Photo Credit: Mike Strasser, U.S. Military Academy Public Affairs
The spectacle of seeing demonstration jumpers fall onto The Plain in the late afternoon is a daily treat for onlookers at the U.S. Military Academy. More than a few stay to watch the training from the bleachers and applaud each successful landing. The team trains roughly three hours nearly every day, weather permitting, and average three jumps per cadet. To get everyone their share of jumps, the routine is smooth and repetitive. One group suits up, conducts pre-flight checks on each other, moves swiftly to the chopper, jumps and proceeds to pack their chute, while another group is ready to move out and the sequence repeats again and again. Though the drills might seem monotonous, it's nothing of the sort for these cadets.