Families, guests get intimate look at academy during PPW, view crest unveil

By By Sgt. 1st Class Luisito Brooks West Point PAO NCOIC - March 17, 2022
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The U.S. Military Academy hosted Plebe-Parent Weekend to provide the USMA Class of 2025ʼs families and special guests a unique opportunity to visit, understand and appreciate the varied aspects of West Point life for cadets on March 4-5.

“It is so great to see all my classmates, their families and everyone here to show support of the Class of 2025,ˮ Class of 2025 Cadet Katherine Lareau, the class vice president, said. “This was a date that seemed so far off, but now that we are here, it is an amazing feeling to see it all come together the way it did.ˮ

Cadets, along with the support of special staff, planned the entire weekend for their guests, including events at the Parents Weekend Welcome Center, various briefings by academy leadership, various sporting events, a plebe review, a National Defense Service Medal (NDSM) ceremony, a dinner banquet, the class crest unveiling, a barracks closeout, and the release of the Class of 2025 for spring break.

“Much preparation goes into Plebe-Parent Weekend, and I donʼt think I realized that the operations at the academy are this in-depth when you have hundreds of cadets and their families coming for such a big event,ˮ Lareau said. “We have been involved in in-progress reviews in planning for this weekend for months now.ˮ

Class of 2025 Cadet Keeley Davis, the class Ring-Crest Committee chair, said that this weekend also gave her a greater appreciation for all the planning that made this event a success.

“A lot of behind the scenes work was poured into this wonderful weekend, including the banquet, like coordinating with the 36 cadet companies to set up seating charts for the Class of 2025 and their guests,ˮ Davis explained. “It sounds kinda simple, but itʼs a lot of work.ˮ

Cadets and their guests made their way to all the different events, including a formal banquet dinner.

Command Sgt. Maj. Mario Terenas, the 10th Mountain Division command sergeant major, was the guest speaker during the banquet. Also, during the dinner, the Class of 2025 unveiled its crest, and Davis expressed how important that moment was for her and her classmates.

“The highlight for me was when I unveiled the crest,ˮ Davis said. “I felt so honored to be able to do that for our class because we worked really hard on it, and each thing that is on the crest, each piece, each emblem represents something.ˮ

Written on top of the class crest is the motto of the Class of 2025, “Together We Thrive.ˮ Davis said at the banquet that when the class voted on the motto during Cadet Basic Training (CBT), they were already starting to live out what it truly meant.

“While individual excellence and personal greatness are worthy pursuits, it is far greater to be a member of a team, committed to something beyond ourselves,ˮ

Davis said. “Together We Thrive is a motto that is not self-seeking or boastful, but rather, it emphasizes our classʼs commitment to each other, to the future Soldiers we will lead, and to the people of the United States, whose freedoms we will always fight to protect.ˮ Davis said that the Class of 2025 affirmed its bond with its 50-year class affiliate, the Class of 1975, by purposefully placing symbols of its respect on its crest.

“They are represented on our crest. The chain that runs through the eagleʼs beak represents the bonds we have already made and will continue to strengthen with our affiliate class,ˮ Davis said. “In the center of the Class of 1975ʼs class crest is a star — a unique emblem of the strength of their class, which we wanted to honor on our class crest.ˮ

Davis said that the star would remind her class of the shining excellence of this institution, and it pays respect to the sacrifices of the Class of 1975.

Lareau also expressed that it was fantastic to connect with this unique class in such a profound way. “We have established a connection with the Class of 1975, and they have been wonderful to us,ˮ Lareau said. “Before arriving at the academy, they sent us an introductory letter just congratulating us on getting into the academy.ˮ

This particular weekend is an annually celebrated event that serves as a critical first step in the Fourth Classʼs leadership development. It provides the class with their first opportunity to serve in various leadership roles.

“For this whole year, we have been followers because thatʼs the role of Plebes,ˮ Lareau said. “We have been following orders and following great leaders within the Corps, but this weekend was an opportunity for our classmates to take up those leadership roles within the Corps, and they have done a fabulous job with that.ˮ

Lareau said that the Class of 2025 should be proud of all they have done to succeed in this event.

“I hope that the cadets in our class walk away from this weekend to embolden to take on leadership roles within the academy,ˮ Lareau concluded.