Army West Point adds Chi Alpha Sigma patch to cadet uniforms
RIVER FALLS, Wis. -- The National College Athlete Honor Society proudly welcomed its first service academy in January when Army West Point established the New York Alpha Xi chapter of Chi Alpha Sigma. A total of 67 cadet-athletes representing 20 different sports joined the Chi Alpha Sigma fraternity in June as members of West Point's inaugural induction class.
"We were excited to bring Chi Alpha Sigma to West Point because it presents a fantastic opportunity to highlight and celebrate the tremendous work being done by our cadet-athletes," chapter advisor Dr. Jon Healy said. "West Point is very achievement-driven and there is a ton of excellence going on here every day. Cadet-athletes get a lot of shine for their athletic achievements, but in the academic and military pillars, their awesomeness can get drowned out a bit. Chi Alpha Sigma serves as a megaphone to shout to the West Point community and the world that these amazing young men and women are world-class scholars."
Like many Chi Alpha Sigma chapters this year, the Black Knights' spring induction ceremony was held remotely. However, Dr. Healy and his athletics department developed a unique way to not only celebrate the excellence of their cadet-athletes during their online ceremony but to also ensure that achievement would be recognized each day moving forward.
"The West Point experience is very different from typical college life by its very nature," Dr. Healy said. "As we considered what kinds of special ways we could celebrate our inductees, this uniqueness stuck out as an opportunity. The uniforms, the barracks, the formations, and parades all presented opportunities to tell the community that these cadets have achieved something special. So, with that in mind, we had special patches created for inductees that cadets will wear on their uniforms."
Given the special tradition that patches and ribbons have in the military, creating a visible mark for cadets' uniforms seemed an appropriate way to recognize Chi Alpha Sigma honorees. Cadets who earn induction into the National College Athlete Honor Society will have the "Scholar's Lamp" affixed to the varsity letter on their cadet uniform.
"We hope that many conversations are sparked as their classmates and teachers ask about that patch and they can take pride in telling about their achievements and this honor society."