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Hudson Valley Press

August 15th, 2012

White commissioned during USMA ceremony

Daniel White graduated from the United States Military Academy on August 10, 2012. White and his brother, David White, Jr., are the first African American brothers in Ulster County to accomplish that feat.
WEST POINT - For the first time in Ulster County, two African American brothers have now graduated from the United States Military Academy. On Friday, Daniel White, of Milton, joined his brother, David, Jr. in a prestigious rank: a graduate of USMA. The younger White was one of 15 cadets who composed the August, 2012 Class, taking part in the intimate ceremony, held in Eisenhower Hall.

“You are valued members of the Army, who no doubt will lead our soldiers well,” said Brigadier General Theodore D. Martin, Commander of Cadets, as he offered the Graduation Address. “We need you, and I truly challenge you to apply all the lessons that you have learned here at West Point.”

Stressing the integral need of graduates to inspire leadership, Martin further spoke of the crucial role parents played in this special day. Among those in the crowd were Whites’ parents, David Sr. and Kathy.

“The emotions are overwhelming right now; it’s an honor to have two sons who believe so much in their country to serve it and have so much pride doing so,” said White, Sr. “Dan has been very committed and persevered to make his dream a reality; today marks a tall foundation for him to continue to be successful.”

That dedication was tested just over a year ago when Daniel tore his ACL while training for a key graduation requirement, the obstacle course. The injury caused the younger White brother to miss some physical requirements, four Army physical fitness tests as well as a cadet learning in training course. Managing to make everything up this summer, Daniel was all smiles as he received his diploma and was commissioned on Friday.

“This is the happiest day of my life,” said Daniel White. “It’s an incredible honor to graduate from West Point, and it’s just so nice that so many people were able to show up.”

Whites’ nearby home residence produced a large showing of family and friends at the summer graduation. Many of them were able to look on as White to his oath to serve and thanked those close to him during the traditional Commissioning Ceremony. Referring to his older brother as a war hero (David was recently awarded the Purple Heart for his efforts during a mission in Afghanistan), Daniel was teary-eyed as he spoke of his father’s influence.

“My dad always taught me mediocrity is not acceptable,” said White. “I often thought of those words when I was studying or when times were tough, and they kept me going.”

Daniel will keep going with his military passion. After a 60 day break for travel, he is headed off to South Korea for Officer’s Training Camp.

“This is the last day it will be about me,” said Daniel during his Commissioning. “After that, it’s about my soldiers.”

Also on hand at the ceremony was Lieutenant General David Huntoon, Superintendent of West Point.

“This graduation might be a little later, but no less important to our Army,” said Huntoon, who added that 19% of the Army is made up of USMA personnel.

“Today we are providing our nation with more leaders of character, who come from every state in the Union and 33 countries, and who share a deep commitment to serving others.”
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