MILITARY UNIVERSITY OF LAND FORCES  


More than 4 thousand cadets, including 2 from the Military University of Land Forces, are participating in courses organised by United States Military Academy at West Point (USMA).

They are being trained by experienced lecturers and instructors who have led soldiers in many international military missions. Cadet Sergeant Aleksandra Smoleń and Cadet Sergeant Jakub Krawczyk are the first to participate in student exchange with USMA. The cadets had this opportunity thanks to the cooperation agreement signed by the Rector Commandant, Brig. Gen. Dariusz Skorupka, DSc, Eng., and Lieutenant General Robert L. Caslen Jr., Superintendent of USMA, in October last year. It guarantees student exchange, among other things, which means that our cadets may study in the United States, and students from West Point may learn, on the same terms, at AWL. For our cadets, the semester started with an official registration, after which they received personal computers and temporary email addresses for the duration of their studies, in order to facilitate efficient and quick communication with teachers and other cadets in the company. The cadets were assigned to Company E1/ Battalion 2/ Regiment 1 and appointed as team leaders. Each of them commanded six American cadets. Their duties included keeping training documentation and supervising their subordinate cadets. At USMA cadets serve in 4 regiments. The regiments are divided into battalions, which in total include 36 companies. In a company, there is only one officer (TCO) and one non-commissioned officer (TNCO). Their roles are of supervision and support only. All the duties, starting from section commanders to company commanders, are performed by cadets, who swap functions after each completed semester. On the other hand, the functions of battalion and regiment commanders and their deputies are doubled up by cadets, who have additional duties. “The dress code for American cadets, in force at West Point, was quite a surprise for us,” said Cadet Sergeant Jakub Krawczyk. “Four days of the week the cadets wear official uniforms, including a dark shirt with a tie, trousers with a crease, and high-gloss shoes, to give the cadets a more formal and academic look. On Wednesdays, on the other hand, they wear the Army Combat Uniforms,” added the cadet.

After lessons, and in the afternoons and evenings, the dress-code regulations are less strict, and differ for various cadet years. First-year students must wear uniforms all day long. Second- and third-year students may wear what is referred to as “West Point Casual” – civilian clothing with USMA branding. For the last year only there is no precise dress code. Courses at West Point for AWL cadets are very intensive. “Although there is less practice and more theory than at the Military University of Land Forces, the teaching method at West Point is based on active learning, which requires good preparation for every lesson. This is why during the week I spend almost all my free time on studying the prescribed material and doing homework and projects,” said Cadet Sergeant Aleksandra Smoleń. Studying at West Point requires hard work and perfect organisation. Especially the latter is necessary to cope with organising one’s student life at the Academy. In order to support newcomers to USMA, special courses are organised at the Academy to teach them how to correctly plan their time, prepare for exams, and study effectively. This is because the Academy aims to train up leaders and develop their leadership skills. It educates cadets to be able to cope with every situation and act as role models for their subordinates. An honour code is to be observed and seniors are to be respected. There are no military specialisations for cadets before year 4. The initial 3 years are devoted to paramilitary and civilian courses. Also, no particular major is forced on them. They can choose their subjects from a wide selection offered by the Academy. Lessons are taught in small groups. The course guide and syllabus describe all courses, the topics to be prepared, and the mandatory literature and questions, and every student can access these to properly prepare themselves for the lessons.

Beat Navy! The appropriate development of cadets’ fitness plays a very important role in the process of their education. It is pursued by establishing extensively developed sports groups open to new members. Joint training and rivalry are major factors uniting the entire West Point community. Not only cadets, but also officers and their families and employees of the Academy, are associated with academic teams. “It is obligatory to attend important sports events, and it is a great opportunity to build the spirit of USMA,” said Cadet Sergeant Jakub Krawczyk. The winners of individual and team sports competitions, regarded as important for the Academy, are always honoured in front of other students. At the same time, academic rivalry is also underlined. “The United States Naval Academy in Annapolis is the greatest rival of West Point. The Army–Navy football game, played before hundreds of thousands of supporters, is the most famous symbol of this rivalry. It is also the source of the “Beat Navy!” phrase functioning among the US Army soldiers.

West Point is also its tradition and history with which the cadets meet every day. This is evident when you read the building names and descriptions of landmarks in West Point. All buildings are named after generals who have contributed the most to the country, while the names of other landmarks originate from the history of the United States or important values cherished among the USMA academic circles. On the Academy’s premises there are monuments, squares, parks, and remains dating back to the American Civil War. Every cadet, as part of his/her basic training, must learn their history, exact names, and locations. The United States Military Academy at West Point is the most important military university in the United States, which has educated US Army officers for more than two centuries. West Point offers 37 majors in 13 departments.

 

The Rector Commandant visits West Point

A delegation from the Military University of Land Forces, led by the Rector Commandant, Brig. Gen. Dariusz Skorupka, DSc, Eng., paid a working visit to the United States Military Academy at West Point (USMA). The delegation also included the Representative of the Rector Commandant for International Cooperation and Protocol, Colonel Krzysztof Klupa, PhD, and Vice-Dean for Military Affairs of the Management Faculty Major Marcin Bielewicz, PhD. The main purpose of the visit was to determine the areas and conditions of cooperation between the universities. Lieutenant General Robert L. Caslen, Superintendent of USMA, highlighted the will to cooperate with AWL and its future benefits. He repeatedly mentioned the common history of the two universities, in particular the figure of General Tadeusz Kościuszko, who holds an important place in the history of West Point. During a series of working meetings with representatives of academic and military departments, AWL’s delegation was introduced to the history, structure and process of educating leaders at West Point. The nature and fields of cooperation were determined, which included cadet and staff exchange, publications, scientific internships, and research cooperation. AWL's package for international students enjoyed significant interest among the Americans, especially the international semester under the Erasmus+ Programme, as well as specialist courses and sports and military competitions. Rector Commandant, Brig. Gen. Dariusz Skorupka, DSc, Eng., invited cadets from West Point to participate in these endeavours. The visit kick-started cooperation between these two military universities. A formal agreement is to be signed soon.




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