By Jordan T. Character ’19
I enter the area of The United States Military Academy and am surrounded by massive, beautifully styled, grey stone buildings. For some it might have been overwhelming, but I felt welcomed as I myself will be joining everyone there in the Army very soon. We were taken to a massive and impressive building to sign in and greeted by cadets in uniform. Afterwards we were taken to the barracks to meet the cadets hosting us. The academy did a great job presenting itself and only continued to beat the previous impression with classy dining halls, good food, and incredible speakers to complement the intelligent students and professors invited from around the world to write policies at the round tables.
Student Conference of US Affairs (SCUSA) at West Point has been going on for 69 years, and each year the event produces policy letters to assist the United States in domestic and international affairs. Over the four days we discussed and wrote up policies pertaining to the region of the world or the topic assigned to us within our groups. I asked for the reason why West Point invites so many civilians to the conference, and the answer is one that Norwich University has the perfect opportunity to take full advantage of: SCUSA is held at West Point because in the future when we are higher ranking military officers and officials we need to know how to work with civilians; they write the policies letters and we execute them. The conference gives both sides insight into what that will be like working together in the future and allows for everyone to develop connections and friendships.
The conference really opened my eyes to why I chose Norwich and all the advantages we have. With the freedom we are given as cadets (compared to West Point cadets) and the daily interactions we have with civilians, we are easily prepared for a future of joint tasks. I had an incredible time socializing, learning, and building connections with current officers and the future officers I will work with that are cadets now. After attending and working with so many geniuses and subject matter experts, I realized what an honor it was to have been selected. I respect West Point, but also realized exactly why Alden Partridge left to create Norwich, and I think I am in the perfect place. Any chance I have to go back in the future, I will in a heartbeat. My eyes were opened even more to how intertwined the U.S. and U.S. military is with events around the world, and how interactions between other countries can have global consequences or benefits.