Back to Home Page   

2007 March Back Events Over 3 Days Draws  42 Marching Classmates from Class of '61

Forty-two member of the 50-Year Affiliation Class of 1961 joined the Class of 2011 on the 13 Aug 07 March Back that brought to a completion their Cadet Basic Training known to us as "Beast Barracks".

Class of 2011 Unveils Class Crest With Gratitude to Class of 1961

Plebes Daniel White (left), Jessica Huggins and Jedd Ferris hold up the Class of 2011 crest during its unveiling April 11 at Washington Hall.

On Friday evening, 11 April, the members of the Class of 2011 gathered in the Mess Hall to honor their sponsors and officially unveil their Class Crest. After offering their gratitude to their sponsors for the warmth and hospitality they have shown the Class of 2011, the Class displayed—for the first time—the result of hours of hard work by many people: the Class Crest of 2011. This Crest is a fitting tribute to a Class that entered West Point while our country is at war, for the Crest has many elements that symbolize that struggle and the role this Class will play in that conflict.

As part of this great ceremony, the Class of 2011 took special notice of two of its guests of honor: COL Al Vanderbush and COL Dick Buckner, both of whom are members of USMA 1961, the Fifty Year Affiliation Class for the Class of 2011. As the Fifty Year Affiliation Class, USMA 1961 began its journey with the Class of 2011 by sponsoring a wonderful reception at Ike Hall on R-Day for the family and friends of the New Cadets of USMA 2011. At the end of R-Day, members of the Class of 1961 were present at Trophy Point to witness the swearing-in ceremony of the newest West Point Class. During the Crest Unveiling Ceremony, CDT Mike McCullough, the 2011 Class President, publicly thanked the Class of 1961 for its support of his Class, and he asked his Classmates to give COL’s Vanderbush and Buckner a round of applause, which they did in rousing fashion.

Thanks are again in order to the Class of 1961 for its support of the Class of 2011, and we here at the WPAOG look forward to these two great Classes—representing the past, present, and future of the Long Gray Line—reuniting during this summer’s Yearling Flag Ceremony, when the Class of 1961 will present a magnificent set of Class Colors to the Class of 2011.

Class of '61 Presents Class of '11  Their Class Flag in 25 July 2008 Fifty Year Affiliation Ceremony

Friday, 25 July was a day on which the Fifty Year Affiliation Classes of 2011 and 1961 significantly strengthened the ties between them through their participation in the Yearling Flag Ceremony. This ceremony is a key component of the Fifty Year Affiliation Program, for it is the occasion when the Fifty Year Affiliation Class presents the new Yearling Class with its official Class Flag, a Flag that will be present during all key Class events from this point forward.

Representing the Class of 1961 were MG and Mrs. Charles Armstrong, COL and Mrs. Albert Vanderbush, and Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Shroyer. Their counterparts from the Class of 2011 were the Class President—Cadet Michael McCullough—and Vice-President—Cadet Joseph Simon. MG Armstrong, former commander of the 9th Infantry Division, focused his remarks to the Class of 2011 on his admiration and respect for the cadets gathered in front of him and on the significant role that Flags—“Guidons”—have played and will continue to play in the Army. He stated that his Class was proud to be the Affiliation Class for the Class of 2011, and that he hoped the Class Flag being presented today would help connect the cadets with the Army they will soon join.

Cadet Sergeant Affirmation Ceremony

For Freedom We Fight

Class of 2011

Cadet Sergeant

Affirmation Ceremony

16 August 2009

Schedule of Events

Welcoming Remarks - Cadet Joseph Simon

Invocation - Chaplain Edson Wood

Introduction of Guest Speaker - CSM Anthony Mahoney

Guest Speaker - GEN (R) George A. Joulwan

Oath of Affirmation - BG Michael S. Linnington

Presentation of Commemorative Coins

The Class of 2011 extends special thanks to the USMA Class of 1961 for their generous donation of the commemorative coins.

General George A. Joulwan
United States Army, Retired

General George A. Joulwan has served his country with distinction in a military career of over thirty-six years. In every assignment, from platoon leader to four-star general, he has lived by West Point's motto: Duty, Honor, Country. He was a consummate solder who, as Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, was instrumental in building a new post-Cold War security structure, as Commander-in-Chief of Southern Command made a significant contribution by bringing peace to EI Salvador and democracy to Panama, and as Commander-in-Chief, Europe conducted over twenty successful operations in the Balkans, Africa, and the Middle East without the loss of a Single soldier to hostile fire.

General Joulwan graduated from West Point in 1961 and was commissioned in the Infantry. His first assignment was with the 3rd Division in Europe, followed by an assignment to the 1st Division in Vietnam. For his service in Vietnam, he was awarded two Silver Stars, the Bronze Star with "V" device, four air medals, and the Army Commendation Medal. After returning to the United States, General Joulwan was assigned to Loyola University as an Assistant Professor of Military Sciences, where he earned his Master of Arts degree in Political Science. He then reported to Vietnam and served with the 101st Airborne Division. In 1972, he returned to West Point for a tour with the Department of Tactics. General Joulwan commanded the First Battalion of the 26th Infantry, and 2nd Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division prior to his appointment as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army in 1985. He then Commanded 3rd Armored Division in 1988 and became the Commanding General of the V Corps in 1989.

In 1990, General Joulwan was appointed as the Commander-in-Chief, United States Southern Command, where his efforts led to the modernization of military organizations of Latin America. Culminating an incredible career in the military, General Jolwan's final active duty assignment was Commander- in-Chief, United States European Command and Supreme Allied Commander, Europe. He was instrumental in developing the Partnership for Peace Program and facilitated the joint operations of the Russian and United States forces in Bosina. This cooperation was the basis for the historic NATO-Russian Founding Act signed in 1997 that ended the Cold War.

General Joulwan continues to serve his country - most notably as the Olin Professor for National Security at West Point. Throughout four decades of dedicated service to his country, he made invaluable contributions to the freedom and security of the United States. His sound military advice on the use of military power to support diplomacy and foreign policy were instrumental in ending the Cold War and bringing peace to the Balkans. General Joulwan's outstanding service led to his award of the West Point Association of Graduates' Distinguished Graduate Award in 2002.

Oath of Affirmation
Class of 2011

I,___________, do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and bear true allegiance to the National Government; that I will maintain and defend the sovereignty, or fealty that I may owe to any country or state whatsoever; that I acknowedge my five year active duty commitment to the United States Army upon graduation from the Military Academy; that I acknowledge my active duty commitment if I am separated between now and the graduation of my class; and that I will at all times obey the legal orders of my superior officers and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.


Today you have made a solemn commitment, one among the many commitments required of you during your time as a cadet at the United States Military Academy and in your career as an officer serving our nation.

The Class of 1961 and the 'West Point Association of Graduates are honored to present you with your Class Coin, a meaningful symbol of your decision to continue your education and work towards graduation day, when you will become an officer and a member of the "Long Gray Line".

Class of 2011 Affirmation Ceremony at USMA, USNA, USAFA, & USCGA


The Affirmation Ceremony for the Class of 2011 was held at West Point on 16 August 2009 in Robinson Auditorium of Thayer Hall.  During this ceremony, the cadets took an oath acknowledging a five-year active duty commitment in the United States Army upon graduation from the West Point and an active duty commitment if separated before graduation.  As part of the 50-Year Affiliation Program between the Classes of 1961 and 2011, the Class of 1961 presented each cadet a coin to commemorate the occasion.  The coin is a symbol of each cadet’s decision to continue their education and work toward graduation and commissioning in the Army.

Similar ceremonies were held for members of the Class of 2011 who are exchange cadets at the US Naval Academy, the US Air Force Academy, and the US Coast Guard Academy.  The West Point Society of Annapolis hosted the ceremony at USNA.  Mac Greeley represented our class.  The West Point Society – Pikes Peak Region hosted the ceremony at USAFA.  BG Norman Andersson, USMA ’74, administered the oath.  Dave Hastings, Jim Lynch, Warren Miller, and Ken Siegenthaler represented our class.  COL Dutch Hostler, USMA ’68, administered the oath at USCGA.   Jack Fischer represented our class.

2011 Affirm USMA SlideShow

2011 Affirm USCGA SlideShow

Bob Glass Address to Class of 2011 at Branch Night Ceremoney Recalls Differences

One of the more rewarding opportunities was to go up to West Point for Branch Night on November 7.  Todd, Ed, Chuck Hodell, and I went up as a part of the Affiliation Program with the Class of 2011 (our Class bought the branch insignia that was handed out to more than 1000 First Classmen upon learning of their branch selection).  It is not what we went through First Class Year where we went to South Auditorium with our opportunity to select from five branches, and standing up when called in class standing order to announce your selection.  I think that was it until graduation.

Sunday night, November 7th, they assembled the First Class (going Army, but the German Exchange Cadets also attended) in Ike Hall.  The evening was opened by the Chaplain, then the First Captain spoke briefly and introduced me as the speaker from the 50-Year Affiliation Class.  I had 5 minutes (300 seconds) to reflect on what it was like at our branch night and in our careers.  Then the Commandant spoke briefly including a joke - I don't remember Throckmorton or Rich ever telling a joke.  The Comm was the son of neighbors of ours when I was teaching in the Mechanics Department.  Finally it got down to the Big Deal and they opened envelopes that had been passed out with their branch assignments (they had to list their choices 1 - 16).  Believe it or not, Infantry went out with about 120 left. Some were jumping up and down in joy, several looked stunned, and then they gathered by branch at various stations in Ike Hall and had their branch insignia pinned on them.  They will wear that on their uniforms until graduation.  Following that ceremony, they had more branch gathering and then moved downstairs for refreshments (including beer!), jamming, and some music? being played loudly.  It was a Big Deal and the excitement and buzz could be felt by all of us.

The following is from the "Gray Matter" of 18 Nov 2010:

On Sunday evening, 7 November 2010, the members of the Class of 2011 assembled in the auditorium at Eisenhower Hall to determine their initial branches of service upon graduation. 

The system had been modified somewhat this year, in that the “first brass,” presented by their 50-Year Affiliate Class, the Class of 1961, through the West Point Association of Graduates, was not in the sealed envelope distributed prior to the actual ceremony by the Company TAC Team.  So no amount of squeezing of the envelope could provide a hint as to what was inside.  The official party arrived at 7:30 pm, and the first captain, CDT Marc Beaudoin; the chaplain, Father Edson Wood, and the commandant, BG William E. Rapp, made short presentations, as did Bob Glass, representing the 50-Year Affiliate Class of 1961. 

Click here to view entire "Gray Matter" article.

50 Year Affiliation Program Concludes with Presentation of 2LT Bars to 1031 Graduates











Presentation of 2LT bars upon graduation 21 May 2011. The Class of 1961 representatives present each new graduate their first set of lieutenant bars.













Last update: