U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo.- Officers of 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division and the West Point Society Pikes Peak Region, sponsored West Point cadets attending the U.S. Air Force Academy during an oath of affirmation, Aug. 28, 2015.
"Our mission is to promote the goals and ideals of West Point," said Stover James, president, The West Point Society Pikes Peak Region. "We sit on congressional nomination panels, work with admissions representatives, sponsor the junior officer of the year award at Fort Carson every year and hold charitable and other kinds of supportive events."
The seven exchange cadets from the West Point class of 2017 are attending the first semester of their junior year at the USAFA as part of the Academy exchange program.
"When you start your third year you're incurring a commitment to the Army or the Air Force," said James, who graduated from West Point in 1976. "If they drop out now for any reason they still have a commitment to the military."
Fifty year class affiliation coins were presented to the cadets by veterans from the West Point class of 1967 after the oath of affirmation ceremony.
Even though the ceremony wasn't held at West Point, Joshua Reed, West Point exchange cadet class of 2017, said it was still an important moment because of who he was able to share it with.
"I got to share it with some of my best friends," said Reed, a native of Denver, Colorado. "Just to know that we're going through this together, get to serve together and go through the great and rough moments together."
The partnership between the Air Force Academy and Fort Carson allows for a truly unique learning environment for the cadets.
"It's our honor to have a part in their professional development," said Lt. Col. Joseph Ewers, commander, 2nd Bn., 23rd Inf. Reg., 1st SBCT, 4th Inf. Div. "I think any exposure that you can have as a cadet to an actual real-life Army organization, whether from a training or social perspective, is only going to make them better leaders."