Class of 2021 cadets rejoiced during the annual Post Night ceremony on Feb. 3 as all of the first class cadets got to decide, based on the branch they selected and the order of merit, where their first Army duty station will be and became one step closer to graduating from the U.S. Military Academy. After commissioning as second lieutenants and completing their Basic Officer Leader Course, cadets will assume their first command post for about the next three years.
Based on the following branches, cadets selected their duty locations: Infantry 234, Field Artillery 169, Engineering 111, Armor 111, Aviation 90, Air Defense 52, Cyber 41, Ordnance 31, Signal Corps 28, Quarter Master 25, Military Intelligence 21, Chemical Corps 17, Transportation 16, Military Police 13 and Military Science 10.
Post Night started with the Infantry Branch in Eisenhower Hall Theatre where brigade-level assignments and school dates were displayed on stage. Cadets waited with anticipation to be called on stage where they would be given 30 seconds to select their post and unit.
“Cadets are seated accordingly for their post selections based on the order of merit list. The highest ranked cadet within their branch makes their selections first. After the highest ranked makes their selection, it then it trickles down to where the rest of the cadets choose their pick,” Capt. Romedy Murr, the platoon operations instructor at West Point, said. “To do this effectively, we were able to leverage the experience of staff and faculty to help cadets make the post decisions.”
At Eisenhower Hall Theatre, Murr took the podium and called out the names of the cadets. As Class of 2021 Cadet Andrew Mizell was called up to pick his unit and duty station, Murr chanted loudly, “Rakkasans, Rakkasans,” which is the nickname for the 187th Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division.
“Rakkasans!” Murr shouted over the mic as he was thrilled that Mizell selected the 187th Infantry Division. “My new favorite cadet,” Murr said of Mizell.
For Class of 2021 Cadet Allen-George Marcelino, branching into Quartermaster, he felt great relief in choosing the 7th Transportation Brigade at Fort Lee, Virginia.
“I noticed that once you get selected for your branch and finally choose what unit you want to be a part of, a lot cadets tend to get more mature because now they can focus and hone in on their skill-sets based on what their job is,” Marcelino said.
Class of 2021 Shaneka Bernard said she is looking forward to being commissioned and joining the 210th Field Artillery at Camp Casey, South Korea.
“It feels great to know where you’re going and that allows you to start building a framework that will allow you to fit in with your new unit,” Bernard said. “I just feel like it’s almost a culminating event — like you know you’re going to be in a unit and there is a platoon and staff waiting on you, so I think it’s a pretty fulfilling moment.”
Despite the academic challenges West Point provided throughout her four-year tenure, Class of 2021 Cadet Stephanie Myles understands how difficult big Army’s challenges will be and is looking forward to it.
“I think it’s about taking that next step,” Myles said as she explained how fulfilling it was to finally pick the 2nd Infantry Division Combat Aviation Brigade at Camp Humphreys, South Korea. “It’s just one step closer to graduation and finally leading Soldiers and this event is like Shaneka said, ‘culminating’ and I think the feeling is amazing.”