Aug 12, 2024

Grad March Back

6/29 Update

Proud and Great Marchers!

Thanks for attending Thursday night’s Zoom call.  If you missed it, here are several updates and clarifications to help in registration, especially for those who will register Tuesday.  For those already registered, one can go back to the registration link and enter your confirmation number.  You can edit your earlier selections.  I needed to make an update and it went smoothly for me.

  1. Open Registration: (Lottery Marchers #51-118, 2 Mile Marchers and interested late comers), registration starts at Noon Eastern, July 2.  The link will be posted on this page: https://www.westpointaog.org/events/grad-march-back/  Don’t snooze on Tuesday. We'll send out an email once the link is published.

  2. Registration Type:  Be sure to select GMB 50 Yr Affiliate.

  3. During registration: You have the opportunity to select Monday Ike Hall BBQ, Noon to 1 PM.  We will hear from the Supe and plan to have tables reserved. Our class post-march BBQ, compliments of Bob Olds and Brian Keenan, will start at 2 PM with beverages and snacks, 3 PM for burgers and hot dogs.  There is no cost for the class cookout.  In Mid-July, an email will go out requesting RSVP and number of attendees to allow proper planning.

    NOTE:  There is no planned group transportation from West Point to Round Pond.  Do plan to drive or carpool.  For Safety, 14 mile marchers will be awake very early and probably more tired than you might think come Monday afternoon. A short night of sleep, followed by 14 mile march, throw in heat and humidity of an August afternoon, you will be very tired.  Have a designated driver to get you back to hotel or lodging safely after our cookout, or you might be sleeping under the stars at Round Pond. We might assign a striper dog to ensure one is good to drive!

  4. Sunday Lake Frederick BBQ: During registration, it showed how many spots were left.  I was concerned there was a limited number.  Tom Oakley assured me that any ’78 grad marcher (14 mile and 2 mile) who wants to attend, will attend. This was just a counter of the top 50 registration.

  5. 2 mile Marchers: We are looking for volunteers to serve as greeters and cheer on the class of 2028 as they arrive at the ski slope. Here is a great chance to be a Rabble Rouser. Be our class representatives who warmly and enthusiastically welcome our 50 year affiliate class.  Contact me if interested.

  6. Medical Clearance Form:  Click here to view/download the form.  The form can be completed by your doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant.  Please return the form to angela.hendrickson@westpoint.edu  prior to the March Back.  You can also turn in a physical copy of the form on 11 August during sign-in.
  7. CLICK HERE FOR PARTICIPANT LIST AS OF 6/29/2024: Listed by lottery results - 14 Mile Marchers: top 50 [in bold] followed by #51 - #114 and 2 Mile Marchers
  8. Click Here to view the slides from the 6/27/2024 March Back Zoom Call.

Feel free to contact me if you have questions.

Proud & Great ’78!

Bill Moeller
(832)594-4980
Billmoeller78@gmail.com


Click Here to view the slides from the 6/27/2024 March Back Zoom Call.


Hello Proud and Great ’78 Marchers,

I am announcing a Zoom Call for Thursday, June 27th at 8:00 PM Eastern.  The Pre-registration will have started earlier in the day.  We can share experiences on the registration process.  It will also be good intel for those who plan to sign up during the regular open registration beginning July 2nd at 12:00 Eastern.  There will be plenty of time for questions, sharing training tips and fellowship.

Here is the link:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89673522796 and it is the same as the Friday Beer Call Zoom.

Please add this informative meeting on your calendar and plan to attend if available.  If you are unable to attend, I will summarize and send notes of the discussion ASAP.  

CLICK HERE FOR PARTICIPANT LIST AS OF 6/20/2024: Listed by lottery results - 14 Mile Marchers: top 50 [in bold] followed by #51 - #114 and 2 Mile Marchers

March On!

Bill Moeller
billmoeller78@gmail.com
(832)594-4980


Hello Marchers,

USMA just alerted those interested in the March Back that the dates of registration have changed. Information below came from Director of Alumni Affairs, Tom Oakley '00.

CLICK HERE FOR PARTICIPANT LIST AS OF 6/20/2024: Listed by lottery results - 14 Mile Marchers: top 50 [in bold] followed by #51 - #114 and 2 Mile Marchers

NEW REGISTRATION DATES:

Pre-registration for the top fifty 50-Year Affiliate Marchers:  Thursday, 27 June at 1200 Eastern and closes on Monday, 1 July at 2359 Eastern time.  Top 50 will receive an email with registration instructions the morning of 27 June which will include a link to the registration site.  The only way to register during this initial registration period is through this email link.  This email link is non-transferrable and will not work if forwarded.  On 27 June, if you believe you should have received the email and did not, please first check your spam folder for an email from our registration site called ‘Cvent.’  If you don’t find it, please contact Tom Oakley ’00 at (614)732-2192 so he can get you the link.

Open Registration for remaining ’78 fourteen and 2 mile marchers:  Opens on Tuesday, 2 July at 1200 Eastern time.  You will access the registration site through a link that will be posted on the WPAOG march back page: https://www.westpointaog.org/GradMarchback. Slots will fill quickly on a first come, first served basis on 2 July, so be ready to register at 1200 hrs.  Also note all grads interested in the Grad March Back are able to register at that time so timing is critical! If the system allows you to select and purchase the full march back, you have a slot. A few notes about registration:

  1. Deadline: The last day to register for the Grad March Back (full or short) is 31 July at 2359.

  2. March Back Gear:  Due to ordering lead-times, the sign-up deadline is 5 July at 2359 so as to guarantee you receive the uniform shirt and all of the gear.  You can still register for the full march back (if slots remain) or for the short ski-slope march back after 5 July, but will not be guaranteed a march back shirt or all of the gear.  If you sign up after the 5 July deadline, you agree to provide and wear your own black polo shirt so that all marchers are wearing the same color.  Refunds will be issued after march back if items are not received.

  3. BBQ:  There are two BBQ options on Sunday, 11 August.
    • Lake Frederick BBQ:  This is for our Class of ’78 grads only - No family members can go. We have the option to go to Lake Frederick to have lunch with the new cadets.  Transportation will be required. This is the first time in several years that this visit will be allowed.  This was approved especially for our class only.
    • Herbert Hall BBQ:  This option is open to all marchers, family and friends.  This year food will be provided by Mission BBQ, and Academy Senior Leaders will address the group.  If you want to schmooze or meet up with other grads, this is for you.
  4. Full March Back Wait List Procedures:  USMA will maintain a waitlist for the full March Back.  If you attempt to register after the full march back slots are filled, the system will give you the option to register for the short march back and join the waitlist.  This will guarantee you receive all of the march back gear (so long as you register by 5 July). If you would prefer to add your name to the full march waitlist without registering for the short march, send an email to thomas.oakley@westpoint.edu, and state that you would like to be added to the waitlist.  If you choose this option to join the waitlist, he cannot guarantee you will receive all of the march back gear.

  5. Registration fees will include: March Back transportation, uniform polo shirt, old grad t-shirt, custom hat, lanyard, nametags, water bottle, duffle bag, memorial coin, commemorative coin / pin, march back breakfast and snacks. The Sunday BBQs, Monday Lunch, and additional items are available for purchase during registration.

  6. Cancellation / Refunds:  You can cancel and request a full refund until 21 July 2024.  If you learn after 21 July that you’ll be unable to join us for the march, USMA will ship you your March Back gear.

Reminder for Reporting to Herbert Hall on Sunday, 11 August:

  1. Sign-in, Rules of Engagement / Safety Briefing:  Sign-in will take place on Sunday morning, 11 August at Herbert Hall 0900 – 1200.  Each marcher will be asked to attend one of several ROE briefs taking place throughout the morning at Herbert Hall (detailed schedule to follow).  Your registration items (uniform, bag, water bottle, etc) will be available for pickup at Herbert Hall on Sunday at check in.  There will be a limited number of additional items available for sale.

  2. Medical Clearance Form: This year the Academy is requiring a medical clearance for all full-marchers (not required for the 2-miler) who will be age 60 or over on the day of the March Back (12 August 2024). Click here to access the form.  The form can be completed by your doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant.  Please return the form to angela.hendrickson@westpoint.edu  prior to the March Back.  You can also turn in a physical copy of the form on 11 August during sign-in.

  3. Uniform:  This year’s uniform will be the issued black top polo shirt and your own provided khaki shorts/pants.  You are welcome to wear a backpack / ruck provided it is generally military in appearance and color (e.g. black, OD green, cammo patterns are fine) or a camelback hydration pack. You might pack a light poncho if it rains.  Hiking poles are OK to use if needed to assist with balance.  When training, do wear your planned khaki shorts to see if they chafe.  You do not want that to happen.  Look for loose fitting shorts on legs.

  4. Cadet / Platoon Assignment Requests:  During registration you will have the opportunity to request to march with a specific cadet or other march back participant(s).  We will make every effort to accommodate all requests.  We will have the cadet roster, so if you give us a name, we will identify the squad / platoon / company – no need to resubmit the request via email.  Note: requests to march with specific cadets only apply to the full march back.  All of '78 will march in mass formation from the ski slope to Q100 (2-mile march).
  5. Post March Back Class picnic at Round Pond: As a reminder, the Old Man, aka Bob Olds and others are planning/sponsoring a class picnic at Round Pond immediately following the Grad March Back. Details will be forthcoming but we hope to celebrate as a class at that time!

  6. Travel: Many will be flying in and renting cars to drive up to West Point. Ride sharing is encouraged! As such we encourage those flying up to share their itineraries with this distro in an effort to economize to the extent possible.

Please do not hesitate to reach out should you have any questions. Another registration reminder shall be sent out on Wed, 26 June as a registration reminder. In addition, we'll announce a Zoom Call where we can discuss lodging and travel in a bit more detail.

Happy Trails and Keep Training!

Bill Moeller
(832)594-4980
billmoeller78@gmail.com


Click Here to view slides from May 22, 2024 Grad March Back Zoom Call


Grad March Back Zoom Call: Wednesday, May 22, 2024 @ 7:00PM EST

Hello Marchers,

I am announcing a Zoom Call for Wednesday May 22 at 7 PM Eastern.  I have some exciting news to share along with discussion regarding the registration process, training, logistics, and Old Man’s post march cookout.  There will be plenty of time for questions, sharing training and fellowship.

Here is link:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89673522796

Please add this very important meeting on your calendar and plan to attend.  If you are unable to attend, I will summarize and send minutes of the discussion.  If there is interest, I can schedule a couple follow-on meetings for June and July.

March On!

Bill Moeller
(832)594-4980


Warning Order #2

10 May 2024

Situation
USMA Class of ‘78 continues 50 year affiliation preparation in support Class of 2028 at the USMA March Back 2024.  Interested classmates will register for the march back in 2 phases based on recent lottery results.  Lottery Results page Click Here!

Mission
Team Proud and Great registers for the USMA March Back 2024 on 21 June 2024 1200hrs Eastern for the Top 50 lottery winners.  Lottery slots #51 to 122 of 14 mile hike classmates and the 2 mile hike classmates register on 25 June 2024 1200 hrs Eastern.

Execution
a. Commander’s Intent:  

Team Proud and Great aggressively registers on the appropriate time to secure one’s desired hike.  Goal is to have many classmates consolidate on Objective West Point on 11 – 12 Aug 2024 for hiking and/or fellowship.

b. Earliest time of registration:
Top 50 Lottery slots will pre-register on Friday, 21 June at 1200 Eastern and close on Monday, 24 June at 2359 Eastern.  If you are in the top 50 group, you will receive an email with registration instructions on the morning of 21 June which will include a link to the registration site.  The only way to register during this initial reservation period is through the provided email link.  Please note: this email link is non-transferrable and will not work if forwarded.  If you believe you should have received the email and did not receive it by 1200 hrs 21 June, first check your spam folder for this registration invite.  If you do not have it, contact me.

c.  Open Old Grad Registration:
Lottery slots #51 – 122 and 2 mile hikers will register on Tuesday 25 Jun 2024 at 1200 hrs Eastern at the registration site through a link that will be posted on the WPAOG march back page: https://www.westpointaog.org/GradMarchback.   Slots fill quickly.  Be ready to register in the minutes leading up to 1200 hrs.  Register quickly at 1200 hrs as slots are desired by other old grads.  The 14 mile march back slots go quick.  The 2 mile hike slots allow as many who want to sign up to register. Remember to sign up for the 50 year affiliate polo shirt.  

d.  Full March Back is Limited.

Slots are on a first-come-first-serve basis.  Proud and Great is encouraged to sign up as soon as the open grad registration period begins.  If the system allows you to select and purchase the full march back, you have a slot. Once again, be ready at 1200 hrs Eastern.  Set a reminder alarm for 1145 25 June to alert your memory.  Price of registration

e.  Wait List – Full March Back.  

USMA will maintain a waitlist for the full march.  Most years, quite a few individuals from the waitlist get invited to join 14 miler.   If you attempt to register after the full march back slots are filled, the system will give you the option to join the waitlist. Get on the waitlist.  You can also register for the short march, and add your name to the waitlist for the full.  

f.  Medical Clearance Form: This year the Academy is requiring a medical clearance for all full-marchers (not required for the 2-miler) who will be age 60 or over on the day of the march back (12 August 2024). Click here to access the form. It can be completed by your doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant. Contact info will be provided at a later date for submitting the form. Alternatively, the physical copy of the form can be submitted on 11 August during sign-in.

Happy Trails.  Keep Training.
Proud & Great ’78!


Bill Moeller
50 YAP March Back Coordinator

billmoeller78@gmail.com

(832)594-4980


Greetings Proud and Great!

As the lead for our 50 Year Affiliation for the Grad March Back along with Steve Anderson, I want to provide information to help one make a decision on whether to volunteer for the full 14 mile march or join the 2 mile march.

Date: The 2024 GradMarch Back will occur on Monday, 12 August 2024, with mandatory check-in and safety briefing on Sunday, 11 August 2024.

Schedule of Events (tentative):

  • Sun, 11 Aug 2024 @ 0900 - 1200 hrs:Rolling registration, packet pick-up & safety briefing at Herbert Hall
  • Sun, 11 Aug 2024 @ TBD hrs: Lunch under the tent outside Herbert Hall
  • Mon, 12 Aug 2024 @ 0200 hrs: Bag-Check and Load buses at Buffalo Soldiers Field
  • Mon, 12 Aug 2024 @ Daybreak: March back from Lake Frederick
  • Mon, 12 Aug 2024 @ Arvin Gymnasium: Bag Pick-up and Showers
  • Mon, 12 Aug 2024 @ TBD hrs: Class Cookout at Round Pond

Lodging: Is the responsibility of the participant, and it's probably not a bad idea to book lodging as soon as you may be comfortable doing so, particularly now that the date has been set. The most convenient is probably The Thayer Hotel, but it is also likely the priciest. As the affiliate class, we expect additional guidance from AOG wrt lodging and that will be made available via email as quickly as we learn of it. 

Registration Cost:  TBD but what we know is that it was $315 in 2023, which included registration fee, required Grad gray polo Shirt, March Back T shirt, and Sunday and Monday lunches. The Class cookout is a separate charge and not a part of the Grad March Back Registration Fee. These details are still being worked out and will be published as soon as the are confirmed.  Note: Currently only50 classmates are permitted for the 14 mile march.  Unlimited number of classmates can sign up for 2 mile march from Ski Slope to Supe’s Quarters 100,which is all downhill. Our Class Leadership is working with USMA to increase the cap to 78 marchers or to remove the cap entirely.

Participants as of 6/20/2024: As of 2/25/2024 we are no longer accepting 'applicants' for the 14 Mile Grad March Back. We are accepting 'applicants' for the 2 Mile Grad March back from the Ski Slope to the Supe' Quarters as there is no limit to how many old grads can participate in this March back. The list of registered participants is in numerical order based on the results of the lottery held 2/23/2024. Scroll to the bottom of this page or Click Here!

Grad March Back Training Guide was prepared for last years Grad March Back and contains a wealth of information. Read and digest. A new version will be released that is specific to Class of 2028 in the next few months.

The Selection Process aka The Lottery: The lottery was held on the 2/23/2024 at the Beer/Bourbon Zoom Call. Bill spun the wheel and golden eggs were handed out. The list below reflects the results.

Fitness:  To complete the 14 mile hike, one should have a recent physical and be in good shape to maintain a 15-20 min per mile hiking pace. There are a couple rest stops enroute. If one is unable to keep up with his assigned platoon, he will be moved to a SAG vehicle and relocated to the Ski Slope.  If you are not sure you can complete the entire hike, start your training now to toughen your feet from blisters and work towards improving endurance.  There is plenty of time to put a plan in place.  I will provide suggested training plans at a later date. Ultimately, I would like to approach AOG with a list of 100+ classmates who are motivated to be great examples to the Class of 2028.  I really want to request 78 slots for the14 mile hike, get that number, and then have 78 classmates successfully finish the hike, well, because we are proud and great.  On a real serious note, at the 2023 March Back, a younger grad from Class of ’82 suffered a massive heart attack on the first hill just after the start and died.  We have had classmates in recent years take spills, resulting in a broken ankle and injured arm or shoulder.  The hike starts in the dark and is mostly uphill for the first 3 miles or so.   We must remain vigilant of our surroundings. Training needs to include hiking on trails at a park or Appalachian Trail like Tom Day did.

Bill's Training Tips: IronMan Bill Moeller has started to develop Training Tips to help inspire, motivate and help get us ready to endure the Grad March Back. Click here to see Bill's Training Tips!

Footwear:  Sturdy hiking boots/shoes are recommended.

Timeline:   See warning order below.

West Point AOG Info - Click Here


If you are still with me and interested, here is your warning order for additional planning.  Call or contact me if you have questions at billmoeller78@gmail.com or(832)594-4980.  Initially, reply to me only and not the entire class. At some point, we may set up a March Back What's App or email list to share success and questions as we train and get closer to crossing the LD.


Warning Order

Situation
USMA Class of ‘78 continues 50 year affiliation operations in support Class of2028 at the USMA March Back 2024.  Classmates will travel to West Point to demonstrate to Class of ’28 what it means to be an operationally ready Old Grad who has given a lifetime of service to the Army and community.  Fifty classmates will be registered and assigned to the 14 mile Grad March Back. All other classmates are encouraged to link up with the full Grad March Back hikers to march the final 2 miles from Victor Constant Ski Slope to Quarters 100.

Mission
Team Proud and Great conducts a road march at Lake Frederick, NY with Class of2028 new cadets on TBD XXXX hrs__ Aug 2024 to motivate and inspire a lifetimeof fitness and service in Class of 2028.  Team executes link up withadditional classmates to complete the final 2 miles of the Grad March Back.

Grad March Back Elevation Profile

Execution
a. Commander’s Intent:  Team Proud and Great conducts road march to link up with additional ’78 classmates at the Ski Slope, and marches on to successfully complete road march to Superintendent’s Quarters 100, demonstrating to the WestPoint cadets, faculty, Old Grads, and the West Point community that the Class of ‘78 is truly Proud and Great.

b. Earliest time of movement:  
Sunday __ Aug 2024
0900 Check-in and Rule of Engagement/Safety briefs at Herbert Hall until Noon
1200 BBQ and greetings from West Point Senior Leaders at Herbert Hall

Monday __ Aug 2024
0200 Full March back participants meet at Buffalo Soldiers Field.  We willhave a bag drop for post-march change of clothes & toiletries at BuffaloSoldier Field.  Marchers load buses.

0230 Depart via bus for Lake Frederick
0300 Breakfast at Hanger at Lake Frederick
0330 USCC briefs by company in hanger; move to CBT company areas after brief
0330 – 0450  USCC briefs by company in hanger; move to CBT company areasafter brief for link up

0845   2-mile (ski slope) marchers assemble at Buffalo Soldiers Field
0900 Bus departs for ski lodge
1005 Group photo at ski lodge
1100 Pass and review past Quarters 100
1130 – 1230 Personal Hygiene Time – Arvin Gym
1230 Luncheon in Ike Hall (attire is casual or ‘as for March Back’)
1800 Class Cookout is a possibility, maybe at Round Pond.

Uniform: The Grad March Back uniform is Black shorts (provided bymarcher) and gray grad shirt which is part of the march back packet that youwill order at time of official sign up with AOG in June.  The packageincludes gray grad polo shirt, Grad March Gack T-shirt, and Sunday and Mondayluncheons as addons.  The package totaled $315 in 2023.

Marchers are also encouraged to have a Camelback hydration pack or water bottle.  You may carry a backpack with other items such as rain jacket, sunscreen, snacks, etc.

Start your training now.  
Proud and Great ’78!

Bill Moeller
(832)594-4980
Billmoeller78@gmail.com

 

 

Participant List as of 6/20/2024

So what is next?

The top 50 names will be held until requested by the West Point Chief of Alumni Affairs who plans the Grad March Back. This list will be submitted in May.  Now the top 50 can be focused and get after the training, if not already started, and to make travel reservations.

After this lottery, if work, or a wedding or injury stops you from participating, please let me know ASAP so I can contact #51 on the list to see if he is still interested.  On or about June 1, these 50 will receive an email invite to register early and pay fees for shirts, ball cap, water bottle, gym bag, etc. Open registration will commence some days after.

As for the open registration, this will be for everyone else on the list.  #51 thru #125 will have the equal opportunity for registration for the Grad March back.  One should be online and ready to go when open registration starts.  These slots are highly sought after and the 14 mile march will “sellout” in 3-4 hours as it has in past years from what I understand.  If the 14 mile sells out, and you really want to do the 14mile hike, do sign up for the 2 mile hike.  All marchers get the same gear.  There will be a good chance that we will be able to move

For those planning to do the 2 mile march, I suggest signing up later in the afternoon of open registration. Any number of grads can register for the 2miler.  After registration closes, I will get the updated roster of our class 14 mile marchers.  I will be sure those names are removed from the wait list and transferred to the 14 mile list.  The wait list will be reposted on our class website so all know where one stands.  

Unfortunately, there will be drop outs throughout the summer.  I will get updates and be able to move marchers from 2 miles to 14 miles.  Steve Anderson and I will be coordinating this even on the Sunday of check in on August 11.  We will do everything we can to get all healthy marchers intothe 14 miler.  I do hope that many will come for the fellowship that this weekend will provide as we reminisce back 50 years ago.

 

Bill "Marathon Maniac" Moeller

billmoeller78@gmail.com 

Related Info & Resources

May 8, 2024

Grad March Back Participants

View details
Details Coming Soon