Part 3 - The Prisoners
The Prisoners. Seven West Point cadets will rejoin the Corps on Saturday, December 8th. For four-quarters they will cheer, once again, with their class and company mates. After a semester away they have earned the right to once again grip hands with the Long Gray Line, in-person.
Before kickoff, the First Captain will accept the seven prisoners. Once released from that formation they will sprint straight into the corps of cadets. A righteous and joyous site to witness.
The West Point Society of Annapolis (yes, that a real thing) gets to act as surrogate foster families to the cadets who get the opportunity to invade the Naval Academy for a semester each fall. Once a month, they gather to celebrate their connection, feast and share stories. Each August the society welcomes the cadets and each December they send them off with a Holiday Social.
At the Holiday Social the exchange cadets sign a banner. The banner includes the names of former cadet who have taken part in the exchange cadet program. The first to take part was the class of 1996, in the fall of 1994 (the exchange program takes place during the fall semester of Cow year). The cadets then shared their lessons learned from their semester “abroad” sparing no time to take delicate and poignant jabs at Navy (most cite the lack of intelligence and standards and a general sense of laziness as the most discernible difference).
"The prisoner exchange will likely be one of the biggest highlights of my cadet career," Class of 2020 Cadet Daine Van de Wall said. "Not only do I get to represent my school out on the field, but I also get to then run back and cheer on the Army team with my closest friends. It doesn't get much better than that."