Army Flyover At NFL Super Bowl XLVIII


Captain Jill Rahon-Bate ’06 and Captain David Addams ’08 represented Bravo Company, 6th Battalion, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade from the 101st Airborne Division at the this year’s Super Bowl over MetLife Stadium. Yes, “over.” The graduates were part of the nine-helicopter (three Black Hawks, three Apaches, and three Chinooks) V-formation that flew over some 80,000 fans just as opera star Renée Fleming sang, “…and the home of the brave,” and right before fireworks lit up the sky above the stadium.

A View From The Aircraft

A View From The Stadium

500th Night: Admiral McRaven At West Point


Admiral William McRaven is, by anyone’s definition, a true warrior. A 36-year veteran of the US Navy, he earned his Special Operations credentials the hard way, first by completing the grueling selection and training program required of all men who aspire to become a Navy SEAL. He then went on to serve on the storied SEAL Team 6, and to
command SEAL Team 3 before his appointment as commander of Special Operations Command Europe.

More recently, ADM McRaven commanded the Joint Special Operations Command, the most elite and complex SOF formation in the world. It was in this capacity that he became a household name as the commander of the raid that finally got Osama Bin Laden. Currently, Admiral McRaven directs all US Special Operations Forces as the commander of US Special Operations Command (SOCOM).

ADM McRaven had the opportunity to work with the Army on many occasions over the course of his career, and these interactions were the subject of the speech he delivered when he travelled to the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York in January to be the Guest of Honor for an event known as “500th Night.” 500th Night marks
an important milestone for the junior class of cadets: 500 days left until graduation and commissioning into the US Army.

ADM McRaven’s 500th Night speech, titled A Sailor’s Perspective on the United States Army, was transcribed and released by West Point. We [editors at Hit The Woodline] edited West Point’s transcript slightly for purposes of readability and have provided it for you below. It is a lengthy read, but I assure you it is well worth it. The last five or so paragraphs are the most poignant. ….

Related: Admiral McRaven at his Alma Mater, The University of Texas at Austin, 17 May 2014:

Photos From The 2013 All Service Academies Ball

Excellent turnout by Army, Navy, Merchant Marine and Coast Guard.  Regrettably, Coast Guard pictures are not included in the link.  At least ten Cadets from USCGA attended with their families and friends.

It was a splendid evening, splendidly hosted by Army Parents.  Capacious room, elegant hotel, fine service and food, relatively safe city, fine choice and execution by West Point Parents Club of Washington.

Note the fine representation of USMMA Midshipmen!  One of theirs sounded the trumpet for entrance upon the banquet/ball room.  Comme il faut.

George M. Tronsrue, Jr., Colonel, U.S. Army Retired, West Point Class of 1952 – Be Thou At Peace

GMT, Class of 1952

The Memorial Service, with full military honors, will be held on Feb 8th, 2014 at the Main Post Chapel on Ft Lewis/JBLM from 4:00 – 5:30 pm (1600-1730).  For RSVP details, please scroll down.

To Family and Friends,

Yesterday morning, my Dad went in his sleep to heaven, to be with his folks, sister, son-in-law Brian and all his many friends and soldiers who have preceded him. We imagine they are all having a fun reunion about now and looking out for all of us still down here on earth, swapping old memories, stories and instantly getting caught up on life after death on earth. Believe he had a nice “welcome committee” there, with many vying for front row positions.

We saw him on Sat evening and could tell it was nearly time. Cindy, Michelle and I were there, along with our friends Yvonne and Nicki (after the great skydiving adventure) and with Judy, who has been living there in Dupont for the past 2 months. He looked tired, worn and was down to 122 lbs — but he never lost his humility, sense of humor, dignity or graciousness through all the tough times these past several years. Not sure I could have, or would have, done that if it were me. In fact, I know I wouldn’t.

Dad - Age 2

Before I left him, I kneeled down and told him he was a great Dad, that I learned much from him for life and that I/we (his family) loved him greatly. He smiled at that. Then, I reminded him of his teaching me to memorize the 23 rd Psalm in 3rd grade one weekend in New Jersey– that God was always with him, even when he feels alone.

The last thing I did was tell him that I knew this was a struggle for him and not any fun … that when God came for him, which would be soon, it was OK to go along; that he’d lived a great life and though we would miss him, we would all be OK, until being reunited in heaven at some future point.

He looked straight at me and kind of nodded slightly. I said, “I love you Dad” and he replied, ” I love you, Geord”. Then I kissed his forehead and left. It was sad, but also comforting and relieving in a sense, as some of you know.


So, he has left us and God took him to that special and better place where there are no more hurts, tears, sorrows or pain. Just the joy and love of being with God, Jesus and all those who believe. One of the last real conversations I had with him in early November, after I said a prayer for him, was on this topic. He told me, ” Son, I can hear God’s voice speaking to me.” So, I said, ” What is God telling you, Dad?” He just looked at me and simply said … “Believe!” To me, that sounds exactly like what God would say to him in this situation.

We will have a local memorial service here in the Seattle area, likely at the end of January or early February — when those details are solid, hopefully next week, we will advise all, so that any wanting to be with us can have time to make travel arrangements, if required.

Dad, West Point Cadet

Dad wanted his ashes to be buried at West Point and this will happen at a later date, planned around a class of ’52 event/weekend.

18521-1952 howitzer

The life story below is posted online. Feel free to read this, post comments, load additional photo’s etc. Please share it with others, as this list is only a starting point … I know that I have missed many.

Thank you all for your friendship, love and support and for being part of our lives, now and in the future.

George, Cindy and Our Extended Family
31 December 2013

Dad and me Easter Wknd


The Memorial Service, with full military honors, will be held on Feb 8th, 2014 at the Main Post Chapel on Ft Lewis/JBLM from 4:00 – 5:30 pm (1600-1730).

Our family will host a reception to celebrate George’s/Dad’s life with his friends, classmates and family, immediately following the Memorial Service, in the upstairs auditorium/fellowship hall of the Chapel. A casual dinner buffet, including some of his favorites and non-alcoholic drinks, will be served from 6 – 8 pm (1800-2000).

Please do RSVP to me, George Tronsrue, at my email address – – NLT January 23rd for the memorial service and/or the reception, so we have a good headcount to plan for and can also provide a list to the front gate to make accessing the base easier for all attending.


George M Tronsrue Jr, (Colonel, USA Retired), beloved Christian, Husband, Father, Grandfather, Son, Brother, Friend and Soldier passed away peacefully in his sleep on December 30th, 2013, ending a full life, well lived — a meaningful and distinguished life of impact as a servant, leader, soldier and good man. Of humble beginnings, he was born on July 15, 1930 and raised in nearby Long Prairie, MN, by his parents, George M Tronsrue Sr and Ruth C Tronsrue, along with his older sister Helen Tronsrue (Kemerer). An Eagle/Explorer Scout and Varsity Letterman in Football, Basketball and Track during his high school years, he was the first person from Long Prairie to attend the US Military Academy at West Point in June 1948. At West Point, Tronsrue was a Varsity Letterman on Army’s Rifle Team, a member of the famed West Point Glee Club and graduated number 30 in his class, commissioned as a 2LT in the Infantry in June, 1952. After graduation, Tronsrue volunteered for combat duty in the Korean War and enroute, attended and graduated from the Infantry Basic course, the Airborne school and also graduated in one of the initial Ranger School classes at Ft Benning, GA, in February 1953.

He then served as a platoon leader in a training company at Ft Ord, CA for 90-days prior to deploying to Korea. While in transit, the Korean War ended and Tronsrue and his shipmates were re-assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division in Japan. He served as a Company Executive Officer, Company Commander and Assistant Regimental S-3 on this tour with the 1st Cav. Tronsrue then attended language school in Brazil, in preparation for a three year assignment teaching Portuguese at West Point, where he ended his tour as the Head of the Portuguese Department. After attending the Infantry Officer Advanced Course, where he was the Distinguished Graduate, he was assigned as the S-3 of the 1st Battle Group, 2nd Inf Division at Ft Benning, GA, until volunteering to serve as an Adviser in the Republic of Vietnam from 1961-1962.

Tronsrue was one of the first American Advisers in the Vietnam War, part of MAAG, Saigon and served for 11 months of regular and sustained combat, as the Battalion Adviser to the 17th Civil Guard Battalion, protecting a section of the Mekong Delta, generally centered on the Meetah District and the surrounding areas. Tronsrue next attended the Command and General Staff College, then earned his Masters of International Relations from the Woodrow Wilson School, at Princeton University, from 1964-1966. After then graduating from the Armed Forces Staff College, Tronsrue served with the Office of Personnel Operations, Department of the Army, as the LTC Assignments Officer for Infantry Branch, until he volunteered to return to Vietnam as a Battalion Commander in November, 1967.

During his second combat tour in Vietnam, Tronsrue was the Commander of the 1/18 Infantry, 1st Inf Division from December 1967-June 1968, during some of the most vicious combat action during the Vietnam war, including the TET offensive, where, on the morning of the TET Offensive, the 1/18 Infantry was the sole unit inserted by helicopters onto the tarmac of Tan Son Nhut Airfield in order to repel an ongoing attack to take control of the airbase, which they successfully did. In May 1968, under his command, the 1/18 Infantry was engaged in a full day battle, one of the most lopsided US victories during the Vietnam War, the Battle of Tan Hiep, for which the Battalion received the Valorous Unit Award/Citation for their actions in battle.

Dogface 6 Photo

Returning from Vietnam, Tronsrue then attended the Army War College and upon graduation, was assigned to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, International Security Affairs, at the Pentagon. There, among other critical projects, he was the principle staff officer responsible for support of the Nixon Administration’s efforts during the Paris Peace Talks, which concluded America’s role in Vietnam. He was then reassigned to become the G-1 (Division Personnel Officer) of the 82 Airborne Division (All American), at Ft Bragg, NC from July 1971-July 1972. His next assignment was to Ft Carson, CO where Tronsrue served as the 4th Infantry Division’s Chief of Staff from 1972-1974 and then as the Commander, 3rd Brigade, 4th ID, a combat-deployable Brigade, from 1974-1976. George Tronsrue closed his military career by commanding the Western Region Recruiting Command — the 9 western US states plus Alaska and Hawaii — from July 1976 – September 1977, during the initiation of the All-Volunteer Army and a very critical time for Army recruiting in the post Vietnam era, based at Ft Baker, CA.

Upon retirement from the Army, Tronsrue went into the financial planning business and became a Certified Financial Planner, working at Dean Whitter Reynolds & Associates from 1978-1988, when he left Dean Whitter to start his own financial planning firm, Tronsrue & Associates, which he continued until his retirement from that business in 2010. During his military career Tronsrue received numerous awards and decorations to include, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Ranger Tab and both Army and Portuguese Airborne Wings, in addition to medals and awards for personal valor and extraordinary service, as well as several notable foreign awards. In his post-Army life, Tronsrue served in various volunteer capacities, both related to the military and to his community. This included active service on church Boards, community and Homeowners Boards, service as the President/Vice President of the West Point Society of Puget Sound and notably, as the Honorary Colonel of the 18th Infantry Regiment for 5 years from 2002-2007, including a deployment with the 1/18 Infantry to Bosnia, in support of the peace keeping mission the unit was assigned during this time period.

Tronsrue is survived by his wife Judith French Tronsrue and her daughters and their spouses, Laura and Allan Lewis and Meri and Michael Harris. Judith was also his business partner/colleague for the past 20 years at Tronsrue & Associates, while living in the Seattle, WA area. He is also survived by his former wife, Florence Kubicki Tronsrue of San Diego and their three children and spouses, Barbara and Jim Sullivan, George M. (III) and Cindy Tronsrue, and Karin Nutt and Dave Hendry. There are 15 grandchildren — Lindsay Tronsrue Stowell, George C. Tronsrue, Michelle (Tronsrue) Luckes , David Tronsrue, Daniel Sullivan, Martin Sullivan, James Sullivan, Thomas Sullivan, Igor Sullivan, Natasha Sullivan, Cameron Nutt, Caroline Nutt, Sheldon Lewis, Sarah Harris and David Harris and two great-grandchildren, Samuel Stowell and Victoria Sullivan. Tronsrue was predeceased by his son-in-law, Brian Nutt, Karin’s husband and Norah Harris, daughter of Meri and Michael Harris and Judy and George’s granddaughter.

In lieu of flowers or other donations, Colonel Tronsrue requested that people desiring to remember or honor him, make donations in his memory to the Army Emergency Relief Fund (

Final Salute to Dad

Spirit Videos For The 2013 Washington State All Service Academies Ball

These spirit videos are made by Keith Beggs – who with his wife US Air Force LTC Malinda Beggs are members of West Point Parents Club of Washington – from pictures submitted for the purpose by parents of Cadets and Midshipmen at our national service academies.

Army Spirit Video

Navy Spirit Video

Coast Guard, Merchant Marine and Air Force Spirit Video

Jeff Monken, New Army Head Football Coach

For Immediate Release: (Dec. 24, 2013)

Monken Named Army Head Football Coach
Former Georgia Southern Head Coach Takes Reigns Of Black Knights

IMG_40588_0x10_002AQ01_thumbWEST POINT, N.Y. – Jeff Monken, the highly successful head coach at Georgia Southern University, has been named Army’s new head football coach, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Boo Corrigan announced today.

Monken, one of the preeminent option coaches in the country, becomes Army’s 37th individual head coach to lead the Black Knights’ historic football program.

Corrigan and U.S. Military Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen conducted a thorough national search before selecting Monken.

“We were fortunate to have an excellent pool of candidates to consider,” said Corrigan. “We were very impressed with each of the individuals we interviewed. There was tremendous interest in the position nationally and we felt there were several very qualified candidates, but throughout the process Jeff separated himself from the others. His passion, energy and strong experience in turning around a program immediately helped him rise to the top of our list.”

Monken will be officially introduced during a press conference on Monday, Dec. 30 at 11 a.m.

“We want a successful head coach who understands the challenges of working at a service academy, one who could help us win immediately and one who understands the importance of West Point’s mission. We found that in Jeff,” said Corrigan. “Jeff has been highly successful at every stop he has made both on the field and off. We expect him to experience that same level of success at West Point. We could not be more excited to have Jeff , his wife Beth, and their three daughters join the West Point family and lead our football program.”

Said Caslen, “Jeff will help us to build leaders of character on and off the football field and is the perfect choice to lead our football program. As a former player, I am excited about Jeff’s enthusiasm, desire to succeed and tremendous track record of success.”

Monken spent the last four seasons as head coach at Georgia Southern after learning the triple-option offense under one of the nation’s premier option proponents, Paul Johnson, during assistant coaching stints at Navy and Georgia Tech.

During his four seasons at Georgia Southern, Monken authored a 38-16 mark and was spearheaded the programs transition to the elite Football Bowl Subdivision level from the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) ranks.

Georgia Southern, which will join the Sun Belt Conference next year, was a member of the FCS and qualified for the NCAA playoffs in all three eligible seasons under Monken, advancing to the national semifinals each year while posting double-digit victory totals.

Monken guided tradition-rich Georgia Southern to some of the biggest wins in school history, with the most memorable arguably a 26-20 victory at Florida in November at the vaunted “Swamp.” Despite that headline-grabbing victory, Georgia Southern was not eligible for the FCS playoffs this season due to its transitional status.

“I am thrilled to accept the head coaching position at West Point,” said Monken. “Not only is the United States Military Academy one of the most prestigious academic institutions in the world, it boasts one of the nation’s richest, most historic traditions in all of college football. I am anxious to get started…meet our players, put our coaching staff in place, and begin preparations for the 2014 football season.

“There are so many people I would like to thank for this tremendous opportunity, starting with Director of Athletics Boo Corrigan and our Superintendent, Gen. Bob Caslen,” continued Monken. “I am honored and humbled by their trust in me to lead the West Point football program. I have had the privilege of serving as a coach for several outstanding institutions and am thankful to all of the student-athletes, coaches, and administrators with whom I have worked. Because of their commitment, dedication, and loyalty, this opportunity to serve at West Point has been afforded to me. More than anyone else, I want to thank the men and women who have served and continue to serve our nation in the United States Army. I am proud to be your head football coach. ”

Monken and Johnson are the only coaches in school history to win at least 10 games in each of their first three seasons.

“Jeff Monken is an outstanding football coach. He is a tireless worker who will do the right things to build a program and he will be a great leader,” said Johnson. “Jeff was a loyal assistant coach for me for many years and I’m excited for him and this opportunity.”

A finalist for the 2012 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year award, Monken guided Georgia Southern to 10 wins his first season, 11 his second and10 in his third. His 2013 squad posted a 7-4 mark, including the stunning, season-ending upset of Florida in Gainesville.

Under Monken’s guidance, Georgia Southern was one of the top rushing teams at the FCS level, claiming the NCAA rushing title in 2012 at 399.36 yards per contest. Walter Payton Award candidate Jerick McKinnon and running back Dominique Swope established the NCAA record for rushing yards by teammates with 3,063.

Monken coached a lengthy list of all-stars, including the school’s highest-ever National Football League draft choice, safety J.J. Wilcox, a third-round selection of the Dallas Cowboys in 2013.

In 2011, Georgia Southern was ranked No. 1 in both FCS polls for seven weeks and stopped Wofford, 31-10, to win its ninth Southern Conference championship. Five players were named All-America, Brent Russell was selected Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Year, Monken earned conference Coach of the Year plaudits and Swope was named Southern Conference Freshman of the Year. Home playoff wins against Old Dominion and Maine were part of the Eagles’ memorable 11-3 campaign.

Monken got off to a great start in his first year as Georgia Southern’s head coach, knocking off top-ranked and previously unbeaten Appalachian State as part of a 10-5 season. Georgia Southern ended the season with three straight wins to qualify for the postseason and registered three playoff victories to advance to the national semifinals.

In addition to the success on the field, Monken helped Georgia Southern reemerge academically with the team’s cumulative grade point average ranking as the highest in school history in each of his first two seasons.

Not only was Georgia Southern successful in the classroom and on the football field under Monken, but the players and staffs were part of several community service programs and local events.

Monken was named Georgia Southern’s head coach in November of 2009, continuing a family history of football coaches. Jeff’s father, Mike, and a dozen family members have coached at the high school, collegiate or professional levels.

Monken’s first head coaching job came after accumulating 20 years of experience as an assistant, 13 of them with his mentor Johnson. Monken coached slotbacks at Georgia Southern from 1997 to 2001 before joining Johnson first at Navy and then Georgia Tech.

As an assistant coach at Georgia Southern, Monken was part of two NCAA FCS National Championship squads (1999 and 2000) and five straight playoff teams. Georgia Southern was among the top-five rushing teams in all five seasons and twice led the nation in rushing. Four out of five seasons, the Eagles ranked in the top-15 in scoring as well.

After serving as an assistant at Georgia Southern, Monken accepted a position on Johnson’s coaching staff at Navy. Monken not only mentored slotbacks, he later added special teams coordinator duties.

In Annapolis, Monken helped the Midshipmen to five straight Commander in Chief trophies and five consecutive bowl appearances, including a 10-win season in 2004.

Following his time at Navy, Monken moved to Georgia Tech where for two seasons he served as slotbacks coach and special teams coordinator. The Yellow Jackets posted double-digit wins in 2009 and captured the Atlantic Coast Conference championship, although that title was later vacated.

Monken began his coaching career in 1989 as a graduate assistant at the University Hawai’i and later spent one season at Arizona State University. Monken moved to University of Buffalo as the wide receivers and tight ends coach and also handled recruiting. He served on the staffs at Morton (Ill.) High School as head coach and at Concordia University in Illinois as the offensive line coach as well.

“I’d like to thank U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno, West Point Superintendent Lt. Gen. Bob Caslen, and all those who assisted in this process,” added Corrigan. “We were able to move swiftly but judiciously thanks to the help of many and I feel very good about the result of our search. I am very confident that we have identified the perfect choice to lead our cadet-athletes and achieve the level of success we strongly desire for our football program.”

A native of Joliet, Ill, Monken played wide receiver for four years and earned two varsity letters in track and field while earning his bachelor’s degree from Millikin University in 1989. He was inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame in October and collected his master’s degree from Hawai’i in 1991.

Monken and his wife Beth have three daughters, Isabelle, Amelia and Evangeline.

College Football- Navy vs Georgia Southern

The Jeff Monken introductory press conference will be offered free of charge via Knight Vision at on Monday at 11 a.m.

Army – Named Jeff Monken head football coach

Army will formally introduce Jeff Monken as its 37th head football coach at a press conference in Nowak Auditorium inside Randall Hall on Monday, Dec. 30. The press conference will begin at 11 a.m. and will be streamed free of charge on Knight Vision. Members of the media unable to attend can join via teleconference by calling 1-712-432-3066 and using the passcode 891414.