West Point Grad News
The following classes have added updates this week to their Class Notes pages. Jan1943 | 1949 | 1956 | 1957 | 1965 | 1970 | 1983 | 1997 | 2002. Class Notes
Lieutenant Colonel Meghann Plumlee recently made history as the first woman to take command of one of the oldest regiments in the United States Army, the 101st Engineer Battalion, Massachusetts Army National Guard. In 1636, the unit was established as the East Regiment and participated in the first muster held on the green in Salem, Massachusetts. For many, Salem is thought to be the birthplace of the National Guard.
"This is a historic unit. I am deeply honored to be rejoining the Victory Battalion as your commander," Plumlee said during the ceremony. "I look forward to working with each of you as we continue to contribute to the 101st's legacy." Following her commission in 2002, she served as a platoon leader, a company executive officer, and a battalion intelligence officer with the 1st Infantry Division's 9th Engineer Battalion (Combat Mechanized) in Schweinfurt, Germany.
From Germany, she moved to Fort Dix, New Jersey, where she served as both an observer-controller/trainer with the 2nd of the 310th Regiment and weapons officer-in-charge. Plumlee deployed to Iraq as a platoon leader in an Engineer Task Force in 2004-05 and to Afghanistan with the 26th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade as an executive officer of a Base Support Group in 2011-12.
Plumlee joined the Massachusetts National Guard in 2007 and has served as company commander of the 188th Facilities Engineer Detachment, plans officer for the 26th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, battalion operations officer for the 101st Engineer Battalion, facilities maintenance officer at Camp Edwards, and, most recently, the 26th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade's operations officer.
Captain Matthew August was killed in Iraq in 2004 and was remembered in a ceremony dedicating the post office at 20 Ferry Rd., Saunderstown, R.I. as the “Captain Matthew J. August Post Office.” U.S. Sen. Jack Reed and U.S. Rep. James Langevin sponsored the authorization bill in their respective houses, with U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and U.S. Rep. David Cicilline cosponsoring.
During his lifetime, August earned the Army Commendation Medal; Army Achievement Medal with two oak leaves; the National Defense Service Medal; and the Army Service and Overseas Service ribbons. After he died, he was awarded the Bronze Star; Purple Heart; Meritorious Service Medal; Iraqi Campaign and Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary medals; and Combat Action Badge.
Reed, a fellow West Point graduate, said: “We are forever grateful to Captain August for his valor, service, and sacrifice.” Langevin said August “will always be remembered for his extraordinary heroism,” and called it “a true privilege” to have helped honor him. “We owe an enormous debt to him and to all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice on the altar of freedom,” Cicilline said. Read more.
During the last week of April and into the beginning of May, the United States Military Academy at West Point celebrated the first-ever “Commitment to Service” week, a series of events (from the Grant Statue dedication to the Coach K Awards dinner) that highlighted the theme of a lifetime of selfless service to the nation, to the community, and to others. Speaking at the Distinguished Graduate Award (DGA) Luncheon, which honored the five graduates recognized in 2019, as well as welcomed the more than 740 graduates who returned to their alma mater for spring reunions, Lieutenant General Darryl Williams ’83, the 60th Superintendent of West Point, remarked that “Commitment to Service” weeks should be expanded to the DGA event. “I can’t think of a better way to inspire cadets to service than to have them spend a few minutes with this year’s DGA recipients,” Williams said, noting that if there were ever a “Who’s Who” or hall of fame for selfless service, it would be filled by the five Distinguished Graduates for 2019: General (Retired) David A. Bramlett ’64, Colonel (Retired) Victor Garcia M.D. ’68, Lieutenant General (Retired) Robert L. VanAntwerp ’72, General (Retired) Walter L. “Skip” Sharp ’74, and Lieutenant General (Retired) Robert L. Caslen Jr. ’75. Read more.
We are proud to honor our history and credit our formation to BG Robert Anderson (1825), who believed that an “Association of Graduates of the United States Military Academy” was important. Anderson wrote BG Sylvanus Thayer (1808) in January 1869 and outlined the concept of forming an association, “to see what should be done to perfect and perpetuate this truly national institution.”
Thayer wholeheartedly agreed with this proposal and on May 22, 1869, fifteen graduates gathered in the office of Dr. Horace Webster (1818), President of the College of the City of New York, to turn Anderson’s idea into a reality. Among other business, the group resolved that the Association was to be “formed purely for the promotion of social and fraternal intercourse.”
Today, the West Point Association of Graduates holds true to the original ideals of this group, providing opportunities for Grads to gather in societies, on Founders Day, during reunions, at tailgates and at a host of other activities held around the world. We continue to strengthen the bonds of the “Long Gray Line” through communications and services. We also prepare for the future by building relationships which support current cadets…our future.
Celebrate with us by recording a video of yourself toasting and wishing “Happy Birthday” to WPAOG and upload it in the comments section on the event page: facebook.com/events/273452153296175/. We’ve already received nearly 40 videos from grads around—and out—of this world, which have been edited into a WPAOG Virtual Toast Compilation video! We will be keeping up with all your video posts throughout the day, as well as sharing new virtual toasts as they come in. #WPAOG150
Laurence Palmer ’59 and his wife, along with classmate William Weber '59, traveled from Miami to West Point for their 60th reunion by bicycle! This is the 5th time the team has biked to their West Point reunion, with their longest ride originating in Anchorage, AK.
What an accomplishment! "None So Fine as '59!"
The riders were greeted at Herbert Hall by WPAOG grads Todd Browne ’85, Pat Ortland ’82 and Cathy Kilner ‘90
Jim Nicholson has been elected Vice-Chair of the Board of Visitors of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. https://westpoint.edu/about/superintendent/board-of-visitors
The Board advises the President of the United States on the morale, discipline, curriculum, instruction, physical equipment, fiscal affairs, academic methods and other matters related to the U.S. Military Academy and the Corps of Cadets.
Nicholson was initially appointed to the Board of Visitors by President Donald Trump in June 2018.
Nicholson, himself a Distinguished Graduate of West Point, and a retired Army colonel, is senior counsel at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck. He serves as chairman of the Daniels Fund, and was U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican, and secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The following classes have added updates this week to their Class Notes pages. 1953 | 1956 | 1957 | 1959 | 1961 | 1968 | 1970 | 1974 | 1981 | 1988 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 2003 | 2006. Class Notes
Greg Gebhardt has been named Director of Strategic Development and External Affairs at Cypress Creek Renewables. In this role he serves as the face of the organization in dealing with elected officials as well as managing relationships with external stakeholders, to include investor owned utilities, land owners, local economic development offices, members of the media, and citizens of communities where Cypress Creek Renewables develops projects.
Prior to joining the company in 2017, Greg served as Chief of Staff to State Representative David Lewis of Harnett County in the North Carolina House of Representatives. While he oversaw many initiatives in Rep. Lewis’ office the most notable initiative that Greg worked on was the comprehensive tax reform legislation that became law in 2013. Greg continues to serve in the North Carolina Army National Guard as the brigade executive officer for the 130th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade in Charlotte.
If you love golf, you won’t want to miss this event. Reconnect with alumni, former classmates, and your alma mater at the 2019 Alumni Golf Outing. The event will be held at West Point from June 6-8 and the schedule includes two rounds of golf, all meals, a boat cruise, and some great prizes! All graduates and guests are invited. Register now!