ALBANY, N.Y. (Army News Service, April 10, 2008) - New York State elected officials and representatives of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point signed the first Community Covenant during the annual West Point Day at the state capitol Wednesday.

Senator Joseph L. Bruno, majority leader and president pro pem, as well as acting lieutenant governor, signed for the State of New York, while Brig. Gen. Patrick Finnegan, dean of the Academic Board at West Point, signed for the Army.

Witnessing the signing were several state senators including Senator (retired Lt. Col.) Bill Larkin who represents the West Point district, as well as Army National Guard Brig. Gen. Michael Swezey, commanding general of the 53rd Troop Command.

Accompanying the dean was Dina Astemborski, mother of a West Point cadet and president of the Parents Club of Upstate New York. Also at the ceremony were: U.S. Military Academy Command Sgt. Maj. Martin Wells; West Point Garrison Commander Col. Dan Bruno and Command Sgt. Maj. Violet McNeirney; Cadet First Captain Jason Crabtree; and members of the U.S. Corps of Cadets and West Point staff.

The New York State Senate took time out from its budget deliberations to welcome the West Point contingent and to listen to an address from Finnegan who thanked legislature, towns and communities for their support.

Speaker of the New York State Assembly, Sheldon Silver, and local Assemblywoman Nancy Calhoun then welcomed West Point to the Assembly where Finnegan was again invited to address the state legislators.

By signing the community covenant, the New York state government and West Point promised to continue their great relationship and commitment to building strong communities.

The Army Community Covenant will help develop and foster effective state and community partnerships with the Army, officials said, as well as help improve the quality of life for Soldiers and their Families, both at their current duty stations and as they transfer from state-to-state.

Community Covenant signings are planned across the United States between April and December 2008, recognizing the strength of Soldiers and Families and the support of the Community.

The Army Family Covenant was a commitment by the Army leadership to Soldiers and Families. By contrast, the Army Community Covenant includes a similar broad statement of support and commitment from local (off-post) communities, such as civic and business leaders, educators and state and city government officials.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16