In Focus

  • Holiday spirit at cemetery: Patriotism, appreciation is backbone of Wreaths Across America

    Several years ago, a truckload of over 5,000 balsam tree branches was about to go to waste, but Morrill Worcester knew exactly how to put them to good use as the owner of the Worcester Wreath Company.
    Worcester’s idea to place wreaths upon veterans’ graves was sparked by his patriotism and deep appreciation for those who died to protect America’s freedom. With the help of Maine Senator Olympia Snowe, many  volunteers placed them on graves at the Arlington National Cemetery.
    The Wreaths Across America story began as a small-scale event in December 1992 and has grown into a beloved international symbol for honoring a veteran’s life and service, especially given through sacrifice. Approximately 1.6 million wreaths have been placed on graves throughout over 1,400 locations in all 50 U.S. Read More

  • USMA grads, Nininger recipients lead Army-Navy flyover

    Before toe meets leather and the Army-Navy Game starts Saturday, fans in Lincoln Financial Field with be treated to an aerial spectacle from the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade from the 82nd Airborne Division.
    Six AH-64 Apache helicopters from the brigade will perform the Army flyover that annually takes place before the game. After being tasked with the flyover a few months ago, the brigade immediately set out to find a way to make the flyover special and unique, which led them to pack as many U.S. Military Academy ties into the six cockpits as possible.
    During the flyover, 10 of the 12 pilots will be West Point grads. The pilots will include a former Army football player, the sister of a current cadet who is a taking part in the marathon team’s ball run, a member of a Gold Star family and leading the formation in the Gun One position will be the 2013 and 2019 recipients of the West Point Association of Graduates Nininger Award. Read More

  • Firsties reflect on Army-Navy rivalry before last game as cadets

    Saturday, the cadets in the U.S. Military Academy’s Class of 2020 will try to do something few have done in the academy’s history—beat Navy four years in a row.
    When the members of the class arrived at West Point on Reception Day in 2016, Army football had found itself at one of the lowest points in its storied history. The Black Knights had lost to their archrival, the Midshipmen of the U.S. Naval Academy, 14 years in a row in the annual Army-Navy Game.
    What had once been a back and forth contest between equals, had become a lopsided rivalry dominated by Navy.
    That losing streak now feels like distant history as the Class of 2020 stands on the cusp of becoming the first class since 1997 to go undefeated against Navy during its time at the academy. Read More

  • Which division will it be? :Army-Navy uniform tells story of Army Division

    When the players on the Army West Point football team take the field, they do so for more than themselves.
    They represent the U.S. Military Academy and the generations of graduates who make up the Long Gray Line. They play for the U.S. Army and those who have fought and died protecting America. And each week during the season, they play for a division of the Army and the Soldiers currently serving and who have served in it.
    For most of the regular season, the division is honored by a patch on the back of the players’ helmets, but for the past three years during the Army-Navy Game the Black Knights have honored one of the Army’s divisions by wearing an entire uniform telling the division’s story. Read More

  • DFL Spanish hosts Chile’s Ambassador to the U.S. for lecture

    As the U.S. Army continues to prioritize strengthening relationships and being the partner of choice, the U.S. Military Academy’s Department of Foreign Languages remains at the forefront of educating cadets in linguistic, cultural and regional knowledge.
    On Nov. 18, DFL hosted Chile’s Ambassador to the U.S. Alfonso Silva Navarro as the keynote lecturer for the Spanish Program’s Distinguished Lecture Series.
    Accompanying Silva was his delegation comprised of the Chilean Defense Attaché Maj. Gen. Carlos Castillo and the Deputy Chief of Mission Carlos Moran Leon. The Chilean delegation also conducted an office call with the Dean of the Academic Board Brig. Gen. Cindy Jebb as well as gained insight into the West Point’s history and culture.
    Silva’s lecture titled, “Security Challenges in the 21st Century: The New World Order,” broadened cadets’ understanding of challenges in the Western Hemisphere and abroad. Read More

  • Branch Night elation: Cadets obtain branches through new Army system

    On Nov. 13, 1,089 members of the Class of 2020 at the U.S. Military Academy received their assignments for which branch of the Army they will start their careers in upon graduation.
    The cadets received their assignments during the academy’s annual Branch Night.
    The members of the class were each assigned one of the 17 Army branches, and for many of the cadets it was a night that saw them get exactly what they wanted as 88% of the cadets in the class were placed into their number one branch preference. That represents an 11% increase over last year.
    “I think for the Army, it is a positive for management of talent, and putting the right talent in the right branches at the right time,” Maj. Read More

  • Branch Night elation :Cadets unseal their futures at Branch Night

    The intensity of anticipation and excitement reached its peak Nov. 13 at the U.S. Military Academy when 1,089 Class of 2020 cadets held a sealed envelope with their names inscribed on them during Branch Night. The cadets were deliberately told not to open them until given the command.
    Until then, their hands contained the very future of their military journey just waiting to be revealed. They were about to find out which career field they are assigned to.
    Once the order to open them was executed, the noise of over a thousand paper envelopes being shredded apart was followed by an uproar of triumphant cheers that filled Robinson Auditorium and lasted for minutes.
    “All the hard work we’ve put in has finally paid off. Read More

  • Cadet IWG specializes in building foundational combat skills

    In April, the communities around Hyde Park, New York faced an invasion.
    Soldiers could have been found in the woods throughout the area or possibly spotted infiltrating the area via motorboat from the Hudson River. For three days, the Soldiers worked to build alliances with guerilla forces in the area, gain intel on combatants and finally eliminate enemy targets.
    The invasion took months of planning and built upon multiple field training exercises used to hone the military skills needed to operate in a hostile environment.
    While Hyde Park may not seem to meet the definition of a hostile environment and isn’t an area ruled by an opposition force, for the three days of training conducted by the cadets in the U.S. Read More

  • Cadets receive ARCOMs for saving man’s life

    Leaving the garrison commander’s office following a briefing about his capstone project, Class of 2020 Cadet Zachary Aloma had two choices of how to walk back to central area at the U.S. Military Academy.
    He could have walked along the street by  Eisenhower Hall and gone through the Beat Navy tunnel before crossing the road near the commandant’s house. The other option was to take the historic trail with its “Use at your own risk” sign.
    On Oct. 19, Aloma decided to go off the beaten path and take a trail he had never walked in his more than three years at West Point.
    Looking back at that day, he says it was fate and God that had him take the historic trail that day because as he emerged from the path near the Beat Navy House, he was needed to help save the life of a visitor who had suffered a heart attack. Read More

  • WPMS honors veterans during WWII-themed play

    Students, faculty and staff of West Point Middle School participated in their 13th annual Veterans Day assembly Nov. 7, which featured over 20 songs and scenes related to World War II in honor of the 75th Anniversary of D-Day. Veterans in the extended community and wartime United Service Organization members were invited to attend.
    The event began with a flag ceremony performed by scouts and the color guard just before the advanced band class played the national anthem. Students recited a poem called, “I am the Flag,” and a monologue called “What is a veteran/what is Veterans Day?” These skits highlighted the patriotism, sense of duty and pride behind what it means to protect and defend the United States.
    Once guests from veteran organizations in the local community were introduced and welcomed, two students presented a historical overview of World War II. Read More

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