Veterans’ Day Golf Tournament in Houston

The West Point Foundation of Houston is hosting its second annual Veterans’ Day Golf Tournament at The Battleground at Deerpark. Click the link below to register:
https://secure.west-point.org/wpfgh/golf

Ukraine Is Investigating The Killing Of Micala C. Siler USMA2001, A US Embassy Employee In Kyiv

Ukrainian police are investigating the killing of an American woman who was employed at the US Embassy in Kyiv, a police spokesperson told BuzzFeed News Wednesday.

The woman, who had suffered a large head injury, was found by a passerby on a street near Kyiv’s Nyvky Park outside the city center, Artem Shevchenko, a spokesperson for Ukraine’s Interior Ministry, said. The US Embassy sits on the eastern edge of the park and is only a half-mile away from where the woman was found.

Shevchenko said police were working to track down at least one male suspect they believe to be responsible for what he called a “deliberate murder.”

Shevchenko said the woman, who has not yet been officially identified, was wearing jogging clothes and earbuds when she was found.

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Micala C. Siler – USMA2001 – Eulogy page

2020 Sylvanus Thayer Award Recipient Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker

Ryan Crocker is a Diplomat in Residence at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs. He served as Dean of the Bush School of Government & Public Service, Texas A&M University, until August 2016. He also has had appointments as the James Schlesinger Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Virginia and as the first Kissinger Senior Fellow at Yale University.

He retired from the Foreign Service in April 2009 after a career of more than 37 years but was recalled to active duty by President Obama to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan in 2011. He has served as U.S. Ambassador six times: Afghanistan (2011-12), Iraq (2007-09), Pakistan (2004-07), Syria (1998-2001), Kuwait (1994-97), and Lebanon (1990-93). He has also served as the International Affairs Advisor at the National War College, where he joined the faculty in 2003. From May to August 2003, he was in Baghdad as the first Director of Governance for the Coalition Provisional Authority and was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs from August 2001 to May 2003. Since joining the Foreign Service in 1971, he also has had assignments in Iran, Qatar, Iraq, and Egypt, as well as Washington, DC. He was assigned to the American Embassy in Beirut during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and the bombings of the embassy and the Marine barracks in 1983.

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Former two-time National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft (USMA 1947) has died

Brent Scowcroft was active in defense of the United States for several decades. First, in the military, in which he became a high-ranking officer in the U.S. Air Force. And later as a civilian, including serving as the national security advisor under two different U.S. presidents.

Scowcroft was a Republican, although he would also advise Democrats. Aside from Bill Clinton, Scowcroft played a significant role under every president from Nixon to Obama. On August 6, he died in Falls Church, Virginia.

Brent Scowcroft was a native of Ogden, Utah.

He would graduate from the United States Military Academy and be commissioned an officer in the Army Air Forces. Shortly after, it broke away from the Army and became the United States Air Force. In the new military branch, Scowcroft was a P-51 Mustang pilot.

He would undertake a variety of duties during his military career. Scowcroft also obtained a master’s degree and later a doctorate from Columbia University in International Relations, CBS reports. His assignments included time with the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Another was as an assistant air attache in Belgrade, Serbia, at the American Embassy.

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CPT Matthew J. Bunker, 2013 Be thou at peace

Body of climber who fell skiing down Liberty Ridge on Mount Rainier found in crevasse

The body of a climber who went missing while skiing down the Liberty Ridge route on Mount Rainier was found Monday, according to the National Park Service.

Matthew Bunker, 28, of Seattle, disappeared Friday while descending behind his partner near 10,400-foot Thumb Rock on the north flank of the mountain.

Rangers said it’s unknown what caused Bunker to fall in steep, treacherous terrain.

A helicopter was used twice over the weekend to conduct reconnaissance missions from the air, but winds and clouds hampered the search.

On Monday, rangers in the helicopter spotted Bunker’s body in a crevasse at the base of a cliff.

That area is prone to continuous rock and ice fall and rescuers said it’s too dangerous to recover Bunker’s body

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Matt’s WP-ORG eulogy page

A link to Matt Bunker’s (USMA 2013) photography

Morgan ’98 Returns to Earth

Welcome home NASA Astronaut, Colonel Andrew Morgan!

Morgan returned to Earth Friday April 17, 2020 after 272 days in space.

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NFL, USAA ANNOUNCE CEO STEVE CANNON AS A FINALIST FOR SALUTE TO SERVICE AWARD PRESENTED BY USAA

The NFL and USAA, an official NFL Salute to Service partner, announced CEO Steve Cannon as one of three finalists for the ninth annual Salute to Service Award presented by USAA.

Cannon’s passion and drive to provide America’s military community meaningful recognition, unique engagement opportunities and enduring support they may not otherwise have is constant and central to his leadership ethic. Cannon’s commitment to the military and related causes began with his own personal commitment. Cannon, who graduated with honors from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1986, was Airborne Ranger qualified and served as First Lieutenant in West Germany during the fall of the Iron Curtain. During his time in the Army he also served five years as an artillery officer. Through Cannon’s countless hours of service to multiple military non-profits over the years, his constant “military first” mindset and utilization of the NFL’s platform has provided active duty service members, veterans and military families with first class experiences and support.

In addition to empowering and giving back to the military community, Cannon has played a large role in bringing awareness to the general population on the importance of honoring and recognizing our Nation’s Heroes. Through Cannon’s military and professional career, he has consistently found ways to implement programs in service to our military, active duty specifically. Upon his entrance into the Atlanta Falcons organization, he realized the impact of the NFL platform and challenged the Club to be “best in class” and to “become the benchmark franchise in all of professional sports” in terms of our military outreach and appreciation. The Atlanta Falcons became the first ever NFL team to conduct their own USO Tour. Another challenge that Cannon put on the team was to make every single Atlanta Falcons home game a “Salute to Service” game; and to not just celebrate our current service members and veterans once in November. Additionally, the Falcons host and honor through video tribute, a family from the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) at every single home game. The Falcons have raised more than $250,000 to help homeless veterans across the state of Georgia.

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Astronaut Anne McClain (USMA 2002) talks moonwalks and Mars mission with McMorris Rodgers

After their children’s space walk together 220 miles above the Earth’s surface, the mothers of astronauts Anne McClain and Nick Hague made a toast together in Coeur d’Alene.

“The stress we put our families through is probably unforgivable,” McClain told Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers on Thursday, as Spokane’s native astronaut briefed the congresswoman on her trip to space that ended last summer.

The two astronauts, clad in NASA jumpsuits, presented McMorris Rodgers with mission patches commemorating their journeys to the International Space Station. McClain and Hague, a Texas native whose parents have retired to Sandpoint, impressed upon the congresswoman the need for support for the Artemis mission, which is shooting to put the next humans on the moon by 2024.

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Floridian Frank Rubio (USMA ’98) to Graduate as NASA Astronaut with Eye on Artemis Missions

Floridian Dr. Frank Rubio will join the rest of NASA’s first class of astronaut candidates to graduate under the Artemis program, for a graduation ceremony and media opportunity Friday, Jan. 10, at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

After completing more than two years of basic training, he will become eligible for spaceflight assignments to the International Space Station (ISS), Artemis missions to the Moon, and future missions to Mars.

The ceremony will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website. The new graduates also will be available for in-person and remote media interviews following the ceremony.

To participate, media must submit requests for credentials and interviews to Johnson’s newsroom at 281-483-5111 by 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 7. Those following the briefing on social media may ask questions using #AskNASA.

The class includes 11 NASA candidates, as well as two Canadian Space Agency (CSA) candidates, selected in 2017. The NASA candidates, including Rubio, were chosen from a record-setting pool of more than 18,000 applicants. The CSA candidates have been training alongside their NASA classmates.

Rubio, a U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, was born in Los Angeles and now calls Miami home. He earned a bachelor’s degree in international relations at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, and a doctorate of medicine from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland. Rubio has accumulated more than 1,100 hours as a Blackhawk helicopter pilot, including 600 hours of combat and imminent danger time. He was serving as a surgeon for the 3rd Battalion of the Army’s 10th Special Forces Group at Fort Carson, Colorado, before coming to NASA.

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Rubio Biography

Capt. Lindsay Heisler receives 2019 Nininger Award for actions in Afghanistan

WEST POINT, N.Y. — In Capt. Lindsay Gordon Heisler’s mind she was just doing her job.

From the moment she began training as an Apache pilot following graduation from the U.S. Military Academy in 2012 it had been ingrained in her that her job was to keep the ground forces safe.

Flying 500 to 1,000 feet above the forces operating on the ground, she and her copilot were in constant contact with the friendly forces as they “watched their six” for enemy combatants.

After deploying to Afghanistan in April 2015 as a first lieutenant for nine months, the operation schedule had become routine. Most nights out of the week were spent on missions protecting helicopters infiltrating ground forces and then watching over the Soldiers as they executed their objective.

Eight months in, an enemy contact or two a night was not out of the ordinary so when their mission on Dec. 5, 2015 required her and her copilot to clear out an enemy fighting position it was just another mission on a long deployment.

When a few hours later, with the Chinook helicopters inbound to pick up the ground force, they were forced to engage with a second enemy fighting position it was still like countless other missions they had flown in the proceeding months.

Then, seconds before the Chinooks touched down to pickup the Soldiers on the ground, the world erupted with enemy fire coming from every direction. Surrounded by mountains on three sides and the desert across the border into Pakistan on the fourth, Heisler and the second Apache flying that night along with the Chinooks and the Rangers on the ground were suddenly under attack from what they would later learn were eight different enemy positions.

“None of the pilots who are there had seen anything like it before,” Heisler said. “I picture like Star Wars where you picture laser beams. It looks like that under your night vision goggles. It really accentuates any light you see so there are tracers of enemy fire everywhere.”

There was no time to think. While communicating with the forces on the ground and the other helicopters in the air Heisler and her copilot, Warrant Officer 2 David Woodward, sprang into action and began fighting back. They placed themselves between the ground force and the incoming fire and worked to keep the enemies’ heads down long enough for the Chinooks to land, pickup the Rangers and takeoff.

Anywhere they heard shots coming from they engaged. That was their job. To make sure the ground force got out safely and made it home alive.

“I don’t remember thinking a lot,” Heisler said. “We were just pulling the trigger because that’s what we knew we had to do to make sure that they got out of there.”

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Army sergeant charged in West Point crash that killed cadet

Staff Sgt. Ladonies P. Strong, who was charged Sept. 13, was driving the 2.5-ton Light Medium Tactical Vehicle.

By Minyvonne Burke

An Army sergeant faces multiple charges including involuntary manslaughter in connection with the June rollover crash near a West Point training site that killed one cadet and injured almost two dozen others.

Staff Sgt. Ladonies P. Strong was charged Sept. 13 with one specification each of involuntary manslaughter, negligent homicide, prevention of authorized seizure of property and reckless operation of a vehicle, a U.S. Army spokesperson said. Strong was also charged with two specifications of dereliction of duty.

The charges are in violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the Army spokesperson said. Strong is assigned to Task Force 1-28 in Fort Benning, Georgia. TF 1-28 could not immediately offer a comment on the charges.

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Despite opposition, USC board hires retired general Caslen, USMA 1975, as school’s next president

A divided University of South Carolina board of trustees voted Friday to hire retired Army Gen. Robert Caslen as the school’s next president.

After a rare contentious meeting, the board rejected protests from faculty, some students and several politicians in choosing Caslen, the former superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The vote was 11-8. One board member abstained.

A crowd of roughly 128 students, alumni and faculty who had gathered in the Pastides Alumni Center, where the board met, began chanting “shame” minutes after the board voted.

Caslen was aware of the opposition to his candidacy and has pledged to meet with his critics and listen to them.

“I want to engage with my critics in the faculty and the students and take their advice,” Caslen told The State. “They’re valued members of the university and it’s important they realize that I see them that way.”

Asked how he felt to be named USC’s next president, he said, “I’m honored. I’m very grateful for those who put their trust in me.”

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