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Don Peterson '55, First Shuttle Spacewalker, Dies Aged 84

Veteran astronaut Don Peterson, who flew aboard STS-6, the maiden voyage of orbiter Challenger, performed the first-ever spacewalk from the shuttle airlock and might—had the hands of fate turned differently—have launched to the Air Force’s classified Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL), died Sunday (27 May). He was 84. Coming only days after the passing of Apollo Moonwalker and Skylab veteran Alan Bean, Peterson’s death deprives the world of yet another member of the “old guard” of pioneering U.S. astronauts. “So sad to report that we have lost another member of the astronaut family,” the Association of Space Explorers (ASE) noted Monday on its Facebook page. “Fair skies and tailwinds, Don.”

Donald Herod Peterson was born in Winona, Miss., on 22 October 1933, and grew up loving adventure stories and science fiction. His next-door neighbor, Joe Glenn, a Second World War II fighter ace and veteran pilot of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning, offered Peterson his first glimpse of the aviation world. “He was kind of a town hero,” Peterson later recalled in his NASA oral history. “Since he lived next door, I could go visit with him and he used to talk about flying.” At high school, the young boy gravitated towards mathematics and physics and entered the Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., to study science. He earned his degree in 1955 and spent the next four years as an instructor pilot in the Air Training Command, performing formation and instrument flying and aerobatics. Years later, Peterson credited those years as pivotal in enabling him to enter test-pilot school.

Read More...

 COL Donald H. Peterson USAF Eulogy Page

 

 
FD43 down to the wire, closing this week
Thanks to the generosity of 1,370 WP-ORG members, we've received almost 94% of the $96,226 needed to fund WP-ORG operations for the next six months. Thank you to all who have contributed!

Now we're just $6,100 short of FD43 goal. This chart shows progress of FD43 through Sunday, compared to FD39-FD42: http://www.west-point.org/service/fd43/program/43-49.gif

If you value WP-ORG services, but haven't yet donated, we need your help to close out FD43. If you intend to make a donation, please make it now.

You can donate to FD43 by credit card, check, or PayPal: http://www.west-point.org/donate/

Your donations make WP-ORG services possible.

Thank you,

Bill MacLean
WP-ORG Advisor
_______________________________________________________________

Information about FD8-FD43: http://www.west-point.org/service/fd43/program/

FD43 Donation Report, sorted by WP-ORG member group:
https://secure.west-point.org/donate/report/

WP-ORG Budget April 1, 2018 - September 30, 2018:
http://www.west-point.org/budget

What is WP-ORG & Why Donate?:
http://www.west-point.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=66
 
Dunford Speaks Urges West Point Graduates to Embrace Change
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff urged graduating cadets at the U.S. Military Academy on Saturday to "embrace the constant changes" facing the military as the best route to success.

Gen. Joseph Dunford, the nation's highest-ranking military officer, said armies that are slow to adapt to changes often find themselves on the wrong side of history.

"There's no substitute for taking a clear-eyed look at the threats we'll face and asking how our force will adapt to meet those threats," said Dunford, who became chairman in October 2015. "To be successful, you have to anticipate and embrace the constant changes."

He urged the almost 950 West Point cadets who were commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army during the ceremony at the academy's football stadium to challenge themselves to be the kind of leaders who continually thinks about change, especially in a world where "the pace of change and the speed of war has greatly accelerated."
 
Memorial Day

Families of Fallen Carry On Tradition of Resilience 

 Each Memorial Day, Americans honor those whom we cannot personally thank: the soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.

History suggests that Memorial Day had its beginnings in Mississippi, where women decorated the graves of Confederate and Union soldiers killed during the Civil War.
 
 Ever since, Memorial Day commemorations across the United States have honored men and women lost in battle -- and those who are still missing -- while wearing the uniforms of the United States military. While the deceased cannot hear our thanks, their living legacies are here among us to accept that gratitude, and it is appropriate that we honor them as well.

Imagine a Memorial Day ceremony at which many of these families sit in reflection. They are poignant connections to the pages of American history.

As you acknowledge them, take a close look at who they are and the stories they tell about becoming the families of America's fallen heroes.

 
Grad Week Photographs from Record Online
Cadets line the path for the oldest living graduate, retired Col. Kermit Dyke during laying of the wreath at the statue of Sylvanus Thayer at the United States Military Academy at West Point on Tuesday, May 22, 2018. Sylvanus Thayer was the fifth superintendent of West Point and known as “The Father of the Military Academy.”
 
WPAOG presented the 2018 Distinguished Graduate Awards during the Alumni Review. The recipients were: COL(R) Dana G. Mead ’57, Mr. Thomas C. Barron ’65, LTG(R) Larry R. Jordan ’68, GEN(R) William C. Wallace ’69, HON Sloan D. Gibson ’75, and HON Douglas E. Lute ’75. 
 
DoD Won't Ban Mobile Devices In The Pentagon
After months of review, the Department of Defense says it will continue to allow people to use their mobile devices — like cellphones, smart watches and laptops — inside the Pentagon. But they won't be able to take them everywhere. 

The policy issued Tuesday applies to all DOD and Office of the Secretary of Defense staff, "military personnel, civilian employees, contractors, and visitors in the Pentagon."
 
Traumatic Brain Injury Study

Are shoulder-fired weapons causing traumatic brain injuries? How the Army plans to find out:

 
A recent report from the Center for a New American Security suggests that soldiers who regularly use shoulder-fired weapons might be experiencing traumatic brain injuries.

In response to those findings, Army Secretary Mark Esper is calling on his service to better monitor potential brain trauma on-site and track soldiers to quickly diagnose any damage.

“We need to monitor our soldiers, because we owe them that much, and we need them,” Esper told an audience at CNAS headquarters on May 16. “You can’t afford to not do that.”
 
As of 2007, head injuries were the most commonly treated by military doctors, beyond chest and abdominal wounds, CNAS found.
 
Army Announces New Changes to Retention Bonuses
Officials released new guidance Tuesday on the Army's Selective Retention Bonus Program, which includes first-ever bonuses up to $52,000 for those who reenlist for critical Security Forces Assistance Brigade positions.

SRB "kickers" that incentivize Soldiers who reenlist early will also go into effect at the end of this month. Details are included in Military Personnel Message 18-156.

Kickers will now only be available to those eligible to reenlist on a long-term basis between 10 and 15 months from their contractual ETS date. A $3,000 kicker will be for a five-year reenlistment, and there is a $6,000 kicker for a six-year enlistment.

Soldiers who reenlist under the NCO Career Status Program must also meet the term length requirement for the corresponding kicker amount.
 
Did you know?
WP-ORG supports WordPress so that graduates, classes, societies, and parent clubs may create a web page or blog, as well as host your personal domain?

What is WordPress? WordPress is open source software you can use to create a beautiful website or blog. It just may be the easiest and most flexible blogging and website content management system (CMS) for beginners.

Steps:
-Request a username and password
-Request we set you up with WordPress 
Grads already have their own home page. Let us know if you wish to have WP-ORG host your personal domain, or use the home page already established for you.
-We can give you some support in getting started on your WordPress site.

Give it a try!
 
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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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