By Michelle SchneiderJanuary 13, 2020
December Graduation at West Point may be a smaller group of cadets than the ceremony in May, but the level of achievement is equal to those graduating on a traditional timeline.
20 cadets marched into Robinson Auditorium on Dec. 20 to receive their
diplomas and were cheered on by friends and family members in the audience.
"This represents a time of achievement and transition as these cadets become officers. They take the oath, pin on their second lieutenant bars and give their first salutes as officers. It is a day of reflecting on their educational and developmental journeys and thinking ahead to how they will contribute as leaders of character," Dean of the Academic Board Brig. Gen. Cindy Jebb said. "They are a diverse group hailing from many parts of the country and a wide array of majors. We proudly send them to the 'Big Army' to represent the academy and defend our nation."
The following cadets graduated as the December Class of 2019: Matthew Allgor, Jackson Darash, Cordarrell Davis, Randy Foristiere, Jinwon Heo, Camm Johnson, Jarrod Jones, Khodadod Kia, Sera Martorelli, James Nachtigal, Michael Neposchlan, Paul Rivera, William Saum, Nicholas Schrage, Zachary Scott, Thomas Spell, Shafer Swann, Benjamin Turner, Eric Turner and Ethan Wood.
Despite the group's academic challenges, health ailments or other issues that set each of the cadets back, they have officially completed their West Point journey and joined the Long Gray Line.
For some cadets, they are following in the footsteps of their other family members.
"Our family has a history with the academy or a legacy. My father, my three uncles and two of my cousins have graduated from here. So, growing up in a dual military family, I was exposed to it and raised with those values and I was really motivated to serve," 2nd Lt. Eric Turner said. "I keep joking about it with my family that I will not believe it's real until I walk across the stage and they hand me the diploma. I'm very excited. It feels surreal."