The Class of 2013 marched into Michie Stadium as graduating cadets a few weeks ago, and marched out as commissioned officers in the U.S. Army. On that emotional and symbolic day, the U.S. Military Academy provided over 1,000 new second lieutenants as leaders of character for the Army and the nation. It was cool, windy, and rainy, but no spirit was dampened by the weather. It was an inspirational finish to four years at West Point and the beginning of values based leadership of Soldiers. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel delivered a stirring speech, which closed with a thoughtful remembrance of his own experiences in service as a non-commissioned officer in the Vietnam War. Now the Class of 2013 is headed to their Basic Officer Leadership Courses, additional skill training, and then to their first units as second lieutenants. They will be well prepared to lead!
As always, the day after graduation actually increases in intensity with multiple summer military training programs and the dispersion of the rest of the Corps to advanced individual development programs worldwide. This year we placed over 1,000 rising Firsties and Cows in the Cadet Leader Development Training at Camp Buckner to give them a tough and rigorous experience in leading platoons in today’s complex operating space. Through plenty of cool and rainy days and nights, the CLDT cadets performed to a very high standard. Over at Camp Smith across the Hudson River, two iterations of Air Assault School have been taking place under the expert training of a team from the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). Cadets are also participating in Airborne School at Fort Benning, Ga., earning their jump wings. Other cadets are doing internships from Washington D.C. to many places overseas, all learning and contributing in preparation for the dynamic future that will soon be upon them as Army officers.
The Summer Leadership Experience brought 500 high school rising seniors from every state in the union to learn what it is like to be a cadet during an event-filled one-week course. Led by upper class cadre and the outstanding staff and faculty of the Academy, these prospects ran, studied, wrote, and ate Army chow in the mess hall, all leaving with the high energy that is traditional for SLE, clearly inspired by what they saw, by their contemporaries, and the cadre. We expect to see many of them back in about a year on Reception Day for the Class of 2018.
Finally, Reception Day for the Class of 2017 is approaching rapidly. Once again USMA will bring in 1,200 of some of the best young men and women from all states and territories and 15 nations worldwide, who represent the rich diversity and promise of future military leadership. All will go through their own 47 months of tough and demanding academic, physical, and military development. And all will gather once again in Michie Stadium to begin the most important journey of their lifetime – service as leaders of character for the U.S. Army and the nation. We wish them all the very best, and are fully committed to preparing them for the great privilege of leadership and selfless service.
LTG David Huntoon, Jr.
|News and Events|
Dec. 7, 2011 – Atlantic Council interview with Lt. Gen. Huntoon
Oct. 6, 2011 – 2011 Thayer Award Presentation to Dr. Robert M. Gates
May 21, 2011 – Graduation Address by Admiral Michael G. Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
May 20, 2011 – Banquet Speech by First Lady, Michelle Obama
Jan. 7, 2011 – West Point signs agreement with Afghan Army
Sept. 15, 2010 – CNBC: Meeting of the Minds leadership discussion
Aug. 27, 2010 – Podcast Interview: Part of The Atlantic Council's New Atlanticist Podcast Series
Aug. 13, 2010 – Fox & Friends interviews Lt. Gen. Huntoon
July 19, 2010 – Lt. Gen. Huntoon assumes command, U.S. Military Academy