Watch Mission First 2014

The following introduction, written by Army Director of Athletics Boo Corrigan, explains the cultivation and execution of creating Mission First. Stories will be added on a weekly basis beginning Thursday, Oct. 2.

It's been nearly four years since my family and I arrived at West Point back in the winter of 2011 and we continue to be humbled by this wonderful institution and the people with which it is associated.

Each day, I believe, something happens at Army West Point that doesn't happen anywhere else in the country. While it may be easy to take some of this for granted, we work to make sure we keep the people first, for after all the Army is about people first.

This past year, we achieved success in all pillars, as is our charge from the Superintendent, and we look forward to continuing these successes. Whether it is the pride of having, now-second lieutenant Lindsey Danilack, lead the Corp of Cadets as the First Captain (and track and field captain); seeing second lieutenant Alex Brammer being recognized as a Marshall Scholar; or bringing home our first Star Series victory in 18 years, the 2013-14 year was another example of how we ensure we are always in alignment with the mission of the Academy: to education, train and inspire the Corps of Cadets so that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character committed to the values of Duty, Honor, Country and prepared for a career of professional excellence and service to the Nation as an officer in the United States Army.

In the coming pages, we will share 16 stories of those committed to the same values as our cadets. Some are graduates and some are not, but they all share the common bond of West Point and know that our goal is most easily accomplished if we stay together, trust and have great passion for this place.

We approached this year's offering with very much the same goal in mind: to feature some of those special athletes, staff members and graduates that have performed amazing feats of selfless service; that have placed their mission before all else.

As athletics administrators, we constantly preach the concept of "Team." There is no place for selfish thoughts or actions in a successful team environment. Most successful teams feature rosters filled with players and coaches that place the good of the team before any personal goals or agendas. That is the approach our administrators take and certainly the approach echoed by our coaches, no matter what the sport. Everyone on a team has a role and a purpose. Whether on the fields of friendly strife, on a court, in a pool, or on the track, we all need to be our very best that we can be for the team to succeed.

"Duty, Honor, Country." has shaped the lives of so many that have passed through West Point's hallowed grounds. We hope that our second edition of Mission First helps to promote some of the virtues this lifestyle represents. And we hope you enjoy reading some of these very special accounts, real-life adventures my family and I have the privilege of experiencing each and every day.

Go Army!

Eugene F. Corrigan Jr.

Director of Athletics


1st Lt. Erin Anthony: Driven to Succeed, By Tracy Nelson

Andrew Avelino: A Profile In Courage, By Kevin Gleason

Herman Bulls: Knowing No Boundries, By Harrison Antognioni

Maj. Ashlie Christian: A Cut Above The Rest, By Tracy Nelson

Dan Christman: True To The Corps, By John Feinstein

2nd Lt. Lindsey Danilack: Excellence Is A Habit, By Brian Gunning

Lt. Col. Greg Gadson: An Inspiration To Us All, By Wayne Coffey

Becky Halstead: Making a Difference, By Mady Salvani

William "Chico" Hurtdao: The Magical Zamboni Man, By Mady Salvani

Samuel Lessey Jr.: A West Point Man Through and Through, By Harrison Antognioni

The Lichtenberg Family: A Father's Legacy, By Brian Gunning

Dave Magarity: The Long and Winding Road, By Mike Vaccaro

Bob Novogratz: A Great American Story, By Mark Beech

Mady Salvani: 50 Years of Hard Work ... And Counting, By Ryan Yanoshak

Mission First Archive: 2013