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(CNN)A relocated football game is now making history. But it’s not just any game.
The 121st Army-Navy football game, which was originally supposed to be played in Philadelphia in December, will now take place at Michie Stadium at the US Military Academy in West Point, New York. It’s the first time an Army-Navy football game has been played at a home stadium since World War II when the Naval Academy hosted the 1942 game and West Point the 1943 game.
But even though the location change is historic, very few people will be able to see it in person.
“It is unlikely there will be fan attendance allowed at Michie Stadium beyond the Corps of Cadets and Brigade of Midshipmen,” according to the press release announcing the location change.
The Secretary of Defense Honorable Mark Esper, U.S. Military Academy Class of 1986, visited USMA to discuss current affairs with Russia, China and U.S.-allied partners, among other things, with the Class of 2021 Cadets at Eisenhower Hall Theatre Oct. 9-10. Establishing a rapport with the cadets, Esper stood before the podium and said, “I have a 44-page speech right here to give you guys.” The Class of 2021 applauded with enthusiasm, ready to be engrossed in Esper’s message.
“You should’ve been booing me when I said that not clapping,” Esper responded as laughter filled the auditorium. “I’m going to set the speech aside.”
The cadets cheered as Esper walked away from the podium toward the edge of the stage to engage them in an impromptu discussion on what’s happening in the Department of Defense.
“Let’s make it a conversation if you will, more than me speaking to you,” Esper said. “I do too much (of delivering speeches) too often, and it’s good to come and talk to you all because you are the future of the United States Army. I know you heard that many times. However, I want to impress upon you how important this moment in time is and how critical it is to the future of the United States Army and, of course, the United States Military.”
WEST POINT – With every passing day, the Corps of Cadets at West Point draw closer to graduation, the end of a 47-month journey that will literally transform their lives forever.
You don’t necessarily need a calendar to track the progression, but there are milestone occasions that mark the time.
It starts with R-Day, or Reception Day, when the plebes, or incoming freshmen, arriving at West Point. A-Day, or Acceptance Day, comes at the end of basic training, and Plebe Parent Weekend is the first opportunity for the newest cadets to take a deep breath and reacquaint themselves with family.
The Yearlings, or sophomore class, have a Winter Weekend dedicated to them. The 500th Night banquet marks exactly that, the number of days remaining until graduation for the Cows, or junior class members.
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.
By Joshua Kim
Chris Mayer is an Associate Dean for Strategy and Initiatives, an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the United States Military Academy at West Point, and a colonel in the US Army. I first ran across Chris on his active Twitter feed @ChrisMayer_WP. Chris generously offered to answer my questions about academic life within the military, his thoughts on COVID-19 and the academy, and the future of higher education. Please note that the views expressed in this article are Chris Mayer’s and do not reflect the official policy or position of the United States Military Academy, the Department of the Army, or the Department of Defense.
Q1: I’d like to start by trying to understand the world of the US service academies. These include West Point (where you are) and the four other academies for the Navy, the Air Force, the Coast Guard, and the Merchant Marine. Can you provide insights into where the service academies fit into the broader postsecondary ecosystem, and maybe some points of distinction and differentiation?
Service academies have the mission of developing and graduating leaders of character to serve as officers in their respective services. The United States Military Academy’s (West Point) graduates are commissioned as Army officers, United States Naval Academy graduates as Naval officers, United States Air Force Academy graduates as Air Force officers, United States Coast Guard graduates as Coast Guard officers, and United States Merchant Marine Academy graduates become licensed Merchant Marine officers or commissioned officers in the Armed Forces. Students at service academies do not pay tuition or room or board, but they do have a service obligation once they graduate (West Point graduates have a five-year active duty service obligation).
The superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point said this week that he has started to take action about allegations of racism at the historic institution.
Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams told an audience at a discussion on race hosted by the Association of the United States Army Wednesday that he takes it very seriously that former West Point graduates described personal experiences with racism. A number of West Point alums came to the school June 25 with a 40-page proposal to create an “Anti-Racist West Point.”
“I directed my inspector general to do a formal investigation; he has a report out to me, and we are going through the process of it,” Williams said. “It’s an investigation, so I have to be careful about commenting on it, but we took that and are taking it on and looking at it in a very deliberate way.”
By West Point Public Affairs – August 4, 2020
RELEASE NO: 11-20
WEST POINT, N.Y. – Cadet Reilly McGinnis of Macungie, Pa., has been selected First Captain of the U.S. Military Academy’s Corps of Cadets for the 2020-2021 academic year, achieving the highest position in the cadet chain of command. She will assume her duties on Aug. 10.
Most recently, McGinnis, an Operations Research major, led 1,300 cadets as the Regimental Commander of Cadet Leader Development.
As First Captain, she is responsible for the overall performance of the approximately 4,400-member Corps of Cadets. Her duties also include implementing a class agenda and acting as a liaison between the Corps and the administration.
“I first heard about West Point in my sophomore year of high school when I started getting recruited by the Army Women’s Soccer team. After visiting the Academy, interacting with cadets and faculty, and speaking with my grandfather, who served in the Korean War, I knew West Point was where I belonged. The greatest lesson I have learned at West Point is that a person’s success is not solely based on self-achievement, but rather what that person can do to help and influence those around her.”
McGinnis’s cadetship includes various activities and accomplishments, such as being a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and the Phi Mu Epsilon National Honorary Mathematics Society. She was also a member of the Army Women’s Soccer Team from 2017-2019 and currently serves as a Young Life leader for O’Neill High School.
See the entire list of Class of 2021 Leadership Positions at:
An Army soldier involved in a military vehicle crash in June 2019, killing Cadet Christopher “CJ” Morgan and injuring others, was sentenced to three years of confinement after being convicted of negligent homicide, The New York Times reported on July 21. Staff Sgt. Ladonies P. Strong was driving the truck that overturned near West Point; she was also convicted of prevention of authorized seizure of property and was acquitted of involuntary manslaughter, reckless operation of a vehicle and two counts of dereliction of duty.
The case was tried in front of a military panel in Fort Stewart, Ga., where Strong’s unit of the 3rd Infantry Division is based. Strong will also receive a bad conduct discharge, according to The New York Times. The 3rd Infantry Division did not respond to a request for comment by press time on Aug. 4.
Morgan, who would have graduated from the military academy this year, was a West Orange High School graduate. A member of the wrestling and football teams at WOHS, he was also on the West Point wrestling team.
Traditionally, when a new class of cadets arrives at West Point, more than 1,200 individuals come through the gates on a Monday during Reception Day and begin the process of their 47-month journey. This year, as seen a month ago with the graduation of the U.S. Military Academy Class of 2020, traditions have taken a backseat to a new practice due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic running rampant through the United States.
Consequently, as the initial 1,238 new cadets’ streamed into the U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School to begin their in-processing as the USMA Class of 2024, it also included R-Day being stretched out over three days instead of one. More than 400 new cadets arrived each day Sunday through Tuesday (July 12-14) with the Oath Ceremony taking place on The Plain Wednesday (July 15).
Generally, new cadets would arrive at Eisenhower Hall, however, USMAPS was used this year as an initial entry point. This allowed for screening each new cadet for COVID-19 and also kept a buffer zone from Central Area, the new cadets’ living area, to make sure they were COVID-19 negative before they began receiving their initial equipment issue, getting sized for their uniforms, receiving haircuts and assimilating into their Cadet Basic Training company under the cadet cadre’s guidance.
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.
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.”