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    Recently 3 cadets and 4 EECS faculty attended SANSFIRE education opportunities in Washington D.C. as part of the Dean’s ‘Margin of Excellence’ and in support of preparing for the upcoming semester, the 2017 Cyber Defense Exercise (CDX), and the 2017 Cadet Competitive Cyber Team (C3T). One 5-person team placed fifth among 25 teams in the culminating 2-day ‘hack-a-thon.’ A two-person team placed 2d of 15 teams in their capture-the-flag event. Attendees took a wide variety of computer security courses, to include: Network Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking, Hacker Tools, Techniques, Exploits and Incident Handling, Advanced Penetration Testing, Exploit Writing, and Ethical Hacking, and Reverse-Engineering Malware: Malware Analysis Tools and Techniques.

    During the intense week-long training, cadets and faculty gained knowledge, learned how to use cyber tools, and gained experience related to cyber security. They also participated in a two day “hack-a-thon” competition against over 200 personnel attending SANSFIRE. Using their new found knowledge and tools, a five-man team from USMA tied for third, and tie breaking procedures led to their placing fifth out of over 25 teams. The final day of education and training included course specific capture-the-flag style competitions. The two-man team that finished 2nd place earned coveted SANSFIRE coins from the SANS Institute. Ultimately, SANSFIRE was an outstanding ‘Margin of Excellence’ opportunity. The USMA cadets and faculty returned better equipped to incorporate security into USMA’s curriculum, prepare for the 2017 CDX, and prepare for and win events the C3T will attend in AY2017. The faculty and cadets are now better prepared to fight and win in the challenging and ever changing cyber realm.


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    Members of the WPAOG staff joined MAJ Patrick Flynn '02 from the Department of Military Instruction on an exclusive tour of Cadet Basic Training. This unique trip to Camp Buckner allowed us to experience first-hand the intense programs cadets must complete during summer training, including land navigation training, NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) training, and range operations. Special thanks to MAJ Flynn for being such a great tour guide!


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    WEST POINT, NY – The Army West Point football team opened fall camp yesterday afternoon under mostly cloudy skies at Howze Field. Head coach Jeff Monken was excited for the first day of fall camp. The rookies took to the field first with a separate practice session, while the upperclassmen came onto the practice field an hour after the first-years started. The team practiced in only helmets on Monday and went through positional drills, 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 competition. The practice ended with a little bit of fun and toughness with a tug-of-war competition. Click here to watch the video: https://youtu.be/N04ddZWR6IA

    Play of the Day: Middle linebacker Andrew King dropped in coverage and intercepted a pass over the middle during the 11-on-11 period between the top offense and defensive squads. Quarterbacks in Focus: Camp begins with seven players on the depth chart for the quarterback position. Chris Carter and Ahmad Bradshaw sit atop the chart after splitting time last season. Rookies Joey Benden, Malik McGue, Korie Frausto and Kelvin Hopkins Jr. are newcomers, while sophomore Luke Langdon is back at camp after an injury last season, but is still sidelined. Quarterbacks coach Mitch Ware is back for his third season with the Black Knights. For the first time since 2013, Army does not have senior signal caller on its roster. Bradshaw has the most experience with seven starts in 2015. Bradshaw and Carter shared reps throughout practice, while the rookies saw time with the first-year units. Read More


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    The West Point Foot Structure and Function team assisted in the Cadet Boot Fit experience, while collecting valuable experimental data from more than 1200 new United States Military Academy Cadets. This event, conducted as part of the USMA Reception Day for the incoming class of new cadets, comprised a collaborative team of expert engineers, physicians, clinicians, bio-mechanists and military personnel from West Point staff, Hospital for Special Surgery, Tulane University, New York College of Podiatric Medicine, and Harvard University. Foot structure, running shoe stiffness, ground reaction forces during walking, and running style were all simultaneously collected by over 100 research staff members over the course of the day. This information will be used to determine prevalence of each foot type, examine changes to foot structure, and identify injury mechanisms with the ultimate goal of reducing injury risk in future Cadets and improving Army readiness.

    Cadets Partnered with Staff and Faculty to Develop a New Shoe Testing Device for the Annual West Point Boot Fit Research Study. CDT Michaela Sulley oversaw the full-scale use of her summer independent research. Under the advisement of Dr. Becky Zifchock, she partnered with LTC Don Goss and CPT Gary Helton from the Physical Therapy Department to develop a shoe torsional testing device for their research project. The design and manufacture team was completed by Mr. Rod Wilson, Mr. Frank Blackmon, and Mr. Jeff Butler. CDT Sulley was able to oversee the large-scale data collection as part of the West Point Boot Fit Study, for which six devices were designed and manufactured. They were able to collect data on the footwear, foot structure, and running style of over 1100 new cadets in the Class of 2020.


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  • 08/05/16--08:40: Silicon Valley IT internship
  • Every summer West Point cadets are sent across the globe for internships and cultural immersion missions. Instead of joining their classmates on trips overseas, Whisnant and Perez, West Point juniors from the department of electrical engineering and computer science, went to experience startup life and sharpen their cyber security skills with real-world experience. The U.S. Military Academy sent them to Vidder headquartered in Silicon Valley to learn about key cyber security technologies such as cryptography, public key infrastructure and software defined perimeter, as well as hacking methods. Read More

    Photo L-R: CDT Whisnant, General Dan Balough and CDT Perez


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    Chris Carter spent precious offseason free time working with a fellow West Point cadet. The goal was to improve upon his late-season splash as Army’s quarterback, including a near-upset of Navy. His friend studied his passing techniques while throwing to receivers. He advised him on where to focus his attention if he hoped to retain the starting job over Ahmad Bradshaw, who opened 2015 as the starting quarterback before injuries had him in and out of the lineup. So who was his friend putting in the extra time with him? His competition, Ahmad Bradshaw. “We’re pretty close on and off the field,” Carter said. “We try to critique each other as much as we can.

    I’m quick to tell him what I see him doing wrong, and he is quick to tell me what he sees and how to fix it. “We understand both of us can get the job done. At the end of the day we know the coaches are going to put the guy on the field they think can get the job done. We’re fine with that.” At West Point, the brotherhood runs deeper than time on the field as teammates. The Long Gray Line is instilled in cadets from breakfast to lights out. Army’s 2015 season ended with a disappointing 2-10 record, but Carter gained valuable playing time in two starts, a 31-21 loss to Rutgers and a 21-17 loss to Navy that the Black Knights led at halftime, 17-14. He compiled 251 total yards against Rutgers and threw for 208 against Navy. Read More


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    CDT Diana Contreras (ME, '17, E3)CDT Diana Contreras (ME, '17, E3) recently flew on a Russian MI-17 helicopter and US OH-58D as part of her Advanced Individual Academic Development summer assignment at Ft Eustis, VA. Diana is a Mechanical Engineering major focusing on Aeronautical and worked with the Aviation Applied Technology Directorate (AATD) this summer. The flights focused on aircraft control, flight test techniques, and the difference between US and Russian helicopters. Diana's work this Summer with AATD will support her upcoming capstone project focusing on using 3-d printing of aircraft components.


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  • 08/15/16--12:29: Annual War Crimes Staff Ride
  • The Department of Law recently completed its annual War Crimes Staff Ride, attended by Cadets Bradley, Chen, Orta and Briggs as well as LTC Gariepy. Highlights of the trip included a visit to the Srebrenica Memorial (the scene of one of the most notorious genocides in the 20th century where over 8,000 Bosnian Muslims were massacred in 1995 when the city fell to attacking Serbian forces), a private meeting with representatives of the Mothers of Srebrenica (an association representing 6000 women who lost family members during the Srebrenica genocide), along with guided tours of the Nuremberg Courtroom, the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia as well as the International Criminal Court. From the killings fields of Bosnia, to the halls of justice in the Hague, Department of Law Cadets were provided a unique insight into both the realities of war crimes in modern warfare re as well as ongoing international efforts to hold individuals accountable for these atrocities.


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    LTC Ware and CPT Cosmas, faculty members from the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering, and four cadets participated in an academy exchange program at the Malaysian Military Academy.The trip served to build collaboration and partnership in support of the USARPAC Theater Security Cooperation Plan, USMA Strategic Objectives and the Integrated Country Strategy for the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur. The trip was funded through the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership and its major aim was to share USMA best practices for leader development with NDUM through four mechanisms: 1) formal briefing of West Point Leader Development System at the institutional level, 2) presentation of USMA cadet experiences as they relate to leader development, 3) discussion of moral-ethical decision-making during USMA cadet-led Leader Challenge, and 4) informal conversations between USMA cadets and faculty with NDUM cadets and faculty.


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    Dr. Richmond and Cadets Blaney and Jordan traveled to Uganda to conduct Minerva funded research on how social factors influence access to natural resources within regions with less-developed infrastructure and decentralized governance. In many cases, political and other influential entities can act as informal gatekeepers to natural resources including water, food, and energy, as well as the physical land from which these resources are drawn. Their role can either aggravate or alleviate household vulnerability. We explore this problem from a systems perspective - by mapping, quantifying, and evaluating how well various interdependent systems related to natural resources are maintained and connected. Specifically, this project examines water sustainability in urban areas in Uganda.


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    Cadet Chris Wilson and Secretary McDonald Cow Chris Wilson was on an assignment for a couple of weeks at the VA’s central office in Washington, DC. This is his account of the opportunity. I chose the VA because it will undoubtedly be a part of my life after my Army career ends and it will also be a part of my soldiers’ lives when their time in service is up. I want as much information as possible, so that I can better help them transition when that time comes. MyVA is literally changing the way the VA reduces homelessness. They have provided services to more than 365,000 homeless or at-risk Veterans in 2015. Moreover, the number of homeless Veterans has declined by 47 percent since 2010, far more than any other homeless demographic. This includes a 56 percent drop in the number of unsheltered Veterans sleeping on the street.

    Don’t get me wrong, there is still much, much more to be done before VA’s job is done. But, these developments are definitely indicative of the Department of Veterans Affairs pulling its act together and heading in the right direction. So, why did I choose to spend three weeks at the Department of Veterans Affairs instead of on a ‘cooler’ assignment or at home with my family? Think of it as an investment in my Army family, the soldiers that I will be responsible for in the near future. As an officer it’ll be my job to take care of these soldiers and let them know of their resources on and off of the battlefield so that we can adhere to our first priority: protecting and defending our country. I took this assignment for my team, so that in the future we can unreservedly win the fight. My team, My fight, MyVA. Read More


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    Class of 2018 Affirmation CeremonyCongratulations to USMA Class of 2018‬ taking the Oath of Affirmation during a ceremony in Robinson Auditorium on August 14, officially committing themselves to the profession of arms.

    Visit https://flic.kr/s/aHskBMQFgM for more photos.

    Photo Courtesy of Staff Sgt. Vito T. Bryant


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    Vegas BlackHat & DEFCON Cyber Security ConferencesRecently EECS sent seven cadets and six officers participated in the BlackHat and DEFCON cyber security conferences in Las Vegas, NV. The scope of the two events was immense; cadets and officers participated in a myriad of training activities, briefings, and hands-on demonstrations. Leading security professionals guided our students through everything from exploiting embedded hardware in the Internet of Things to better detecting malicious activity over computer networks Due to early coordination and promotions with the BlackHat sales team, this year was the first year the entire team could attend all briefing sessions of BlackHat. During a web vulnerability briefing, one of CPT Michael Kranch’s papers was cited during a briefing as mitigation technique in addition to BlackHat and DEFCON, the trip section was also able to observe the conclusion of the DARPA Cyber Grand Challenge. This trip was an invaluable learning experience for all involved, and the investment made will pay dividends for West Point and the Army in future academic and operational settings.


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    Electrical Engineering Sponsors 4 ROTC CadetsEarlier this summer four ROTC cadets from various universities across the country have worked in the EECS Department. The cadets have departed and returned to their respective universities and ROTC detachments. They came to West Point as part of Cadet Command’s summer intern program. During their stay at USMA, the ROTC cadets, who are majoring in disciplines taught in the EECS Department, were given the opportunity to work on several hands-on projects. Specifically, they studied under the direction of LTC Lowrance, the Acting Robotics Lab Director, and were given several practical problems related to controlling the behavior of robotic systems using sensors and microcontrollers. Prior to their internship, none of the cadets have been exposed to the field of robotics. Overall, it was a great learning experience for the cadets who benefited from the academic projects, as well as the interaction with our superb faculty within the EECS Department.


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    The Army West Point TriathlonThe Army West Point Triathlon hosted the 27th Annual West Point Triathlon weekend at Camp Buckner on Saturday 13 and Sunday, 14 August 2016. The weekend began with annual kid’s races on Saturday where approximately 250 children ages 4-14 competed in three different, age-appropriate, triathlon races. Also on Saturday afternoon, West Point hosted its first-ever Elite Developmental (EDR) Draft-Legal triathlon race. This race had a special sanctioning by USA Triathlon in which the top athletes could apply for and earn professional licenses from USAT Triathlon. The EDR drew athletes from across the country to compete for the coveted pro licenses. In spite of the very hot afternoon weather, tremendous performances were witnessed with West Point’s own Teresa Groton ’18 taking 3rd place in the women’s event. On Sunday, the 14, approximately 650 athletes took the start line to swim in Lake Popolopen, cycle on the shoulder of HWY 293 and run around camp Bucker with a chance to win the cadet saber. The event was made possible through the hard work of all of the DCA staff, Supporting Agencies on post, the NY State Highway Patrol, Newburgh Office of the NY State Department of Transportation, Traffic Lane Closures LLC, and the Town of Highlands Emergency Services. Special thanks to CPT John Davis, department of Physics and Nuclear Engineering, for serving as this year’s Race Director and providing countless hours coordinating the event.


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    Civil Rights Staff Ride on Internment during WWII23 cadets attended a morning program at the U.S. Department of Labor with former Secretary of Transportation (under President George W. Bush) and Secretary of Commerce (under President Bill Clinton) Norm Mineta on this important subject. Secretary Mineta was born in California in 1931 to Japanese immigrants who were not allowed to become American citizens under the Asian Exclusion Act then in effect. After Pearl Harbor his family was confined in an internment camp. In a program set up by Al Goshi ’81, cadets met both Secretary Mineta and Terry Shima. The program, hosted by Deputy Secretary of Labor and former White House Cabinet Secretary Christopher Lu, allowed cadets to gain invaluable insight into the imprisonment of Japanese-Americans during the War, and prepared them for their visit the internment camp that housed many in Arkansas. The course and the trip are interdisciplinary and were crafted to combine knowledge and empathy to provide a first-hand “life changing” experience to cadets who had just finished their challenging first (plebe) year.


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    Cross-Cultural Solutions in TanzaniaCPT Becky McGilley led a group of cadets on established AIAD 13846 to Tanzania in cooperation with the Department of Social Sciences as an opportunity for cadets to develop their cross-cultural competency through an intensive 3-week immersion experience in Tanzania. As the implementing organization for this AIAD, Cross Cultural Solutions (CCS) provided a structured program and in-country support for the West Point team participating in this AIAD. In Tanzania, CCS offers a number of different programs where volunteers can work in nursery schools teaching children from two and half years old to 18 years old, in the medical sector or juvenile corrections facilities. Since the focus of this AIAD was on cultural immersion, the group split into groups so that no more than two cadets were placed in each school. This allowed cadets reach out of their comfort zones, to teach multiple grade levels of Tanzanian children, and to experience different schools in the Kilimanjaro/Moshi area. CCS provided a superb schedule of activities to introduce the team to Tanzanian culture, such as Swahili classes, a Batik painting class, and a dance class. The cadets took a trip into the town of Marangu near the base of Mount Kilimanjaro where they visited a local blacksmith, explored the caves of the Chagga tribe, and made their own coffee from start to finish with local beans. While in Tanzania, the cadets also had the opportunity to experience a three-day Safari.


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    Water Polo at the Barbados Intl TournamentThe Army West Point Water Polo team competed in the 3rd Annual Barbados International Water Polo Tournament in Bridgetown, Barbados in order to set conditions for success for the 2017 season beginning in early September. Team leaders sought to use the opportunity to identify season goals, foster relationships with new and familiar teams, and compete at a high level against an impressive array of teams. The team finished fifth in the tournament with CDT Brendan Cagney leading in scoring with 16 goals in 5 games. The team used these games and the time between them to identify strengths and weaknesses to address in the upcoming tryout and training events of the coming few weeks before league play begins. The team held several meetings and conducted a film session during the tournament. The ultimate goal is to win the New York State division honorably and represent the division in the national championship tournament. The team played new teams and identified assistance offered from Asphalt Green where the team plans to scrimmage and work on skill development in New York City. This weekend featured teams with former Division 1 NCAA champions and the best water polo players in Barbados. The team competed well in every game despite traveling with half the normal roster and with less than three days of practice together. LTC(P) Mike Benson led the team as OIC and coach.


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    Cadets Visit Mongolia for AIADThis July, Cadets traveled to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, to work on teaching and childcare projects facilitated by the Projects Abroad organization. Projects Abroad places participants in volunteer projects that directly target high-need communities. This year, cadets spent their mornings introducing Montessori games and activities to students between the ages of 2 and 7 at Kindergarten #166. Kindergarten #166 provides state-funded childcare in the summers, and is located in the poorer ger district, on the outskirts of Ulaanbaatar. In the afternoons, cadets partnered with the Mongolian 4H Youth Association to teach ESL classes to high schoolers at School #13. In order to maximize their exposure to the people, culture, and landscapes of Mongolia, cadets lived with homestay families and traveled to the countryside on weekends. The AIAD was also timed to coincide with Naadam, a national holiday celebrating the “three manly sports”: wrestling, archery, and horsemanship. Cadets watched the games firsthand in the National Stadium, and were even featured on Mongolian television in the stands. Other highlights of the trip included visits to the Winter Palace of the Bogd Khan, the home of the last king (khan) of Mongolia; a Buddhist temple in Terelj National Park; and Blue Lake, where Chinggis Khaan was named emperor in 1189.


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    Four of the Army’s future leaders and depot personnel used Lean Six Sigma (LSS) problem solving methodology to reduce time spent on labor reporting in the Systems Integration and Support Directorate’s Support Operations Division by more than 30 percent, which translates to a $219,000 cost avoidance over a three-year period. The team developed and implemented automated solutions as well as some process changes that improved quality and time. “Working with Tobyhanna Army Depot to solve a real-world problem that’s happening with their processes is a great opportunity and learning experience for the cadets,” said Lt. Col. Jose A. Ramirez, the cadets’ professor and project mentor at West Point.

    “Having a deeper understanding of what depot-level means is important to junior-level officers as it gives them the knowledge of what capabilities exist in the facilities that maintain their equipment, which can help to make them more efficient and effective leaders,” he said. The success of this venture earned the cadets an award for producing the best Process Optimization Project at the General Donald R. Keith Memorial Conference at West Point, New York. The project, executed over an eight-month span, served as the United States Military Academy students Capstone Project. The conference features research projects which apply a comprehensive set of skills and concepts to a real-world problem or contemporary research area. Read More


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