West Point Grad News

COL Morgan '98 & LTC McClain '02 Under Water Promotion

COL Morgan '98 & LTC McClain '02 Under Water PromotionThe U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command's two Army astronauts received their new rank in a unique way Sept. 27. Army astronauts Col. Andrew "Drew" Morgan and Lt. Col. Anne McClain, both from the astronaut class of 2013, were promoted while underwater following required training in the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory at the Sonny Carter Training Facility. The NBL is an astronaut training facility featuring a large indoor pool of water in which astronauts may perform simulated EVA tasks in preparation for upcoming missions. Trainees wear suits designed to provide neutral buoyancy to simulate the microgravity they would experience during spaceflight.

McClain, who was promoted first, said, "It truly is an honor to be in this suit in this pool working with this team, and it's an honor to be a lieutenant colonel in the Army. Thank you for celebrating this major milestone with me." A 2002 Marshall Scholar also, a senior Army aviator, she has more than 2,000 flight hours in 20 different aircraft. She is a rated pilot for the C-12 Huron (King Air), UH-60 Black Hawk and UH-72 Lakota, and instructor pilot for the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior. She is currently assigned to launch Dec. 20 to serve aboard the International Space Station as a flight engineer for Expedition 58 and 59.

Morgan, who is currently training as McClain's backup, is an emergency physician in the U.S. Army with sub-specialty certification in primary care sports medicine. Prior to his selection to NASA's 21st group of astronauts, Morgan served in elite special operations units worldwide. Morgan is currently assigned to launch on Soyuz 59S in July 2019 and will serve aboard the International Space Station as a flight engineer for Expedition 60 and 61. Following his promotion, Morgan thanked the NBL team and astronaut office for helping with the unique promotion experience. Read More

Flor '02 Appointed as Director of King County DCHS

Leo Flor '02Executive Dow Constantine appointed Leo Flor to serve as the director of the King County Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS). He currently is a member of the department's management team, overseeing services that connect people to employment, support military veterans and their families, and ensure that older adults can live with dignity. He developed and led Executive Constantine's plan to renew and expand the Veterans, Seniors and Human Services Levy, which King County voters approved last year. The Department of Community and Human Services manages a biennial budget of more than $1.5 billion and oversees a wide range of programs to assist the county's most vulnerable residents and strengthen its communities.

"Leo Flor has the complete skill set to build on the progress we have made to help every child, youth, and adult in King County achieve their full potential," said Executive Constantine. "His success at creating a strong, broad coalition for the Veterans, Seniors and Human Services Levy demonstrated the leadership ability I wanted for this Cabinet position. With Leo as director, our employees and partners will continue to deliver real, measurable outcomes that improve the quality of life in King County." In 2013, Flor served as a special advisor on the Executive's Regional Veterans Initiative where he was instrumental in developing recommendations for improving access and coordination of services for veterans and their families.

As an attorney and Equal Justice Works fellow at the Northwest Justice Project, he was named by Executive Constantine to serve as one of the original members of the King County Public Defense Advisory Board in 2014, bringing special expertise in veteran's issues. "DCHS is building the coalitions and systems to address some of our region's most urgent issues, and we are working with communities to promote the conditions of equity, stability and connection that will help King County residents to thrive for the long term," said Flor. "I am humbled by the opportunity to work with Executive Constantine and his staff, the County Council, the DCHS team, and our community partners. I couldn't be more excited for this opportunity to serve." Read More

MAJ Harrison '04 Named to 2018-19 Class of White House Fellows

MAJ Harrison '04 Named to 2018-19 Class of White House FellowsMichael Harrison is from Rural Retreat, Virginia, and is placed in the Office of the Vice President of the United States. As an Infantry Officer, he has led soldiers throughout Asia and Europe, including 28 months deployed to northeastern Afghanistan. Throughout his career, Mike formed and led organizations executing counterterrorism and counter-insurgency missions, as well as strategic deterrence operations within the European theater. He most recently led 4,100 soldiers as the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team's Executive Officer while a member of the 4th Infantry Division. Mike previously served as an Assistant Professor and Executive Officer in the Department of Social Sciences at West Point, where he taught courses on American politics and economics and mentored cadets.

In addition to his professional exploits, Mike ran the New York City marathon to raise awareness for underprivileged youth, volunteered as the West Point chapter's Big Brothers Big Sisters officer mentor, served as a women's soccer team and men's football team academic mentor, and was an active Council on Foreign Relations Term Member. In his free time, he continues to volunteer and serve underprivileged youth and Gold Star families. He received a B.S. in Pre-Law from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an M.P.P. from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

The prestigious White House Fellows program provides professionals from diverse backgrounds with an opportunity to engage in public service for one year by serving in various roles in Federal government. Created in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson, the White House Fellows program was designed "to give the fellows first hand, high-level experience with the workings of the Federal government and to increase their sense of participation in national affairs." The highly competitive selection process to become a White House Fellow is based on a record of remarkable professional accomplishment, evidence of leadership skills and the potential for further growth, and a commitment to public service. Selected individuals spend a year working as a full-time, paid fellow to senior White House staff, Cabinet Secretaries and other top-ranking government officials. Read More

Draper '90 Named CEO at Textron Aviation

Ron Draper '90Ron Draper has been named president and chief executive at Textron Aviation maker of Cessna and Beechcraft airplanes, which employs 9,000 people in Wichita, Kansas succeeding Scott Ernest. Ron has been at Textron Aviation since 2012, most recently as senior vice president of integrated supply chain and operations. Ron is a former Army helicopter pilot who has been with Textron Inc. companies including Bell helicopter since 1999.

"Ron Draper has a great depth of knowledge about the worldwide aviation business and has led several of Textron Aviation's most impactful strategic initiatives," Donnelly said. "He has driven solid gains for the business in recent years, including the successful integration of our Beechcraft and Cessna operations, expansion of our quality management systems and global sourcing strategies." Read More

Dupere ’69 Visits Gravesites of Fallen Classmates Around the Country

Dupere ’69 Visits Gravesites of Fallen Classmates Around the CountryRay Dupere, an ordained minister, undertook a calling to visit the gravesites of each of the class of 1969’ 11 classmates who fell in Vietnam and are not buried at West Point. His arduous and emotional journey began on 2 July when he bade farewell to his wife and departed his home in Ellington, CT by car. Travelling alone over the next four weeks, he conducted a memorial service at gravesites in Detroit, MI; Gary, IN; Ft Snelling, MN; Corning, IA; Choteau, MT; Tucson, AZ; Ft Sam Houston, TX; San Marcos, TX; Winona, MS; Beckley, WV and Arlington, VA.

Along the way, he not only had to navigate between destinations and locate gravesites but on two occasions clear debris and overgrowth away from long neglected graves. At each stop he was buoyed by the presence of classmates and relatives of those being honored and was moved by the outpouring of love and respect for fallen classmates his mission engendered from those in the communities he visited. Many classmates put Ray up in their homes along the way.

They will all visit the remaining eight gravesites of their Vietnam fallen resting in the West Point Cemetery during their 50th Reunion.

Class Notes Updates This Week

West Point Class NotesThe following classes have added updates this week to their Class Notes pages. 1953 | 1958 | 1961 | 1962 | 1966 | 1970 | 1971 | 1973 | 1976 | 1977 | 1979 | 1980 | 1981 | 1987 | 2012. Class Notes

Cruz '77 Named Parking Professional of the Year

Armin José CruzArmin José Cruz, vice president of the Parking Business Unit at DFW International Airport in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, has been named its 2018 James M. Hunnicutt, CAPP, Parking Professional of the Year by the International Parking Institute (IPI). It honors management-level professionals who direct an entire parking/transportation operation or manage multiple units within a department.

Cruz, the first Cuban-American to graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point has served on multiple committees and boards for transportation organizations and nonprofits and is a three-time recipient of the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Chairman's Award.

Besides being a parking and transportation leader, Cruz is a leader in his community, serving as chair of the Regional Planning Committee, Gulf Region Small Business Transportation Business Center, the 2008 Transportation Research Board Annual National Meeting discussion panel, and the Dallas-Fort Worth United Way Campaign. He also has served on the boards of the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, as well as on the Airport Minority Advisory Council, and the DFW International Airport Chaplaincy. Read More

Hon.(R) Ronald Cox '66 Joins the Panel at JAMS

The Honorable Ronald E. Cox (Retired) has joined the panel at JAMS (Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services) the largest private provider of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services worldwide. Judge Cox joins JAMS after more than 23 years of service on the Washington State Court of Appeals. During his tenure with the court, Judge Cox served as presiding chief judge of the entire court. He also served a separate term as chief judge of Division I of the court, which is headquartered in Seattle.

"Judge Cox is a known for his rigorous attention to detail, efficiency and in-depth understanding of the cases he presides over," said Chris Poole, JAMS president and CEO. "We are confident that he will make an excellent addition to the JAMS panel in Seattle." "Throughout my career, I developed and refined my skills to help parties resolve disputes, which is something I'm passionate about," Judge Cox said. "I'm looking forward to continuing that journey in my new role as a neutral at JAMS."

Shull '73 Receives the ALA Distinguished Service Award

Tom Shull '73In honor of efforts to improve the quality of life for service members and families, Army & Air Force Exchange Service Director/CEO Tom Shull received the American Logistics Association's (ALA) Distinguished Service Award on during the group's annual convention in San Antonio. ALA is a nonprofit trade association that promotes, protects and enhances quality-of-life benefits for service members, military retirees and military families.

"This is an extraordinary honor," said Shull, the first civilian to lead the Department of Defense's largest retailer. "For 123 years, the Exchange has been all in to take care of those who take care of us. Our Warfighters and their families deserve nothing less" Shull earned the ALA's Distinguished Service award for his leadership in transforming the delivery of promised benefits to service members and their families by leveraging proven business disciplines to grow market share and reduce costs.

"Tom makes a difference every day for service members, their families and Veterans," said ALA President Maurice Branch. "He is a master of change and a builder of opportunity. The military community has benefited greatly from his leadership at the Exchange and passion for serving those who serve". Read More