The 2016 Engineer Dinner for graduating cadets at West Point who will enter the Engineer Branch was held April 21 at the U.S. Military Academy.
The annual event, co-hosted by the SAME New York City Post, brings together Army engineering leaders, the senior cadets, and members of SAME to celebrate the future engineers and give them an opportunity to connect with leaders and mentors into what will be expected of them in their careers.
During the dinner, Lt. Gen. Tom Bostick, P.E., USA, U.S. Army Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (and West Point alumni, Class of ’78) gave a keynote address that emphasized the importance of the young engineers taking on uncomfortable tasks, and that the Army—and the nation—need them to lead, and serve.
Said SAME National Vice President, retired Army Colonel and West Point graduate Kurt Ubbelohde (now with Leo A Daly) who was on hand to present the SAME David Fraser Award:
“During his speech, Gen. Bostick told the story of a young second lieutenant, Ross Davidson. In Bosnia, then-Col. Bostick and all his majors and lieutenant colonels were trying to satisfy a major general (who later went on to become a four-star general) with a SEA Hut design that would meet many competing requirements. Col. Bostick and his leaders were failing when young Davidson, an architect, approached and said he thought he had an idea that would work. Bostick looked the kid up and down thinking ‘sure you do!!??’ Long story short, 2nd Lt. Davidson briefed Ellis, who said the design was exactly what he wanted. Davidson’s design is now the standard used in base camp construction [Davidson-Style SEA Hut]. The message to the graduating engineers: You have great ideas so don’t be bashful in sharing them!“
Each year at the Engineer Appreciation Dinner each year, SAME presents a graduating engineer with the David M. Fraser Award for engineering excellence and leadership. The award is named after David Fraser, a 2004 West Point graduate who excelled as a student, leader and athlete. Fraser was killed while deployed to Iraq.
The 2016 David M. Fraser Award was presented to Cadet Blake Bequette. Cadet Bequette, who hails from Nebraska City, Neb., is ranked number one in his class and is headed next to MIT for two years to earn a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. Cadet Bequette also was awarded the Army Engineer Association (AEA) Award during the evening by Maj. Gen. Clair Gill, USA (Ret.), former AEA President.
Congratulations to all of this year’s graduating engineers from the U.S. Military Academy! For more information on the annual West Point Engineer Dinner, visit www.same-nyc.org.