Your 47-month West Point journey begins with a 90 second goodbye on R-Day and ends when you toss your white service cap into the endless Michie Stadium sky and pin on those butter bars at your commissioning ceremony.
Contrary to popular belief, that culminating feeling on graduation day does not mark the end of the West Point experience; it actually signals the beginning of a lifelong connection to the Long Gray Line as an “Old Grad.” Graduating from the U.S. Military Academy earns you a spot in a prolific and well connected network that includes every graduate that came before you and every one that comes after you - and that Long Gray Line is here to help you before you even begin your West Point journey “We share a common bond and experience that is unique to the Long Gray Line...we just get each other,” says Rick French, USMA ’86 and Executive Director of the West Point Society of D.C.
So, rest assured, the West Point alumni network is here to support you as you navigate the admissions process, your 47-months at West Point, your career in the Army, transition to civilian life, and as you grow into a true “Old Grad.” Rick French adds, “My class is very close. We check in on each other to make sure all is ok. If someone is struggling, we rally to support, encourage, and try to be there for one another. We never want a classmate to feel alone or isolated.”
How to Utilize the West Point Society of Networks in 3-Steps:
1. Tap into a Local Society - Even before you get to the U.S. Military Academy, the West Point community of graduates will be there to support you. The idea for an Association of Graduates was first proposed in 1825 and now there are 135 Official West Point Societies (and growing) around the world.
Take Action: Visit www.WestPointAOG.org to find a local society.
2. Find Your Local Field Force Rep - West Point graduates excel at the many kinds of personal and professional mentorship. One way graduates can help you is through the West Point Field Force. The Field Force is tasked to identify and mentor highly qualified high school students for the academy, helping to shape the next generation of our country’s leaders. Your Field Force representative is a local USMA representative in your area that can assist you and answer questions.
Take Action: Reach out to your Field Force Rep (candidate.usma.edu/find_ff.cfm) and start asking some questions
3. Attend an Event - Each and every West Point Society proudly supports the Army team when they come to town. One way for you to gain insight into West Point is by reaching out to a Field Force Rep and attending a Army West Point sporting event in your area.
Take Action: Check the Army West Point Athletics Composite Sports Schedule goarmywestpoint.com/calendar.aspx and find a game near you.
When you make the decision to become a cadet at the U.S. Military Academy, you effectively turn a 47-month experience into a lifelong connection to a devoted community. It is reassuring to know that the Long Gray Line will be there whenever you call upon it. Call upon that network today.