Cadet Activities Update
(Updated Feb. 7, 2014; 10:05 AM)
Alpine Ski: The Army Alpine Ski Team competed at Greek Peak in the Mideastern Intercollegiate Ski Conference, Jan. 31-Feb. 2 in Hornell, N.Y. The team struggled in the Slalom event with only one racer completing both runs. In Giant Slalom, Class of 2014 Cadet Jack Callaghan finished 25th, Class of 2015 Cadet Chris Emerson finished 27th and Class of 2017 Cadet Patrick Kearney finished 35th of 40 racers. The team has two more league races and wraps up the season at home against Navy March 1.
Spectrum: A group of cadets traveled to Cambridge, Mass., for the inaugural LGBTQ Conference at Harvard Feb. 1-2, and engaged in great lecture series and discussion from a variety of speakers and leaders in the LGBTQ community. Additionally, the cadets were able to have a tableside discussion with Kristen Beck, a Navy Seal with more than 20 years of active duty service.
Catholic Chapel Choir: The trip to St. Rocco's in Martins Creek, Pa.,was an excellent developmental experience for the cadets, especially for the choir's new president and vice-president. Both performed admirably on their first trip section in a leadership position and by all accounts the trip was a resounding success.
Cadets sang the musical liturgy of one service on Saturday and two Sunday with a total congregation of approximately 1,000. An extended Saturday afternoon rehearsal provided a much-needed teambuilding opportunity. To express their appreciation, the cadets made a donation to the St. Jude's charity in the name of the Parish, and the Pastor of St. Rocco's, Monsignor Reichert pledged a gift from the Parish to the Wounded Warrior Project.
Cadet Competitive Cyber Team: The Cadet Competitive Cyber Team (C3T) traveled Jan. 30 to the Carnegie Mellon University campus in Pittsburgh, Pa., for the Service Academy Cyber Stakes, sponsored by DARPA. Teams of cadets and midshipmen from the Naval Academy, Air Force Academy and USMA split into groups and competed over three days in small teams or individually in a series of cyber challenges.
The competition was organized and hosted by For All Secure, a company founded by a team of computer security researchers from CMU. The C3T won awards in software exploitation, malware reverse engineering, breaking cryptography and lockpicking.
This event was designed to give students from each of the service academies an opportunity to network, engage in friendly competition, learn new skills, and sow the seeds for future joint cyber operations.
Class of 2015 Cadet Marcie Jhong climbed to one of her personal best scores in a CCS Competition.
Climbing: The competitive climbing team traveled Feb. 1 to The Gravity Vault in Upper Saddle River, N.J., for the first Collegiate Climbing Series competition of year.
With more 10 schools and 130 competitors, Class of 2016 Cadet Julian Barker, team cadet-in-charge, took first place and Class of 2014 Cadet Chris Price placed third in the men's category. Class of 2014 Cadet Zhaina Myrzakhanova placed third in the women's category.
As a team, West Point placed first, beating arch rivals RIT and the U.S. Naval Academy.
Glee Club: The West Point Glee Club traveled to Bryant Park in New York City to perform at PepsiCo’s Celebration of Veterans Jan. 31 before the Super Bowl. Under the direction of Constance Chase, the Glee Club was privileged to open the event hosted by Jon Stewart from “The Daily Show” by singing the National Anthem and Carly Simon’s “Let the River Run.”
Parachute Team: Nine cadets from the U.S. Military Academy’s Sport Parachute Team traveled to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., to complete their High Altitude Parachutist Training Jan. 27.
The training center on base offers a variety of courses that are a part of the U.S. Air Force Aerospace Physiology training program. Specifically, the nine USMA cadets, along with Capt. Davide Hilling, officer representative, completed their High Altitude Parachutist Training (HAP) which will allow them to participate in training jumps from 10,000 feet or higher.
The training requirements for HAPs include an understanding of: physiological effects of altitude, human performance issues, oxygen equipment and pressure breathing, principles and problems of vision, noise and vibration, and how to escape from an aircraft.
The crew instructed the team through PowerPoint presentations and by passing around equipment during class time so that the team could familiarize themselves with the oxygen tanks and claustrophobic helmet masks.
Upon completing the classroom lessons the team began their training in the hypobaric chamber, but luckily for those who were nervous about experiencing hypoxia were granted a small break as pizza arrived for lunch. After the lunch break the team returned to their seats in the chamber where they completed 30 minutes of denitrogenation prior to the simulation in order to lower the risks of decompression sickness. The team watched a video that reviewed the information from the initial classes. One of the crew members assigned to the team quizzed them on certain information throughout the video to lighten the mood. It also gave the team an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the communication equipment while they became accustomed to breathing in the oxygen masks.
After the 30 minutes, each team member was told to recite their assigned seat number prior to the altitude change. Once complete, the crew took the team up to 10,000 ft. where people could feel the pressure in their ears. After descending the crew reviewed the effects the team experienced and prepared them to ascend to 35,000 ft. At this altitude, each person was given a paper with a maze and a couple of math problems to work on.
In order to identify the effects of hypoxia team members had to remove their oxygen masks briefly while at the simulated altitude of 35,000 ft. Some felt the effects immediately while others could successfully complete the maze and math problems before becoming red in the face. The symptoms immediately disappeared once a person put their mask back on.
Additionally, the crew turned off the lights in order to show how individuals can experience losing the ability to see certain colors while being deprived of oxygen. After the chamber the team was given one final written test in order to validate their HAPs training. Everyone passed, making the trip a safe and successful experience for the team.