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CFT cadets learn ‘impact’ of field artillery

Some U.S. Military Academy Class of 2020 cadets got to experience the “sound of artillery” last week during Cadet Field Training. To clarify, that sound is (a very loud) BOOM!

During Field Artillery Day at Camp Buckner, cadets were given the opportunity to explore one of the 17 possible branches they could commission into upon graduating as second lieutenants in the United States Army.

Throughout the course of the day, cadets learned how to plan, called for and executed indirect fires using artillery and mortar fire with live rounds.

“The main thing that we are training out here is the common Soldier task of calling for fire, calling and adjusting indirect fire rounds from both 105mm howitzers and 81mm mortars,” Capt. Ryan Scott explained. “That’s the one event that’s graded and one event that’s common, no matter what your job is, you need to know how to call and adjust indirect fire rounds.”


Army improperly tracked sarin, other chemical agents
Officials at an Army chemical and biological storage and testing facility did not follow protocols while tracking inventories of sarin, a dangerous nerve agent, according to a recent inspector general report. 

The U.S. Army Dugway Proving Ground also at times failed to provide disqualifying information about employees such as drug use and an incident involving alcohol, the report found. 

Dugway Proving Ground was the same Utah location cited in 2015 for protocol failures that allowed live anthrax spores to be shipped to 194 laboratories in 50 states and nine foreign countries. 

Some of the packages were shipped by commercial carriers such as FedEx. 
mustard gas victims still await congressional action

A year ago, this newspaper declared that the time had come for the federal government to own up to its responsibility to aging military veterans who were deliberately exposed to horrific toxins during the World War II era. But Congress seems not to care. These veterans weren’t wounded by the enemy in war; it was their own government that maimed them in a heinous, coerced attempt to test the effects of mustard gas on humans.

The Pentagon and Veterans Administration have repeatedly, and in the most cowardly way possible, blocked veterans from receiving the benefits they’ve earned. It’s as if the government and Congress are stalling in hopes the veterans will die and take their pesky problems with them to the grave.

Most members of Congress wave the flag in support of veterans yet do nothing to right past wrongs. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., is an outlier. She is doggedly pursuing a legislative response to this injustice.


West Point’s Reception Day welcomes incoming class of 2021

More than 1,230 U.S. citizens and 13 international students reported to the United States Military Academy in West Point today for Reception Day. The incoming Class of 2021 was selected from a pool of nearly 13,000 applicants.

Lisa Mateo was on hand as the new cadets began the process of becoming West Point cadets and future U.S. Army officers.

"The quality and rich diversity of our students entering with the Class of 2021 is exceptional and representative of our nation's best," said Col. Deborah McDonald, Director of Admissions.

Read More... 

The 2017 Department of Defense Warrior Games

The 2017 Department of Defense (DoD) Warrior Games will be held June 30 – July 8 in Chicago, Ill. Approximately 265 wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans representing teams from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), as well as the United Kingdom Armed Forces and the Australian Defence Force will participate in the competition. 

Teams include active-duty service members and veterans with upper-body, lower-body, and spinal cord injuries; traumatic brain injuries; visual impairment; serious illnesses; and post-traumatic stress. They will go head-to-head in archery, cycling, sitting volleyball, shooting, swimming, wheelchair basketball, track and field, engaging in friendly competition and experiencing the healing power of sports.


USMA awaits Class of 2021
Over 1,200 students will report to the United States Military Academy on July 3 for Reception Day.

The class will include over 1,230 US citizens and 13 international students. Among them, 301 women, 450 minorities and seven combat veterans. The incoming class was selected from a pool of nearly 13,000 applicants.

“The quality and rich diversity of our students entering with the Class of 2021 is exceptional and representative of our nation’s best,” said Col. Deborah McDonald, director of admissions.

The class includes cadets from every state in the nation and international cadets entering under the sponsorship of their respective countries including Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Liberia, Malaysia, Moldova, Mongolia, Poland, Romania, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand.
New commandant named at USMA

The Chief of Staff, Army announced that Brigadier Gen. Steve W. Gilland will be the next Commandant of Cadets at the U.S. Military Academy. He is expected to assume his duties later this year.

“I am incredibly humbled to be selected as the 77th Commandant of Cadets. It is a true honor to hold the responsibility of developing and mentoring our Army’s future leaders and defenders of our great Nation,” said Gilland. “My family and I are extremely grateful for this opportunity to return to West Point. We look forward to joining the USMA team. Go Army!”

Read More... 

Honey for WP-ORG fun drive Winner

SAM MEYER '62, his wife Loretta, and Sam Price (center)

FD 41: Oh, the places I have gone!

I have stood in the area between the barracks of West Point and in the sallyports.  I have heard the rumblings of cadets going to and fro as the sun rises over the Hudson, just as they have for over 200 years. I am not a graduate of West Point, but I have seen into the heart of the Academy through their eyes and their words. I have touched the bricks in the attic of the 1st Division and read a thousand names and class years on those bricks. I have searched for crawlspaces in closet panels, used for spirit missions.  I've held a map to the steam tunnels in my hand that has been used by cadets on a mission (called moles), and I have read the words and poems of old graduates, and graduates long dead. I have gone through boxes of photos, poems, and letters in the library archives.  I thumbed through a textbook that Patton wrote notes in. I have slept in homes on Professor's row, and in other homes on post. I have had coffee in the kitchen of the Superintendent, and attended a meeting with every Professor who could attend, in the Commandant's office. I have had the honor of speaking with Generals and diplomats. I had the great honor of being a guest at the 50th reunion of the class of '51.  I have known many of the people whose names are now etched in stone in the cemetery.  I visit them sometimes.  Yes, I have experienced the handshake that comes from the shadows as I explored secret places within West Point.  All of this, because of WP-ORG.

WP-ORG is near the completion of its fund drive. The first person to donate to the WP-ORG fund drive following this message will receive a complimentary signed copy of the book "Memories and Traditions, The Real West Point Story", written and published by the late LTC Richard C. Breakiron, USMA 1951 and me.

Published in 2002, this book is no longer in print, and while there are a few for sale online, there are only 25 new books in existence. It is a hardbound book with an embossed image of the cadet chapel on the cover. The work we did on the book is a memory I will always have to cherish.  The stories that appeared in the book came from graduates, and came about because of a website hosted by WP-ORG. They are the stories of cadet life through the years.  Pranks, memories, tributes, and history.

WP-ORG ( hosts lists and forums you are subscribed to.  We host class lists, parent lists (USMA and USNA), lists for societies, reunions, ring recovery, military related job contacts, academy sports, politics, finances, special interests, health, class widows, and many more.  While you may not realize it, WP-ORG is working in the background to provide you with information and services.  We provide email addresses to graduates at no charge. We host websites for graduates, societies, and parent clubs at no charge. Quietly in the background, our servers are busy working for you.  Twice each year we have a fund drive to pay for the servers and employees that keep WP-ORG working.

What Academy related organization answers your calls personally early in the day and late at night, week days and weekends, and doesn't hang a "closed" sign? What Academy related organization does everything possible to provide you with so many services at no charge?  Only one that I know of: WP-ORG.

To cadet and midshipmen parents who are reading this:  I am, and was, nothing more than a parent such as yourself. In the days before Facebook, WP-ORG gave parents a place to ask questions and share the experience of having a cadet at USMA.  Those WP-ORG lists exist today, which is most likely how you are receiving this note. They are quieter now, but I was very glad when my child was serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, that our names and any association with West Point was safely on private servers, and not on an open social media page for anyone to see.  Information on the WP-ORG parent lists are always timely, accurate and secure. I hope you find value in that. As the parent of a graduate, I was blessed more than I could ever express, because of WP-ORG. It was through WP-ORG that circumstances led to a book. A book that took years to compile, and changed my life in ways I can't express. Why I was given that gift, I will never know, but I will be forever grateful.

As I said in the beginning, to the first person to donate after this email is sent, I will send a copy of the book (I will contact you via your email address), and in memory of LTC Richard C. Breakiron, I will also send a second book to the person whose donation brings this fund drive to a close.  We are at _____% as of this writing. We end the fund drive at 100% of our goal. Please donate today, so that we may get down to the business of just serving you.

Donation page for all payment methods (credit card, check or PayPal):

If donating by check, please indicate class year and affiliation:
3800 Buffalo Mountain Road SW
Willis, VA 24380-5082

FD41 Donation Report, sorted by WP-ORG member group, etc.:
WP-ORG Budget April 1, 2017 - September 31, 2017:
What is WP-ORG?:

With affection,
Dian Welle
WP-ORG, Inc. 

------------------ UPDATE ------------------
The recipient of the first book was J.D. Leamon, USMA '96


Twenty Years Service to the West Point Community
If you are receiving this message you are a beneficiary of one of the earliest networking groups on the Internet, going back 1995.  Over 20 years ago.  Long before Facebook, Skype, and other social networking gateways.

Reflecting on preparing this message, I was mulling over the unbelievable good fortune that opened life's opportunities when I qualified to walk through Thayer Gate back in 1960.  I was an Army brat and had been baptized in Army green, had admired older grads, and wanted the toughest challenges life could bring.  I went from being a big fish in a small pond to just the opposite.  Now, pick whatever standard, and there was someone out there who could stomp me.  And, we were told, a third of us would be gone by graduation. (True)  

But, the biggest shock was the loss of family and friend networking.  I had entered another World. The Army Navy game got us off post, but Christmas (before it became Winter Holiday) did not.  Everyone went home except the plebes.  Letters were cheap, but phone calls were horrendously expensive.  

As much as West Point has changed, the connectivity has changed more.  WP-ORG was a big part of this.  When AOG deferred going onto the internet in '95, a group of graduates and cadet parents started what became WP-ORG.  The protocol was to have a volunteer moderator for each list.  We currently have 221 moderators who have accepted the challenge. Those groups have received immense benefits over the years.  My own class has innumerable social events that have held the class together and continue to bind us to West Point.  My only regret is for those groups who never stood up moderators.

Today, our domain includes cadet families, West Point classes, eulogy pages, parent clubs, discussion forums, and credit card sites in support of all those.  Additionally, we also support Navy parents, war orphans from WWII, and families of Japanese POWs.

Our primary user groups are Army/Navy parents and USMA graduates. I hope you know how special you are.  The parents for producing such marvelous kids, the cadets for having risen to the top, and the graduates for having served their Nation so well, in peace and war.  Many people go through life, never being challenged nor realizing their potential.  However you may have answered the question "What is the purpose of life?", those of us in this group have been blessed with ample tools to pursue that purpose.

To the extent that WP-ORG has helped to expand your horizons, bonding you with other members of our community, and helped you help others, please donate to support WP-ORG operations through September 30:  Checks: WP-ORG INC 3800 Buffalo Mountain RD SW, Willis VA 24380

"Beeman Buffalo Jack" Price '64 CFO WP-ORG INC on Buffalo Mountain

FD41 Donation Report, sorted by WP-ORG member group:

WP-ORG Budget April 1, 2017 - September 30, 2017:
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West-Point.Org (WP-ORG), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization not affiliated officially with the United States Military Academy, provides an online communications infrastructure that enables graduates, parents, and friends of the military academy to maintain and strengthen the associations that bind us together. We will provide this community any requested support, consistent with this purpose, as quickly and efficiently as possible. WP-ORG is funded by the generosity of member contributions. Our communication services are provided in cooperation with the AOG (independent of USMA) and are operated by volunteers serving the Long Gray Line. Contents of and comments on this web site do not reflect the official position of the United States Military Academy or the Department of the Army.  For questions or comments, please email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

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