Watch Knight Vision Interview with Brandon Whittington
Watch Knight Vision Interview with Chris Boldt
Aug. 10, 2012
WEST POINT, N.Y. - The Army football team will be well represented among the cadet leadership during the upcoming school year with the announcement that senior DB Brandon Whittington has been named the First Captain of the United States Corps of Cadets, the highest position in the West Point cadet chain of command, for the 2012-13 school year. In addition, senior P Chris Boldt will serve as the First Regimental Commander, giving the team two of the top seven leadership positions.
As First Captain, Whittington is responsible for the overall performance of the approximately 4,400 member Corps of Cadets. He follows in the footsteps of other notable First Captains such as John J. Pershing, Douglas MacArthur and Pete Dawkins.
The First Captain, a senior who is also called the Brigade Commander, is similar to a student body president. His duties include implementing a class agenda and acting as a liaison between the Corps and the administration. In addition, Whittington is the top of a pyramid of cadet commanders who make up the chain of command for the Corps of Cadets at West Point.
"I think it says that our football program is going in the right direction," Whittington said. "Our main goal here is to become Army officers. Yes, we are Army football players, and we are committed to everything that it means to be an Army football player, but there is a bigger purpose for all of us. All the good things the football team is doing shows that we're committed to the overall goal, and that's becoming an Army officer."
Whittington is the first football player to serve as First Captain since Hans Pung during the 1994-95 school year. He is the 26th football player to serve in the position. It is also the third straight year that an Army corps squad athlete has served in one of the top two leadership positions. Basketball player Nathan Hedgecock and football's Max Jenkins served as Deputy Brigade Commander in 2010-11 and 2011-12, respectively.
"Brandon is special in a lot of ways," head coach Rich Ellerson said. "He has an unbelievable presence. There are a lot of guys who can be organized and be conscientious, but it's another level of competence where you have that situational presence and awareness of what people are looking for and need to hear. He does that intuitively. Brandon knows what the group needs to hear and see, and he steps forward. Most guys could figure it out if you gave them an hour, but he can do it in the blink of an eye. That has always set him apart. He's a good player. He has been a routine contributor, and he'll continue to contribute, but where he stands apart is in that situational presence. If you draw yourself a cadet, what you hope these guys are, and you'll get something very close to Brandon."
Prior to the start of football season, the El Paso, Texas native served as the Cadet Basic Training Commander, leading the regiment through the first three weeks of CBT that began with the inprocessing of the Class of 2016 at Reception Day.
As First Regimental Commander, Boldt will be responsible for leading approximately 1,100 cadets in one of the Corps' four regiments. Boldt is the second Army football player in the last three years to lead a regiment. Carson Homme served in a similar role with the Third Regiment in 2010-11.
"Our guys came here to be cadets," Ellerson said. "Yes, they're going to play the game of football, but they're going to engage in everything we do here, and they're going to excel in everything they do. I think you'll routinely see football players distinguishing themselves in the leadership."
The Black Knights began preseason practice this week and kick off their 2012 season on Sept. 8 at San Diego State.