The U.S. Military Academy Class of 2020 will graduate more than 1,100 members Saturday on the Plain. Those graduating represent 82% of the 1,302 cadets who entered West Point nearly four years ago.Due to COVID-19 delaying graduation, members of the class commissioned May 23 during an oath of commissioning ceremony from remote locations. It marked another unique venture for the new second lieutenants of the Class of 2020 within their 47-month journey.Over four weeks, The Pointer View series titled, “With Vision We Lead,” named after the class motto, involves various members of the class telling stories of their West Point experience.In honor of the members of the 222nd graduating class of West Point, here is the third installment of a four-part series of their journey in their own words ...Class of 2020 member Robert NorwoodPointer View: When it comes to your Class of 2020 motto, “With Vision We Lead,” what do those words mean to you?Robert Norwood: “I like to think of our motto as future-focused. As an institution, the Army has made great strides toward being a diverse and inclusive organization that is ready to answer a full spectrum of threats against our nation. Our class has the opportunity to push that vision, leading the Army into its next chapter.”PV: What does service and leadership mean to you as you start your career as an Army officer?RN: “As an officer, service is not just service to my nation and the mission, but service to those who serve under me. No one serves a leader; the leader serves everyone. That is the ideal that I aspire to.”PV: What advice would you give to the underclassmen or to your younger self from four years ago with what you know now from your academy experience?RN: “Recognize that there is more to everyone than you can see. Everyone has a story and a set of experiences that affect who they are today. Some of those experiences were likely painful and still affect them. Approach others with compassion and a willingness to care for them and help them to be all they can be.”PV: What is your favorite memory/top moments in your time at West Point?RN: “The best times at West Point are when you’re with your friends. For me, that includes 100th Night, Army/Navy and Thursday nights at the Firstie Club. The best moments are not so much defined by what you are doing but by who you are with.”PV: Do you feel you achieved all your goals at West Point?RN: “Every fall, I set a new set of goals for the upcoming year. At first, they were mostly academic goals, but they became increasingly more focused on what my impact would be when I left.“If I were to summarize those goals into two main goals, they would be: to solidify the existence of the Cadet Media Group and to encourage the elimination of sexual harassment and assault at West Point. I think I’ve done as much to achieve those as I could have.”PV: What is your best achievement at West Point?RN: “The achievement that has made the most impact on me wasn’t an award or a grade, but simply knowing that I had made a positive difference in a few lives. Any cadet who can do that has been successful.”PV: Any one person you’d like to mention who helped your success/guided you the most at West Point?RN: “There are so many. One in particular is Lt. Col. Ireka Sanders, the former USMA Deputy Public Affairs Officer. She mentored me through both the creation of the Cadet Media Group and using video to fight sexual assault. I don’t think I could have done much at all without her help and advice.”PV: Through this collective experience everyone has gone through, from your perspective, how has the Class of 2020 united together and motivated each other during the COVID-19 crisis?RN: “We did what we have been trained to do: adapt to changing requirements and carry on. Obviously, we moved physical meetings online.“Instead of going to the Firstie Club on Thursday night, we met over Teams to hang out. One of the best examples was seeing Firsties calling and texting plebes and yearlings to ensure that they were doing all right.”PV: What was the biggest hurdle you faced during the crisis? What did you find out about yourself and your resilience, whether it was physically or mentally, in overcoming this situation and drive toward graduation?RN: “Honestly, focusing on school was a bit more difficult, especially at first. Remote learning blended vacation life with school life which took a bit of getting used to.”PV: What were you looking forward to the most when you returned to West Point?RN: “Returning to West Point provides a chance to wrap up this chapter of my life at the same place where it started.”PV: Historically, similar to your last two months, this will be a unique graduation that no class previously has experienced, what is your hope and anticipation for your graduation day?RN: “I am most excited simply to graduate with my people, the Class of 2020. We’ve been through so much together, that it is only right to finish it out in the same way. I’m grateful that we will have the opportunity of that togetherness, something that many of our fellow graduates across the country have not had.”PV: As a Truman and Stamps scholar, how important has achieving educational heights meant to you?RN: “As I’ve progressed through West Point, academic success became less important. I realized that there were other things that were valuable in addition to good grades, particularly, how I could serve those around me.”PV: As a founder of the Cadet Media Group, talk about getting that off the ground and the hope that the fruits of your labor will go on after you graduate?RN: “The Cadet Media Group was not something I did alone, or even an idea that I came up with. I was merely in the right place with the right skills to see an existing vision come to fruition. Moving CMG from an idea to a club with official DCA status took my entire yearling year and included quite a few meetings.“Ultimately, it came down to making the argument that our club would be a valuable asset to the academy and would increase its ability to train, educate and inspire leaders of character.”PV: Being the Brigade PAO, talk about what you learned from that experience that you can use as an Army leader?RN: “Communication is an essential component of leadership. The words that leaders say to express ideas and the timing and medium of those messages affect how subordinates perceive the ideas they are communicating.“The Public Affairs Office and those who work with it have an invaluable role in helping a commander’s ideas reach Soldiers and the public in a way they understand.”PV: With your “Target 35” documentary, what is the importance in your mind of combating sexual assault/harassment and suicide that helps the greater good at the academy, the Army and society?RN: “Everyone has a story. Those stories have the power to highlight injustice and inequality and galvanize people to action. I think that by creating a video that told the raw story of sexual harassment and assault at West Point, I merely provided a window into those stories.“The stories themselves, each of them real, had a immeasurable impact on how many cadets viewed sexual harassment and assault. I think that the academy’s focus on the issue in the last two years has begun to create a lasting change.“The model of letting people’s stories change the world around them is one that I think can be expanded far beyond West Point.”PV: The oldest of eight children and earning Eagle Scout… because of these facts, does leading and being committed to service just come naturally to you?RN: “The way that I try to lead certainly traces its roots back to my family and the way they raised me to serve and care for others.“If I had been raised with a different set of values in a different family, I would no doubt have been a different person.”PV: You are an internationally-recognized debater and great artist in different mediums, however, which do you take more pride in achieving?RN: “I take the most pride in my art, in the photos and videos I produce.“They have the power to affect people and make their lives better, which I value immensely.”PV: What branch did you choose and why?RN: “I branched Armor. I came to West Point to serve and to learn how to lead Soldiers and a combat arms branch was where I felt that I could do that best.”Class of 2020 member Lynne MooradianPointer View: What does service and leadership mean to you as you start your career as an Army officer?Lynne Mooradian: “As I start my career as an Army officer, the ideas of service and leadership together are a personal obligation to improve myself. In order to serve and lead effectively, I have a duty to develop my expertise, leadership skills and character. Each of my decisions and mistakes will impact many others—my Soldiers and even the nation. I cannot afford to give anything less than my best, and I must strive to improve upon my weaknesses and fortify my strengths.”PV: What advice would you give to the underclassmen or to your younger self from four years ago with what you know now from your academy experience?LM: “I would tell the underclassmen to pursue every opportunity West Point offers. As cadets, we have access to once-in-a-lifetime experiences that should not be wasted. Do the things that scare you—the moments that make you uncomfortable are the moments that will help you grow. To my younger self, I would say that you are more competent than you give yourself credit for. I would remind her that ‘this too shall pass,’ so cherish every moment and the people around you.”PV: What is your favorite memory/top moments in your time at West Point?LM: “I have three top moments from my time at West Point. The first, a personal memory, is from the 2018 Patriot League Outdoor Track and Field Championship. I was the lead off leg of the 4x100-meter relay. The four of us were perfectly synchronized and running like our lives depended on it. Ultimately, we won the race and set a USMA and Patriot League record in the process. It was the most perfect race I have ever been a part of.“The second memory was Ring Weekend. Because of my commitments to Track and Field, I had missed every previous class event—Plebe Parent Weekend, Yearling Winter Weekend and 500th Night. The chance to spend time with my family and celebrate my time at West Point was one I will treasure.“The third and final memory was of Army Football’s win over Navy in 2016. Finally breaking the streak and storming the field was an incredible experience. As a plebe, that moment made me especially proud to be a part of the Long Gray Line.”PV: Do you feel you achieved all your goals at West Point?LM: “I am more than happy with what I managed to accomplish in my four years at West Point. Honestly, my goal was to graduate—I just wanted to tackle the challenge that is the West Point experience and grow a little in the process.“I really didn’t understand what achievements were possible, so I entered West Point with very limited goals. I knew I wanted to perform well academically, but I never dreamed of winning a prestigious Marshall Scholarship or graduating at the top of my class.“Over the last four years, I was not only able to excel academically, but also on the track and in my leadership positions within the Corps. I never expected to be a team captain or to serve as the Brigade Academic Officer. If you had asked me as a high-schooler or plebe if I could handle those roles, I would have told you ‘no.’ West Point—it’s struggles and opportunities—made me more than ready.”PV: What is your best achievement at West Point?LM: “I would have to say graduating at the top of my class with the highest cumulative Cadet Performance Score (overall) and highest cumulative Physical Program Score were my best achievements at West Point. Those accomplishments are the culmination of four years of hard work, precarious time management, late nights and support from my friends and family. It is the summation of all my other academic, physical and military achievements.”PV: Any one person you’d like to mention who helped your success/guided you the most at West Point?LM: “Coach Joe Reed has been with me every step of the way, pushing me to be better on the track and as a cadet. I would not have achieved half of my accomplishments without his support. He has been the best coach I’ve ever had, a friend, a shoulder to lean on and a source of motivation whenever I faltered.“Coach Reed never stopped believing in me, which helped me believe in myself. He has taught me to be confident, be competitive and execute in everything I do in life.”PV: Through this collective experience everyone has gone through, from your perspective, how has the Class of 2020 united together and motivated each other during the COVID-19 crisis?LM: “From my personal experience, the Class of 2020 has done an incredible job of coming together during this crisis. By consistently reaching out to friends, company mates and classmates on all platforms—texting, calling, emailing and social media—we have made sure no one feels alone. I’ve also noticed that we have remained motivated and committed in our leadership roles, ensuring that we continue to support the underclassmen until the very end of our time at West Point.”PV: What was the biggest hurdle you faced during the crisis? What did you find out about yourself and your resilience, whether it was physically or mentally, in overcoming this situation and drive toward graduation?LM: “I am very lucky to have wonderful parents who support me in all my endeavors, as well as a home environment that is conducive to remote learning.“Without Track and Field, I had far more time to dedicate to my classwork. However, while my academic requirements became more manageable, my role as Brigade Academic Officer became more extensive. I faced the challenge of finding innovative ways to support the Corps during an unprecedented crisis. I worked closely with the dean and her team to address the concerns of the Corps and improve the remote learning environment, allowing us to finish the semester strong.“The challenges inherent to my role as Brigade Academic Officer during this crisis taught me about my commitment to helping others, my creativity and my ability to adapt. As I drive toward graduation and my career in the Army, I know that this will not be the last time I am asked to adapt and lead in unprecedented circumstances.”PV: What were you looking forward to the most when you returned to West Point?LM: “I looked forward to reuniting with my friends. I have had the same roommate for every semester at West Point except for one—we are an inseparable pair. I’ve missed her, my teammates and my other classmates more than I ever would have expected.“Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, I had intended to prioritize making memories with my classmates before we go our separate ways after graduation. I lost a lot of precious time with the people close to me, so I am thankful for the chance to say goodbye as we each embark on our next adventure.”PV: Historically, similar to your last two months, this will be a unique graduation that no class previously has experienced, what is your hope and anticipation for your graduation day?LM: “The bottom line is that this ceremony is about celebrating our accomplishments as a class. I am honored to be a part of a group of outstanding leaders, and each one of my classmates deserves recognition on graduation day. I am simply grateful to be having a ceremony at all, given the circumstances, and I anticipate a graduation day that is as or more memorable than any before it.”PV: Describe what tossing your hat in the air will mean to you, completing your journey at West Point?LM: “The hat toss is an incredibly symbolic moment, one that I have looked forward to since the very beginning of my journey at West Point. I watched my brother toss his hat in the air in 2017, so being able to follow in his footsteps will be the emotional culmination of everything I’ve worked for these past four years. Tossing my hat will be an iconic end to my journey as a cadet, and the beginning of my next adventure as an Army officer.”PV: As the Brigade Academic Officer, describe what that job detailed for you?LM: “As the Brigade Academic Officer, I served as the liaison between the Corps of Cadets and the dean, registrar and Center for Enhanced Performance. I supported the peer tutoring program, monitored the academic standing of the Corps and worked with the cadet academic chain of command to provide resources and help to those who needed it.“Following COVID-19, I became a more integral member of the dean’s team. I was in contact with Brig. Gen. (Cindy) Jebb and her team before the start of remote classes, organizing and analyzing the results of several cadet surveys. These surveys were aimed at determining cadet concerns and potential issues with resources and connectivity in the new learning environment.“My work contributed to adaptations and improvements to remote learning, while retaining West Point’s high academic standards.”PV: Top 10 in the class academically and number one physically, how much pride do you take in achieving both of those feats?LM: “I never aimed to be top in my class in any pillar, but I am enormously proud to have achieved that standing both academically and physically. I have always thought that if something is worth doing, then it is worth doing well.“I think these accomplishments reflect my dedication to a high standard of effort and performance. I had many opportunities to take the easy way out and let my standards slip, but my self-respect and respect for the values of West Point kept me motivated through it all. My own efforts aside, my academic and physical standing would never have been possible without my incredible support network. My parents, coaches, instructors and friends have helped me in all my endeavors. Although I feel pride in my accomplishments, I also feel very lucky.PV: Legally blind as a child and working to gain your eyesight to get to West Point, talk about that experience and overcoming what was once a physical liability?LM: “My eyes have always been my greatest weakness. Spending years of my childhood performing vision therapy exercises—like counting grains of rice with tweezers—not only strengthened my eyes, but also strengthened my discipline and resilience.“The hard work paid off, and I was thrilled to learn that I was medically qualified to attend West Point. In truth, that moment was almost more exciting than receiving my acceptance letter. The relief I felt when I learned of my medical qualification helped me realize how much I truly wanted to attend West Point.“Struggling with my vision during CBT and having to wear an eyepatch helped me realize how much I wanted to stay.“While I would not wish my eye problems on anyone, dealing with this physical liability has made me a stronger, more resilient person. I am grateful for that.”PV: What branch did you choose and why?LM: “I chose military intelligence because of the flexibility—as an MI officer, I will have the opportunity to work with many different organizations within the Army. Intelligence is also the backbone of any operation, and I am excited to be such a critical member of the Army.“My experiences with an MI Platoon during CTLT were also a driving factor for my choice of branch; I was impressed by the quality of the Soldiers that I worked with and the mission set of the unit.