Error in Cadet Lore

To whom it may concern,

I am a proud member of ’57 and was the roomie for four years on Wally Summers, referred to as the Company Commander of L-1 at the time of our Graduation P-rade in the following material extracted from your site. (Note: There was also a long-lived myth that Wally kept our company in line at the time the wave of chaos arrived on our right flank by saying he’d run anyone thru with his saber who broke ranks.

“The Class of 1957 was referred to as the Black Class and were not allowed to return to the Grounds of West Point for a number of years. I was told as a Plebe that the ’57 Company Commander of L-1 ordered his Classmates to remain in formation when the other companies broke and ran across the Plain. I do not know if it was fear or respect that held L-1 ranks, I do know that I was Proud to be a L-1 Plebe summer of 1958 (Attitudes change as one adjusts to Academy Life).”

In the interest of correcting the record and providing full disclosure, I’m providing the following comments:

1.The comment that our Class was not allowed to return to the Grounds of West Point is erroneous. Sounds like one of those cadet folklore myths. I, in fact, personally returned twice within the month of graduation to have some major dental work completed which had begun shortly before Graduation.

2. L-1 was one of four companies, along with I-1, L-2, and M-2) which maintained their formation during that parade. To help give you a fuller understanding of the events of that parade and subsequent fallout, please see the attached article. I prepared this article at the request of our Class Scribe, Max Kovel, to provide a definitive review of the P-rade “that will live in USMA infamy” for our 50th Reunion Yearbook. Material for the article was garnered from many ’57 Classmates, other Class members, Tac Officers, and archival research. (BTW – it was rewarding to read that whoever provided the material in the article on your site indicated that he was Proud to be a L-1 Plebe summer of 1958)

Hope you enjoy the attached.

Regards, Nick Monaco ’57


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