WP-ORG: The Story that Begins with West Point

WP-ORG,

Last Sunday we kicked off Fund Drive 45. As I write, we’re at 34% : ) Fantastic!

Let’s keep it going. Here is the link: https://secure.west-point.org/howtodonate.html

This morning I’m sitting in my dark office, watching the morning rays of sun illuminate springtime in the Texas Hillcountry. The trees are newly leafed; the grass already tall and in need of mowing. Bluebonnets have sprouted in lush bunches straight out of the rocks in my driveway. Mockingbirds are singing and screeching and tangling with each other midair like drunk pinwheels.

I’m opening yesterday’s postal mail, much of it donations for WP-ORG this time of year. One in about every ten contains a handwritten note along with a check. The last envelope today, postmarked from Hawaii, was from a Class of ’48 Grad who wrote, “Thanks for your great service to all our graduates. We of ’48 have just over 40 still with us but, of them, many are users of your service. Aloha.”

And that, right there, is why we do what we do. Human relationships are the most valuable things we can nurture in life. And nearly 71 years after graduation, these classmates and lifelong friends are continuing to weave the story of the Class of 1948, using services provided by WP-ORG, supported by donations from all those who appreciate West Point.

What we are doing at WP-ORG is good and valuable. And everything WP-ORG is was built on your support. Please donate to Fund Drive 45 so we can continue, as a community, to write the story that begins with West Point.

Sincerely, 
Megan Klein
WP-ORG INC

Fund Drive 45 Donation Link: http://www.west-point.org/donate

Fund Drive 45 Budget: http://www.west-point.org/budget/

Fund Drive 45 Report: https://secure.west-point.org/donate/report/

Donations by check should be sent to our NEW address:

WP-ORG
c/o Megan Klein
23802 Oscar Road
Spicewood, TX 78669

New Film Pays Tribute to Marines Who Stopped Truck Bomb Attack in Ramadi

Six seconds. Not enough time to do much of anything, but Cpl. Jonathan Yale and Lance Cpl. Jordan Haerter made their last six seconds on Earth count in a way that has passed into Marine Corps legend.

Their astonishing heroism in stopping a truck bomb attack that threatened the lives of scores of Marines and Iraqis is now the subject of a short film that will have its first screening next month.

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Former Army Medic Receives Medal of Honor

VIEDO: https://dod.defense.gov/Videos/videoid/630249/
President Donald J. Trump presented former Army Staff Sgt. Ronald J. Shurer II with the Medal of Honor during a ceremony at the White House for his heroic actions in April 2008 as a Special Forces medic in Afghanistan.

Here are the Army’s newly crowned best Sapper and mortar teams

Soldiers from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and Fort Campbell, Kentucky, took top honors this week in the Army’s searches to find both the best combat engineers and the best mortar crew in the service.

Two officers from the 39th Brigade Engineer Battalion were named best Sapper on Thursday, according to a release from Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, while four noncommissioned officers from the 82nd Airborne Division aced the Best Mortar competition at Fort Benning, Georgia.

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Major League Baseball unveils commemorative uniforms to honor the fallen on Memorial Day

Major League Baseball pulled the curtain back today on a number of special edition 2019 uniforms, to include editions designed to honor the fallen and celebrate military personnel throughout the month of May.

One noticeable change, compared to previous seasons, is that the League is taking a more subtle approach with its Memorial Day uniform accents in an effort to respect the real meaning behind the day, Melanie LeGrande, Major League Baseball’s vice president of Social Responsibility, told Military Times.

“From Major League Baseball’s perspective, it was important for us to ensure that we were being appropriate to the spirit of Memorial Day,” LeGrande said.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to celebrate and support the military, to honor those who have been lost, and to understand their memory, their commitment, and how we feel about military families who have lost a loved one.”

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Top Army official to start wave three of Boston Marathon

HOPKINTON, Mass. (Tribune News Service) — Army Gen. James McConville, who has been nominated to become the next chief of staff of the U.S. Army by President Donald Trump, will start wave three of the Boston Marathon.

“Born and raised in Quincy, Massachusetts, it’s an honor to support the Boston Marathon,” McConville said in a statement. “It’s an even bigger honor to be the official starter of wave three. Boston is not just a place with a rich history, it’s also an attitude – a winning attitude. The men and women running on April 15th are all winners.”

The Hopkinton Marathon Committee picks the starters for waves two through four.

McConville, the 36th vice chief of staff of the Army, ran the 2017 Boston Marathon with his son and Gen. Joseph Dunford, joint chief of staff.

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Rakkasans Soldier transitions to West Point cadet

WEST POINT, NY — Coming into West Point as a prior enlisted Soldier provides positive benefits for not only Class of 2022 Cadet Tony Britvec, but also for his fellow cadets.

“The nice thing about being a prior service Soldier is the maturity you bring to a group, especially that knowledge of how to carry yourself,” Britvec said. “Being level-headed in times of stress is something that is very hard to do, it’s very hard to teach. You don’t have an actual example of it around, that’s what the greatest advantage of being a prior enlisted soldier is before becoming an officer.”

As Company C-3 team leader and the only prior service member in his squad at the Sandhurst Military Skills Competition, Britvec credits his knowledge of the competition to his teammates and to the academy for his preparation.

“I think that the training West Point has provided all the Sandhurst teams going into this competition has been absolutely fantastic,” Britvec said. “All the teams going into this competition are going to be very strong.”

Britvec’s passion for working for the greater good and helping others, is what motivated him to join the Army while he was still a senior in high school.

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Keep those Iraq War notes handy:

Small wars, not great power battles, still the most likely future fight
By: Kyle Rempfer

Great power competition has been the primary driver of the Pentagon over the past few years, but the Defense Department doesn’t get to pick the next war.

It is more likely that the U.S. military will be drawn into another conflict against an insurgent or proxy force, than it will end up fighting naval battles in the South China Sea or halting Russian armor in the Fulda Gap.

“While you’re going to have the larger force-on-force kind of engagements, at the same time, there’s going to be action in ‘gray zone’ … the space in between war and peace,” said retired Col. Frank Sobchak, co-author of the long-delayed Iraq War Study and a former Army Special Forces officer.

“We see this through proxies, we see militias, we see the involvement in democratic elections,” Sobchak said Tuesday at a Foundation for Defense of Democracies event in Washington. “All these are things that we saw in Iraq that we learned from, that same kind of gray space action is going to occur when we have conflict with a great power.”

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Camo netting, an age-old tool, is being re-engineered for the modern battlefield

Top Army brass are looking to what seems like a simple item, camouflage netting, to solve a very modern technological problem — electronic signals that give away soldier and unit positions.

A variety of camouflage being developed now is aimed at hiding electronic signatures and concealing soldiers and their equipment, masking them to the eye and hiding them from sensors in modern communications and targeting equipment.

The next-generation netting is expected to offer state-of-the-art signature concealment for “multispectral protection.”

The Army awarded contracts a year ago for engineering, manufacturing and developing the new Ultra-Lightweight Camouflage Net System, or ULCANS.

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New Policy Will Automatically Review Some Military Valor Medals for Higher Award

As the Pentagon wraps up a sweeping three-year review of valor medals awarded in conflicts after Sept. 11, 2001, officials are preparing to roll out a new policy designed to ensure acts of military heroism receive the full recognition they deserve.

Expected to be announced this month, the new policy will trigger an automatic review at the higher headquarters level within 120 days for any Silver Star or service cross not reviewed by the appropriate service secretary. This will help ensure that troops are not inadvertently approved for lesser awards than they deserve, said Patricia Mulcahy, the Pentagon’s director of Officer and Enlisted Personnel Management.

“The view is, at the highest levels is where you would see more of these higher-level awards,” Mulcahy told Military.com. “And at a lower level, there are so few folks that do get the highest level of recognition that they might not be as familiar with it from a command perspective. So we’re putting this additional review in.”

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