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LTC Stephen F.
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Thank you my friend SGT (Join to see) for honoring my alma mater, United States Military Academy at West Point.
I graduated with the USMA class of 1980 which was the first class to include women as cadets and the first class with black first captain Vince Brooks who recently retired as a full general.
I am graduate number 37,403

U.S. Military Academy: West Point, Explained
The Military Academy at West Point has a long history, dating back to the beginning of our nation.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYoB4_jZCIs

Images:
1. 1980-05 Company H-3 [I am standing second from left in back row.]
2. 1978 or 1979 Postcard of Formation before lunch in front of MacArthur Barracks. I am in the front row second from left
3. 1980-05-28 Steve Ford with proof of graduation on graduation day for class of 1980 at West Point
4. 1980-06 2LT John McGrath, 2LT Steve Ford, and 2LT Tom Bosco right after the wedding of Matt and Cathy Schepps at south dock on West Point.


Background from {[https://home.army.mil/westpoint/index.php/about/history]}
"U.S. Army Garrison West Point's role in our nation's history dates back to the Revolutionary War when General George Washington considered West Point to be the most important strategic position in America.
West Point had many advantages for being selected as a site to build fortifications on the Hudson River. Vessels passing by West Point had to make a sharp, ninety-degree turn to the west, sail a quarter of a mile, then make another right-angle turn to the north as they continued upriver. These bends were sharper than any point along the Hudson, creating hazards for ships passing through. In addition to the turns in the river, the river was also very narrow, the tidal effects were the greatest, and the current was the swiftest at this location. The treacherous winds also created difficulties for ships trying to navigate through this section of the Hudson.
Construction of forts and batteries in the area of West Point began in the summer of 1775. However, the original location was not the site of the future military academy, but across the Hudson River on Constitution Island (then called Martelaer’s Rock). Problems immediately became apparent in the use of Constitution Island by the Continental Army. The area was vulnerable to attack by land and was dominated by higher ground on all sides, especially from West Point across the river.
Other fortifications were built along the Hudson River including twin forts to the south of West Point at the confluence of Popolopen Creek and the Hudson River. Fort Montgomery was constructed on the north shoreView-of-West-Point-by-Seth-Eastman,-c.gif of Popolopen Creek, and Fort Clinton was located on the south shore. Many of these fortifications were destroyed by the British in October 1777.
Until January 1778, West Point was not occupied by the military. On January 27, 1778, Brigadier General Samuel Holden Parsons and his brigade crossed the ice on the Hudson River and climbed to the plain on West Point and from that day to the present, West Point has been occupied by the United States Army. To reinforce the defenses at West Point, Washington personally selected Thaddeus Kosciuszko, a Polish Army General and Engineer, to design the fortifications for West Point in 1778. Washington himself transferred his headquarters to West Point in 1779.
Continental soldiers built forts, batteries and redoubts and fashioned an iron chain across the Hudson to prevent the British from separating the colonies. The chain, known as the Great Chain, was placed in the river on April 30, 1778, measured approximately 1,600 feet, and weighed between 180 and 186 tons.
At the end of the Revolutionary War in 1783, the materials used to construct West Point were sold in an attempt to recoup some funds. Although West Point continued to be occupied, its importance as a strategic point along the Hudson River would not be a focus until 1794 when tensions between France and England began to rise in Europe.
Fortress West Point was never captured by the British, and remains the oldest continuously occupied military post in America.
Several soldiers and legislators, including Washington, Knox, Hamilton and John Adams, desiring to eliminate America's wartime reliance on foreign engineers and artillerists, urged the creation of an institution devoted to the arts and sciences of warfare. President Thomas Jefferson signed legislation establishing the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1802. He took this action after ensuring that those attending the Academy would be representative of a democratic society.
The U.S. Military Academy at West Point first cadets were assigned to the Corps of Artillerists and Engineers (which later became the Corps of Engineers) at West Point in 1802. The cadets were instructed in practical experience in the use of artillery. Joseph Gardner Swift was the first graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and would later serve as the third Superintendent from 1812 to 1814.
West Point remained under the control of the Corps of Engineers until June 1866 when it was returned to the supervision of the Secretary of War.
Sylvanus Thayer, the "Father of the Military Academy," served as the fifth Superintendent from 1817 to 1833. He upgraded academic standards, instilled military discipline and emphasized honorable conduct. Aware of our young nation's need for engineers, Thayer made engineering the foundation of the curriculum. For the first half of the nineteenth century, USMA graduates were largely responsible for the construction of the bulk of the nation's infrastructure. In the late part of the nineteenth century, USMA graduates filled political, economic and cultural posts throughout America.
Today the U.S. Military Academy at West Point is over 4000 strong and continues to supply the U.S. Army with leaders of character. In concert with the increasing role of minorities and women in society, greater numbers of minorities and women have entered and graduated from the Military Academy. Their presence has enhanced the quality and maintained the traditional representativeness of the institution.
Academy graduates are awarded a Bachelor of Science degree and a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army, serving a minimum of five years on active duty. The Academy, with its long and noble history, remains an energetic, vibrant institution that attracts some of the best and brightest young men and women. It offers a challenging and comprehensive array of opportunities while retaining its enduring commitment to Duty, Honor, Country.
As a major tourist destination since the mid-nineteenth century, West Point continues to attract over 2 million visitors from around the world annually."

FYI COL Mikel J. Burroughs LTC (Join to see) LTC Wayne Brandon Lt Col John (Jack) Christensen Maj Robert Thornton Maj William W. 'Bill' Price Maj Bill Smith, Ph.D. Maj Marty Hogan CPT Paul Whitmer MSG Felipe De Leon Brown MSG Andrew White SFC (Join to see) SSG William Jones SSG Michael Noll SGT Steve McFarland SP5 Mark Kuzinski PVT Mark Zehner SGT Denny Espinosa SMSgt Dr. G. A. Thomas
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LTC Stephen F.
LTC Stephen F.
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West Point's First Female Cadets | Real People | George Schlatter
Mary Costello is one of the first women cadets admitted to West Point after the historic military academy went coed in 1976. One of 400 women in a class of 4,400 cadets, Mary is focused on a rigorous education and a military career.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqjH1l_WveE

Mary Costello is my classmate and it is interesting watching my classmates :-)

Images:
1. 1980 Class of 1980 Women at West Point
2. 2005-09-16 Steve & Maria Elena Ford - Table #1 – 16 Sep 2005
3. 2005-09-17 25th Reunion of the USMA class of 1980 - Steve Ford marching under arms with the Punishment Tour Formation in Central Area at West Point- 17 Sep 2005
4. 1980 Women of West Point class of 1980 at Trophy Point in class uniform

FYI Lt Col Charlie Brown SPC Margaret Higgins SGT Cynthia Barnard Cynthia Croft SPC Chris Bayner-Cwik SPC Nancy Greene Sgt Kelli Mays SFC (Join to see) Christine C Cullinan TSgt Joe C. Linda Lawrence PO1 H Gene Lawrence PO2 (Join to see) SPC Diana D. SSG Diane R. Maj Kim P.
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MSG Felipe De Leon Brown
MSG Felipe De Leon Brown
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I had the honor and privilege to serve with two exemplary and outstanding USMA graduates during my military career.
The first was with CIB & SS awardee, Ranger and parachutist (then) CPT John F. Morgan in February 1967. I was a basic trainee. CPT Morgan had served in Viet Nam as an enlisted soldier. He was with us every day observing, encouraging and leading by example. He marched with us to all training to include the rifle range. In our graduation pass in review, I had the privilege to carry our guidon. It filled me with more honor that I would ever be able to express.
The second was with (then) MAJ Richard Ballard in June 1987. I had just been assigned to a SGM (E9) slot even though I was a MSG (E8). MAJ Ballard was the Chief, Plans & Ops Division, Office of the DCSPER for 1st SOCOM (A). There is so much that I could mention about the time that I served with him but suffice it to say that he manifested all the highest virtues of any USMA graduate.
Both CPT Morgan and MAJ Ballard exemplified the USMA motto, "Duty, Honor, Country".
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LTC Stephen F.
LTC Stephen F.
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Thank you my friend MSG Felipe De Leon Brown By the wat Joe Vote and Tony Thomas who both commanded SOCOM are classmates of mine and brothers in Christ.
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LTC Stephen C.
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West Point is one of the greatest educational and training institutions in the world, SGT (Join to see)! Duty! Honor! Country!
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SGT English/Language Arts Teacher
SGT (Join to see)
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I am proud to say my cousin is a recent graduate of the Academy. LTC Stephen C.
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LTC Stephen C.
LTC Stephen C.
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Extend to him my congratulations, SGT (Join to see)!
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MSG Felipe De Leon Brown
MSG Felipe De Leon Brown
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Couldn't agree more.
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PVT Mark Zehner
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Awesome!
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