When it comes to Army football, United States Military Academy (USMA) Superintendent Lieutenant General Robert Caslen knows how to get his cadets to show their school spirit.

After all, LTG Caslen donned the Army uniform as a cadet, playing center for the USMA (also called West Point) Black Knights in the 1970s.

In 2015, LTG Caslen led his team onto the field riding a custom-made Orange County Choppers motorcycle.

And then there was that time he took over the t-shirt cannon during West Point’s rout of the Lafayette Leopards, appropriately earning the nickname “Supe Daddy.”

The Lieutenant General is known to be out in front of the student section during games, pumping up the cadets, and leading them in the Army chant, “The Rocket.”

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Image Credit: West Point - The U.S. Military Academy/Flickr CC

Caslen once again made quite the entrance this past weekend at USMA’s Michie Stadium, where the Black Knights were set to take on North Texas, leading his team onto the field riding a motorcycle.

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Image Credit: West Point - The U.S. Military Academy/Flickr CC

But this wasn’t just any motorcycle.

The jet black bike, emblazoned with the West Point logo, was given in memory of the five USMA cadets and recent graduates who have passed away this year.

In addition to listing the names of the fallen, the bike includes this message:

Heroes get remembered but legends never die. In memory of Tom Surdyke.

The family of Surdyke, who passed away in June while attempting to save a swimmer from drowning, donated the motorcycle.

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Image Credit: West Point - The U.S. Military Academy/Flickr CC

The other memorialized heroes include:

  • Cadet Mitchell Winey, who was killed during a training exercise in June while at Fort Hood for Cadet Troop Leader Training when his vehicle was overturned by flood waters.
  • Recent graduate Second Lieutenant Michael Parros, who passed away in July while at Ranger School in Ft. Benning, Georgia after a hospitalization due to hyponatremia.

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Image Credit: West Point - The U.S. Military Academy/Flickr CC

  • Army football player Brandon Jackson, who was killed in a car accident in September, hours after playing in West Point’s victory over Rice.
  • Recent graduate Second Lieutenant Andrew Hunt, who passed away in September when he was found unresponsive at his residence at Fort Hood.

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Image Credit: West Point - The U.S. Military Academy/Flickr CC

It’s been an unbelievably difficult year for the West Point family.

But LTG Caslen’s entrance onto the football field was a stark reminder that the USMA family will continue to train, fight, and safeguard all that our country holds dearest.

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