Inside this issue - West Point Association of Graduates


Inside this issue - West Point Association of Graduates
Inside this issue:
 “Be Straight or Be
“Be Straight or Be Gone” Is Gone…
The times are a’changing, as Bob Dylan would say. Many company mottos and
mascots throughout the Corps are not as they once were. Company A-1 is one
such company that had to change both their mascot and their motto.
 Yearling Winter Weekend
 Queen of Battle!
“Be straight or Be Gone” was once heard ringing through the halls of Lee Barracks at all hours of the day,
ensuring to wake up Firsties from their Dean’s Hour nap. However, with the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t
Tell Company A-1 was asked (read: ordered) to come up with a less offensive motto. Of course, it was
feared that the company’s old motto would be viewed as using a derogatory homosexual slur.
 National Conference on
Gone” Is Gone...
Ethics in America
 Corps and Club Squad
 100th Night Exclusive
 [Old] Grad Corner
 West Point Glee Club
PepsiCo Fundraiser
The cadets in A-1, being as resilient as they are, quickly overcame this obstacle and developed a new
motto that they believed would demonstrate their leadership skills, esprit de corps, and mental fortitude. The new motto the cadets all voted on was “Semper Primus” which is Latin for “always
first” (Note: Not to be confused with the Marine Corps’ slogan).
This was not to be the only change for Company A-1. Their mascot, the Axeman, would also be requested to be changed due to a gender neutral push. Once again, the resourceful cadets of A-1 banded
together - this time, to come up with a timeless symbol of strength, honor, and teamwork to be used as
their new mascot. I am, of course, referring to the block-buster hit movie, The Avengers, which most
cadets watched over spring break immediately before voting on the new company mascot.
Will it last? Only time can tell. Hopefully, Marvel will continue making superhero movies and thus
ensuring that Company A-1’s mascot stays relevant.
- By CDT Josh Cooper (‘14)
Yearling Winter Weekend
 African American History Observance Month
 Superbowl "Sundae": 2/2
 CASH/A briefs
 NCEA Conference: 2/4
 Yearling Winter Weekend: 2/7
 Valentine's Day: 2/14
 President's Day Weekend: 2/1417
 100th Night: 2/22
During the weekend of February 7th to 9th, the Class of 2016 enjoyed a fun and memorable Yearling
Winter Weekend. The Yuks took full advantage of their first true class weekend, with many either renting a house with friends or heading to New York City for the weekend. It was certainly a much needed
respite from the horrors of physics, philosophy, and the gray period! The weekend culminated on Saturday night with the banquet in the mess hall followed by the hop in Ike Hall.
The guest speaker at the banquet was LTG (R) George Crocker, a graduate in the 50 year affiliate class,
the Class of 1966. General Crocker provided valuable insight to the class on what to focus on in our
remaining time in the Academy in order to be as successful as possible as officers. He jokingly remarked, “The secret to a successful unit is…there is no secret!” He also touched on The Long Gray Line,
the book that stories the history of his class, including stories about him. Based on some of his stories,
it is most certain that the corps has seen a lot of change in the last 50 years. The class certainly enjoyed
having such as a great officer speak to us, and the fact that he is in the 50 year affiliate class made the
speech even more special.
The Hop at Ike was also a fun time for cadets and their
dates, and included the unveiling of the Class of 2016’s
class song, “Sweet 16”. The Yuks would like to thank CDT
Anastasia Efaw, our Ring and Crest Committee representative, who organized much of the weekend. The Class
of 2016 is looking forward to finishing up the semester,
marking the halfway point in our 47-month journey!
- By CDT Evan Harkins (‘16)
Apologies for omitting the two Firsties who
branched INFANTRY in the last newsletter!
Cadets Dylan Doty and Timothy Pena [from
left to right, respectively] will both be making A-1 proud as newly minted Infantry
officers upon graduation. Cadet Doty will be
going to Ft. Campbell, KY with 3rd BDE and
Cadet Pena is posting at Ft. Bliss and will be
serving in 4th BDE at Ft. Bliss, TX.
Corps & Club Squad Athletes
Queen of Battle!
Sponsored by the Simon Center for the Professional Military Ethic (SCPME) and the USMA Class
of 1970, the Conference included both round table discussions and guest speakers. From 04-05
February, Cadets met to discuss amongst themselves how to better structure and implement
ethical programs at West Point, covering a variety of topics from the Cadet Honor Code to
mentorship to subcultures within the Academy. Cadets were split into groups of approximately
ten and given a specific program to revise. At the end of the two day conference, the First
Class Cadets that facilitated the discussions briefed the Superintendent on their group’s recommendation. These recommendations are currently in the process of being evaluated by the
Brigade Tactical Department staff for feasibility and possible execution within the coming year.
In addition to the program recommendations, cadets also heard from a variety of guest speakers on topics such as courageous leadership, creating a community of honorable living, and self
-control. They also attended a few workshops between discussions and presentations on conflict resolution, effective communication, and peer coaching.
On the whole, NCEA received a fairly positive review from both the officer and Cadet participants. Cadets found the Conference to be a fairly comprehensive and exhaustive exposition of
ethical concerns at the Academy as well as fairly exhausting; but then again, Cadets are always
- By CDT Sara Downing (‘14)
If you would like to know more about the NCEA or how to get involved, contact CDT Sara
Downing at [email protected] or 828-612-4651.
Each year during the spring semester, West Point takes a few days to host the National Conference on Ethics in America (NCEA). Traditionally, various schools from around the country are
invited to partake in debates and discussions with Cadets on ethical concerns at the forefront
of the national consciousness. This year however, NCEA was an entirely different and internal
affair. As per the Superintendent’s guidance, the conference focused on improving ethics
education at West Point by formally defining “honorable living” and “building trust” and then
expanding on how those ideas can be more effectively integrated into daily life at USMA.
National Conference on Ethics in America
Abeling, Dayne
CS Weight Training
Abia, Alexander
CL Rugby
Carros, Alexander
CS Lacrosse
Christian, Crystal
CS Indoor Track
Diehl, Patrick
CL Judo
Downing, Sara
CL Fencing
Mims, Michael
CL Boxing
Brown, David
CS Football (Sprint)
Cline, Dayna
CS Indoor Track
Eldridge, Dakota
CS Weight Training
Hill, Robert
CS Golf
Monique, Cory
CS Football (Sprint)
Snow, Chase
CL Judo
Totorica, Mitxel
CL Parachute
Dabeck, Mark
CS Football (Sprint)
Davies, Benjamin
CS Tennis
Efaw, Anastasia
CL Rugby
Etchberger, Henry
CL Crew
Fleming, Kyle
CS Football
Freeny, Othie
CS Football (Sprint)
CS Indoor Track
Page, Jacob
CS Baseball
Wasserman, Leah
CL Lacrosse
Akhmetov, Abylay
CL Boxing
Andrews, Dashiell
CL Pistol
Burnette-Turner, Kelsey
CS Softball
Carpenter, Kayla
CS Indoor Track
Creel, William
CS Hockey
Darby, Alison
CL Rugby
Hershman, Jonah
CL Boxing
Hoover, Michaela
CS Softball
Larry, Kevin
CS Football (Sprint)
Ndando, Acha
CS Football
- CS: Corps squad sport
- CL: Club squad sport
Visit for more information
on each time and competition schedules
100th Night Exclusive
As the Class of 2014 nears
the end of its 47 month West Point experience,
we each had the opportunity to celebrate how
far we’ve come along this journey through 100th
Night Weekend. Though our official “100th Night
until graduation” occurred a few days prior, the
events throughout the weekend allowed each of
us to appreciate and reflect upon how far we’ve
come since we first arrived at our Rockbound
Highland Home in June of 2010.
Not only the 100 Night Weekend unique because of the milestone it represents, but the
banquet and events on Saturday evening have a
much different atmosphere than a typical class
weekend. Unlike Plebe Parent Weekend, Yearling Winter Weekend and 500th Night, Firsties
had the privilege to wear civilian formal attire
rather than the typical Full Dress over White
uniform. This change was initiated by West Point
leadership a
couple of years ago in order to prepare
First Class cadets for formal events in our future
Army careers where suits and cocktail dresses
are worn.
Additionally, cadet actors and actresses perform
a 100th night show parodying events that occurred in our four year experience. Cadets had
the option to attend the show either Friday
evening or Saturday evening following the banquet. This year’s production of the 100th night
show was “An Unexpected Journey-line:
Johnny’s B+ PL 300 Paper,” a hilarious musical
that brought back many memories of Beast
Barracks, former Commandant BG Martin, the
Fordham Football Game, and John Flacco,
among others. The show featured A1 Avenger
Firstie John Lee, who played the role of the infamous COL Sylvanus Thayer [See 2nd picture]. Interestingly, this year’s show was the first to produce entirely original music since 1954; a testament to creativity and talent of the Class of 2014.
[Old] Grad Corner
Snippets, Confessions, and Updates on A-1 Graduates:
Graydon Hicks II (Class of ‘89): “I am an '86 grad, and LTG Caslen was my Tactical Officer my Yearling year.....we were still in Pershing Barracks. It would
interesting to know if he (LTG Caslen) remembers an incident where two Yearlings were busted for shooting fireworks off the top of Pershing Barracks during
one rally night. When he entered our room the next morning after a spirit run
he was crushing up a nameplate sign of my roommate's...."Emperor of the
Universe, Cadet Hinkle.".....Caslen was not a very happy camper that morning.”
Scott Vickers (Class of ‘68): Last year, he published a book describing his experience flying helicopters in Vietnam. He reflects of his time at West Point
that, “I was not a very distinguished graduate of our venerable school, but have
grown to respect highly the education and the values that were instilled in us
during those turbulent days of the 1960's.”
The Banquet
guest speaker featured the former Commandant of our class when we were Plebes, Major
General William E Rapp, Class of 1984, who has
had a close relationship with our class. MG Rapp
gave a rousing speech in which he emphasized to
us that we should “strive to live beyond the
common level of life.” His message inspired us to
seek excellence in all that we do, not only in our
future profession in the Army but in our personal
lives as well; by striving to be great in one aspect
of our life, we will naturally seek to and become
great in others.
For the rest of the weekend, our class had the
opportunity to spend time with our friends and
guests to celebrate this memorable occasion.
Although the true milestone in our cadet careers
is merely 13 weeks away, 100th Night weekend
allowed us to appreciate and reflect upon our
undergraduate career at West Point before we
lead America’s sons and daughters in just a few
short months.
- By CDT Mark McCormick (‘14)
West Point Glee Club PepsiCo Fundraiser
The West Point Glee Club was invited to participate in a
PepsiCo fundraiser at Bryant Park, New York on January
30th. The event was focused on honoring veterans and
highlighted the contributions made by PepsiCo and company to Wounded Warrior Projects and other recovery
programs. The West Point Glee Club started as the opening
act, kicking off the event with the National Anthem followed by "Let the River Run." Following their performance
was Jon Stewart, (RET) Admiral Mullen, and a concert by
Blake Shelton. The cadets were able to meet many other
famous celebrities, to include Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees,
Guy Riene, Tiki Barber, Selena Williams, Joe Theismann,
Cooper Manning, and Cam Newton.
- By CDT John Lee (‘14)
[Editor’s Note: CDT Lee’s talents extend into the theatre–
he played a major role as COL Thayer in the Class of 2014’s
showing of
the 100th
Night Show]
Public Affairs Officer Corner:
Hello and welcome back!
In typical West Point fashion, the shortest month of the year ironically proved to be one of the
busiest and bustling thus far. From providing numerous spirit opportunities to get out of next month’s
SAMI to hosting two class events, February was a flurry of activities that did not disappoint.
SUDOKU Answer Key:
Thank you for your continued interest in the Company. As always, we thrive on your support. Looking forward, I hope to expand the scope of the newsletter and introduce new and creative segments
every month. This month’s edition sported a new section entitled “[Old] Grad Corner” which features
highlights and stories from several A-1 graduates. Calling all A-1 members: please share stories, advice,
and any other updates on what you are doing to include in the next issue!
Additionally, don’t forget to like the “A1 Avengers” Facebook page or vote for the Avengers
in the Corps-wide “Mascot Madness” competition by commenting for your favorite Company at the following link: https://
Mail: P.O. Box 2224
West Point, NY 10997
[email protected]
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