Cadet candidates take charge from USMA cadre
Story and photos by Mike Strasser
WEST POINT, N.Y. (Aug. 15, 2013) — After the successful conclusion of Cadet Candidate Basic Training, a transfer of authority ceremony was conducted at the U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School Aug. 11.
The 245 cadet candidates of the USMAPS Class of 2014 marched onto the football field where nearly 80 USMA cadets who served as the summer training cadre relinquished their authority over to them. Now, they are expected to practice peer leadership and self-governance during the academic year as well as embrace the ideals of West Point.
“You will have many opportunities to demonstrate your competencies and expertise throughout the year and I encourage you to always give your best effort,” Lt. Col. Stephen Ruth, the 26th commandant of USMAPS, said to the battalion. “The culture and reputation of excellence begins here for you and that is another way you will add value to the Corps of Cadets next year.”
Ruth also recognized the contributions of the cadet cadre who trained the CCs this summer, like USMA Class of 2015 Cadet Rob Bickel.
“Having established himself as the resident marksman ... he knew he had become a victim of his own success,” Ruth said. “He has a talent and he wanted to pass it on to as many Soldiers as he can. Simple as that.”
Bickel told Ruth he enjoys marksmanship, but it’s easier to shoot than to teach. Still, Bickel and the cadre made sure every cadet candidate qualified on the range.
The school’s guidon was passed from Class of 2014 Cadet William Wang, the CCBT commander, to Cadet Candidate Joseph Bosse, who will serve as the USMAPS battalion commander this academic year.
“I was proud of what our cadre was able to accomplish,” Wang said. “We were able to execute R-Day, the Ericson Challenge and all the other training events to a very high level of standard and effectiveness.”
Bosse appreciated the opportunity to interact with the cadre.
“The cadre is very well-trained and they’ve led us in the right direction,” he said. “There was a lot of Q&A sessions that were helpful and showed us what right looks like down at the academy. They really motivate you along that path.”
Bosse, who transitioned from being a National Guard Soldier to cadet candidate, takes the task of leading the battalion seriously as the cadet candidates strive to join the USMA Class of 2018.
“I’m ultimately responsible for the success or failure of the battalion,” he said. “My goal is to get all of my peers down the hill.”
Cadet Candidate Joseph Bosse, from Sabattus, Maine, a former National Guard Soldier, takes charge as the battalion commander for the USMAPS Class of 2014.
Awards were also presented to recognize some of the accomplishments of the cadet candidates, to include best platoon in the drill and ceremony competition and top squad in the Ericson Challenge—the crucible event for CCBT.
Among the awardees, Cadet Candidate William Lenihan, Company A, received a battalion coin for shooting a perfect score on the basic rifle marksmanship qualification course. Cadet Candidate David Huff, Co. B, was selected by the battalion leader selection board as the top cadet candidate of CCBT. Maj. Adam Pooley, the USMAPS battalion tactical officer, said the award is presented to the cadet candidate who not only demonstrated proficiency in all the training events but also embodied the concept of teamwork.
“Those qualities were evident in him,” Pooley said. “When his squad was finished with the Ericson Challenge and other squads were coming in—regardless of what companies they were from—Huff would run down the hill and sprint up with all the other squads to the finish. He has a lot of good leadership potential and that’s demonstrated in how he interacts with his peers.”
Huff said he brought that motivation with him from active duty, when he served as a Signal Corps specialist with the National Guard in Anchorage, Alaska.
“We’re all on one team—you know, it’s ‘One Team, One Fight’ and our goal is to get into USMA but the bigger picture is that we’re going to be officers leading Soldiers,” Huff said.
Huff said he’s the first in his family to attend college and put a lot of effort into getting admitted to the academy.
“I’m here now and I’ve got a lot of hard work ahead of me,” Huff said. “But with the help of people like Bosse and the rest of the battalion we’ll make it there together.”
As a prior service candidate, Huff has a few years on most of his classmates and looks forward to the challenge of competing with them in athletics.
“I’ve definitely going to enjoy that ... I’ve got like 30 games of basketball this season with the team,” Huff said. “Also, coming from Alaska, I look forward to meeting a lot of people from other states and getting their insights and views.”