Posts tagged ‘West Point’

FRIDAY FOTO (April 19, 2019)

Abandon … Boat.

Sandhurst 2019

(U.S. Army photo by Amanda Lin)

Members of the U.S. Military Academy’s Black Team (there were also Gold and Gray teams) compete in the zodiac challenge at the 51st Sandhurst Military Skills Competition at West Point, New York,  on April 12, 2019.

The rigorous, two-day competition encompasses physical and mental challenges that reflect the tempo, uncertainty and tasks of combat operations — including physical fitness, marksmanship and land navigation challenges.

While it is called the Sandhurst Military Skills Competition after the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS) in the United Kingdom, the annual competition has always been held at West Point. Sandhurst was started in 1967 when RMAS presented West Point with a British Officer’s sword to use as the prize for a competition to promote military excellence.

Each team consisted of 9 primary and 2 alternate members, including at least one female team member.  Teams were assessed on a variety of individual and squad warrior tasks.

The competition included 49 teams from around the world, including 14 teams from 13 countries: Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark, Korea, Thailand, Colombia, Greece, Japan, Mexico, Chile and Brazil . The British fielded two teams, and West Point fielded 16.

In addition to West Point, the U.S. Air Force (last year’s winner), Coast Guard and Naval academies sent teams. There were also teams from ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) programs at the following U.S. universities: Austin Peay State University, California Polytechnic State University, Central State University, Creighton University, Florida State University, Lehigh University, Tarleton State University, University of Delaware, University of North Georgia, Utah Valley University, Virginia Military Institute, John Hopkins University, Embry-Riddle University, Marquette University, Edinboro University and the University of Hawaii.

The West Point Black Team won the competition. For details on how other teams fared  click here, and click here for more photos.

April 19, 2019 at 5:37 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (June 18, 2016)

Beard Bump.

2016 DoD Warrior Games

DoD photo by Roger Wollenberg

Veterans Fred Lewis (left) and Victor Sassoon — members of the U.S. Special Operations Command volleyball team –bump beards for good luck after beating Team Army in sitting volleyball during the 2016 Department of Defense Warrior Games at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York  June 15, 2016.

What’s sitting volleyball, you ask. It’s a tough competition for injured service members who can’t play volleyball standing up. See the photo below.

2016 DoD Warrior Games: Sitting Volleyball

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Carlin Leslie

The Air Force sitting volleyball team competes against the U.S. Special Operations Command team during the 2016 Warrior Games at the U.S. Military Academy.

For more photos of the Warrior Games, click here.


June 17, 2016 at 1:15 am Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (July 31, 2015)

In the Boom-Boom Room.

U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Brian Hamilton

U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Brian Hamilton

Well here’s something we’ve never seen before: soldiers prepping grenades for a live-fire exercise during Cadet Summer Training at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.

The soldiers are with 3rd Battalion, 304th Infantry Regiment, 104th Training Division.

Click on the photo to enlarge the image. To see more photos from this training exercise of young people, new to the Army, handling live explosives, click here.


July 31, 2015 at 1:40 am Leave a comment

SMART POWER: Army Paying Attention to Human Geography

Understanding People, Culture in Conflict Zones

Human geography experts say it's just as important to know the people in a conflict area as well as the terrain where a unit is deployed. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Shane Hamann, 102nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.)

Human geography experts say it’s just as important to
know the people in a conflict area as well as the terrain
where a unit is deployed. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Shane Hamann, 102nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.)

For centuries, mathematician, inventors, traders and explorers have mapped the Earth from the ancient Mediterranean and Fertile Crescent to the mountains of Antarctica and the undersea canyons of the Atlantic.

Now social scientists, soldiers and businessmen are among those mapping a different kind of geography: human geography.

Human geography is a multi-discipline study of the Earth and how people move across it, where they gather on it and how they interact there. It combines numerous fields including history, agricultural science, economics, political science, meteorology, geology, urban studies and anthropology. Studying human geography can be very important for soldiers, says Lt. Col. Andrew Lohman, an associate professor in the Geography Department at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.

On-the-ground knowledge can indicate what is normal and what is out of place in a society, a province or a village. And in an era of low intensity conflicts and asymmetric warfare, that knowledge – combined with cultural sensitivity – can be as important as attack helicopters and satellite imagery.

In five deployments to Iraq with Army Special Forces, Lohman said “we learned everything about an area before going there.” The important lesson wasn’t just the facts like what percentage of the population was urban or who the local power players were, he said, but “how is this going to affect what we’re doing when we’re there.” In short, area analysis and mission analysis, Lohman told your 4GWAR editor at a Human Geography conference last Fall.

Lohman said the study of geography is making a comeback in Army circles. Its popularity is growing at West Point where every year 50 to 60 cadets pick it as their major, he added.

To read more of this story, visit the Institute for Defense and Government Advancement (IDGA) website.

Some Additional Background:

In the photo above, soldiers with Texas Army National Guard provide security at the Friendship Gate for team members assessing the progress of the new customs yard being built near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border in Spin Boldak District, Kandahar province, Afghanistan. The new facility will help to increase border traffic.

The Army’s Human Terrain program has sent teams of sociocultural experts to both Iraq and Afghanistan in an attempt to avoid bloodshed and calm relations with local populations during the height of fighting in both countries. But the program has been controversial, both for how it was managed and for its basic concept of using civilian social science professionals for a military program.

April 22, 2013 at 1:47 pm Leave a comment

TRADITION: Graduation Day at Annapolis, Colorado Springs, West Point

The Class of 2011

During the last week of May, commencement exercises were held at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York; the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland and the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Here’s a snapshot of the time-honored ceremonies as well as the joy — and relief — expressed by some of the hardest-working college students in America.

Cadets congratulate one another during commencement ceremonies at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., (Photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley)

We start with the oldest service academy, West Point, founded in 1802 because the Army wanted some decent engineers and artillery officers.

While several generals have been elected president of the United States, only two — Ulysses S. Grant (Class of 1843) and Dwight D. Eisenhower (Class of 1915) — were West Point grads. The presidents of at least two other countries — including Jefferson Davis (Class of 1828) — went there.

This year West Point graduated 1,031 second lieutenants — including 16 combat veterans.

Click here to see a Defense Department photo essay on the Military Academy graduation.

Newly commissioned Navy ensign Allison Ranzau after receiving her diploma during the 2011 Naval Academy commencement ceremony. (Photo by Navy Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kevin S. O'Brien)

Next is the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, founded in 1845 partly because of a controversial shipboard trial for mutiny.

While six of the last 10 presidents have been Navy men (Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter and Bush the elder) only one — James Earl “Jimmy” Carter was an Annapolis grad (Class of 1946).

Look closely at the grads lining up in the above photo and you’ll see some are Marines in the dress blue blouse.

Or look below to see the Marines taking the oath as officers during the Naval Academy commencement.

Marine Corps cadets take the oath of enlistment at Annapolis commencement ceremony. (Defense Dept. photo by Cherie Cullen)

The Naval Academy has 1,006 graduates, including 800 men and 206 women, in 2011. Of those 1,006, 260 were commissioned as Marines.

While one of the oldest armed services, the Marine Corps does not have its own four-year academy for training officers. Instead, cadets at the Naval Academy can elect to take Marine Corps commissions. After graduation at Annapolis, they are shipped off to The Basic School at the Marine Corps base in Quantico, Virginia.

Click here to see a photo essay on the Naval Academy graduation.

Newly commissioned second lieutenants celebrate at the end of the Air Force Academy's graduation ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo by Mike Kaplan)

The newestt service academy is the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Founded in 1955, the Air Force Academy is famous for the modern architecture of its chapel and its football teams (check out the bowl game banners hanging in Falcon Stadium on the left side of the photo). This year the academy graduated 1,021 officers. The Class of 2011 was also the first to earn wings for remotely piloted aircraft.

If you click on this photo to enlarge it, you will see among the flying hats, the F-16 Fighting Falcons of the Thunderbirds, the Air Force’s precision aerial demonstration team.

Click here to see a photo essay on the Air Force Academy graduation.

June 10, 2011 at 4:41 pm Leave a comment


October 2022


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