For the Cumberland Times-News
OAKLAND — Aryne A. Riley of Oakland, who was recently appointed to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, is the first student from the Garrett County Public School system to receive an appointment to either the Air Force Academy, Naval Academy or Military Academy since 1997.
In 1997, the Gosnell sisters graduated from Northern High and both attended the Naval Academy.
Riley is a 2011 graduate of Southern High School and a sophomore at West Virginia University where he is majoring in aerospace and mechanical engineering.
In high school, Riley was active in the marching band, soccer, tennis, robotics and alpine ski racing.
Riley was a member of the WVU Drumline and Marching Band. Riley is the son of retired Lt. Col. Jack and Libby Riley.
The United States Military Academy is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located in West Point, N.Y. It is a highly selective institution of academic excellence accepting only 9 percent of all applicants in 2012.
Candidates for admission must both apply directly to the academy and receive a nomination, usually from a senator or representative.
Students are officers-in-training and are referred to as cadets or collectively as the United States Corps of Cadets.
Tuition for cadets is fully funded by the Army in exchange for an active duty service obligation upon graduation.
Approximately 1,300 cadets enter the academy each July with about 1,000 cadets graduating.
Reception Day, known as “R-Day,” where selectees enter West Point, is set for July 1 for the Class of 2017.
This is the day that all selectees will enter West Point.
All appointees that enter the academy on R-Day are referred to as “New Cadets” and marks the start of cadet basic training at Camp Buckner, known colloquially as Beast Barracks or Beast.
Most cadets consider Beast to be their most difficult time at the academy because of the strenuous transition from civilian to military life.
Acceptance Day, known as “A-Day,” is scheduled for Aug. 17. This is when the new cadets finish Beast and get formally accepted into the Corps of Cadets.
The academic program grants a bachelor of science degree with a curriculum that grades each cadet’s performance upon a broad academic program, military leadership performance and mandatory participation in competitive athletics.
Cadets are required to adhere to the Cadet Honor Code, which states that "a cadet will not lie, cheat, steal or tolerate those who do."
The academy bases a cadet’s leadership experience as a development of all three pillars of performance: academics, physical and military.