Soldiers First: USMAPS awards four prior-service cadet candidates
Story and photos by Mike Strasser
WEST POINT, N.Y. (Sept. 26, 2013) — Four U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School cadet candidates were recognized and awarded for their service as enlisted Soldiers Sept. 22 at midfield during halftime of their football team’s home opener.
Cadet Candidate Mitchell Sanderson was presented the Combat Action Badge as a former specialist assigned to Troop C, 1st Squadron (Airborne), 40th Cavalry Regiment, Combined Joint Task Force-82 while deployed in Afghanistan.
Cadet Candidate Christian Reed, a member of the USMAPS football team, received the Army Commendation Medal. The former private first class served as a movements specialist with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 330th Transportation Battalion, 82nd Sustainment Brigade.
Cadet Candidate Matthew Gleason was awarded the Army Achievement Medal. The former specialist served as the command executive assistant for Company A, 28th Combat Support Hospital, 44th Medical Brigade.
Cadet Candidate Dipak Prasad and Sanderson were both awarded the Good Conduct Medal for exemplary behavior, efficiency and fidelity on active-duty service.
The Vanguards of the U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School defeated Gattaca, 46-12, in their first home game of the season Sept. 22.
Retired Col. James Orahood, USMA Class of 1968 graduate, congratulates the four cadet candidates on their service as Soldiers and success as cadet candidates. Orahood served as the 20th commandant of USMAPS. The Vanguards of the U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School defeated Gattaca, 46-12, Sept. 22 to improve 2-0 for the season.
“Two members of the 50-year affiliate class for the U.S. Military Academy Class of 2018 and this current Prep School class were in attendance to congratulate the cadet candidates and participate in the pre-game coin toss. Retired Col. James Orahood and George Shoener, USMA Class of 1968 graduates, joined Lt. Col. Stephen Ruth, USMAPS commandant, on the 50-yard line for the ceremony.
“These especially fine young Soldiers help their classmates in all domains, academic, physical and military development, and will be an invaluable asset to the Class of 2018,” Ruth said.
The USMA Soldiers Admission Program and Prep School were recently featured on “Stand To” at www.army.mil/standto/archive_2013-09-20/?s_cid=standto.
It underscores the importance the U.S. Army places on identifying prior service Soldiers and providing them with the opportunity to further fulfill their potential as future commissioned officers. USMAPS was originally founded for this purpose, though its mission has expanded to meet additional class composition goals today.