From the Editor's Desk | #19

CADET is a bi-annual magazine about West Point culture. 
Highly independent, quite unofficial, aggressively dedicated. 
Based in DC
 @chrisWpestel @carolinepestel

Things from the Desk of the Editor-in-Chief


    FROM R-DAY TO HAT TOSS a big congratulations are in store for the newest Old Grads - USMA 2019. With so much content produced from that day I am sure you have been satiated. But should you want o relive some of those moments we recommend taking a look at THE IMAGES FROM DANNY WILD.


    REMEMBERING CADET TOM on Saturday we posted A PHOTO TO FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM. The photo accompanied an article submitted for VOL III of CADET. The authors were the parents of USMA 2019’s Tom Surdyke. Tim and Janice courageously shared a memorable story of Tom from CBT and the heroic story of his ultimate sacrifice during the summer between plebe and yuk year. Several comments on the posts are very touching. The Surdyke family is an inspiration to us all.

    REMEBERING BJACK28 less than 3 months after Tom died, USMA 2019 lost another from it’s ranks, ARMY FOOTBALL’s BRANDON JACKSON. I was in the locker room after the 2016 Army-Navy Game when Brandon’s Mother, Morna, addressed the team. It was a powerful, poignant and impactful moment for all in that room. A moment of reflection amidst the frenzy of snapping the 14-year streak. Additionally, I unknowingly had a few images of Brandon from the 2016 Spring Game, and felt compelled to share them.


    WE’RE LESS THAN 100 DAYS FROM ARMY FOOTBALL with that in mind, there’s no better way to start getting yourself ready than with @ASFORFOOTBALL’s newest effort. If you want to become a responsible Army Football fan you need to go check out their ARMY FOOTBALL 101 article right now.

    AOG TOASTS THEN SETS SIGHTS ON ALL ACADEMY CHALLENGE it’s been a big couple of weeks for AOG. With Graduation comes some big time 50th Class affiliation work, coupled with the Distinguished Grads, all the On this Day knowledge they’ve been dropping everyday, not to mention all the emails they must get every day from someone asking what their cullum number is. Last week we all VIRTUALLY TOASTED TO 150 YEARS (WE GOT A LITTLE ANIMATED FOR OURS) of AOG and now we’re on to the sprint events…THE ALL ACADEMY CHALLENGE.

    NEW ATHLETIC DIRECTOR we got ourselves a new AD! MIKE BUDDIE comes to the helm of Army Athletics from Furman University (where VOL III contributor and author of BEYOND THE POINT, Claire Gibson went to college, bet you didn’t know that) in upstate South Carolina. We’re excited to see what Mr. Buddie brings to Army Athletics.

    ARMY BASEBALL AND THE ROAD TO OMAHA GO THROUGH LUBBOCK the next stop for Army Baseball is Lubbock Texas where they will take on Texas Tech in NCAA PLAYOFF BASEBALL.


    WE GOT NOSTALGIC once a month we get the wonderful chance to update our email list with all that’s going on over here at CADET. THIS MONTH WE GOT A LITTLE NOSTALGIC, ya know with graduation and all, its hard not to feels those pangs of bittersweet feelings that re-emerge every May/June. So we took a little trip down memory lane with a look back at 2003, 2009 and 2010 graduations. We also have a bunch of updates on collaborations and a couple of modern looks at the timelessness that is West Point. Come check it out and if you’re not already signed-up for our mailing list…DO THAT AS WELL.


    BIG AUDIO DYNAMITE this SONG IS AWESOME it has nothing to do with West Point but the video is very, very early 90’s and that can be enjoyable. We heard it on the radio (The Gamut - see last week’s FTED #18) and immediately added it to our 2019 playlist.

    ICONIC WEST POINT SOUNDS so, this right here does apply to West Point…I’m curious, very curious…what’s your favorite or most memorable/chills-inducing West Point sound? Let me know in the comments of this blog post or in the comments of the FACEBOOK or TWITTER or INSTAGRAM post.


    WE’RE LIVING IN THE GOOD OLD DAYS whether you want to believe it or not, we just might be living in those good old days everyone is always clamoring for. THIS VIDEO OF WWII VET PETE DUPRE, playing a smashing rendition of the Star Spangled Banner at a Women’s National Soccer match on Memorial Day, is as good as it gets. Other great things include the pink and blue hair of the players and the Captain Marvel-inspired banner at the end. What a time to be an modern American. U-S-A! U-S-A!


    HAT STORIES this story of USMA 2019’s JUNUS SELA is really quite interesting. I wish we could unearth all the stories of kids who grabbed hats that then became grads themselves. Is there a hat that has been tossed multiple times? These are the moments that make West Point so utterly amazing and unique and special. Do you have a hat story??? I want to hear it - Let me know in the comments of this blog post or in the comments of the FACEBOOK or TWITTER or INSTAGRAM post.

    HAT STORY #2 Have you heard the tale of my superstitious Army Hat that almost was a Navy Hat??? No, good CHECK IT OUT NOW THEN.

    HAT STORY #3 next year I want to make a compelling photo essay documenting the HAT TOSS FROM THIS PERSPECTIVE. Anyone who can help facilitate this please CONTACT ME.


    ORDINARY HEROES OF WEST POINT this article dropped a little more than a week before graduation. It contains SEVERAL VIGNETTES ABOUT ACADEMY PERSONNEL. You need to read them. Just go read this article, it is remarkable.


    #95DAYSOF2019 we’ve mentioned THIS PROJECT a few times. Well, now it is complete and Sammi rounded out her project in excellent fashion. Please go give it some attention - read through the vignettes and comment on a few of your favorite stories and/or photos. Completing a project like this in the wake of firstie year is no small task. Well Done, Sammi, well done.


    FICINT Envisioning Future War + Science Fiction + Intelligence + Podcast + Author of Ghost War = WE’RE SOLD







Hats: some hats you can't take off. This is one of those hats. When I was going into my jr year of high school these sort of hats were all the rage. One afternoon I went to buy one. I was going to buy (gulp) a Navy hat. *at this time I knew nothing of USMA, had not yet been recruited to play Army football & really enjoyed Top Gun & the Navy Seals movie with Charlie Sheen & Bill Paxton, I was 17, what did I know?!?* On the shelf next to the Navy hat was the Army version. I paused, then reached out, I paused again and finally grabbed a hat. It was the right move. It was the Army hat. I wore it everywhere - summer workouts, the weight room, morning runs & on game day. The hat was a part of me. I loved that hat. I become very superstitious with my routines. We started the season 6-0 - the hat had became a part of that routine. After victory #6 I went back to the locker room. The hat was gone. We lost the next 4 games. The next Xmas my brother bought me a new Army hat; that next football season brought Army LB Coach John Milligan to my home. He introduced me to Army Football & West Point. It's been over 20 years since I picked the Army hat over the Navy hat & made the decision to go to West Point. Not a day goes by that I am not reminded of my decision to connect myself to a unique place & to become part of a special community. That choice put me on a path and has given me a lot to be thankful for - a past I'm proud of, a future I look forward to, and a present I am happy with. 3 years ago I connected with a West Pointer because we were both creating cool shit. Well, we decided to collaborate on a project - we are now married and have a life together. We took an old idea & created CADET. On SAT, 1000 West Point cadets will whip their white service caps into the endless Michie sky with incredible force. As hard as they may try to distance themselves from West Point with that hat toss, they will instantly become part of the Long Gray Line, cementing their connection to graduates past, present and future. For them, it will end with a hat. For me, It all started with a hat #BeatNavy #sofreedomwillreign #USMA2019

Thanks for reading. If you like this and want to support us, forward it to a friend.

Screen Shot 2019-01-28 at 2.51.07 PM.png