Category Archives: ClassNews

Happy 44th!

Greetings USMA77 Classmates!!

Two days ago was the 77th anniversary of D-Day and today is the 44th anniversary of our graduation on the Plain.  Wishing you all a happy day of remembrance!  Esprit de Corps!  GoArmy!! 

All Academy Challenge 2021 – Final results

USMA made a strong showing but we still came in 2nd place behind USMMA.  Maybe next year.

We in USMA 1977 made a strong showing, with:

376 donors (4th place; not bad for one of the smaller classes)
$160,487.52 donated (2nd place; wow)
58.20% participation (4th place, after 1972@72.73%, 1994@60.93%, and 1997@60.5%)

We have not yet received a breakdown by company/regiment.

The official WPAOG report is here:


All Academy Challenge 2021 – 19 May update

Only one and a butt days to go.  USMA is still (barely) staying ahead of USMMA for the overall lead: All Academy Challenge

USMA 1977 is in a strong 2nd position among all the other USMA classes, but the class of 1972 is in the lead by a fair amount.  I’m hoping some of you were just waiting to jump in at the last minute and tip the scales.  Well, it’s about that time.  Please remember it only takes $5 to be counted.

USMA class standings are here: West Point (  As I type this, we have 324 donors.  We have 17 companies at or over 50% in participation, and our class as a whole surpassed 50% a few hours after the below graphic was generated (at 1700 EDT).


All Academy Challenge 2021 – 18 May Update

Congrats all!  USMA is (barely) staying ahead of USMMA for the overall lead: All Academy Challenge

USMA 1977 was leading all USMA classes up until yesterday, when the class of 1972 surged passed us, so we need more help getting back on top.  Please remember it only takes $5 to be counted.  If you have any relatives in other classes, please see about getting them to join in and also reach out to their classmates.

USMA class standings are here: West Point (  As I type this, we have 284 donors.  10 companies are already over 50% in participation!


All Academy Challenge 2021 – 17 May Update

Congrats all!  USMA surpassed USMMA for the overall lead: All Academy Challenge

USMA 1977 was leading all USMA classes up until a few hours ago, when the class of 1972 passed us.  Please remember it only takes $5 to be counted.  Also, in addition to the two videos mentioned previously, we now have this video from Marc Gunnels.

USMA class standings are here: West Point (  As I type this, we have 213 donors.  Company D-1 is closing in on their 100% goal.


All Academy Challenge 2021 – 16 May update

So far so good within USMA — the class of 1977 is in the lead.  Keep up the great work.  Overall, USMA is a little behind some of the other academies, but we’re not even through day one yet.

Overall standings: All Academy Challenge

USMA class standings are here: West Point (  As I type this, we have 77 donors.


Click the image for USMA 1977 company standings.  



All Academy Challenge 2021

Greetings USMA77 Classmates!

Last year, USMA77 finished 4th/83 living classes in the All Academy Challenge.  Our goal this year is 77% participation, 522 class grads(it will be an Academy record).  This year’s Point Man is Mike Johnson, D-1!  We will post daily updates to the class forum on our great progress, and we’ll try to post information here as well.

Thanks to our great classmate, Steve Collier, for crafting the OPORD for this year’s competition(see below)!  

Special note- Pete Selleck asks that in the comment section we donate in memory of one of our deceased classmates(list below).  When we do so, AOG sends a note to the family alerting them a gift was made in their loved one’s name.  Esprit de Corps!!  GOARMY!!!  Beat NAVY and all the others!   

Rich Trotter, F-1/G-1 USMA77

1. Situation

a) General: 

1)The All Academy Challenge (AAC) is a friendly contest between graduates of five service academies to see who can reach the highest alumni giving rate over the course of five days – May 16 –   May 20.

2) Results from 2020 AAC:

·         Merchant Marine Academy 23.5% of 11,794 alumni (2,776 donors)

·         Military Academy 22.2% of 52,128 alumni (11,575 donors)

·         Naval Academy 11.1% of 54,480 alumni (6,058 donors)

·         Coast Guard Academy 11.1% of 11,608 alumni (1,284 donors)

·         Air Force Academy 4.61% of 48,401 alumni (2,232 donors)

West Point Class of ’77 finished 4th (49.16%in participation among all 83 West Point Classes.  Good Job.  This is impressive.  The current class participation goal is 77%.  This would be an AAC record. 

b) Enemy Forces (listed in capability order)

1) United States Merchant Marine Academy

2) United States Naval Academy

3) United States Coast Guard Academy

4) United States Air Force Academy

c) Friendly Forces.

1) All USMA Alumni from 83 classes

2) USMA Class of 1977

2. Mission: 77% class participation!

3. Execution.

a) Concept of Operation.

1) Scheme of maneuver.  Over the period May 16 to May 20 donate at least $5.00 and you will drive our participation rate higher.  Other potential donations could be $77 or $19.77.

2) Formation. Full frontal assault!

3) Route.  The route to donate is this button All Academy Challenge   Click this button to participate and view the real time leaderboard.  You will be given the option of several funds to contribute to.  A primary fund to consider is our 1977 Class Gift Fund. 

4) Tactical Missions to subordinate Units: Maintain situational awareness and encourage our classmate friends to participate.

b) Coordinating Instructions.  When you donate please consider donating in honor of one of our fallen Classmates.   Priorities to consider would be regimental/company classmates.  A complete list of our fallen 1977 classmates is at Annex B.   If you donate and honor a classmate, the AOG will send a letter to our classmates family to tell them that their family member has been remembered and honored.

4. Service Support.

a)  Official participation results are tabulated by original cadet companies. 

5. Command and Signal.

a) Signal.

1) Frequencies and Call Signs.

·         1977 class forum.  If you are not a member of our 1977 class forum, email Allen Light and put Subscribe in the subject line.

·         USMA AOG. If you are not a member of the USMA AOG go to this link and join.  West Point Association of Graduates (

·         USMA class of 1977 Facebook homepage. If you are not a member of USMA class of 1977 Facebook homepage go to this link and sign up.  (This is a private group with 440 members, you will have to ask permission to join)

2) Pyrotechnics and Signals.

·         Daily sitreps and updates will be sent

·         A class of 1977 Spirit video/skit shown below! Despite the high quality of this video, no professional actors were used in the skit.

b) Command.

1) Command Leader Location.  The AOG will lead, coordinate and report results on a daily basis.  In case you are not a member of our class forum or USMA AOG you will only be updated by me.   Daily AAC results are located at this link  All Academy Challenge  

2) Chain of Command: AOG, 1977 Class Lead: Mike Johnson,  4th Regiment Lead: John Shephard, C4 Lead: Steve Collier

Annex A: Class invitation by Pete Selleck. Click on attached video.  Class Spirit Video created by Mike Johnson and David Anselmi:


Annex B: 1977 fallen members of the Long Grey Line.  Grip hands.

Alan B. Becker
David L. Bolte
James G. Brecher
Gilbert R. Collins
Peter J. Comodeca
Robert S. Cowan
Daniel P. Doede
Robert M. Evans
Jody A. Fink
Kenneth M. Franklin
Trent R. Frederickson
Randal L. Gehler
Richard S. Grammier
Clifford H. Harris
Thomas G. Hesse
Andrew J. Hill
Matthew M. Holm
Steven J. Hoogland
James A. Hubbard
Herman N. Iorio
Alexander F. Janisz
William G. Johnson
Kevin G. Kelly
Christopher F. Kurek
Edward M. Lawnick
Scott T. Lofgren
John J. Luther
Timothy D. Lynch
Reginald B. McFadden
Roger V. McMaster
James E. McShea
Robert L. Mitchell
Jesus L. Olivo
Andrew E. Pehonsky
John J. Powers
Joseph F. Santilli
Michael A. Sheehan
James D. Skopek
Richard E. Stinner
Kevin W. Trehey
Blair M. Turner
James K. Whiteman
Jeffrey P. Whitman
Earl M. Yerrick

Mac Warner for WV Secretary of State

[UPDATE – He won!]
The below letter was written by USMA ’56 grad BG John C. “Doc” Bahnsen and sent via email to the class of 1956.  It has since been shared with USMA ’77 and hopefully others.  There have been a few modifications since the original was sent, but this is what “Doc” wants everyone to know.
The conservative revolution in West Virginia is nearly complete.  When I moved to this state in the 1990s, West Virginia was a backwater of depression-era and New Deal thinking.  The entire Congressional delegation of two senators and three congressmen were democrats who voted nothing but the liberal party line.   Worn-out socialist and labor union politicos were running amok and the state was being run into the ground.  In the year 2000 — with Al Gore pushing his global-warming, anti-fossil fuel, big government-must-solve-everything agenda — we got the state to vote for George Bush.  This was the first time a first-term Republican candidate for President had won the State since Herbert Hoover did it in 1928; it was the start of the conservative revolution in WV.  West Virginia has now voted for the Republican nominee for President in every election since 2000, and now, conservative republicans hold four of those five seats in Congress.  
By 2014, both houses of the West Virginia Legislature switched from liberal democrat control to conservative republican majorities.  We’re on the cusp of the objective, and we now have a chance to consolidate the win, finish the job, and save West Virginia.  What we need to do is get rid of the one key person in the one key position who can stop the will of the people…we need to elect a conservative Secretary of State.  You see, the Secretary of State runs all elections in West Virginia.  For decades, elections and voter rolls have been purposely mismanaged and grossly unsupervised so that union-backed officials could prevail in rigged local elections.  Entire counties and swaths of the State have been run as corrupt enterprises by a few local, labor-backed henchmen and thugs.  With fair elections whereby our conservative-leaning people can have a government that genuinely represents them, this State will prosper.  We are almost there, and this year is the time to push through the objective.
We need a Secretary of State who will clean elections up statewide, and this year we’ve got the candidate to do it.  Mac Warner is West Point Class of 1977.  I’ve known Mac and his family for three decades now, and he’s as solid as West Point granite.  His father served in Patton’s Third Army, and he has three brothers who are Grads from ’73, ’78 and ’89.  
Mac was on the Honor Committee that cleaned up the mess at our school in the big cheating scandal of 1976-1977.  Mac started his career as an artilleryman and became one of our great JAG lawyers — an expert in international law.  In the 1980s and 1990s, Mac helped clean up dysfunctional governments and militaries in South America, Central America, Eastern Europe, and Southwest Asia.  He often helped countries to re-write their constitutions, live up to the Geneva convention, hold fair elections, respect human rights, and embrace the Rule of Law. 
From the Army War College Staff, Mac retired in 2000 and that is when he really went to work.  He and his lovely Army wife, Debbie, sent three of their four children to graduate from West Point:  Steven ’08, Lisa ’12, and Scott ’15.  His other daughter, Krista, is an Army Reserve Captain in Alaska, and is married to a West Point ’08 graduate.  Steven and Lisa both completed combat tours in Afghanistan where Steven received a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.  Lisa is married to a ’12 West Point Grad, an Infantry Officer now going thru SF School at FT Bragg.  Scott is headed off to the 173d in Vicenza this year.  I got to know Mac and all his rock-solid children extremely well over the last 10 years as he helped me oversee the conservative youth camp I ran every summer in the hills of West Virginia.   If life were a Texas Hold ’em game, Mac is “ALL IN” every day — he and his family should be the on the poster for selfless service to the US Army; there should be a special monument to him somewhere at West Point.
But that is not all.  Mac just spent the last five years in Afghanistan on a State Department contract to build a legal system in that rugged war-torn country.  He ran the largest Organizational Capacity Building Rule of Law program in the world.  If there is one person with the wherewithal, experience, and background to stare down the corruption that has riddled this region of Appalachia for decades, lock up the thugs, and ensure we have fair elections, it is our brother from the Long Gray Line, Mac Warner.  
I want you to open your checkbooks and help elect Mac as WV Secretary of State.  Let’s grip hands and help this great servant go to work in West Virginia and fix things before we all fade off to Fiddler’s Green.  Please join me and send all the help you can up to the $1000 limit to: 
Mac Warner for Secretary of State
PO Box 18154
Morgantown, WV  26507
If you prefer to give on-line, find the “DONATE” button at
[Link expired]
Thank you for helping us out.
John C. “Doc” Bahnsen,  USMA ’56
Brigadier General, US Army (Ret)
USMA Distinguished Graduate 2016


Fight fiercely, 

Hello USMA class of 1977

Welcome to the new and improved Class of 1977 website. We have big plans, and you can help.

If you have stumbled across this site, please realize this is a prototype currently under development.  This will hopefully be replacing the old/ancient site shortly.  In the meantime, don’t believe everything you read here, and please don’t tell others about it just yet.

Yes, what you see above is a picture of us on R-day, 2 July 1973. The photo was provided by Terry Stewart.

April 2021 – More to The Point

[If you are reading this, this is a draft that is not ready for public consumption.  It will hopefully be finalized and published soon.  Draft date: 6 Jun 2021]


to the first issue of our unofficial/unauthorized newsletter! Its purpose is to reach out, connect, support, and celebrate with classmates, families, and friends of the West Point Class of 1977.

We want to make this newsletter easily understandable from the “Star Men” to the ‘Ejection Section”, in a format more like People Magazine than Pravda.  We all lead busy, chaotic lives, so hopefully these newsletters will be a simple, useful “poop sheet” for those to catch up & pass along. So, here goes, . . . take boards!NOTE: To prevent spammers from harvesting accounts to spam, this newsletter does not contain email addresses. If you were a member of USMA 1977 at any point in time, you should have received an email copy of this letter in April 2021 which does cite the applicable email addresses. If you did not receive this via email, please contact your company coordinator (see below).

Current Situation

Our Class Leaders have been busy planning for our 45th reunion (Football weekend, Oct 2022). To this end, we have revised our constitution & bylaws.

A Band of Brothers (BoB) committee has been formed to promote camaraderie & “encourage recognition of class members”.  Click here for the latest SOP. The committee is headed by Lance Betros, Andy Chmar, & with regimental reps (Tom von Kaenel-1st Reg, Bruce Cogossi-2nd Reg, Kevin Benson-3rd Reg, John Shephard-4th Reg).

What Should I Do?

In a phrase, we ask that you consider doing what you can do to promote camaraderie & “encourage recognition of Class members”. It will be different for each member of the class of ’77.  Here are a couple of suggestions.

1.  Keep in touch with your company coordinator:

    • A1 – Bob Bankey/ Mike Nicholas
    • B1 – Pat Linehan/ Tom von Kaenel
    • C1 – Joe Sullivan
    • D1 – Mike Johnson
    • E1 – Steve Morrow
    • F1 – Dale Bodman
    • G1 – Tom Watson
    • H1 – Pete Kingman
    • I1 – Crannie Butler
    • A2 – Kevin Clement
    • B2 – Ken Hicks/ Bill Ry
    • C2 – George Mitroka/Ron Porter
    • D2 – Jim Vaughn
    • E2 – Bruce Cogossi
    • F2 – Barry Bomier
    • G2 – Tim Flanagan
    • H2 – David Anselmi
    • I2 – Jimmy McFadden
    • A3 – Pete Palmer
    • B3 – Kevin Benson
    • C3 – Mike Church
    • D3 – Rand Ballard
    • E3 – Len Shartzer
    • F3 – Greg Gorzelnik
    • G3 – Dan Fuller
    • H3 – Craig Schwegman
    • I3 – Stan Warrick
    • A4 – Geoff Clark
    • B4 – Gene Nosco
    • C4 – Steve Collier
    • D4 – Ray Bosse
    • E4 – Jerry Dittman
    • F4 – Richard Anderson
    • G4 – Lance Betros
    • H4 – Bruce Frasier/Andy Chmar/John Shephard
    • I4 – Bill Woodson

2.  Find missing classmates and link them up with the appropriate company coordinator.

3.  Reach out to former classmates to invite them to become an associate member of AOG. Click here to learn how.

Ladies of the Class

We are actively soliciting support from spouses/ partners/ girlfriends of our classmates to help with the planning activities leading up to our 45th. The next meeting of lady reps from each company is 24 April. Email Pam Warrick or Diana McMaster for more info.

1977 Class Gift 

Now is the time for us to consider our class gift (to be given at our 50–year Reunion).
Click here for the memo on developing class gift ideas. The key points:
– The gift should resonate in a way that we can see the connection to an idea or theme.
– The gift should link to one of the Supe’s strategic priorities.
– The cost of the gift aligns with classmates’ potential to give (roughly $800K – $1.3M)
– One or more classmates must commit to doing the required legwork.


We currently have 56 deceased classmates who need a memorial article.  Click here to read the relevant email from Keesy Goerbetus and for the list of deceased classmates
The goal is to identify someone to write each memorial article by Fri, 26 Mar 21, with the goal to complete all by Feb 22.

Comments?  Email Rich Trotter.

Esprit de Corps