in reasonable condition, given that it had no special care in more than 135 years since its creation.  Light edge foxing and some red underlining were noted.

Following completion of research on those named in the Special Order, the new owner contacted the West Point Museum about donating the document for preservation but paper items are better cared for and more suitable for the West Point Historical Collection.  They were contacted and enthusiastically accepted Special Order #178 as a gift to the Academy.  The document is currently in transit to its new home.        

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Ring Recovery – The Sequel

A Question and Answer

Editor’s Note:  Below is an excerpted and edited email exchange between Ring Recovery and a concerned supporter who expressed a concern many might share.  The Quill editorial board considered it relevant to share. 

Just wanted to say that I commend you on what you guys are doing to get all of these Class rings back into the hands of the proper owners or families, it's important...but I had a question.  What is the main focus of the ring recovery?  Is it to recover the rings at whatever cost or recover rings if the price is right?   ….we paid $2,025 for an '87 ring, but were unwilling to pay $2,000 for a "Buy It Now" '42 ring.  The fact that it's a West Point Class ring that has been separated from it's rightful owner validates the cost in my mind...   It almost seems like it's more of a business venture as oppossed to a "there's one of my Alma Mater's class rings, let's get it backto the rightful family, as it is probably sorely missed" venture...


Gary J. Bartels, Jr.
State Chapter Captain, Texas|Team RWB


Thank you for your kindly note and a good question.

Funds are essentially limited.  Consequently, we are not able to recover rings regardless of cost.

The 1942 ring that we let go started on eBay with a Buy-It-Now of $2999.00 and that does not (normally, but there has been a notable exception to be reported in the future) pass the "common sense" test. We passed at $2999 and there was no buyer.  It was relisted with a Buy-It-Now option of $2000.  We offered $1350 which was declined.  We sat, hoping that it would not sell and would then be relisted below $2000, in which case we would likely execute a purchase….someone else did the $2000 Buy-It-Now option and we failed to recover the ring.

Given our history, both of recovering rings and also with donations that support our effort, we regard a $2000 ring as a very, very expensive ring….and we reluctantly venture into that range unless there is something extraordinary about the ring.  For example, we happily paid $2326.89 for the Class of 1885 Devore ring which was an antique and had been owned by one of the only 39 members of that class.

There was a difference in my mind between the '42 ring that had belonged to a now deceased graduate (if we believe the seller), and the '87 ring that belonged to a living graduate with whom we were in contact.  …wanting to have his ring back.  It was admittedly more than a small shock when I bid $2,025.11 and then realized that I was going to have to pay that full amount because of an under bidder at $2011.  I had expected it to go perhaps for $1500..  We were fortunate not to have been outbid.

In 2009, our average cost per ring was $959.08 for 12 recovered rings, well below a level of $2000.

While recovery costs are probably going to go up, donations are limited.  When we send out a quarterly report which includes a summary of finances and our humble request for donations, that report, with the help of the WP-ORG Moderators of their class lists, can go to more than 30,000 members of the West Point Community.  If half wished to support our effort with a $5-bill that would bring in $75,000 and we would be set financially for at least for several years.  This is not the case.  Our last report generated a very dmirable $4000 from 54 very generous donors.  The amount was enough to get us out of debt to ourselves but the excess did not fund even the $2025.11 cost of the 1987 ring.  We are thus again in dept to ourselves. This meansthat one or more of us are funding the effort out of pocket.  We wish we could do more.

Let me know if your have more questions.  Be happy to answer.

On behalf of Bill O'Neill, '92 and COL (Ret'd) Michael Mcgurk, '85 and very respectfully,

'01 father
ring recovery

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West Point Reps Could Be Visiting Boys' Choir Of Tallahassee

Choir Of Tallahassee
Tallahassee Democrat, 23 SEP 11, Local & Capital Section, page 2

There are still some details to work out, but there's a good chance that the Boys' Choir of Tallahassee will be getting a visit from representatives of the United States Military Academy at West Point. Leon County Circuit Judge Charles Dodson is a big supporter of the Boys' Choir, and occasionally attends their rehearsals. Dodson was elected to the bench in 2008 and spent 2009-2010 overseeing juvenile court. But the Sneads native also was accepted to West Point in 1970. He attended for two years but left before starting his third year so that he could return home and attend Florida State University, where he later earned his law degree.

During a reunion of his Class of 1974, which includes among its graduates four four-star generals, Dodson learned that West Point was concerned about the limited number of minority candidates it was able to identify around the country. Dodson was familiar with the academic success of many of the choir members and he also knew that they were well-disciplined. He went to work with choir director Earle Lee Jr. and others and now it looks like two representatives of the academy's Minority Admissions Committee are planning to come to Tallahassee on Nov. 16-18.

"I want them to go over to the Boys' Choir, and I want them to see the study hall. I want them to see a rehearsal," said Dodson.

The choir currently has 65 members. Several of them are enrolled in advance classes and are on the honor roll at their schools.

Of particular interest is a competitive summer camp that West Point offers for middle school students that focuses on math and sciences.

"I think it's a ripe recruiting ground for all of the military academies," Dodson said, adding that he's "optimistic" that the November visit will soon be confirmed.

"To me, better than the music is what they are learning as far as discipline and academics."West Point is looking for young men and women who have a strong academic background, excellent physical conditioning and discipline."

The news of the visit has energized long-time choir director Earle Lee Jr. He has been struggling to maintain financial support for the choir despite seeing some cuts to his budget.

"It's a wonderful opportunity for Tallahassee and it's a wonderful opportunity for these young men," he said.To learn more about the choir, call Lee at 850-528-2403.

Below, Just Dodson in the red shirt is  shown with his 1974 classmate (L to R) COL-Ret Bruce Grant, LTC-Ret Ron Morrell, and Mr. Bob Fierro.  Photo, WPST Fall Family Picnic, October 2010 

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Websites – October 2011

Wacky, Weird…or Just Plain Fun And Interesting!

http://www.startribune.com/opinion/otherviews/126619568.html [Thanks to Ray Lindimore in OH for this.  THINK, folks!]

http://www.gigapixel.com/image/gigapan-canucks-g7.html [Another from Ray.  Crowd before the riots in Vancouver.  Put your cursor anywhere in the crowd and  double-click.  This is civilain tech – imagine mil-gov capabilities.] 

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=YIo3ZfA9da0 [Staff Sergeant Reckless, Korean War and USMC hero.  Thanks to Chet Dubberley in KS for this one!]

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7367662n [Military headstones – the story.  From Blaine Goin, in Germany.] 

http://www.youtube.com/user/sportsrisq?blend=2&ob=5 [Cool golf shots – from Jim Polk, Tallahassee.  Thanks, amigo!]

http://jody-macdonald.photoshelter.com/gallery/Paragliding/G0000Z479zgIRN3w/ [Awesome paragliding photos from Mike Rich, San Diego, CA.]

http://www.thatvideosite.com/video/the_skin_gun [Amazing skin repair technology could help WIAs.  Thanks for this one to Chet Dubberley in KS

http://timetosignoff.com/video/?id=16545 [“Jetman” flies Grand Canyon…like a bird!  Thanks to Arny Ferrando ’78 in AR.]

http://www.twaseniorsclub.org/Oshkosh.html [annual Oshkosh airshow -- wow!  Another big thanks to Ray in Ohio.]

http://www.wimp.com/airswimmers [Bring the oceans inside!  Thanks to Chet Dubberley in Kansas.] 

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=Vo0Cazxj_yc&vq=medium [A collection of “wow” activities!  Thanks, Ray!]

http://www.wolframalpha.com/screencast/introducingwolframalpha.html [Google beware!  WolframAlpha is here.  Thanks to Anntoinette Rich for this one.]

http://www.nmusafvirtualtour.com/full/tour-pkg.html [“Tour” the USAF Museum at Wright-Patterson AFB, OH.  Another, thanks to Ray.]

http://player.vimeo.com/video/22461692?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0 [Tour “San Francisco” all done in toothpicks!  You’ll be amazed!  Another from Ray.  Maybe we should rename this feature “Ray’s Interesting Websites”!  Thanks amigo.]

http://www.newseum.org/todaysfrontpages/flash/ [Real-time, daily headlines for any major US newspaper.  From Anne Schepflin in Ohio.]

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West Point Moms Bake

West Point Moms from across the country are uniting to make a difference for our deployed soldiers.  Moms are opening their hearts and turning on their ovens to send home-baked expressions of our support to our soldiers overseas.

In September, a LARGE group of West Point Moms (currently 115) began shipping baked goods to our servicewomen and servicemen who are deployed overseas. Each month, seven to ten moms will be given the name and address of one of our heroes, and will send a “Boodle Box” to him/her. The soldier should then receive several packages of home-baked goodness and other much needed items around the same time, giving him/her enough to share with his/her unit. With the volunteers we now have in place, “West Point Moms Bake” should be able to send to 12-13 different soldiers each month. (Once a soldier receives a shipment, his/her name will move to the bottom of the list.)

As mothers of West Point cadets, cadet candidates and grads, we would like to show our support to the men and women already serving our country. We want our heroes to know that we are thinking about them daily and appreciate their efforts. If you are interested in joining our efforts, please send an email to the address below stating your interest.

In order to reach as many of our young women and men as possible, we need your help. If you know of a deployed soldier(s) (any branch of the military) that you would like to include on our list, please forward their name, address, and any information you would like to share. (If possible, please include their redeployment date back to the states.)

For more information, contact  westpointbake@gmail.com.

***Addresses will not be posted anywhere and will only be shared with the moms who will be shipping to the serviceman.

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'01 Army-Navy Game Players Carry Lessons From Gridiron To Battlefield


It was a calm Tuesday morning. Summer had just about seeped into fall. The financial markets were relatively stable. The United States, as it had been for the better part of nearly three decades, was at peace. Then, at 8:46 a.m., a hijacked plane hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City, followed less than 20 minutes later by another hijacked airliner that plowed into the South Tower. A third plane smacked into the Pentagon in Washington., and a fourth was headed for the White House or the Capitol. After passengers subdued the hijackers of United Airlines Flight 93, it crashed in a Pennsylvania field. By the end of the day, nearly 3,000 Americans were dead.

With that, one historical era had ended and another had begun. Sunday will mark the 10th anniversary of the "Post-9/11" universe. For all Americans, the attacks of 10 years ago were a watershed moment, but for some -- for the men and women of the country's armed forces -- they were determinative, defining the course of their future.

For the cadets and midshipmen at West Point and Annapolis, the prospect of fighting in a war had suddenly turned from theoretical to very real. For the academies' football teams, the events of September 11, and their aftermath, made for one of the more remarkable seasons in college football history, as well as for a dramatically memorable Army-Navy game. Players from both teams endured experiences that they would carry with them to Afghanistan, Iraq and beyond. This is their story.

Chad Jenkins, Army QB
"9/11, for not only an Army football player but for an American was a complete shocker and a life-altering event. You realize the magnitude of it but you just don't realize how it's going to change your life, especially for someone that's at a service academy or somebody that was currently even in the military at that time."

Vaughn Kelley, Navy CB
"I was going to class and as I walked through the halls I saw one of the planes hit the second tower on a TV. Everybody froze. I didn't know what I was watching. I thought it was a movie. It got more real and real. Navy cancelled classes and everyone got on their phones to make sure their families were OK. There was a rumor, maybe not on paper but one we heard, that [Annapolis would] be next for attack. [Later in the week], we'd see planes overhead in practice and we all thought they were going to hit us. We'd freeze and stare at the planes."

Babatunde Akingbemi, Navy DT
"That's a day I'll never forget. I was on my way back from class and I saw a lot of people, a lot more noise than usual. It seemed like everyone was running. I didn't realize what was going on. Practice was cancelled that day. Everything was just shut down."
For some players, the sudden prospect of being a soldier bleached the relevance from football; the notion of playing "games" just didn't seem right. For some, it was a welcome diversion, a relief from the stress. For still others, it was preparation for what might follow after graduation.

Glenn Schatz, Navy DE
"Beforehand, the Academy was just a thing that you did. A lot of the silly rules and military regulations that you had to follow -- you're like OK great, I'm doing this and I'm going to go off and be a pilot or a surface warfare officer and basically you knew that all you'd do after graduation was go off and train. But all of a sudden a lot of the guys that wanted to be in the Marine Corps, they all of a sudden had a real enemy they were going to have to go after. So I think after 9/11, there was a little bit more sense of mission [at the Academy]. A lot of the military classes I think people took a little more seriously after that. It was different because most of the guys that were there when I was there, they signed up in a time of peace and exited in a time of war. I taught at the Academy for three years recently, and every midshipman that was there when I taught there basically signed up during a time of war. It was a different mentality."

It was a rough season for both teams. When Navy lost to Notre Dame 34-16, it marked the 50th straight game the two academies had lost to the Fighting Irish. Through November of that season, the Cadets and Midshipmen had played a combined 19 games and won just two. Both teams, however, found a measure of consolation in the reception that greeted them at opposing stadiums.

Jake Bowen, Navy LB

"In previous years ... you'd get off the bus and people would be booing you. They'd say 'Sink Navy' or some fans would be rude; they'd throw beer cans at you. But everybody that season had the utmost respect for the Navy team. I remember getting off the bus at Notre Dame stadium and -- we didn't do anything, we just got off the bus -- and all of their fans just started clapping."

Todd Berry, Army coach
"My first year at Army [in 2000], I remember going into some stadiums and being booed as the players came out on the field. After 9/11, we had that first weekend off as most of the country did, and then we were playing UAB [on Sept. 22]. We showed up there and had all kinds of things from a call-in bomb scare that night [at the team hotel] to someone pulling the fire alarm and us having to evacuate. There were a lot of nerves and anxieties. We took the field the next day and all of a sudden we got a standing ovation. It hit me. It's a little bit of a sad commentary from a societal standpoint, when these young people are giving up so much for our country to protect and defend the values that we hold, that it takes an event like 9/11 for us to fully appreciate what they are doing and why we have to have academies."

Chad Jenkins
"I don't even think during that season that it hit us as to what it meant to run out onto the field with the American flag, representing, not only our team and West Point, but really representing the country of the United States."

Despite the teams' underwhelming records -- the Cadets were 2-8, the Midshipmen 0-9 -- the annual Army-Navy clash was freighted with extra significance. The game drew 69,708 fans to Veterans Stadium, the largest crowd ever to see a football game at the venue. CBS sent its No. 1 NFL broadcast team of Dick Enberg and Dan Dierdorf to call the game. President George W. Bush addressed both teams before kickoff, attended the coin flip and spent the first half on the Navy sideline and the second half on the Army sideline.

Dick Enberg, CBS broadcaster
"We went to West Point and Annapolis and talked to the kids. And the game seemed significant but insignificant. They talked about their career as military men. You looked in [their] eyes and it was clear that, after the football, they were playing a really difficult game. But the quality, the level of every kid, it made you so proud, knowing this is the kind of quality we still breed in America. There are times when you do a story and you feel like you need to run off to the restroom and wash your hands. There, we carried a glow from the start of the week until after the game. People say I get emotional, that I cry at the sight of a red hat. But ..."

Marlon Terrell, Navy, FB
"We had to do this thing as plebes called 'square the corners.' Every time you square a corner, you do a left or right face and say, 'Beat Army, sir!' All through the school year that's all you hear: Freshman, not just the football players, saying it over and over again."

Todd Berry
"'Yes, sir,' 'No, sir,' 'Sir, I do not understand' -- those are the three correct responses for a freshman to give an upperclassmen or an officer while they're in basic training at the Academy. They soon find out that there is a fourth. If one of those three responses is not adequate in their mind, they'll just say 'Beat Navy, sir!' and it gets them out of everything. Pretty soon that's all you hear around post, is 'Beat Navy, beat Navy, beat Navy.'"

DeJuan Cromer II, Navy SS
"It was my last game and being a football junkie, I love football. But,there comes a time when you have to do different things. Supporting the country is greater than football. CBS chose to do a commercial with me. They were showing me in the chapel, with my sword, pacing back and forth. There was definitely a lot more media attention. Things were still kind of on edge. Practices were intense, plus we got wind that President Bush would be in the locker room so everyone was excited."

Dick Enberg
"There was nervousness before the game. They may try to fly a plane into the stadium. The president is there. Everyone is a sitting duck in this environment. Who knew?"

Alex Moore, Army RG
"I remember the president coming into the locker room. That was something larger than life for us to be able to hear the commander-in-chief and have him come in and speak to us and just, not really giving us words of encouragement but talking about 9/11 and talking about the greater sense of purpose that we had to fulfill upon graduating. I remember a lot of noise, but I didn't even hear the jets fly over. I remember the noise of the crowd. On the sidelines there were three- and four-star generals. You got a good sense of purpose, that what we were doing was bigger than that one game."

Ed Malinowski, Navy QB
"Right on my desk I have a picture of that moment when I'm handing [the president] the game ball. I actually walked out in the hallway at Veterans Stadium and -- I forget who it was that told me, I think it was Scott Strasemier, the [sports info director] -- who said, 'You're going to meet the president here in a second.' Thirty seconds later he comes strolling down the hallway surrounded by secret service agents. I introduced myself. He said, 'Where you from, Ed?' and I said, 'I'm from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.' He said, 'Ah, Pittsburgh. Good town.' And that was pretty much our conversation. Once he got in the locker room it was a little bit more formal. He thanked us for our service and what we were doing."

Chad Jenkins
"General Schwarzkopf came into our locker room prior to the game. He talked about the Army football team getting ready to go out and go to battle against Navy. And basically what he said was that the Army, when it goes to battle, it doesn't lose, and he didn't expect us to lose that day. [For me, that] was the beginning of the warrior spirit, which you have to have when you take that commissioning oath the day you graduate. That was very profound to me."

Dan Peters, Navy RG
"George Bush came into the locker room and gave a pregame speech. It was very comforting to see him. I couldn't fathom what he was going through. Then [Senator] John McCain, a Navy grad, came in to give a speech. He gets up in locker room and gives us a rousing speech. I can still see him standing there, red as can be and fired up talking about the game and how much it means to him. It was very powerful to me to see a war telling me how proud he was of me. You could see the huge scar on his face from [when he had been wounded in] combat. He was so pissed off that he was shaking. Honestly, it was the most exciting moment of my life -- other than my marriage and having kids. That's an image I'll remember the rest of my life."

Three minutes into the game, Army running back Ardell Daniels sprinted for a 60-yard touchdown. Two possessions later, the Black Knights scored on a 42-yard pass. They led 16-3 at halftime. Army opened the second half with another big play, a 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Navy scored late in the game to keep the score respectable, but Army won 26-17, taking the lead in the rivalry, 49-46-7. (Navy has since won the last nine games.) For the first time since 1883, when the Midshipmen had played only one game, Navy finished a season without a victory or a tie. In the trenches, the game was devoid of trash talk. Heckling in the stands -- usually intense --was tempered as well. After the game both teams stood at attention for the playing of the alma maters of both schools. As midshipman Bryan Abell put it to The New York Times: "We're rivals on the field, but we're brothers in service."

Dick Enberg
"The game result wasn't important. And the way [both teams stand for each other's alma maters], whether they win or lose, it's so right. There's such a goodness about that experience that you don't always feel in collegiate athletics. There have been a lot of privileges in my 50-plus years of broadcasting. But that rates very highly. You hesitate to put it way up there because of the conditions under which you did it; otherwise we wouldn't have been at the game. But it was a forgettable game and an unforgettable experience."

Mark Riegel, Army OL
"I felt like we were playing for what was right about America."

Dustin Plumadore, Army C, co-captain
"Some [players] couldn't quite get it together after the game. [We were] very distracted, wondering where we would be in a year, thinking, How bad is this war going to be? Which of us will still be around?"

After graduation in the spring of 2002, the seniors from the 2001 Army-Navy game began their military service. They were stationed all over the world, on the tip of the spear and in offices at various command centers and headquarters. Time and again -- in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Arabian Gulf -- they served with teammates and alongside the players they had played against in the Army-Navy games. Some earned Purple Hearts, including Army guard Alex Moore who earned two. Brian Stann, a Navy linebacker, Marine and now a top light heavyweight in UFC, was awarded a Silver Star, the third-highest honor for valor in combat.

Nolan Gordon, Army C (pictured,leftt, in Iraq)
"I remember [realizing once after my unit had been in] combat -- while I was on the ground and helicopters were circling above -- that it could have been one of those Navy guys across the line of scrimmage in that 2001 game who was flying one of them."

Chad Jenkins
"My first deployment, I ran into [former right guard] Al Moore. That was outside of Fallujah, in between Fallujah and Ramadi. Good ol' Al. An Army football player, they're going to carry that fire [that they had as a player] with them. The intensity he had as a platoon leader was just as high if not higher than when we played together. He set up [watch] with his platoon to let my light infantry platoon pass through what was kind of a dangerous area. I can remember hearing his voice over our radio."

Alex Moore
"In 2004 I had the opportunity to block one more time for Chad Jenkins, although in a different context. Anytime I was able to work with another football player I knew I had nothing to worry about."

Two Navy players from the 2001 Army-Navy game were killed in action, as was a former player who had graduated the year before.
Lt. Brendan Looney played football and lacrosse at Navy from 2000-04. He began his naval career in intelligence before transferring to the SEAL division. During his fourth tour of duty, he was killed when his Black Hawk helicopter crashed in southern Afghanistan on Sept. 21. 2010. Looney's roommate at Navy, 1st Lt. Travis Manion, USMC, had been killed in 2007. They are now buried side-by-side at Arlington National Cemetery.
A strong-armed back-up quarterback, J.P. Blecksmith graduated from Annapolis in 2002 and was deployed to Iraq. On Nov. 11, 2004 -- Veteran's Day -- Blecksmith was killed in Iraq's Al Anbar Province by small arms fire while leading his platoon as it cleared surrounding buildings of enemy fighters. He was 24.
On Sept. 4, 2004, Ron Winchester, who played offensive tackle at Navy from 1998-2000, was killed by a booby-trapped explosive device in the Al Anbar province in western Iraq. Winchester was a member of the 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment based in Twentynine Palms, Calif.

Dan Peters
"I was fortunate enough to have been close to all three of those guys. Each was a real part of my life. I'll never forget them; no one else should either. I knew Brendan before I went to the academy. We went to the Naval Academy Preparatory School (NAPS) together in Newport [R.I.]. He was there because he was a recruited athlete. I was there because I had served two years in the Navy -- [as] a sailor on submarines -- and had been selected to attend the academy. Instantly, we became real good friends. He was so easy to get along with. He'd never had exposure to the whole military thing, but I watched him grow from a quiet kid into a real leader. He was one of those guys who'd never get tired. He could run forever."

Travis Peace, Navy OG
"I've found it uneasy and uncomfortable talking about guys who are not with us anymore. I've never really explained the relationships I had with these guys with my immediate family, or even my wife, because it's too hard to really put into words. Brendan Looney was in my company my junior and senior year. I spent a lot of time with him. That dude was cool, calm and collected. SEALS was the perfect fit for that guy."

Dan Peters
"J.P. always wanted to be a Marine. He was from California, this unbelievable athlete, 6-4, 230 pounds, and he could throw a football like a rocket. He had offers from all the big West Coast schools. Navy was running an option offense, not a lot of use for a guy who would throw a ball 70 yards. J.P. knew he wasn't going to the NFL. Coming here, he knew he probably wouldn't even play quarterback. And he didn't. He switched positions a bunch of times. Everyone was like, Navy? Are you crazy, man? He didn't care. He wanted to come to Navy because he wanted to go into the Marine Corps, be an officer, lead men on the ground. And he was one of those guys you want to follow because you know he'd do the right thing. He died on Veteran's Day. Just a great American."

Travis Peace
"J.P. was in my class, and I remember the first time I met him thinking, 'Why the hell is this guy not playing QB for a BCS school?' After practice, he would show off his arm and chuck a ball 70 yards just for fun. He had the God-given ability to play QB for a football program much more esteemed than Navy. But he wanted to be a Marine, and went to the Academy for that chance."

Dan Peters
"Ron was a senior when I was a freshman. We lived in the same company, right across the hall. As a plebe, you can get [dumped] on a lot. It's rough and demanding. Ron was a big, bad senior, but -- he probably would have gotten in trouble if other people knew this -- he'd take me in his room when [upperclassmen] came around to harass a plebe. He'd say, 'Hide in here. They're not gonna mess with you.' That's who he was. He cared about everyone. On the field, he beat the crap out of you. I'd line up against him in practice and I was just basically a tackling dummy. He'd knock me down. Then he'd pick me up. We'd walk back to our rooms and he'd say, 'How's everyone treating you? Everything OK?'
"When he died, I was working at Navy as a strength coach for the football team, before I entered flight school. That's when I felt like, 'This is a no-crap war and people are dying. This is reality.' But he wanted to be a Marine. He died doing what he loved."

Travis Peace
"Winnie [Ron Winchester] was like a big brother to me. There were a few guys from his class [2001] who took the guys from my class ['03] under their wing and looked out for us. They treated us like teammates and friends. Winnie was always the class clown of the O-line. He talked with a thick New York accent and had the bravado and confidence to back it up. He was the stereotypical 'nasty' O-lineman on the field: talking trash, shoving, starting skirmishes, the whole nine yards. Only off the field he was a real funny, likeable dude who everyone respected. He had a very giving nature behind his personality. He absolutely loved the Marine Corps, and would have gone to the Academy just for the chance to be an officer in the Marines even if it meant he couldn't play football."

Dan Peters
"After Ron and J.P. died, a buddy and I decided to get a bracelet with their names [inscribed] and the dates of their deaths. So I walk around with bracelets for three friends who were killed in combat. I've flown more than 1,000 hours wearing those bracelets. When people say, 'What are those names?' I love it. It gives me a chance to tell their stories. It's hard to see people you know -- friends, teammates, classmates -- get killed. But they were doing what they thought was right. They were doing what they loved."

Travis Peace
"I'm not worthy of writing a biography on these guys, but hopefully you get an idea of the types of people they were. Thinking back, it's just so damn tragic that guys of this caliber are taken from us. It's a shame my wife, and most of my buddy's wives, will never get a chance to meet these guys, because they'll never know how lucky we were to have them as friends, teammates and brothers."
The Army-Navy rivalry is sufficiently rich in drama and backstories that Showtime Sports and CBS Sports are partnering to produce a two-hour documentary that will follow recruits at both academies for several months. Web episodes will air on CBS.com this fall. The final product, tentatively titled A Game of Honor will air on Showtime the week following the Dec. 10 game at FedEx Field.

Gene Palka, Army DT
"It is still one of the most patriotic sporting events that anyone can go to. I think the thing that's changed a little bit -- having gone to this one last year [in 2010] -- is the number of heroes you see at the game; guys you played football with, or guys that you went to West Point with who have done some amazing things for this country. You get to see and interact and talk with those people and share some experiences that [most people in this] country can't even fathom. When I was a cadet, we didn't have young officers with the recent combat experience that they do now."

Martin Pierce, Army SS
"Guys that have served, like myself and my fellow comrades in arms, we don't ever forget. Especially when the first week of December rolls around. I still think that it's an importance piece of college football, and an important piece of the history of the game. When you do actually end up being deployed and you go out to your units and you understand when you're working with various members from the other services, it's definitely brothers in arms; you're definitely teammates."

Chad Jenkins
"I don't know of any other academic course that I took, or any other extracurricular event I partook in while at West Point, that has had as big of an impact [on my life] as Army football. There are quite a few analogies [comparing football to] war. Although it's not [entirely accurate] -- because the majority of the time it's not life or death on the football field -- there is something it does instill, so many intangibles to being in a situation where it is life or death on the battlefield. I don't think there's any better preparation than football to get you ready for that. I honestly don't. It's a team sport where all 11 guys in the huddle, whether they're on offense, defense or special teams, are working as one, as a unit. There's typically a leader on the offense and defense and special teams, and you're going against a guy that you want nothing more than to beat. You might get bumped and banged and hurt and bruised, but you better wipe your face off and get up and go after the guy again."

Where Are They Now?

Glenn Schatz, Navy DE

Currently the president and COO at Energy Conversion and Research and an adjunct professor at the U.S. Naval Academy

Vaughn Kelley, Navy CB

Served on a ship in the Persian Gulf from August 2008 to March '09

Jake Bowen, Navy LB

Commissioned into the Air Force out of the Naval Academy in 2002; deployed as an reservist to Afghanistan in 2010 as operations officer for the Defense Logistics Agency Support Team

Aaron Burger, Army LG

Served with the Mission Transition Team, the advisory unit to the Iraqi Army, in 2007.

DeJuan Cromer II, Navy SS

Served four months onboard the USS Bataan in Iraq

Chad Jenkins, Army QB

Four deployments to Iraq between September 2003 and January '07,  with the 10th Mountain Division, and 75th Ranger Regiment

Martin Pierce, Army SS

Served in Iraq from November 2005 to November '06

Dan Person, Navy DE

Served two tours as an aviation pilot on the USS Eisenhower in the Persian Gulf

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Show Affinity With Lifetime Email

Forwarding service @WestPointAOG.net

WPAOG Email for Life is a forwarding service which allows you to use our distinctive email address that ends in @WestPointAOG.net, immediately identifying you as a member of one of the most noble, professional institutions in America.

Use it with pride and help WPAOG spread the word about the tremendous things taking place at West Point, and the leaders being produced at this remarkable institution.

To register, you’ll need to login to the AOG website (http://www.westpointaog.org/) and use the My Profile link at top right.

(Webmaster- this is GREAT especially for those of you who change email addresses more frequently than you change your er. . .socks. You keep the westpointaog.net address - which your firends and associates do not have to change. You just change where the mail gets forwarded.. Great for all those internet accounts that use an email as a logon. You do not need to change those.)

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Who Defends Us?

In 2007, only 11% of recruits came from the poorest U.S. neighborhoods.

It should no more be necessary to write this article than to prove that there were Jews killed in the World Trade Center on 9/11. And yet the mythology refuses to die. Just last week, two well-educated and well-known writer acquaintances of mine remarked in passing on the "fact" that those who serve in the U.S. military typically have no other career options. America's soldiers, they said, were poor and black.

They don't mean this to denigrate their service—no, they mean it as a critique of American society, which turns its unemployed into cannon fodder. Especially today with high unemployment, the charge goes, hapless youths we fail to educate are embarking on a one-way trip to Afghanistan.

These allegations—most frequently leveled at the Army, the military's biggest service and the one with the highest casualty rate—are false.

In 2008, using data provided by the Defense Department, the Heritage Foundation found that only 11% of enlisted military recruits in 2007 came from the poorest one-fifth, or quintile, of American neighborhoods (as of the 2000 Census), while 25% came from the wealthiest quintile. Heritage reported that "these trends are even more pronounced in the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program, in which 40% of enrollees come from the wealthiest neighborhoods, a number that has increased substantially over the past four years."

Indeed, the Heritage report showed that "low-income families are underrepresented in the military and high-income families are overrepresented. Individuals from the bottom household income quintile make up 20.0 percent of Americans who are age 18-24 years old but only 10.6 percent of the 2006 recruits and 10.7 percent of the 2007 recruits. Individuals in the top two quintiles make up 40.0 percent of the population, but 49.3 percent of the recruits in both years.

What about the charge that our Army is disproportionately black? This too is false, as is clear from data for fiscal 2010 available on the Army's website: Whereas blacks comprise 17% of Americans ages 18-39 with high school degrees, they represent only a slightly larger proportion of enlisted soldiers, at 21%.

Meanwhile, whites were significantly overrepresented among enlisted Army personnel in 2010. While 58% of Americans 18-39 years old are white, 64% of the Army's enlisted men and women are. Whites are underrepresented to a minor degree in only one category, in which blacks are overrepresented: Army officers. While 74% of 25-54 year-olds with bachelor's degrees are white, 72% of Army officers are white. While 8% of 25-54 year-olds with B.A.s are black, 13% of Army officers are.

Is it true that with a shaky economy, blacks have been driven to enlist in the Army in dramatically increased numbers? The 2010 numbers say otherwise. While 60% of 18-24 year-olds with a high school degree are white and 17% are black, 64% of new enlistees are white and 19% are black.

The missing bit of explanation for Army demographics is that Asians and Pacific Islanders, which make up the fastest-growing American demographic, are underrepresented in the Army, as are Hispanics. The explanation for the former is probably cultural, while for the latter it is a matter of difficulty speaking English. Only 12% of Army enlisted personnel are Hispanic, as opposed to 21% in the 18-39 year old population with a high school degree.

Why do myths persist despite all the evidence? One reason is lack of firsthand exposure to the military: Doing a journalistic embed with American troops or visiting a U.S. military base—or simply having some friends in the military—would disabuse my acquaintances of their beliefs.
This detachment is the result of a withdrawal of our urban elites from military service. And it suits the interests of many members of the urban elite to believe that the military they do not join is composed of poor, uneducated victims of an unfair society. The hidden assumption in this myth is that an institution that is heavily black is an inferior institution. The myth of the ghetto Army is as nastily racist as it is false

Ms. Marlowe, a visiting fellow at the Hudson Institute, blogs at World Affairs.

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From Representation to Inclusion

Diversity Leadership for the 21st Century Military

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009 established the Military Leadership Diversity Commission  The Commission was tasked to conduct comprehensive evaluations of policies and practices that shape diversity among military leaders.

The Commission hosted 13 public hearings and additional meetings across the country, seeking input from the Department of Defense, the Services (active duty and veterans), and the private sector.  They heard testimony from military leaders, subject matter experts, and diversity officers from leading corporations known for their diversity practices. 

The Executive Summary is an easy, 24-page read; the link appears below.  A full 162-page report can be accessed via a simple Google search.  The file size precludes us from brining it directly to you. 

From the report:  “The Commission’s recommendations support two overriding and related objectives: (1) that the Armed Forces systematically develop a demographically diverse leadership that reflects the public it serves and the forces it leads and (2) that the Services pursue a boarder approach to diversity that includes backgrounds, skill sets, and personal attributes that are necessary to enhancing military performance.”

Some conclusions from the report:

  • …racial/ethnic minorities and women are still underrepresented
  • …the Armed Forces must recognize that diversity encompasses more than demographics
  • …build a foundation for change by ensuring leadership committed to diversity
  • …ensure continued progress with policy goals allowing DoD to manage/sustain diversity
  • …define diversity universally – each Service currently has a different definition
  • …barriers to advancement must be eliminated, including exclusion of women in combat
  • …regular internal and external ‘accountability reviews’ to oversee the diversity efforts
  • …assessing ‘diversity leadership’; a distinct criterion for promotion to 3- and 4-star rank


There’s plenty more but that should provide a flavor. And, fair warning…not all of this report is likely to be an easy swallow for old dogs.  Gone are the days, apparently, when being a good leader, training hard, and maintaining tactical and technical proficiency are sufficient for success.  



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Start “The Days”, Smack!


West Point’s BUGLE NOTES is a pocket-sized, hard cover, 300-page military encyclopedia containing vital information cadets must learn in order to graduate.  Published every summer since 1908, this informative book is given to each new cadet upon arrival at the Point.   It is also one of the hottest mementoes sold to tourists and parents in the West Point bookstore.

Used as a guide to West Point sports, buildings, monuments, ranks, academics, history, tradition, songs,cheers and other military information, this extremely popular book is a source of unlimited interest to West Point cadets and their families, as well as tourists and visitors.  New cadets carry this pocket-sized book with them to facilitate learning in their early days at the Academy.
Want a copy?  See http://www.usma.edu/uscc/dca/publications/buglenotes.htm

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Assn of Graduates Proposes A Design

In an email dated 8/25/11, the West Point Association of Graduates (WPAOG) informed societies that it’s  graphic design artists were available to create a society logo using a standardized design.  The design will be similar to the example shown below, saying “West Point Society” centered at the 12 o’clock position and the local society name centered at 6.  WPAOG is offering this as an aid to societies without a logo and does not encourages or require the use of this new design by societies with an exiting logo.    

WPAOG can also provide a version with a Distinguished Society ring around it, so that societies with that distinction (e.g. 8-time recipient, WPST) would have the option of using that logo. An example of that design was not provided.  These logos are already approved by the West Point Director of Licensing. 

WPST has asked the WPAOG to design and provide such a logo for possible future use.  The Board of Directors has no current plans to regularly use the logo or to replace the current one (below).  The current logo was approved by the WPST Board of Directors and licensed by WPAOG in 2005.  That license runs until 2013.  The WPST logo was designed by David Rich ’78.

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A Day at West Point

Sep 12, 2009 • By William Kristol

Author’s Note:  An e-mail from my friend Michael Anton, who gave me permission to pass it on:

I visited West Point today for a series of business meetings, mostly with faculty and some with Cadets. Not to go into too much boring detail, but the purpose was to get some feedback for some work my boss and colleagues and I are doing that will (we think and hope) shake up the military's thinking in a positive way.

It was of course the eighth anniversary of 9/11, which was on my mind as I listened to the NY radio stations' remembrance shows on the way up. But once there the only reminder I saw was flags at half-staff. I understand that they had a ceremony earlier in the day but I did not see it.

The meetings went very well. The faculty were receptive and the students were extremely bright and inquisitive.

The day was not all business. We got to see, among other things, the Formation: the entire Corps of Cadets lines up by brigade on down outside the Mess Hall, then they all file in together for lunch. Today it rained like hell. Army regulations say no umbrellas with uniforms, ever. So they get wet.

They feed the entire Corps (4,400) plus much of the faculty and staff in one sitting, every day, in a gigantic building shaped like a six-pointed asterisk. Every table has ten seats. Most tables are all cadets, but there are often visitors. Our table had four visitors.

In the center of the hall -- the hub of the spokes, as it were -- there is a balcony several stories up that they call the "poop deck." (I forgot to ask why the Army uses a naval term.)

"VIP" visitors are brought up there and announced. Today there was the captain of the Army football team from the late '50s who is being inducted into the West Point Athletics Hall of Fame tomorrow. Then the football coach gave a pep talk in advance of the Army-Duke game tomorrow. The Cadets gave him a rousing "Hooah" Army cheer.

Then we ate. The tables are all fully set before anyone comes in, and the food is brought out on platters. Today they served a down-home Southern meal: fried chicken, sweet potatoes, collard greens, corn bread (all of it surprisingly good). There was also an apple pie and tub of ice cream on every table. Every table has cadets in every grade. The plebes (first year cadets) "serve" everyone else and are not to speak unless spoken to, unless they are offering food, cutting the pie, etc. When they do speak, they shout.

The whole process -- from the end of the Formation until the Cadets eat and leave -- takes at most 20 minutes. They can't linger because they all have somewhere to be and they absolutely have to be on time.

I spoke to a young Second Class (third year) who is an econ major and who intends to be an armor officer. He had interned at the White House this past summer, so we told stories about the Eisenhower Executive Office Building and I told him of my time at the CIA, NSC, and WH. He is an impressive young man. All of the ones I talked to or just listened to were.

About halfway through the meal, there was another announcement from the poop deck. This was surprising, as I had just assumed that these things were done before the meal and then were over with. I also assumed that they were always festive. Not so.

Cadet First Class (i.e., fourth year or senior) _____ _____ announced the death in Afghanistan scarcely a day earlier of 2nd Lt. ______ _______, West Point, Class of 2008. The dead soldier's brother is a Cadet Second Class (i.e., third year). A minute of silence was observed. 5,000 people absolutely shut the bleep up. You could have audiotaped the sound of a single ant's footfalls in that hall. The announcement was unexpected, jarring, like a punch in the gut. I almost cried. The Cadets -- none of them older than 22, I would guess -- did not flinch.

The dead soldier was probably 22 or 23. He sought out this career knowing he might get shot in some awful desert, and eagerly went anyway. There were 4,400 kids in that hall who might meet the same fate. 1,100 might meet it in less than a year. No one at my college ever thought of such a thing, nor did they have any reason to. Those 4,400 live with it every day. They live to hear that their friends -- their brothers, literally and figuratively -- are dead even before they themselves graduate. And they soldier on.

Somewhere, a mom and dad just lost their boy before age 25. They also know that another of their boys -- maybe their only other child -- is about to go and risk the same fate.

As many of you know, I am plagued by a pessimistic turn of mind. I did not drive north today looking for an antidote to that vice, but I found it -- or it found me. America is a lot stronger than we think in our darker moments.


Wiliam Kristol (born December 23, 1952) is a political analyst and commentator. He is the founder and editor of the political magazine The Weekly Standard and a regular commentator on the Fox News Channel.

Kristol is associated with a number of prominent conservative think tanks. He was chairman of the New Citizenship Project from 1997 to 2005. In 1997, he co-founded the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) with Robert Kagan. He is a member of the board of trustees for the free-market Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, a member of the Policy Advisory Board for the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and a director of the Foreign Policy Initiative. He is also one of the three board members of Keep America Safe, a think tank co-founded by Liz Cheney and Debra Burlingame, and serves on the board of the Emergency Committee for Israel.

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West Pointers on Stamps

The Journal of the American Philatelic Society - Feb. 1989; Pgs 128 - 134

Editor’s Note:  This article was written more than 20years ago.  It’s information is offered as a starting point but, due to age, is incomplete. 

In at least one respect, the United States Military Academy at West Point probably can claim an  advantage over any other institution of higher learning: That is the percentage of its graduates who have appeared on postage stamps of the world.

Thirty-two West Pointers have been pictured on postage stamps, including thirty graduates and two other distinguished attendees of the academy -- Edgar Allan Poe and James (Abbott) McNeill Whistler -- who never finished the curriculum of the thirty graduates, the two who later became president of the United States quite naturally have been honored most often. Ulysses S. Grant, class of 1843, has appeared on forty different postage issues. He is followed closely by Dwight D. Eisenhower, class of 1915, who has appeared on thirty-seven stamps.

The senior West Point graduate honored on postage stamps is Alden Partridge of Vermont, class of 1806, an early superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy, the founder of Norwich University in Ver-mont, and the father of the Reserve Of-ficers Training Corps (ROTC) system in the United States. He appears on a stamp in the current U.S. Great Americans Series.

The second senior graduate is Sylvanus Thayer of Massachusetts, class of 1808, who succeeded Partridge as West Point superintendent in 1817 and served in that capacity until 1833. His methods of teaching and training cadets are still in use at West Point, and he generally is considered the "Father of the Military Academy." He, too, appears on one of the Great Americans Series stamps.

Third in seniority among West Point graduates honored on stamps is Jefferson Davis of Mississippi, class of 1828, who later became president of the Confederacy. He appears on one U.S. and eight Con-federate stamps. Robert Edward Lee of Virginia, class of 1829, was general-in-chief of Confederate Armies during the American Civil War, and most USMA graduates consider him the epitome of West Point honor and valor. His likeness appears on four U.S. stamps.

Edgar Allan Poe, poet, author, and ex- cadet of the class of 1834, appears on one U.S. stamp, as does James McNeill Whistler, renowned artist and ex-cadet ofthe class of 1855. Another U.S. stampshows Whistler's well-kown portrait of his mother.

Montgomery Blair of Kentucky, class of 1835, is an interesting West Point graduate. He is honored on one U.S. and one Belgian stamp for his role in develop-ing the Universal Postal Union (UPU) while serving as U.S. postmaster general from 1861 to 1864. The UPU, of course, has been honored coundess times on stamps of almost every naflon of the world.

One member of the Academy's class of 1840 has been honored on stamps. William Tecumseh Sherman of Ohio, Union general, appears on seven stamps of the United States, Guam, the Philippines, and Puerto Rico. He undoubtedly could have been president of the United States if he had chosen to run for election.

Ulysses Simpson Grant of Ohio, class of 1843, commander-in-chief of Union forces during the American Civil War and eighteenth president of the United States, is pic-tured on thirty-six stamps of the United States and its possessions. He also is shown on two stamps of Portuguese Guinea in honor of his arbitration of the British-Portuguese dispute over the territory in 1868, and on one stamp each of Liberia and St. Vincent in their respective Presidential Series.

The American Civil War also accounts for the next two graduates of the U.S. Military Academy to appear on stamps. Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson of Virginia, class of 1846, was Lee's ablest lieutenant; Philip Henry Sheridan of Ohio, class of 1853, was Grant's cavalry leader. Both appear on stamps of the U.S. Army-Navy Series of 1936, along with Lee, Sherman, and Grant. Jackson, Lee, and Jefferson Davis also appear on the U.S. Stone Mountain issue of 1970.

All of the next group of USMA gradu-ates to appear on stamps were members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and all were involved in the building of the Panama Canal, a construction project that spanned a decade, 1904-14. George Washington Goethals of New York, class of 1880 and chief engineer of the Panama Canal project, is shown on one U.S. and fourteen Canal Zone stamps. His subor-dinates,

Harry F. Hodges of Massachu-setts, class of 1881; and David DuB. Gaillard of South Carolina, who gave his life to the canal, and William L. Sibert of Alabama, both class of 1884, appear on a total of eight Canal Zone stamps. In addition, the canal's Gaillard Cut is pictured in various ways on twenty-nine Canal Zone stamps.

Only one West Point graduate is honored on stamps for his service to the nation during World War I: John Joseph Pershing of Missouri, class of 1886, appears on a U.S. regular issue of 1954 and a French issue of 1987. Like Sherman, Pershing probably John J. Pershing, U.S. Scott No. 1042A and France Scott No.2044. could have been president of the United States if he had sought the office.

Douglas MacArthur of Wisconsin, class of 1903 and the youngest American brigadier general during World War I, was honored for his Worid War II service in the Pacific and for his Korean War service on one U.S., one Korean, and nine Philippines stamps. Henry Harley "Hap" Arnold of Pennsylvania, class of 1907, who built the greatest air force in history during World War II, appears on a recent stamp of the U.S. Great Americans Series. George Smith Patton Jr. of California, class of 1909, is shown on one U.S., five Belgian, and four Luxembourg stamps for his World War II service in the European Theater.

Dwight David Eisenhower of Kansas, class of 1915, is pictured on the postage stamps of more countries than any other USMA graduate. His service as commander-in-chief, Europe and North Africa, during World War II and as thirty-fourth president of the United States has been honored on six stamps from the U.S., one from Brazil, two from Grenada, four from Korea, one from Liberia, one from Monaco, one from Panama, two from the Philippines, six from El Salvador, one from St. Vincent, seven from Togo, four from Uruguay, and one from Gibraltar.

Finally, from World War II, Anthony C. McAuliffe of West Virginia, class of 1919, "the hero of Bastogne" is honored on one of the same Belgian stamps that depicts General Patton.

An interesting group of twelve Nicaraguan stamps issued to commemorate the Nicaragua Military Academy (NMA) also depicts various USMA graduates, as follows: Fred T. Cruse of Kentucky, class of 1907, the second superintendent of the NMA; Charles Love Mullins Jr. of Nebraska, class of April 1917, the founder of the NMA and its first superintendent; Leroy Bartlett Jr. of California and John F. Greco of Minnesota, both class of 1930 and both superintendents of the NMA; and Anastasio Somoza Jr. of Nicaragua, class of 1946, a superintendent of the NMA and later president of Nicaragua. Somoza also appears on sixteen other stamps of Nicaragua and four of El Salvador, for a total of twenty-one and third place on the most-depicted list, after Grant and Eisenhower.

Finally, West Pointers from the classes of 1950 through 1955 who went on to become astronauts appear on a total of forty stamps world-wide. In order, they are: Frank Borman of Arizona, class of 1950, the first lunar circurnnavigator, who appears on ten stamps of Haiti, Hungary, and Senegal; Edwin E. Aidrin Jr. of New Jersey, class of 1951, and Michael Collins of Louisiana, class of 1952, of the first lunar landing team, who together appear on sixteen stamps of Algeria, Belgium, Brazil, Cameroon, Congo, Liberia, Monaco, Quatar, Romania, Togo, Upper Volta, and Venezuela; the late Edward H. White II of Oklahoma, also class of 1952, who gave his life to the astronaut program and who appears on twelve stamps of Cameroon, Hungary, Nicaragua, Niger, and Togo; and David R. Scott of Califor-nia, class of 1954, and Alfred M. Worden of Michigan, class of 1955, both of the Apollo 15 mission, who appear on two stamps of Hungary and Romania.

In conclusion, those stamps should be mentioned that honor West Point itself -and thus all of its graduates, as well as the military academies in Korea, Nicaragua, and the Philippines, which were modeled directly after West Point.

The complete listing accompanies this article. Scott numbers have been used throughout; non-Scott listed stamps have not been included in the listing. I will welcome any additions or corrections to the list.

West Pointers on Stamps: Class Listing

Class of 1806 - Alden Partridge (U.S. Scott No.1854), captain, superintendent of the USMA.

Class of 1808 - Sylvanus Thayer (U.S. Scott No. 1852), brevet brigadier general, superintendent of the USMA.

Class of 1828 - Jefferson Davis (U.S. Scott No.1408; CSA Scott Nos. 1, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12), president, Confederate States of America.

Class of 1829- Robert Edward Lee (U.S. Scott Nos. 788, 982, 1049, 1408), general, Confederate States of America.

Class of 1834- Edgar Allan Poe, ex-cadet (U.S. Scott No.986), poet, author.

Class of 1835 - Montgomerv Blair (U.S. Scott N6. C66; Belgium Scott No.868), U.S. postmaster general.

Class of 1840 - William Tecumseh Sherman (U.S. Scott Nos. 225, 257, 272, 787; Guam Scott No.7; Philippines Scott No.222; Puerto Rico Scott No.213), general, U.S. Army.

Class of 1843 - Ulysses Simpson Grant (U.S. Scott Nos. 223, 255, 270, 281, 303, 314A, 560, 589, 640, 666, 677,787, 823, U293, U330-35, U377-78, U390-92; Cuba Scott No.225; Guam Scott No.5; Philippines Scott Nos. 216, 299, U1S-16, U26; Puerto Rico Scott Nos. 212, U2, U4, U14; Liberia Scott No.913; Portuguese Guinea Scott Nos. 254, 339; St. Vincent Scott No.439), general, president of the United States.

Class of 1846 - Thomas J. Jackson (U.S. Scott Nos. 788, 1408), general, CSA.

Class of 1853 - Philip H. Sheridan (U.S. Scott No.787), general, U.S. Army

Class of 1855 - James (Abbott) McNeill Whisfier, ex-cadet (U.S. Scott No.885), artist.

Class of 1880 - George Washington Goethals (U.S. Scott No.856; Canal Zone Scott Nos. 106, 117, 153, 158, Ull, U13, UlS, U16-19, C3, CS, 02), major general, builder of the Panama Canal.

Class of 1881 - Harry F. Hodges (Canal Zone Scott Nos. 108, 161, 04), major general.

Class of 1884 - David DuB. Gaillard (Canal Zone Scott Nos. 109, 122-23, C39), lieutenant colonel.- William L. Sibert (Canal Zone Scott No. 110), major general.

Class of 1886 - John J. Pershing (U.S. Scott No. 1042A; France Scott No. 2044), general of the armies.

Class of 1903- Douglas MacArthur (U.S. Scott No.1424; Korea Scott No.477; Philippines Scott Nos. 519-21, 971-72, 1449-52), general of the army.

Class of 1907 - Fred T. Cruse (Nicaragua Scott Nos. C465, C471), colonel. -- Hemy H. Arnold (U.S. Scott No.2192), general of the army and of the air force. Class of 1909-George S. Patton Jr. (U.S. Scott No. 1026; Belgium Scott Nos. B606-10; Luxembourg Scott Nos. 24245), general.

Class of 1915 - Dwight D. Eisenhower (U.S. Scott Nos. 1383, 1393-95, 1401-1402; Brazil Scott No. C93; Grenada Scott Nos. 377, 378a; Korea Scott Nos. 206-208, 305; Liberia Scott No. 942; Monaco Scott No. 357; Panama Scott No. C157; Philippines Scott Nos. 823-24; El Salvador Scott Nos. 703-705, C184-86; Togo Scott Nos. 683-86, 768, C110-11 Uruguay Scott Nos. 203-205, C371; St. Vincent Scott No.443; Gibraltar Scott No.436), general of the army, president of the United States.

Class of April 1917 - Charles L. Mullins Jr. (Nicaragua Scott Nos. C463, C469), major general.

Class of 1919 - Anthony C. McAuliffe (Belgium Scott No. B608), general.

Class of 1930 - Leroy Bartlett Jr. (Nicaragua Scott Nos. C465, C471), colonel. - John F. Greco (Nicaragua Scott Nos. C465, C47 1), colonel. Class of 1946 - Anastasio Somoza Jr. (Nicaragua Scott Nos. 995-96, C884-86; C465, C468, C471, C474, C778-85; El Salvador Scott Nos. 789-90, C250-5 1), general, president of Nicaragua.

Class of 1950- Frank Borman (Haiti Scott Nos. 54447, C263-65; Hungary Scott No. C284; Senegal Scott Nos. 493, 494c), astronaut, colonel.

Class of 1951 - Edwin E. Aldrin Jr. (Belgium Scott Nos. 693, B846; Algeria Scott No.427; Brazil Scott No.1138; Cameroon Scott Nos. C135-36; Congo [Brazzaville] Scott No. C85; Liberia Scott No. C184; Monaco Scott Nos. 772-73; Quatar No.191; Romania Scott No. C175; Togo Scott Nos. 741, 746; Venezuela Scott No. C1019), astronaut, colonel.

Class of 1952- Michael Collins (Belgium Scott Nos. 693, B846; Algeria Scott No.427; Brazil Scott No.1138; Cameroon Scott Nos. 135-36; Congo [Brazzaville] Scott No. C85; Liberia Scott No. Cl 84; Monaco Scott Nos. 772-73; Quatar Scott No. 192; Romania Scott No. C175; Togo Scott Nos. 741, 746; Venezuela

Scott No. C1019), astronaut, colonel. - Edward H. White II (Cameroon Scott No. C60; Hungary Scott No. C275; Mali Scott No. C33; Nicaragua Scott Nos. C618-25; Niger Scott No. C56; Togo Scott No. 544), astronaut, lieutenant colonel.

Class of 1954 - David R. Scott (Hungary Scott No. C315; Romania Scott No. C185), astronaut, colonel.

Class of 1955 - Alfred M. Worden (Hungary Scott No. C315; Romania Scott No. C185), astronaut, lieutenant colonel.

The author, Colonel Frederick 0. Diereks, is a 1937 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, commissioned in the Corps of Engineers. During World War II, he commanded an Engineer Battalion in France and Germany. He retired in 1967 after thirty years of active military service and subsequently became associate director of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey in the Department ofCommerce. Col. Diercks is a member of the APS, the American Topical Associatton, the Canal Zone Study Group, and the Bermuda Collectors Society.

Other examples of USMA graduates on US and foreign stamps….

1.John J. Pershing, France Scott No. 2044 2.Pershing, U.S. Scott No. 1042A 3. Henry H. Arnold U.S. Scott No. 2192 4. Douglas MacArthur, Phillippines Scott NO. 520

5.MacArthur Korea Scott No 477 6. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Gibraltar, Scott. 436

7. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Monaco, Scott. 357 8. Anastasio Somoza Jr., Nicaragua Scott No. C886 9. George S. Patton, Luxembourg, Scott. 245

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US Soldiers to be Spread Thinner

General David Rodriguez , Class of 1976
AP, September 12

F0RT BRAGG, NC — As the war in Afghanistan winds down, US soldiers will be spread thinner and must be ready to perform a wider array of missions., the new Army commander in charge of training and providing troops for the wars said Monday.Gen. David Rodriguez, who took over as head of US Army Forces Command on Monday, said that as troops withdraw from Afghanistan, one brigade may have to take over where two have been working. And he said they must be trained to coordinate and use the high-tech surveillance, communications, and command and control systems that are flooding into the war zone. / Associated Press  - Gen. David M. Rodriguez before he was installed as commander of United State Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg, N.C., Monday, Sept. 12, 2011.

“I don’t think we can afford to have a bunch of tailored forces for different things,” Rodriguez said in an interview with The Associated Press just before he took over his new command. “That’s why we’re going to have to be able to operate across the full spectrum of conflict and use the tools and apply them in the right way.”

A veteran of more than 40 months in Afghanistan over the past 4 1/2 years, Rodriguez takes over Forces Command as the Army faces a difficult future. The Obama administration and a fractious Congress are wrangling over hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts to the Pentagon budget that could slash programs and force deeper reductions in the size of the armed forces.Already the Army is set to cut nearly 50,000 soldiers by 2016, trimming the force back to about 520,000. 

US Army Forces Command, newly located at Fort Bragg, is the largest Army command and is responsible for training and preparing soldiers for battle, with deployments to more than 30 nations, including Iraq and Afghanistan.Looking into the future, Rodriguez said he needs to be able to provide the trained and ready forces that commanders at the warfront need to meet a diverse threat.  The Army of tomorrow, he said, will have to be more flexible and adapt to many situations, from conventional warfare and deadly counterinsurgency campaigns to training missions that can help an emerging nation learn to protect itself.Any future enemy will launch a hybrid attack that could involve a host of tactics, including chemical warfare, car bombs and cyberattacks. And the Army’s leaders, he said, will have to adjust and “switch between high tempo offensive operations to a defensive operation to a stability operation to a humanitarian operation.”

As Rodriguez assumed his new command, just a few blocks away about 200 82nd Airborne soldiers, weighted down with packs, were saying emotional goodbyes to their families and boarding buses to the airfield, where they would begin their flight to Afghanistan.Speaking at Rodriguez’ assumption of command ceremony, Gen. Ray Odierno, chief of staff of the Army, said that in this time of uncertainty, the US must continue to field the best equipped, best trained and best led force. Odierno said he will be looking to Rodriguez and Forces Command to “move the Army forward” and lead it into the future.Soldiers today must be trained not only on how to use their weapons and conduct operations, but they must also master an ever-expanding array of high-tech intelligence, surveillance, communications and other equipment. That will be particularly important, Rodriguez said, as forces shift to the hotly contested eastern border region of Afghanistan, where the rugged terrain and often isolated tribal communities force a greater reliance on long-range observation, a stronger link between manned and unmanned surveillance equipment and dependence on a fragile human intelligence network.

In my first 20 years in the Army we probably got about 20-30 new systems,” Rodriguez said. “In 15 months (in Afghanistan) when I was a division commander I got 172 new ones.”Rodriguez, who was second in command in Afghanistan, is a 1976 graduate of the US Military Academy. In addition to holding commands at all levels, he also served as the senior military assistant to then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates.


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Army Relinquishes Fort Monroe

by Kate Wiltrout, Virginian-Pilot

HAMPTON, Va. -- Army officers presented Gov. Bob McDonnell with the key to Fort Monroe yesterday in a ceremony marking the deactivation of the historic military installation.

McDonnell quickly passed it on to Glenn Oder, who recently resigned from the General Assembly to become executive director of the state agency that will manage the property.

"This is a landmark day in Virginia's history," McDonnell said. "For hundreds of years, Fort Monroe has been a tremendous asset to our nation's military. But it is perhaps most important as a pivotal location in the telling of the amazing story of America."

He went on to detail the area's role in slavery and emancipation -- first as a landing site for Africans brought to the New World in 1619, and later as "Freedom's Fortress," the destination of thousands of fugitive slaves during the Civil War.

Many of the hundreds of people in attendance said they were sad to see the Army leave. Jim Anderson wore a T-shirt that had an image of the fort's Old Point Comfort Lighthouse on the back. "Last one out please turn off the light," it said, along with the dates "1823 -- 2011." A retired Soldier and civilian government employee, Anderson works for the Army's Training and Doctrine Command, which relocated to Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Newport News.

He's still getting accustomed to working on a military post run by the Air Force. But mostly Anderson misses the history of Fort Monroe and its views of the water. From a third-story office, aircraft carriers plying the shipping channel looked like they were going to run into the fort, he said, and he could hear the commands issued on deck.

Once the Army completes its departure, the property will be controlled by the Fort Monroe Authority, which is working on preservation and redevelopment plans, including a possible national park.

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said in a news release that the Department of the Interior and the National Park Service are working with state and local officials to evaluate the potential of the fort to be included in the National Park System.

Leaders on every level support the idea, he said.

"Fort Monroe helps tell the compelling story of our nation's arc from the Civil War to Civil Rights," Salazar said. "With such a rich history, it's no wonder that so many feel passionately about ensuring the site is preserved for future generations. We look forward to continuing to work hand-in-hand with the Commonwealth and local partners as we review the site and its future potential."

Carl Meredith of Norfolk considered Thursday sad yet jubilant. He said he has no doubts the fort will become a unit of the National Park Service.

"It's going out with class and honor and the people are here to embrace it," Meredith said. "It is a national treasure."


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Fort Dix Closes

New Jersy Home to USMAPS and Army’s Tech Efforts

by Wayne Parry - AP

EATONTOWN - Anyone who has ever listened to FM radio, gotten a speeding ticket or  wondered whether there is life on other planets has been affected by New Jersey's Fort Monmouth.

The work done at the sprawling base near the Jersey shore led to communications advances including the development of FM radio, radar, and the ability to bounce signals off the moon to prove the feasibility of extraterrestrial radio communication. It launched the first radio-equipped weather balloon, and hosted hundreds of message-bearing courier pigeons that served in the two world wars.

By the time of the Afghanistan war, Fort Monmouth developed the "phraselator," a system that translated the English voice into Dari, Pashto, Arabic and other languages.

But the fort's time is up. On a Thursday, in mid-September, after 94 years of helping warriors communicate with each other while keeping tabs on the enemy, Fort Monmouth closed, the victim of congressional budget cutting. Most of its thousands of jobs have been transferred to the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland.

"It's sad. It's depressing," said Tom Hipper of Little Silver, a division chief who rode his motorcycle out the fort's main gate Wednesday for the next-to-last time. "I just think it was all politics.

"This was a great place to work," said Hipper, whose duties included morale boosting and recreation for the troops, civilian workers and their families. "We all felt like we were doing something positive for our country, like we were an integral part of supporting the warriors."

The base's fate was sealed in 2005 when the Base Realignment and Closure Commission included Fort Monmouth in a list of military facilities it would close to save money. The commission estimated it would cost $782 million to move the fort's mission to Maryland, but the cost rose to nearly $2 billion by 2008, leaving a bitter taste in the mouths of many locals who depend on the base for jobs.

"It's a huge waste of money - politicians were involved, so what do you expect?" asked Joe Jenkins of Eatontown, whose mother, father and brother all worked at Fort Monmouth. "They're spending all this money moving it to Maryland instead of keeping it here where people need it. It's going to hit a lot of people and businesses hard."

Indeed, that's already happening. Gerald Tarantolo is mayor of Eatontown, one of three communities upon which the base sits. He said his borough is already seeing more vacancies in commercial properties, which hurts the tax base.

"We're seeing an impact already, and it's going to get worse," he said. "This is a very somber time. The reality is sinking in."

The personnel remaining at the fort are experiencing mixed emotions, said spokesman Henry Kearney.

"There is some sadness but also a tremendous amount of pride at the work we were able to do over the years," he said.

Of the 5,570 civilian and military jobs at the fort, 5,400 were to be transferred to Maryland. There were 3,144 civilian employees who took the Army up on its offer to move, Kearney said.

In 1917, the first 32 soldiers arrived at what was then called Camp Little Silver, after the nearby town. Once a potato farm, the location was considered ideal because it was close to river and rail transportation. It was named Fort Monmouth in 1925 and soon became a breeding ground for many technological innovations.

Over the years, the fort's research teams devised radar that could locate enemy artillery and mortars. The fort created a field television camera with a backpack transmitter, and a pocket-sized radiation detector. It also developed or improved systems for surveillance and air traffic control as well as night-vision devices.

On Tuesday, the fort's garrison flag was lowered, rolled up and covered for the final time. This week, the property will be turned over to a 14-member force that will maintain and secure it while yet another government commission seeks developers for its 1,100-plus acres.

"There's a lot of tears and hugs," said Hipper. "It's just really sad."

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Happy Trails To You!

Those Were The Days, My Friends!

The Roy Rogers Museum in Branson, MO has closed its doors forever.  The contents of the museum were sold at a public auction.  Roy Rogers told his son, if the museum ever operates at a loss, close it and sell the contents.  He complied.  Here is a partial listing of items that were sold...

  • Roy's 1964 Bonneville sold for $254,500. (pre-sale estimate $100 - $150K).
  • His script from a 1953 episode of This Is Your Life sold for $10,000 (est. $800-$1,000).
  • Signed baseballs (Pete Rose, Duke Snyder and other greats) sold for $3,750.
  • Autographed bats (Yogi Berra, Enos Slaughter, Bob Feller, and others) sold for $2,750.
  • Trigger's saddle and bridle sold for $386,500 (est. $100 - $150K).
  • One of Roy's shirts sold for $16,250.
  • One of his cowboy hats sold for $17,500.
  • A set of boot spurs sold for $10,625. (he never used a set of spurs on Trigger).
  • A life size shooting gallery sold for $27,500.
  • Western-themed chandeliers sold from $6,875 to $20,000.  .
  • Autographed photo qand ball from Don Larsen’s 1953 World Series perfect game, $2,500.
  • Two limited edition BB guns in original boxes sold for $3,750.
  • A collection of memorabilia from shows entertaining troops in Vietnam sold for $938.
  • His flight jacket sold for $7,500.
  • His set of dinnerware plates and silverware sold for $11,875.
  • The Bible they used at the dinner table every night sold for $8,750.
  • Nellybelle (their Jeep) sold for $116,500.
  • A fabulous painting of Roy, Dale, Pat, Buttermilk, Trigger, and Bullet sold for $10,625.
  • One of several sets of movie posters sold for $18,750.
  • A photograph of Gene Autry with a touching inscription to Roy sold for $17,500.
  • A Republic Productions Poster signed by people in Roy's movies sold for $11,875.
  • Dale's horse, Buttermilk (whose history is very interesting) sold for $25,000. 
  • Bullet sold for $35,000 (est. $10K - $15K). He was their real pet.
  • Dale's parade saddle, estimated to sell between $20K - $30K, sold for $104,500.
  • One of many pairs of Roy's boots sold for $21,250.
  • Trigger sold for $266,500.

Many of us were born at what some would consider the perfect time. We were able to grow up with these and other great people even if we never met them.  In their own way they taught us patriotism and honor, we learned that lying and cheating were bad, and sex wasn't as important as love.  We learned how to suffer through disappointment and failure and work through it.  Our lives were drug free.  So it's good-bye to Roy and Dale, Gene and Hoppy, The Lone Ranger and Tonto.  Farewell to Sky King and Superman and Sgt. Friday.  Thanks to Captain Kangaroo, Mr. Greenjeans and all those people whose lives touched ours, and made them better.  It was a great ride through childhood, wasn’t it?  HAPPY TRAILS MY FRIENDS!

Clockwise, from top – Trigger, Buttermilk and Bullet, Nellybelle

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AUSA to Pres Obama

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Thanks for the Memories

Bob Hope @ West Point – 30 Years Ago (1981)


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GEN Ray Odierno has been sworn in as the Army's new chief of staff.

The 1976 West Point graduate has served in the Army for more than 34 years and was commander of forces in Iraq.

Most recently, he was head of US Joint Forces Command.

Odierno replaces GEN Martin E. Dempsey, who became Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, when ADM Mike Mullen, US Navy, retired at the end of September.


Editor’s Note – “O.D.” was my first squad leader during academic year back in E-3. Great guy then; great guy now. Level headed, thoughtful, capable of swift and decisive action once a decision was made and COA adopted. Godspeed to him in his new and challenging assignment. – DFR78

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WPST Board of Directors Meeting Report - 09.26.11

*         Held @ 1830 hrs, September 26, 2011 in the conference room of Century 21 Realty, located at 1140 Capital Circle SE, Suite #12, Tallahassee, FL 32301.

*         Attendees: Morris (’54, Member-at-Large), Fairbank (’63, Member-at-Large), Hammond (’69, President), Fierro (’74, Member-at-Large), Shipley (’75, Field Force/Admission), Rich (’78, Secretary), Bisig (’81, Treasurer), Weeden (’82, Member-at-Large), and Manausa (’87, VP). IAW Section 2.02(b) of the WPST by-laws for Board procedures, this constituted a quorum of members current in dues, with full voting rights.

*         Anntoinette Rich (WPST Fundraising Chair) attended; she is not a Board of Directors member.

*         The next meeting of the Board is scheduled for Monday, November 7, 2011 in the location noted above. Info to be posted in “Upcoming Events”; see http://fl8.westpointaog.com/events.htm. All WPST members are cordially invited. Voting on issues before the Board, IAW Section 2.02(a) of the by-laws, is limited to Board members current in their dues and either present or who have provided a proxy. A quorum is required for all matters requiring a binding vote.


  • Review and Approve Minutes of BOD Meeting held on 8 August, 2011
  • SITREP from Field Force
  • SITREP from Treasurer
  • SITREP from Secretary
  • SITREP from Webmaster
  • Fall Event (Saturday, 15 Oct)
  • Army-Navy: (Saturday, 10 Dec)
  • Contract with FSU University Club for Founder’s Day 2012
  • Next WPST Board Meetings: Monday, 7 November, 2011
          Monday, 5 December, 2011
Actions/ Reports:      

  1. Review of the August 8, 2011 minutes.  Motion to approve (Morris);  second (Shipley).  Approved.
  2. The normal sequence of events for a Board Meeting was slightly altered.  The Fundraising Chair had to depart early for an outside commitment and requested to speak to the Board prior to the conduct of other business.  Mrs. Rich provided a status report of fundraising activities and recommended to the Board certain actions to enhance the earning power of Pete’s Fund resources.      

    Mrs. Rich suggestions for investing Pete’s Fund resources were discussed by the Board.   Options, rates, institutions, and contract terms/lengths were considered. A motion was made (Rich), seconded (Fairbank) and approved by acclamation, to invest the bulk of Pete’s Fund in a USAA CD.   At the end of the term, similar Board action will determine reinvestment of principal and any additional funds raised by annual pledges Jan-Mar 2012.  Treasurer tasked; actions to conclude NLT October 15, 2011. Further details and specifics available to Pete’s Fund participants; contact the Treasurer. 

    The Board of Directors extends thanks to Mrs. Rich for her fundraising ongoing efforts and the initiative in bringing this to the Board for action. 

    Conduct of the balance of the meeting was in accordance with normal schedule and sequence.  Functional area reports are below.
  3. Field Force: (Shipley/Lawson absent)
  • FF reported on efforts to more closely and directly link WPST and Marion Military Institute for the annual WPST scholarship.  Shipley ’75 is coordinating actions with WPAOG and MMI.  Desired outcome is direct linkage with MMI and provision of our annual scholarship to them rather than through WPAOG as a third party (WPST loses control and visibility).  WPST desires line-of-sight involvement in choosing a recipient for our scholarship, and inclusion in  the presentation event(s) at MMI.  Discussion followed.  A motion was made (Manausa) and seconded (Hammond) to (a) move forward with this initiative for more direct linkage, (b) disburse the 2011 scholarship through WPAOG, and (c) make the next annual disbursement directly to MMI if all systems are in place.  Approved by acclamation.  Draft letter to WPAOG from the archives to the Treasurer for his signature and action.  To be completed by October 1, 2011.
  • MAJ Tomlin, SE regional commander for USMA Admissions, conducted a very successful by-invitation Admissions briefing in Tallahassee for eligible candidates and their parents on August 31, 2011. Approximately 75 attended.  Representing WPST were: Shipley ’75, Webb ’57, and (US Service Academy Parents Club -- USSAPC) Mr. Scott Grant father of LT Adam Grant ’09 & Cadet Luke Grant ‘12
  • Representative Southerland (R-FL02) is prepping Academy Nominations Panel.  Likely in October, earlier than previous  years.  POC is Mr. Craig Deatheridge.  FF (Shipley/Lawson)coordinating WPST involvement
  • WPST member Judge Charlie Dodson, ex-74, is leading an effort for possible WPAOG, USMA Admissions, and WPST involvement with the Tallahassee Boys Choir.  MAJ Burns and LT Lumpkin, USMA, will visit in mid-November.  FF is prepping for possible WPST action/involvement.  TBD.  Tabled
  1. Treasurer’s Report:  (Bisig)
    • Update on WPST treasury; expenses /income; details in written report
    • WPST treasury (general operations) remains in excellent shape
    • Treasury capable of supporting all WPST operations
    • Report on coordination done for possible investment of Pete’s Fund.  See previous discussion above, in Admin Actions.  Treasurer tasked for action(s)
    • Any dues-paid member may see the detailed financial report.  Contact the Treasurer.
  2. Secretary Report: (Rich)
    • No hails, no farewells. 
    • New memberships – April Bostwick (1-yr; mother of Adam Anderson ’15), LT Zach Joanos (1-yr; Class of 2011), LT Ken Woods (Lifetime; Class of 2011). Result:  + $560 to the treasury ($200 of the Lifetime to Pete’s Fund)
    • Paid memberships stand at 63 paid members, 77-percent of those eligible.  This is 3 percentage points higher than 2010. There are 11 Lifetime members.
    • Classes of 2009, 2010, and 2011 – 100% membership.  WPST is doing a lot ­right as an organization to have such participation by recent graduates.     
    • September newsletter posted - 77th consecutive issue without a miss. October files to Webmaster for upload by week’s end. 
    • WPST Midsummer Pizza Party August 20th was a big hit.  Forty-two attended – graduates, spouses, parents of current cadets, candidates and their parents.  All bills satisfied. Result:  + $190 to the treasury.  See September newsletter. 
    • Shop for a Cause – Macy’s annual community fundraiser in August was a success. Open to 501(c)(3).  Result:  + $425 to the treasury.  This was a trial year, with great success.  Recommend that Shop for a Cause be a prime WPST fundraising activity in 2012 with full Board / membership involvement.  Tabled.
    • Motion (Rich), second (Bisig) to again support USSAPC with $100 grant to help defray costs of “Operation Boodle Box”, sending CARE-type packages to all Tallahassee area cadets/midshipmen.  Approved by acclamation.  Treasurer tasked to disburse funds.  Result: -$100 from the treasury.  
    • USSAPC semi-annual breakfast held September 27th.  WPST represented by Webb ’57, Shipley ’75, and Rich ’78.  Approximately 15 attended, including parents of current and former West Point cadets and Naval Academy midshipmen. 
    • Fall Family Picnic set for October 15th.  Fierro again provides venue at Barrington Park Clubhouse, site of 2010 event. Set-up 1130.  Doors open 1200.  Eat 1300. End NLT 1700. Alcohol permitted this year; BYOB.  Board tasked with set-up and cleaning.  Taskers - Fierro (ham, soup, coffee supplies); Hammond (soft drinks, cups, ice, coffee pot, add’l table); Bisig (flatware, paper plates, napkins, paper towels, add’l table); Rich (chicken); Shipley (pork tenderloin); Manausa (add’l chairs).  Clean-up (Hammond, Fierro, Rich).  
    • Effort by USNA Blue and Gold officers to create a WPST-like Navy group in the Tallahassee/panhandle area.  Kickoff event October 1st (USNA – USAFA game).  WPST membership invited.  Discussed.  Secretary tasked to send all-hands announcement and encourage WPST member support.
    • Army-Navy 2012 to be held at Momo’s pizza.  Date/times reserved.  Tabled.
  3. Webmaster Report: (Wood; absent no report)
    • Web address:  http://fl8.westpointaog.com/  
    • September newsletter posted
    • USMA march music now greets readers on newsletter page
    • Tasker – place notice of next BoD meeting online in “Upcoming Events”
  4. Founders Day 2010: (Hammond)
    • Coordinating FD-12 with WPSNWFL.  WPST event on Friday; WPSNWFL on Saturday. USMA Commandant is first choice for both.  TBD; tabled.   
    • Ambassador (and MG-Ret) Robert Kimmett ’69 is also a possible speaker.  TBD.
    • Coordination with FSU University Club complete; contract signed.
    • Date set for Friday, March 16, 2011 
    • Approximately $3000 payment due in January.  TBD
    • Price point for FD-12 is undetermined.  Likely $50+.  TBD.
    • Tasting session to be scheduled.  Hammond to coordinate.  TBD. 
    • Further discussion tabled until the November 7th meeting
  5. General Notes:
    • Motion to adjourn (Manausa), seconded (Shipley).  Approved by all present
    • Secretary tasked to furnish members of the Board a draft copy of the minutes via email, seeking corrections and/or clarifications.
    • Committee meetings are an open forum.
    • All WPST members are invited to attend and participate.
    • Comments on minutes should be sent to the WPST secretary. 
    • Meeting information to be posted to “Upcoming Events” on our website

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Amputee Earns 'Sergeant Airborne' Title

By Cheryl Rodewig, 1st Infantry Division

FORT BENNING, Ga., - Like thousands before him, Army Sgt. Joel Dulashanti donned an Airborne instructor black hat for the first time last month, signifying his completion of a detailed certification process with 1st Battalion, 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment.

Unlike those before him, he met the standard with a prosthetic leg, a partial knee replacement and internal injuries suffered during an ambush in Afghanistan. With his wounds, he could have taken a medical discharge from the Army, but the paratrooper chose to stay in -- and to remain Airborne all the way.  "It's still brand new," he said, "but it feels good to actually have my hat."

Dulashanti's determination in the face of adversity, evident at the unit, will be instrumental in training Airborne students, said Army Command Sgt. Maj. Chip Mezzaline, battalion command sergeant major. More than 17,000 students come through the battalion each year.  "He's had a traumatic injury and had the resilience to stay on active duty and serve as an instructor in a position that's high-risk," Mezzaline said. "It's in his character -- something you can't teach. It's something inside him that's going to drive him to be successful in whatever it is that he's doing. I don't think 'can't' is in his vocabulary.  "Being a 'Sergeant Airborne' -- a 'black hat' -- at the Basic Airborne Course will inspire numerous students coming through here," he added.

Mezzaline said Dulashanti completed the instructor certification program at a level "above the standard." He trained on the lateral-drift apparatus, the mock towers, the 250-foot tower, the swing-landing trainer and the spin harness, and memorized a block of instruction for the mock tower exit. 

"He's a paratrooper," Mezzaline said. "He comes from the 82nd Airborne Division. That Airborne career he probably thought was cut short, but this is new life for him here at the Airborne school. I predict within the next year he'll be a jumpmaster, probably a senior-rated jumpmaster, and he'll be doing door checks, exiting students at 1,250 feet above Fryar Drop Zone.

"And with his level of motivation, he'll probably move on to that next mark and be a centurion, which is 100 exits out of an aircraft," he continued. "The sky's the limit for Sergeant Dulashanti here at the 507th."
Dulashanti said he wants to do everything he can -- from jumpmaster to centurion -- while stationed here. A six-year veteran, he arrived at the battalion in May. Four years earlier, he was deployed as a sniper attached to the 73rd Cavalry Regiment. He remembers the details vividly.

"We were chasing two guys -- they were on a mo-ped together and we were in Humvees," he said. "They took off in the field and the sniper team went out. It was about 110 degrees outside, over 6,000 feet above sea level, and with no humidity -- all you could smell was the earth and burnt grass. As we were walking in this knee-high grass, I started to smell body odor, so I stopped and turned to my right in the direction of the odor. They began to engage in contact.

"They had AK-47s and they were lying in the prone about 10 meters away," he continued. "I took two rounds to my right knee. As I was coming out of the sun, I was shot through my left knee. As I was falling, the next round that came through went under my arm, through my ribcage and, since I was parallel to the ground, it traversed my entire abdomen down to my pelvis. That round was the worst. We returned fire, and those guys were finished."
Two platoons donated plasma to him before he was evacuated to the United States. Once he arrived at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., it took him eight months to be comfortable walking.

"The recovery process started off slow, [but] I accelerated fast," he said. "Most of the stuff can be replaced. I have a partial knee replacement on my left side. I have an above-the-knee amputation on my right side. I'm missing half of my stomach and 90 percent of my intestines and gall bladder, and half of my abdominal wall is gone."

He chose to stay in the Army in part for the fellow soldier recuperating alongside him in the hospital, he said.  "I had to set that example for the rest of the Army, just based on the fact they couldn't do it and they wanted to," he said. "Maybe in the future, somebody else will have an easier time getting to do stuff like this because I've done it already."

Since then, Dulashanti completed the Warrior Leader Course and the Advanced Leaders Course, among others. But his goal was to be part of Fort Benning's Airborne battalion.  "Mentally, I knew I could exit an aircraft, and I knew I was able to instruct people on how to exit an aircraft and to land on the ground properly," he said. "When I called about the job, the only question was, 'Can you jump out of planes?' and even though I hadn't done it, the answer was 'yes,' without a doubt. I knew I wouldn't be a safety hazard, so the answer was 'yes.'"

"It was pretty intense," Dulashanti said of the studying it took to pass the certification program, but other instructors helped him along the way.  "I have to kind of be on my 'A' game all the time," he said. "But at the same time, I do have limitations, so I have to make sure I take care of myself to prevent injury."

His "limitations" aren't something he tells every class of students about, but occasionally he mentions it or they find out. "Sometimes people ask me why I have a limp," he said. "I tell them I don't have a leg, so it's not really a limp."

His advice to other wounded warriors is simple: choose whether or not to have a positive outlook.

"Make up your mind," he said. "Everybody has to go through their own coping mechanisms. Sometimes you're in a denial state; when you come out of that denial state, then deal with what it is you have to deal with. Seek counseling if you have to. I never gave negativity even an opportunity to invade my mind. There was only one route for me in the first place."

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  • Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.
  • Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
  • If man evolved from monkeys and apes, why do we still have monkeys and apes?
  • I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, "where's the self-help section?" she said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.
  • What if there were no hypothetical questions?
  • If a deaf child signs swear words, does his mother wash his hands with soap?
  • If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?
  • Where do forest rangers go to "get away from it all?"
  • What do you do when you see an endangered animal eating an endangered plant?
  • If a parsley farmer is sued, can they garnish his wages?
  • Would a fly without wings be called a walk?
  • If a turtle doesn't have a shell, is he homeless or naked?
  • Can vegetarians eat animal crackers?
  • If the police arrest a mime, do they tell him he has the right to remain silent?
  • Why do they put braille on the drive-through bank machines?
  • What was the best thing before sliced bread?
  • One nice thing about egotists: they don't talk about other people.
  • Does the little mermaid wear an algebra?
  • Do infants enjoy infancy as much as adults enjoy adultery?
  • How is it possible to have a civil war?
  • If one synchronized swimmer drowns, do the rest drown too?
  • If you ate both pasta and antipasto, would you still be hungry?
  • If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?
  • Why are hemorrhoids called "hemorrhoids" instead of "assteroids"?
  • Why is it called tourist season if we can't shoot at them?
  • If you spin an oriental person in a circle three times, do they become disoriented?


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Stalin on America

America is like a healthy body and its resistance is threefold:

  • its patriotism
  • its morality
  • its spiritual life

If we can undermine these three areas, America will collapse from within.

                                                                                              -- Joseph Stalin

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By Penelope GreenOriginally published July 31, 2005

At 102 years and counting, Dick's Castle may be the longest- running construction project ever, beating out even the 2nd Avenue Subway.  Vast, odd, sometimes even beautiful, the vaguely Moorish poured-concrete folly sits in Garrison, N.Y., like an old pasha on a hill overlooking that jog of the Hudson River between West Point to the west and the Shawangunk Mountains to the north.

Thus sited, Dick's Castle claims as its home what is perhaps Garrison's most stunning vantage point - which may explain why the place has been wrestled with by so many for so long. Lee Balter, its current owner, has bought and sold the place, or pieces of it, at least twice. Now, he lives in its tower, and has converted the rest of it to six condominiums.

In 1903, give or take a year or two, a wealthy financier named Evans P. Dick built this castle's shell - a 40,000-square-foot volume - with visions of the Alhambra in Spain clearly dancing in his mind. He sketched in 34 fireplaces and chimneys but built no flues or fireboxes. Two cavernous chambers at opposite ends might have been realized as a kitchen and a ballroom. Save for these suggestive spaces, he built no interior walls or staircases, and laid in no wiring, heating or plumbing, or even a roof, though an aqueduct stretched 100 feet or so. (Swan boat rides were planned.) By 1911, Dick had run out of money, and his castle was abandoned.

In 1946, Anton J. Chmela, the founder of General Quartz Laboratories, a manufacturer of quartz crystal oscillators for communications use during World War II, bought the place and made one wing livable. He lived under that putative ballroom, eventually adding electricity, plumbing and even a septic system - but for that space only. Around him were the huge, still-empty volumes of the rest of the castle, which gained notoriety in the 1950's as a make-out spot, Mr. Balter said. Mr. Balter said he had been buttonholed by eight or nine local officials during zoning meetings who'd whispered that they had their first romantic encounter up at Dick's Castle. But we're getting ahead of the story.

Mr. Chmela sold the castle to the Dia Foundation in 1979 for about $1 million, said Mr. Balter, who bought it from the foundation in 1987, also for about $1 million, with a small group of investors. Mr. Balter, a businessman, former investment banker and the chairman of the Tallix Foundry in nearby Beacon, sold off pieces of the castle's voluptuous land, reducing the parcel from 92 acres to 17. In 1989, when his wife, Anita Balter, developed breast cancer, he sold the rest, along with the half finished castle, to a group of developers, again for about $1 million.

Mrs. Balter died in 1991. A year later, Mr. Balter asked the owners of Dick's Castle, who were then in bankruptcy (they'd done some work - they built a red roof and some rickety construction stairs and shored up its skin before their cash and energies leaked away), if he might watch the Fourth of July fireworks from an empty room with glassless windows: the best seats on the Hudson. He and a friend, who had also lost a partner, sat up there like two children, Mr. Balter said, and "thought what a wonderful place it was. We decided to rescue the poor bank who was holding the defaulted notes" to the castle, he said, which is to say he bought the place back, this time for a little more than $2 million.

As to why, Mr. Balter will say in answer that he is "just comfortable with real estate." On a "roots trip" to Russia with his wife in the 1980's, he recalled recently, she said Russia "was the only place she really felt comfortable, because she knew I couldn't buy anything."

Mr. Balter has a way of molding the air with his hands - it's a gesture that suggests endless, expensive possibilities. Deploying that gesture, he described his former plans for the place: until 2000, he considered making his castle a high-end health spa, or a high-end restaurant/wedding venue, or maybe a place for plastic surgery. His neighbors - on all that lovely wooded land he'd sold them the first time around - politely suggested "that I was barking up the wrong tree," he said. Certainly they didn't want a business smack in the middle of their homes. So five years ago he filed plans to finish the castle, by building seven fantastical residences within it. Like Mr. Chmela, Mr. Balter moved in, in a nominal way, roughing it first in his tower, the spot from which he'd seen the fireworks in 1992.

Remember, there were no proper stairs, so he climbed a temporary staircase and then a rickety ladder to his aerie, which had no plumbing or electricity. But with such a view, he said, "who cares about the niceties." Meanwhile, Juergen Riehm, a principal of 1100 Architect in New York, designed six stern, spare "town houses" around and below the tower - one as large as 7,700 square feet - which, by 2003, Mr. Balter began to sell as condominium units as soon as they were done for $300 to $1,000 a square foot, depending on the views. "The idea was to try and preserve this fantasy that someone had thought of for themselves," Mr. Riehm said, "while making these independent spaces."

Mostly, Mr. Riehm and Mr. Balter created simple, near-white-box spaces, three of which have already been sold. "He rationalized the place," Mr. Balter said of Mr. Riehm. "He tamed it."

Two huge units, one 4,000 square feet, on the west side of the castle, and the other 7,700, on the east side, Mr. Balter assigned to the designer Orlando Diaz-Azcuy, to pick up where Mr. Riehm's design left off and tweak and finish more completely. In the east-facing space, Mr. Diaz-Azcuy made a home, with a 500-square-foot closet, around that ballroom. In the other, facing the Hudson, he deployed roughly elegant furniture provided by Mr. Balter, like a 12-foot Spanish refectory table, slipcovering everything else in neutral linen. Mr. Balter has lived in various parts of the castle since 2000, bunking in half-finished areas until they were done and then moving on. His things are still strewn through much of the place - yes, a single man can easily fill 10,000 or 20,000 square feet of castle. "Orlando made these spaces luxurious," Mr. Balter said. "He made them salable." (The sixth unit will be sold unfinished, he said.)

Mr. Diaz-Azcuy said: "To put fancy finishes on this 'castle in the raw' was not the right thing to do. But Lee's life is a little bit too rough, so what I did is to find a happy medium that satisfies his casual life and my appreciation for the space without fluffing or frilling it up."

In the bathroom of the Hudson-facing apartment designed by Mr. Diaz-Azcuy is a white ceramic lozenge, a Purist Hatbox toilet from Kohler. "I'm the first kid on my block to have one," Mr. Balter said proudly.

Mr. Diaz-Azcuy continued: "You can see how he appreciates good design. With Lee, everything is done in a unique manner." Then he answered a question about profitability. "It is a folly in the sense that Lee has spent more money than he will take out of the place," he said. "But I never heard him complain."

Mr. Balter has moved back into his tower, which was designed by Mr. Riehm as a nod to Carlo Scarpa, the Italian architect who gently laid modernist "collages" of space into ancient buildings. So the tower is both sleek and crumbly - decay and order, past and present march side by side.

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Think about your answers


1.  Johnny's mother had three kids. The first was named April and the second was May. What was the third child's name?

2. There is a clerk at the butcher shop, he is 5’10” tall and wears size 13 sneakers. What does he weigh?

3.. Before Mt. Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain in the world?

4. How much dirt is there in a hole that measures two feet by three feet by four feet?

5. What word in the English Language is always spelled incorrectly?

6. Billy was born on December 28th, yet his birthday is always in the summer. How is this possible?

7. In California, you cannot take a picture of a man with a wooden leg. Why not?

8. What was the President's Name in 1975?

9. If you were running a race, and you passed the person in 2nd place, what place would you be in now?

10.. Which is correct to say, "The yolk of the egg are white" or "The yolk of the egg is white"?

11. If a farmer has 5 haystacks in one field and 4 haystacks in the other field, how many haystacks would he have if he combined them all in another field?


1. Johnny of course

2. Meat.

3. Mt. Everest; it just wasn't discovered yet.
4. There is no dirt in a hole.

5. Incorrectly

6. Billy lives in the Southern Hemisphere

7. You can't take pictures with a wooden leg. You need a camera to take pictures.

8. Same as is it now - Barack Obama [Oh, come on .....]

9. You would be in 2nd.. Well, you passed the person in second place, not first.

10. Neither, the yolk of the egg is yellow [Duh]

11. One. If he combines all of his haystacks, they all become one big stack.

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JOE DRAPE; Published: September 9, 2011; New York Times

WEST POINT — They gathered on the banks of the Hudson at Trophy Point among captured artillery, a one-of-a-kind setting for a one-of-a-kind college football moment. The speaker was First Lt. Tyson Quink, and he was here to remind the Army Black Knights of why each of them had chosen to come to the United States Military Academy, of what the Long Gray Line really meant.

He was an offensive lineman here. His wife, First Lt. Tera Quink, leaned against his wheelchair. She was the football team’s first female head manager, a coveted position held by such celebrated former cadets as Gen. Douglas MacArthur, the astronaut Frank Borman and the former national security adviser Brent Scowcroft. Now her husband was telling the team about how the improvised explosive device he stepped on last spring in Afghanistan took both his legs below his knees and how the brotherhood that is at the heart of the cadet corps really works.  “I had a squad leader holding my head,” he said. “Everyone was tourniquetting my legs, getting me together. They were getting me a bird and getting me out of there. Those guys, I’ll never forget, I see their faces all the time. It’s important what they did. They would have done it because it was their jobs, but they did it because they didn’t want to lose someone they were tight with, close to. We slept together. Me and my platoon sergeant slept together; we practically held hands we were that close.”

What Quink did not tell the Black Knights was that he was here last Friday to bury another member of the class of 2009, First Lt. Timothy J. Steele, who died last month in the Kandahar province of Afghanistan and is among the 84 graduates of West Point who have lost their lives over the past decade in support of missions there and in Iraq.  “You go what you go through,” Quink said, his voice cracking. “You guys stay together. It will help you on the field. It will help you when you’re a first lieutenant.”

The Black Knights lost their opener at Northern Illinois, 49-26, the following day, but Army is a resurgent program coming off its first winning season since 1996. It was capped by a 16-14 victory over Southern Methodist in the Armed Forces Bowl, its first postseason victory since 1985. Last Saturday’s loss to Northern Illinois was a disappointing start to a promising season, but one that will be forgotten Saturday when the Black Knights take the field against San Diego State (1-0).  “You don’t have much time to dwell on things here at West Point, especially something like a football game,” said Steven Erzinger, a senior — or firstie — linebacker and co-captain. “The life of any cadet means balancing an Ivy League-caliber education with the rigors of military life and absorbing the art and science of leadership. Time is precious. Sleep hard to come by. Summer vacations nonexistent.  

Over the past two years, Army Coach Rich Ellerson has done what four of his predecessors could not: win. Ellerson, 58, has done it by embracing the challenges of cadet life. Instead of asking for more practice as other coaches did, he shortened his team’s time on the field. Instead of asking that his players be spared military training obligations, Ellerson encouraged them to do more.

That meant that quarterback Trent Steelman spent part of this summer at nearby Camp Buckner leading a squad of 10 cadets through combat exercises while his backup, Max Jenkins, was in Germany with the Army Corps of Engineers and defensive lineman Jarrett Mackey was among a group of players at Fort Benning, Ga. It also meant that Larry Dixon and the rest of the Black Knights’ plebe class returned to Beast Barracks from training camp to make the more-than-12-mile march in full military gear from Camp Buckner to campus, the traditional end to what is known as “Hell on the Hudson.” A war room was set up, complete with a white board bearing the names of more than 100 Black Knights, and it was consulted frequently throughout the summer. It not only kept track of the players’ whereabouts on different bases and missions but also those of the strength coaches.

At Camp Buckner, Steelman and teammates were up at 5:30 a.m. to run, lift weights and throw, but those sessions were not nearly as taxing as the countless hours in the woods for Cadet Field Training.  “It was the hardest thing I ever did,” said Steelman, a junior, or cow, who is a three-year starter. “Coach has a saying, ‘Let’s stack up W’s in everything we do,’ in the classroom, in the corps. It will all translate on Saturdays.”

Ellerson’s father, Col. Geoffrey Ellerson, graduated from here in 1935, and two of his brothers, Maj. Gen. John Ellerson, a captain of the 1962 football team, and Col. Geoffrey Ellerson Jr., followed suit. His brothers are now retired, but Rich Ellerson came here after eight years at Cal Poly, where he built a perennial power in the Football Championship Subdivision with similarly motivated and intelligent players.      Where previous coaches have fixated on the academy’s weaknesses, Ellerson has concentrated on its strengths.  “These guys are so invested emotionally in this place,” he said. “It’s so demanding. It’s so uncertain. It’s so competitive. I don’t think that’s why they are playing at Tennessee or Texas or the places with the big Hollywood models.”

Beyond running a triple-option offense and a defense built on speed and flexibility to make the most of the smaller, quicker athletes who fit the academy’s physical requirements, Ellerson has tapped into the values and virtues of West Point. “I think those things still impact the scoreboard,” he said. “There’s some physics going on out there. How you can counter it is with culture and character. These are guys that are willing to sacrifice for one another. They want to do something special with their life. They don’t want their life to be easy or pampered. It’s not in our DNA.”

He also wants his players to understand exactly why they are here: to become officers in the United States Army, not to play what he calls this “silly game we all love.” “The destination is the first thing we bring up,” he said. “Where it goes from here probably is to many great things, but football is just one thing on the way to the destination.”

Last Friday, on the steps of Battle Monument, the iconic memorial to the fallen Army officers and soldiers in the Civil War and erected by their surviving comrades, the Quinks reminded the cadets that the destination was fraught with peril but that members of the Long Gray Line had the heart and the skill to endure. The two are living at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., as Tyson builds his strength and learns to walk on artificial legs. He has been fitted for one, and is awaiting the other.

This year’s firsties, like Erzinger, were freshmen when Quink was playing his final season for Army.  “It’s real and it’s out there,” Erzinger said of the danger that potentially awaits all cadets. “But Tyson’s still working and fighting. He really brought to life what is to be in this brotherhood.”

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Pregame Display at Army

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Army Does Things Right…But Be Careful With NCAA Recruiting

This from WPST board member and Field Force coordinator, COL(Ret) Claude Shipley ’75: 
The Army Athletic Department has issued its annual reminder of NCAA rules prohibiting graduates from engaging in athletic recruiting on behalf of Army Athletics and/or providing benefits to either prospective or enrolled cadet-athletes.

This Compliance Guide should clear up any questions you might have regarding possible interaction(s) with Army athletic recruits. 


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"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.

What we obtain too cheaply, we esteem too lightly; 'tis dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as Freedom should not be highly rated."

The Crisis, No. 1, Thomas Paine - December 4th, 1776

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With Thanks to LTC-Ret Chet Dubberley in KS

You’ll soon see why the U-2 is considered the most difficult plane in the world to fly.

Each pilot has a co-pilot, who chases the plane on the runway in a sports car. Most of the cars are either Pontiac GTOs or Chevrolet Cameros — the Air Force buys American. The chase cars talk the pilot down as he lands on bicycle-style landing gear.   

In that spacesuit, the pilot in the plane simply cannot get a good view of the runway. Upon takeoff, the wings on this plane, which extend 103 feet from tip to tip, literally flap. To stabilize the wings on the runway, two pogo sticks on wheels prop up the ends of the wings.    

As the plane flies away, the pogo sticks drop off. The plane climbs at an amazing rate of nearly 10,000 feet a minute. Within about four minutes, it is at 40,000 feet, higher than any commercial airplane.  And it keeps going -- going up to 13 miles above Earth's surface.    

There is an incredible sensation up there. As you look out the windows, it feels like you're floating, like you're not moving, but you're actually going 500 mph..

The U-2 was built to go higher than any other aircraft. In fact today, more than 50 years since it went into production, the U-2 flies higher than any aircraft in the world with the exception of the space shuttle.    

It is flying more missions and longer missions than ever before — nearly 70 missions a month over Iraq and Afghanistan , an operational tempo that is unequaled in history. The pilots fly for 11 hours at a time, sometimes alone. By flying so high, the U-2 has the capability of doing reconnaissance over a country without actually violating its airspace. It can look off to the side, peering 300 miles or more inside a country without actually flying over it. It can "see" in the dark and through clouds. Sensors also give it tha ability to "hear," intercepting conversations miles below.

The U-2, an incredible piece of history and also a current piece of high technology, is at the center of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan .. Enjoy the ride -- click the link below.  


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WPST Field Force Gets the Unintended Occasional Chuckle

Just like Art Linkletter’s kids in days gone by, sometimes current students  say the darndest things during school career days when our Field Force is on the job, providing information about candidacy for West Point.  From LTC(Ret) Bill Sellen, WPST Field Force representative:

EXHIBIT A:  A couple of years ago this rotund young man comes up to me at Gulf Coast (State College) and in total seriousness asks, "Do you guys have a welding program?"

EXHIBIT B:  This year a big guy (probably over 6'6") comes to Port St. Joe High from Wewahitchka High.  I ask, "What can I tell you about West Point?"  He responds, "Well, first, where is it?"  I said, "50 miles north of NYC, up the Hudson River."  He says, "That's a long way from Wewa," ..and walks away.


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Hooah!  Ol’ Mother Nature can’t deny any longer…..cooler weather is just around the corner and 2011 is rapidly fading away.  The Fall Picnic, and ARMYNAVY are just over the horizon, too.    GO ARMY!!  Stay tuned to the website and your email for late breaking details on events. Heartfelt October birthday wishes for members who celebrate that special day this month.  Many happy returns. The following members* have October birthdays:

Hannah Lambert     01 October

David Rich     14 October

Leigh Fairbank     16 October

Mike Braun     20 October

Tom Moorhead     27 October

Ron Morrell     31 October

* Note: No information is on file in WPST records for spouses or children...and we'd like to include everyone! Please provide such info and/ or corrections to any info shown above to the secretary The intent is to acknowledge a special day for our members, spouses, significant others, and children. No birth year or USMA Class info will be shown. . And, if you'd rather not be listed, please let the Secretary know that as well. Thanks.

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