Why the Class of 2012 Should Not Become Involved

It is believed the Cadet Corps has had no involvement with the Process todate. (Note: It is unknown if Cadets serve on the Screening or Selection Committees)

A Nomination was submitted last year and rejected.

The mistake in the Nomination was not going to the 4 Classes involved requesting comments from the 1953-54 Corps of Cadets. They were there. The error was immediately recognized when Bob Mischak’s supporting letter and then Lowell Sisson and other Team Members comments were received. http://forwhattheygaveonsaturdayafternoon.com/wp-1954/index

The 1953 Team was not Army’s Best Team but it was never portrayed as such in last year’s Nomination. Perhaps the 1945 Team was West Point’s Best Football Team as one Sports Organization selected the entire team stating “- no group of All Americans could beat the Cadets.” http://forwhattheygaveonsaturdayafternoon.com/wp-teams/football/1945-football

Members of the Class of 1962 believe the 1953 Team needs to be recognized for what they gave back to the United States Military Academy and the Corps of Cadets. There was only one All American on the Team and the Academy does not even recognize his accomplishment because of the organization which selected him. They were a team without the cross the board talent many other Army Teams had had. They were a Team with a different hero each weekend.

Only Individuals have been considered and inducted to date.

Jim Ellis Class of ’62 and the 1961-’62 Cadet Brigade Commander who retired with 3 Stars had this to say – – –

Our Army is a team. As General Patton said, “The Army moves as a team, eats as a team, and fights as a team.” The team is more important than any individual. While individuals may perform outstandingly (and we have an awards and promotion system to recognize outstanding performance); it is the success of the team that determines the outcome of the battle and the war. We train cadets at West Point to be outstanding individuals and to work together to accomplish team goals. But mostly we train them to be leaders of teams – Platoon through Theater Army. Patton understood the importance of teams and their accomplishments. I think General Patton would support the efforts on behalf of the ’53 Team.

The Screening and Selection Committees face a Herculean Task making decisions relating to Army’s Greatest Athletes. Considering selection of Teams adds to that burden.

The Hall of Fame Selection Committee has an obligation to meet their tasking. Jim Ellis provided this comment – –

In my last three years on active duty, I was twice President of the promotion board selecting LTC to COL. This was a very tough selection because it was the first time that less than half of those eligible would be selected. The selection rate from Captain to Major was about 75 to 80 % and the rate from Major to LTC was close to 65 %. But the
rate from LTC to Colonel was 40 % or less. It was made even tougher by the fact that all the candidates were dedicated officers who had put 18 to 21 years into their careers with the attendant disruptions, relocations and dangers associated with our chosen profession. The Army treated this selection process with extreme care. The promotion board was made up of 20 General Officers from all over the Army, and it met for six weeks. The board make-up was carefully chosen – every major command and line branch was represented (Chaplain, Medical and JAG had their own boards). Also, there were female and minority members. Fairness and impartiality had to be practiced and outwardly perceived. The guidance was very clear and in two distinct but supporting parts:
Select the best qualified who meet the needs of the Army. Read that carefully. We couldn’t select just combat arms officers; there were needs in all branches. And, an Army with large numbers of minority and female troops had a need for upward mobility of minority and female officers.

The years 1951, 1952 and 1953 are a difficult period for many Graduates. The Class of 2012 could be stepping onto the sidelines of controversy between Graduates that extends well beyond those 3 years.

Since the Fall of 1951 the Academy Administration has ignored all questions relating to the scandal, preferring “no comment” allowing misrepresentations and misunderstanding to develop. The vast majority of the documents relating to the investigation were forwarded and scattered throughout Department of the Army and are not available at West Point.

If you have questions, want areas expanded upon, or have additional areas commented on, please advise.

The Class of 1962

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