WEST POINT, NY — After Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams, superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy, announced March 19 that the Corps of Cadets would not be returning from spring break as planned, academy leadership immediately began planning how and when cadets would arrive back at West Point.
That plan will go into effect Tuesday as the first members of the Class of 2020 return to West Point to begin outprocessing prior to their graduation ceremony June 13.
The cadets are currently spread throughout the country but they have to return to the academy before beginning their Army careers. At the bare-minimum, cadets need to move out of their rooms in the barracks and pickup their cars if they didn’t take them home for spring break. The future second lieutenants are also required to outprocess from the academy before moving on to the Army. Many of the outprocessing steps require cadets to be in person at West Point such as medical screenings, closing accounts and returning ID cards.
Because the return of the cadets was necessary, a planning group quickly began working out the details of how it would be accomplished in the middle of a pandemic. Lt. Col. George Mitroka, who oversaw the planning process, said the development of the plan to bring back the Class of 2020 began with representatives from throughout the academy coming together before a whiteboard. They then began brainstorming each step of the process that would be required for the cadets to return to the academy safely.