West Pointers Helm Response To Train Derailment

To LTG Robert Caslen, Superintendent, United States Military Academy


I would like to bring to your attention that during the train derailment in Washington state yesterday (18 Dec), two West Point graduates were at the helm of the first and immediate response.

This incident took place on I-5 just south of JBLM.  JBLM has responsibility for emergencies on that stretch of the interstate.  The area is also just south of the small town of DuPont, WA.  JBLM was one of the first, if not the first, responders to the scene and was in command of the incident for the initial crucial hours immediately following the incident and before handing over command to Pierce County.  The Garrison Commander of JBLM is COL Nicole Lucas, USMA ’93.  The senior public official responding from DuPont was the mayor of DuPont, Mayor Mike Courts, USMA ’81.  You might remember him as the Master of Ceremony at the West Point Society of Washington and Puget Sound Founders Day Banquet you addressed two years ago.

The leadership and experience of these two West Pointers was significant for the immediate action, for what was needed.  The JBLM golf course was used as an emergency vehicle staging area from which resources could be brought forward in a timely manner.  About 20 patients were seen at Madigan Army Medical Center, MPs responded to the incident and the transportation assets were mobilized to help move survivors to a reunification area (to say the least).  We hear often in the news how awesome JBLM has been and now has rerouted traffic through the post as the interstate was completely blocked to southbound traffic.

The city hall of DuPont was used as the reunification area and under the mayor’s guidance was well prepared for media, support to first responders and an outpouring of community support.  Mayor Courts has been on the phone with the White House, Governor, County Execs, Senators and anyone else you can imagine.

COL Lucas has deployed to Kosovo, Iraq and Kuwait.  In one of the many interviews with Mayor (Retired COL) Courts, the reporter asked, “Mayor, you are very calm, doesn’t this upset you?”  He replied “I was at the Pentagon on 9-11, I spent 2 tours in Bosnia and 2 tours in Iraq.  I am saddened over this tragedy, but no, this will not upset or frighten me.”  As you can see, both had plenty of experience in responding to situations like this.

Just thought you might like to hear some great news that graduates are doing in service to the country in uniform and after active duty

Grip Hands and beat San Diego State!

Kent Troy
USMA ‘81

Washington State Cadets Play Army Football

On 14 October 2017, Army honored the 7th Infantry Division.  To that end, the Commanding General, 7TH Infantry Division, MG Bill Burleson (USMA class of 1988) was on the sidelines cheering his Alma Mater to a very close victory.   The Division motto, “Trust in Me,” was heard all around Puget Sound during the last minute of the game as Army dug deep to hold off a potential go ahead score.   Perhaps it was the trip to Team Army’s locker room by MG Burleson that inspired Army to find that grit for mission accomplishment.  Pictured below is MG Burleson with two Washington State Cadets: Wunmi Oyetuga (#91) and Donnell Diego (#38), both hailing from Lakewood, WA.

MG Bill Burleson, '88, Cadet Wunmi Oyetuga (#91) And Cadet Donnell Diego (#38)

MG Bill Burleson, ’88, Cadet Wunmi Oyetuga (#91) And Cadet Donnell Diego (#38)

Black Knights Have Two Venues For Viewing Army Football:

Saturday 21 October 2017: Army vs. Temple!  Game time 0900 Pacific.  West Pointers of Seattle foregather at: Sam’s Tavern, 400 9th Ave. North, Seattle.  This is an over-21 tavern.  Their number is 206-453-5493

Saturday 21 October 2017: Army vs. Temple!  Game time 0900 Pacific.  West Point Society of Washington and Puget Sound foregather at: The Fan Club Sports Bar, Lakewood, WA.  This is an over-21 bar.  Their number is 253-984-8000.

Go Army!  Beat Temple!

We Watched Army Beat Buffalo

Go Army!  Beat Navy!

What a great comeback to win in the 4th quarter.  Way to go Army!!!

You would never know it from the heads down, but doing pushups are: Harlene Coutteau (’82), Chuck Coutteau (’81), Kent Troy (’81), Mike Clidas (’81) and Jeff Allen (’86).

Group picture and some candid shots.  One with Kent Troy leading a rocket this week.  Who is next week’s leader?

Next week’s game against THE Ohio State will again be celebrated at THE Fan Club, but game starts at 1330hrs.  Can you believe we are taking on the #2 team in the nation?

Army Vs. Buffalo, 09 September 2017

Army Vs. Buffalo, 09 September 2017

Army Vs. Buffalo, 09 September 2017

Army Vs. Buffalo, 09 September 2017

Army Vs. Buffalo, 09 September 2017

Army Vs. Buffalo, 09 September 2017

Army Vs. Buffalo, 09 September 2017

Army Vs. Buffalo, 09 September 2017

Army Vs. Buffalo, 09 September 2017

Army Vs. Buffalo, 09 September 2017

Army Vs. Buffalo, 09 September 2017

Army Vs. Buffalo, 09 September 2017


The Fort Apache Historic District

From Dempsey Darrow, ’75, Former CEO of WP-ORG:

The Fort Apache Historic District is located just a few miles south of Whiteriver, Arizona, on the 1.67 million acre White Mountain Apache Indian Reservation. It was a major base of operations for the US Army during the Apache Wars of the 19th century. Decommissioned in 1922, it remains the site of the Theodore Roosevelt Indian School. It is part of the legacy of the Old West, the Indian Wars, and therefore, of West Point graduates.

Below are links to some visual representations of the fort. At the bottom is a link to the entire album with additional photographs, including some of the Kinishba Ruins.

The top link for all these photos and more is here.

George Crook is part of the fabric of the Indian conflict on the Great Plains and in the southwest. These were his quarters at Ft. Apache:

The Adjutant’s office:

The enlisted barracks:

The old guard house:

The view across the parade field toward the Theodore Roosevelt School’s boys dormitory and the Adjutant’s office:

The school:

The new guard house:

Just a few miles from the site of the fort is the still active Fort Apache cemetery, though most non-Apaches were reinterred elsewhere when the fort was decommissioned. Getting to the cemetery was interesting; it had rained just prior to our arrival. There’s nothing like the rush of adrenaline that accompanies the loss of effective steering while piloting a two-ton, four wheel drive vehicle through mud.


The identities of many of the individuals who remain buried in the cemetery are now lost to time:

Navajo Bill was one of the Apaches who worked for George Crook:

There are reminders of the unique quality of Army life on the frontier:

Corydon Cooley was a Chief of Scouts for George Crook. He once pulled an all-nighter playing cards (Seven Up) where the stake was a 100,00 acre ranch. Cooley’s opponent told him, “Show low and you take the ranch.” Cooley turned over a winning deuce of clubs. That’s how the ranch – now the town of Show Low, Arizona – got its name. The town’s main street is called Deuce of Clubs.

Not far from Fort Apache are the Kinishba Ruins:

The top link for all these photos and more is here.