Once again, we are joined in the Chamber by a contingent from the prestigious United States Military Academy. Let's give them a warm Assembly welcome.
Leading the contingent from our historic Hudson Valley is the Superintendent of West Point, Lieutenant General David H. Huntoon, Jr., who is accompanied by his wife, Mrs. Margaret Huntoon.
Superintendent Huntoon was commissioned in 1973 from the United States Military Academy at West Point, and became its leader in July of 2010.
Among the many command and staff assignments that have marked his distinguished career, Lieutenant General Huntoon served as Deputy Director and ultimately Director of Plans for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, commanded the 5th Battalion, 2oth Infantry at Camp Casey in Korea, and was Director of Strategy, Plans and Policy at the Pentagon.
He holds a Masters of Arts in International Relations from Georgetown University as well as a Masters Degree in Military Arts and Sciences from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. The Superintendent is the recipient of numerous commendations and awards, including the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, and the Bronze Star.
But I am guessing, Superintendent, that your and Mrs. Huntoon's greatest source of pride are your sons:
David, who is serving in the 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team in Iraq;
We hope that you and Mrs. Huntoon enjoy your day in our State Capitol.
Joining the Superintendent here in the Chamber are:
We are well aware of "The Point's" inspiring history and we are exceedingly proud that this vaunted institution - this shaper of leaders and heroes, patriots and pioneers - makes its home in our great Empire State.
We profoundly admire and respect that West Point - which was founded in 1802 as America's first engineering school - continues to rank among the nation's very best colleges for quality of education and educational experience.
To our Cadets, the young men and women who are the stars of the show here this afternoon, we applaud your deep and abiding commitment to Duty … Honor … and Country. You are the best of the best. You are the hope of our nation.
On behalf of this, the People's House of the New York State Legislature, we offer you our heartfelt best wishes for success in all of your future endeavors and we ask the Creator to bless you, to guide and to protect you as you prepare for your commissions in the United States Army.
Thank you for being here, and may G-d bless all of the men and women of our Armed Forces wherever they may serve.