West Point Superintendent Calls It a Career After 43 Years in the Army

U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen, the 59th superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy, and cadets celebrate receiving the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy during a ceremony at the Pentagon, in Arlington, Va., May 1, 2018. (U.S. Army photo/Anna Pol)
U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen, the 59th superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy, and cadets celebrate receiving the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy during a ceremony at the Pentagon, in Arlington, Va., May 1, 2018. (U.S. Army photo/Anna Pol)

WEST POINT -- Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen Jr. said goodbye to West Point and the Army on Friday.

Caslen, a member of West Point's class of 1975 and the military academy's superintendent since 2013, is retiring after 43 years in the Army.

"I have loved every single minute," Caslen said.

During his remarks at Friday's ceremony, Caslen confirmed that President Donald Trump has nominated Gen. Darryl Williams to succeed him. Williams was a 1983 West Point graduate.

"If he is confirmed by the Senate, he will be a breath of fresh air," Caslen predicted.

Caslen joined the Long Gray Line as a cadet in 1971, when the Vietnam War was still raging. Some people discouraged him from applying to West Point, saying if he joined the Army he would be called a "baby killer."

"But I saw the opportunity West Point brings," Caslen said.

From West Point's founding in 1802 to the current war on terrorism, cadets have graduated to become leaders on the front lines in all of America's wars, Caslen said.

"We have seen West Point cadets lead the way to a better world," he said.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley, who received the West Point flag from Caslen as the superintendent relinquished command, praised the general as "one of the most humble officers I ever knew," and one who accepted personal responsibility when things went wrong.

"He lives the (West Point) 'duty, honor, country' motto," Milley said. "He never, ever blames subordinates for anything."

Until Caslen's successor is officially named, Brig. Gen. Steve Gilland, the commandant of cadets, will be in charge of West Point. Milley, whose remarks were frequently laced with humor, kidded Gilland about that.

"In a few minutes, you own this bad boy," Milley told Gilland.

West Point has beaten Navy the past two years in their annual football game. That was a point of pride for Caslen, and he referred to it as he closed his remarks.

"Go Army! Beat Navy! Supe Daddy out!," he said.

This article is written by Michael Randall from The Times Herald-Record, Middletown, N.Y. and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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