Cadet-Only Crowd Awaits Army for Season Opener

The return of college football to West Point on Saturday is a reminder of what’s been normal over a century, and what is peculiar to 2020.

Fans will not be permitted at Michie Stadium for the season opener against Middle Tennessee State and the Sept. 12 game against Louisiana-Monroe, except for nearly 4,000 cadets, due to coronavirus pandemic restrictions. It should make for a strange sight for the teams involved, plus a national television audience on CBS Sports Network (1:30 p.m.).

“It will be an incredible experience, whether there are fans or not,” said senior co-captain Amadeo West. “We are fortunate to be playing. And the cadets … they bring enthusiasm and excitement to the game. … It’s not a negative thing that there are no fans. We’re just happy.”

“We’re really excited, the whole team,” said senior defensive lineman Nick Stokes. “We’ve been looking forward to this since we got back.”

There were moments at the start of summer when talk of canceling the college football season was prevalent, and concern set in about whether there would even be a season.


West Point Class of 2024 arrives amid coronavirus concerns, with COVID cases

WEST POINT – Four of the cadet candidates who arrived on campus at the United States Military Academy on Sunday to begin cadet basic training tested positive for COVID-19 and will spend their first weeks either in isolation or quarantine on campus.

Lt. Col. Robert Kinney confirmed Monday that the four cadet candidates, who were screened as part of their reception day on Sunday, will be isolated for 10 days or quarantined for 14 days on campus while their classmates begin their West Point careers with four weeks of cadet basic training.

Asked Monday if there were more cases, the public affairs office declined to state a number. Answering for the office, spokeswoman Cheryl Boujnida wrote: “Less than 1% of the cadets have tested positive. Those who tested positive were immediately moved into isolation and will participate in Cadet Basic Training tasks virtually until they can rejoin the group.”

Boujnida said the rapid test is administered by a nose swab and processed by a diagnostic device on campus. While awaiting results, which take two to three hours, the new cadets are socially distanced and required to wear a mask.


New West Point cadets arriving for Reception Day tested for COVID-19 amid pandemic

WEST POINT, N.Y. — New cadet candidates arriving at the U.S. Military Academy on Monday were promptly tested for COVID-19, stood at attention in face masks and were given shouted orders to wash their hands.

The transition from civilian to West Point cadet is different for the Class of 2024 as the academy adapts to the pandemic, starting with Reception Day, or R-Day.

Reception Day still ushers in an intense period of training that introduces new arrivals to the rigors of cadet life. But this year, older cadets barked orders through face masks. New cadets will still have to endure the weeks of drills, marches and exertions of Cadet Basic Training, unofficially known as “Beast Barracks.” But that training will be two weeks shorter this year.

“I know that it’s shorter, but I trust it will be the same experience overall. I’ll still get to know all my classmates,” said Justin Suess of Batavia, Illinois. “I am prepared. I’ve been exercising hard.”


Family Of Fallen West Point Cadet From NJ Attend State Of Union

There was a lot of partisan rhetoric tossed around at the 2020 State of the Union address on Tuesday. But among the many storylines that emerged from the event, there were some that rose above party lines and united communities instead of dividing them.

Such was the case for April Morgan, the mother of fallen West Point cadet Christopher “C.J.” Morgan, who attended President Donald Trump’s speech as the honored guest of U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill.

The fallen 22-year-old from West Orange – whom Sherrill said was “the best and brightest of our country” – died in a tragic armored car crash in June 2019 near the U.S. Military Academy’s summer training site in Orange County, New York. Morgan was entering his senior year at the iconic institution.

“Our entire community grieves with the Morgan family,” Sherrill said, adding that she was honored that April Morgan accepted her request to attend the annual event in Washington D.C.


USMA cadet shows resiliency, determination by running IOCT twice in one day

Class of 2021 Cadet Sophia Suri ran the IOCT twice in one day in November in order to get the highest grade possible on the women’s scale at the U.S. Military Academy.
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Class of 2021 Cadet Sophia Suri ran the IOCT twice in one day in November in order to get the highest grade possible on the women’s scale at the U.S. Military Academy.
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Partway up the rope that marks the end of the ground-phase of the Indoor Obstacle Course Test, Class of 2021 Cadet Sophia Suri began to feel lightheaded.

She had slipped on an early apparatus during her run of the course and for the next few stages she felt “spooked,” but kept going. Then, halfway up the rope the dizzy spell hit, so she climbed down and once her feet hit the ground she fainted.

Completing the course in a passing time is a graduation requirement at the U.S. Military Academy and that is difficult to do when you are out cold on the floor before the finish line, so, like it or not, Suri was going to have to return and run the course again.

“I went into it again a month later thinking, I can’t really do any worse than that because I didn’t finish it,” Suri said. “I was like, ‘I’ve got this like. I just need to finish it.'”


Chalifoux Named AWPAA Athlete of the Week

After scoring three victories at the West Point Duals this past Saturday, wrestler Trey Chalifoux was named the first Army West Point Athletic Association Athlete of the Week for the new year.

Competing at 125 pounds, Chalifoux was among three undefeated Cadets Saturday, but the only one to compete and win in all three matches.

His first victory was an 8-5 decision over Timothy Decatur of North Carolina. He followed that up with a 7-4 decision against Gage Curry of American University. Chalifoux’s final bout of the day was against Doyle Trout of Wyoming, where he grinded out a 4-3 decision.


Hand Gestures at Army-Navy Game Not Racist, Academy Investigations Find

20 Dec 2019 | By Hope Hodge Seck
Rapidly completed investigations by the U.S. Naval Academy and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point have concluded that controversial on-camera gestures made by several cadets and midshipmen were not “white power” symbols.

In a Friday statement, the Naval Academy said it had completed its probe into hand gestures by two midshipmen during the Dec. 14 Army-Navy game.

“The investigation — which included review of video footage, more than two dozen interviews, and background checks by Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation — determined that two Fourth Class Midshipmen (freshmen) were participating in a sophomoric game, commonly known as ‘the circle game,’ with West Point Cadets during the live broadcast,” the academy said in a statement. “The investigation found no evidence of racist intent.”

Academy officials added that, while not racist in intent, the on-camera gestures demonstrated “immature behavior” that would be “appropriately addressed.”


CDT Kade Kurita,USMA 2021, Found Dead.

From the West Point Academy Facebook page – 10/22/19

Cadet Kade Kurita

It is with great sadness that Cadet Kade Kurita, 20, from Gardena, California, was found dead Wednesday October 22, at 9:47pm at West Point.

“We are grieving this loss and our thoughts and prayers go out to Cadet Kurita’s family and friends” said Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, 60th Superintendent U.S. Military Academy.

Kurita was unaccounted for since Friday, Oct. 18, at approximately 5:30 p.m. when he failed to report for a scheduled military skills competition.

The West Point Military Police, New York State police, Coast Guard, CSX railroad police, local police, and the 23rd Military Police Company from Fort Drum, N.Y. assisted in an extensive search over the last four days.

“I would like to thank the N.Y. State police and the 23rd MP Company along with partners,” said Lt. Gen. Williams. “They exhibited exceptional professionalism as demonstrated by their tremendous efforts in searching for Cadet Kurita.”

West Point Cadet Missing

West Point Public Affairs – October 21, 2019

WEST POINT, N.Y. – A U.S. Military Academy cadet, member of the Class of 2021, is being reported as unaccounted for despite extensive search efforts by military, federal, state, and local agencies.

A M4 rifle is also missing. The cadet is not believed to have any magazines or ammunition.

There is no indication the cadet poses a threat to the public, but he may be a danger to himself.

The cadet was last seen on Friday, Oct. 18, at approximately 5:30 p.m. on the grounds of West Point. The Cadet was scheduled to participate in the academy’s military skills competition this past weekend.

West Point is operating under normal conditions with an increased force protection status. The installation has increased military police patrols at sporting events and across the academy as a precautionary measure and to assist in safely locating the missing cadet.

The chain of command discovered the cadet missing when he failed to report for the initial road march for the military skills competition.

Cadets immediately started to search for their teammate.

After initial efforts were unsuccessful in locating the cadet, military police began a search of the installation at approximately 1 a.m. on the morning of Oct. 19 and continued throughout the day.

The New York State Police and Orange County Sheriff’s Department were notified.

“I want to thank the local and state law enforcement agencies and emergency services for their tireless support,” said Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, 60th Superintendent U.S. Military Academy. “We will continue to search with all means possible, on and off West Point. Safely locating the cadet remains our focus and number one priority.”

Keller Army Community Hospital and local hospital emergency rooms were contacted to confirm the cadet has not received medical treatment.

West Point personnel searched through academic and athletic facilities and cadet barracks with negative results.

Military police continued searching and at approximately 6:30 a.m. on Oct. 20, the Coast Guard was notified and began searching the shoreline producing negative results.

New York State Police provided their helicopter to conduct an aerial sweep with the Forward-Looking Infrared Radar at 11:25 a.m.

NYSP provided K-9 and drone support.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the West Point Military Police at 845-938-3333.

The situation is still developing and West Point will release further information as it becomes available.

About West Point

The U. S. Military Academy at West Point is a four-year, co-educational, federal, liberal arts college located 50 miles north of New York City. It was founded in 1802 as America’s first college of engineering and continues today as the world’s premier leader-development institution, consistently ranked among top colleges in the country. Its mission remains constant—to educate, train, and inspire the Corps of Cadets so that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character committed to the values of Duty, Honor, Country and prepared for a career of professional excellence and service to the nation as an officer in the U. S. Army. For more information, go to



Bill Clinton speaks at funeral for CDT Christopher Morgan

The West Point cadet killed in a horrific training accident was laid to rest over the weekend in a service attended by more than a thousand mourners, including former President Clinton.

Slain cadet Christopher Morgan’s dad was once a member of Clinton’s security detail.

The funeral service was held Saturday at the US Military Academy for Morgan, who was killed earlier this month when the armored personnel transport he and 21 others were riding in flipped and fell several feet down a steep embankment.

Morgan, a 22-year-old West Orange, NJ, native, was “an exemplary classmate and teammate” who was “tremendously proud to be a cadet,” said Maj. Gen. Steve Gilland, West Point’s Commandant of Cadets.



– June 7, 2019 USMA release

Cadet Christopher J. Morgan, Class of 2020

WEST POINT, N.Y. – Cadet Christopher J. Morgan, Class of 2020, died due to injuries sustained from a military vehicle accident in the U.S. Military Academy’s training area.

“Cadet Morgan was a valued member of the Corps of Cadets and will be missed by all. The entire community is ensuring that our cadets are being cared for physically, emotionally, and spiritually,” said Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams, 60th Superintendent, U. S. Military Academy. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Morgan family.”

Morgan, 22, of West Orange, New Jersey, passed away at the scene of the accident. He was a Law and Legal Studies major, and a recruited athlete who was a standout member of the Army Wrestling Team.

“We are devastated by the news of Chris’ passing. He was a talented, hardworking, and determined athlete who loved his sport,” said Army West Point Wrestling Coach Kevin Ward. “Chris had an infectious personality with a smile big enough to fill any room, and a heart big enough to love everyone around him. He made everyone around him better and he will be greatly missed.”

The Corps of Cadets will hold a vigil to honor Morgan tonight. A memorial ceremony for the West Point community and private funeral service will be held at the academy next week.


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