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Monday, January 7, 2013

“West Point in a World in Transition.”

Our Society sent the President (Lindy) to the West Point Class of 1967 s sponsored Leadership Conference Below is an excerpt of the discussions at the conference, along with a link to the full report:

This year’s conference was tempered from the outset due to the loss of one of our graduates, MAJ Thomas Kennedy, Class of 2000. MAJ Kennedy, his brigade’s CSM (CSM Kevin Griffin), MAJ Walter Gray, USAF, and a civilian USAID worker were killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan on 8 August 2012. MAJ Kennedy had been in theater for three weeks and was serving as Fire Support Coordinator for 4th BCT, 4th ID, Ft. Carson, CO; this had been his third deployment, with the first two being in Iraq. MAJ Kennedy had previously served as a TAC in USCC, and had also worked with COL Graham ’88, of the Dean’s Office, with cadet AIAD assignments. His funeral was held Friday, 17 August 2012 in the Cadet Chapel.

This year’s conference was condensed from previous conferences. The conference opened with a ‘Go Army!’ Barbeque Reception at Herbert Hall on Thursday evening, 16 August . The food was good; however, there is a lack of sufficient parking for as many attendees as were present. At the reception, I had the honor to meet COL (R) Dick Williams ’45; COL Williams had completed the entire March Back with the Class of 2016 the previous Monday.
The conference got underway Friday morning in Robinson Auditorium in Thayer Hall, formerly known as South Auditorium. The auditorium has been dedicated to GEN (R) Roscoe Robinson ’51, former CG of 82nd Airborne Div from ’76-’78.

The first briefing was by the Superintendent, LTG David Huntoon ’73. LTG Huntoon started by relating that, in his opinion, the phrase “leaders of character” is the most important part of the USMA Mission. He showed a slide of the card of the Cadet Honor Code being read by a New Cadet candidate; we were told that receive this card ~37 minutes after leaving Eisenhower Hall and their families. He said that he has re-instituted the Superintendent’s Advisory Council on the Honor Code. Gen. Huntoon then showed a slide depicting new Cadet Barracks; the average age of all the current cadet barracks is ~80 years old
training / leave time. There were 700 CONUS AIADs, and 350 OCONUS AIADs in 2012; these AIAD assignments typically cost ~$2500/2 weeks and are financed through AOG. We were briefed by CDT Astrid Colon-Moreno ’15 on her AIAD at US Institute of Peace; CDT Andrew Lopez ’13 on his AIAD on Conflict and Human Securities Solutions in Ghana where he taught kindergarten children; CDTs Evan Szablowski ’13 and Zachary Langhans ’13 on their AIAD on Economic Development of Entrepreneurial Networks in Ethiopia; and CDT Jeff Nielson ’13 on his AIAD on Counter-IED for Afghanistan at USMA.

The last briefing before lunch was by COL Jesse Germain ’87, the Deputy Director, DPE. He told us that the USMA had been named one of the 15 most influential sports education programs. He shared the curriculum with the new Kinesiology major; DPE has actually had to turn away applicants to study this program. He also showed us a video of the new survival swimming test.

Lunch was held in the West Point Club. The attendees were seated according to geographic sections based for admissions; thus I had the opportunity to sit with Roy Bromfield, President of WPS of Upstate. We were briefed by LTC Pete Wilson, Assoc. Director of Admissions. LTC Wilson is also in charge of CPRC. LTC Wilson informed us that the average SAT score for Class of 2016 = 1281. He said that 30% of Class of 2016 attended SLS (Summer Leadership Seminar). USMA runs a 3-day STEM workshop that is targeted for 7th and 8th grade students. LTC Wilson told us that offers of admission for Class of 2017 will not be tendered until after 1 March 2013, and the applicant will only have a 30-day window in which to accept the offer of admission; no more early offers of admission. There were two unfortunate issues regarding lunch; first, the AC in the Club was not working which made the temperature extremely uncomfortable, and MAJ Turner, the SE Regional Admissions Rep was on vacation that week and could not attend the lunch.

The afternoon breakout sessions...
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