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A spirit mission, gentlemen, is an activity undertaken by cadets that is typically somewhat against regulations yet demonstrates qualities that the academy supposedly seeks to develop: audacity, teamwork, creativity, and mission focus. Costa Rica Jerseys From China . The successful accomplishment of a good spirit mission enhances the spirit not only of the cadets involved but also that of the whole Corps and the greater West Point community in general-- Spirit Mission, a novel by Ted RussThe disciplinary form dated Dec. 6, 1990, for West Point cadet Edward Russ was harsh and unambiguous.Under the heading Error in Judgement With Major Effect, it read that Russ was being censured for participating in an activity which had been explicitly prohibited by the chain of command. In a section titled, Comments on Leader Dimensions, it read, did not display the moral courage necessary to halt prohibited activity by peers and subordinates.While most such conduct reports were written up and then signed by a captain or perhaps a major, this one was signed by Brig. Gen. David Bramlett, West Points commandant of cadets.And what was the offense that merited such severe language and the personal attention of a future four-star general?The report described the transgression as misappropriating the Navy goat.Russ and a team of nine, after more than a year of planning, had stolen the Navy goat, Bill XXVI, from a guarded pen just before midnight on Nov. 17, 1990, in advance of the annual Army-Navy game.To Russ and his crew, it was a spirit mission. In the strictly regimented world of West Point, where Russ said cadets have less freedom than a minimum security prisoner, spirit missions are coordinated and surreptitious circumnavigations of West Point rules that vary from minor pranks to sophisticated operations. They are simultaneously part of the military culture and acts that can cause cadets and their supervisors all sorts of trouble.Russ published a novel this fall, Spirit Mission, that fictionalized his real-life experiences as a West Point cadet, including his stealing the goat. That narrative is framed by another, far more serious, fictionalized spirit mission, an off-the-grid, white-knuckle rescue operation in Iraq that explores the complexities of duty, friendship and military politics.I never felt like more of a cadet than when I was doing an activity that was against the rules, Russ said. Part of writing the book was trying to scratch that itch and figure out why that was.Cadets first kidnapped the Navy goat in 1953, and it has become a quasi-tradition, imbued with glory but also laden with potentially negative ramifications, as Russ and his crew knew even before they launched their operation. Russ and his co-planner, a high-ranking, active-duty member of the military who requested anonymity and will be called the Accomplice here, in fact, learned how complicated things might get beyond logistics when they confided their plans to author and military historian, Tom Carhart, at a book signing.Carhart, a West Point graduate, had been part of a goat-stealing operation in 1966.First thing he said was, No. 1, dont do it, the Accomplice said. Then he said, No. 2, I know youre probably going to anyway. Just understand it affects a lot of people very fast. As soon as you take it, you must go to ground quickly because they are going to come looking for you. This thing will involve generals and admirals, and it will be far more political that you might realize at your young age.That sobering warning in mind, the goal for Russ and the Accomplice, members of E-4 Company, was to pull off the job immaculately, without any collateral damage. They wanted to get the goat to the game under Army auspices. During the course of their planning, they discovered other cadets had the same idea, so they combined forces. Still, they operated in secret. Even roommates were not informed of plans.Using intelligence and surveillance, they discovered the farmhouse where the goat was housed. They signed out at West Point on Friday, Nov. 16, stating their destination was a buddys parents house nearby, which was at least partially true. The next day, after Navy beat Delaware, they began the operation.Much like in the book, we rented a van, dressed up like ninjas and went in there around midnight and got the goat, Russ said. It wasnt where we thought it was going to be, so we had to bust it out of the building. We threw it into the van and drove a couple of hours to the farm where we put the goat.Complications quickly arose. Exchange cadets at Navy who were accomplices were given 24 hours to reveal the location of the goat or face severe consequences. Parents then were enlisted to move the goat to a new hiding place on a farm in New Jersey. The ensuing investigation at West Point was no joke, and the intensity increased when it became obvious that the only route to escape would require lying. That was unacceptable to all involved.The group hatched an alternative plan. The goat was secreted to West Point, and Russ, the Accomplice and others donned masks and rushed the goat into the massive mess hall and released it before scrambling away.Almost immediately, they were busted and put on room restriction.Their dressing down before the commandant would last an hour and a half. They were put on a boomerang, which meant no big Army-Navy weekend for them; they only would be bused to and from the game.Said Russ, When youre a cadet, the game is your own version of Mardi Gras. Its a weekend of going nuts. Its a really cool weekend.They expected further punishment, including the potential delay of Russ graduation.As noted, however, they had carefully planned the operation, covering the contingencies, including getting caught. Even before stealing the goat, they made key political connections. The Accomplice even touched base with a family friend: Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf.The final months of 1990 were a tense time in the country. After years with no major military operation, the U.S. was facing down Saddam Hussein after he invaded Kuwait, an operation Schwarzkopf was heading. The Accomplices connections helped him get a photo of the group and the stolen goat standing in front of a U.S. flag to Schwarzkopf.We sent him a note that said, Hey, we hope this motivates the soldiers who are over there for Desert Shield, the Accomplice said. We are thinking and praying for everybody involved in the operation. Beat Navy!There also was plenty of back-channel, after-the-fact communicating among Army brass in support of the goat stealing, which Russ, the Accomplice and their friends helped promote.We knew many high-ranking old grads put pressure on the commandant, Russ said. After dressing us down on how we missed every important lesson that theyve been trying to teach here, [the commandant] let us off at the last minute. It was surreal.The Accomplice recalled standing in the tunnel immediately before the 1990 game in Philadelphia. The West Point cadets took the field and then moved into the stands first. They were followed by the Midshipmen. A man ran to the Accomplice.Some captain comes in and says, Hey, come here, you need to see this, he said. So we run out of the tunnel onto the field at Veterans Stadium with the whole brigade of Midshipmen standing at attention. The whole corps is on its feet chanting, We got your goat! It just was an amazing feeling. The corps knew, and Navy had to stand there and couldnt say a damn thing. That made a lot of it worth it.Not to mention Army won 30-20.The Accomplice hastens to add that he never was directly told that Schwarzkopf intervened on their behalf. Still, during a spring visit to West Point after victory in the desert, Schwarzkopf invited the Accomplice to dine at his table in the West Point mess hall.Said the Accomplice, In the middle of dinner, Schwarzkopf looks over at me and says, Hey, I really appreciate that picture you sent me of the goat. I hung it in the middle of my war room so all those admirals would have to look at it. Everybody kind of chuckled, but when I looked across at the commandant, he was not laughing.Russ did express one regret. A year later while he was in flight school after graduating, he received a dreadful bit of news. In a massive and impressively orchestrated 17-man operation, a crew from Navy successfully stole the Army mule for the first time in rivalry history two days before the game. Not only that, but they got all four mules: Spartacus, Traveller, Trooper and Ranger.Navy, though 0-10 at the time, won 24-3.Unlike Russ heist for West Point, Navy celebrated its theft, awarding a certificate to honor those who had stolen the mules, termed The Order of the Mule.The schools called a formal truce, which originated at the Pentagon, on mascot theft, but it didnt last. The Navy goat has been kidnapped four times since.That being noted, the goat-nappings havent helped Armys cause of late. When Russ and the Accomplice stole the goat, the all-time series was essentially tied. When Army and Navy meet Saturday, the Midshipmen will be seeking to extend a 14-game winning streak.Cadets now dont even know what its like to win -- it is frustrating, the Accomplice said. There is an element to beating your rival that is an integral part of being a cadet: this passion to come out on top, to beat your rival and prove youre better. So [14] years really stinks.Russ feels the same way, though his chosen terms are a bit more colorful -- and unprintable. Still, he takes solace that at his recent 25-year reunion, their goat-stealing operation received more than a few celebratory toasts.Explained Russ: I was a pretty unremarkable cadet from every angle. And the thing Ill be most proud of and probably talk about until Im 6 feet under is, But me and my friends had the balls to steal the Navy goat. Its a weird thing. Womens Costa Rica Jerseys . - Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is not a fan of his teams use of the wildcat formation, saying "it makes you look like a high school offence. Wholesale Costa Rica Jerseys . "Four now," Carl Gunnarsson told the Leaf Report proudly following a 5-2 victory over New York on Tuesday night, the clubs fifth straight at home. . The Brazilian goalkeeper signed a loan deal with the Major League Soccer club on Friday as he looks to get playing time ahead of this summers World Cup in his home country. OKLAHOMA CITY -- DeMar DeRozan scored 37 points to help the Toronto Raptors beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 112-102 on Wednesday night.DeRozan, the NBAs leading scorer, made 13 of 22 field goals and 11 of 15 free throws. Kyle Lowry added 19 points, 13 assists and nine rebounds and Patrick Patterson had 13 points for the Raptors.Toronto, which shot 51.8 percent from the field, has won four of five.The Thunder entered the night with the NBAs best record, but they couldnt get their offense going. Russell Westbrook led the way with 36 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, but made just 9 of 26 shots and committed eight turnovers.Victor Oladipo scored 18 points, and Steven Adams had 14 points and 12 rebounds for Oklahoma City.PACERS 122, 76ERS 115, OTINDIANAPOLIS -- Paul George scored seven of Indianas 13 points in overtime and the Pacers beat winless Philadelphia.George finished with 28 points and eight rebounds.Gerald Henderson hit a 3-pointer with 6 seconds remaining in regulation to give Philadelphia a two-point lead. But on the ensuing Pacers possession, George hit a jumper with 3 seconds left to tie it.On the Pacers first possession of overtime, George set the tone with a 3-pointer to give Indiana the lead. And it was George who threw down an emphatic dunk that gave Indiana a six-point lead.Jeff Teague finished with 30 points and nine assists, and Myles Turner had with 15 points and nine rebounds for Indiana. Robert Covington led Philadelphia with 23 points.KNICKS 110, NETS 96NEW YORK -- Carmelo Anthony scored 14 of his 22 points in the third quarter, and Kristaps Porzingis added 21 in New Yorks victory over Brooklyn.Rookie center Willy Hernangomez had a season-best 14 points, Derrick Rose also had 14 and the Knicks climbed out of a 14-point hole to take the first meeting of the season between the New York rivals.Brook Lopez and Justin Hamilton each scored 21 points for the Nets. They wilted on the second night of back-to-back games after a strong first half. Normally a good fourth-quarter team, they were outscored 38-25 while struggling to run their offense without an experienced NBA point guard. Cheap Costa Rica Soccer Jerseys. SUNS 107, PISTONS 100PHOENIX -- Eric Bledsoe scored 14 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter, helping the Phoenix Suns rally to beat Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.Bledsoe added 11 rebounds and eight assists for the Suns. Jared Dudley added a season-high 19 pointsm and Alex Len had 16 points and 14 rebounds.Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led the Pistons with a season-high 27 points, and Andre Drummond had 18 points and 14 rebounds.WIZARDS 118, CELTICS 93WASHINGTON -- Otto Porter scored a career-high 34 points and Washington beat Boston for its second victory of the season.Porter shot 15 of 19, had 14 rebounds and sparked the fast start with 20 points in the first half. John Wall had 19 points before being ejected for a flagrant foul in the final minutes.Isaiah Thomas led the Celtics with 23 points, and Avery Bradley had 21.HAWKS 115, BULLS 107ATLANTA -- Thabo Sefolosha scored 20 points, Dwight Howard added 18 and Atlanta beat Chicago for its third consecutive victory.Paul Millsap added 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Hawks, coming off a victory Tuesday night at Cleveland.Jimmy Butler led the Bills with 39 points, and Dwyane Wade had 25. They have lost four of five.TIMBERWOLVES 123, MAGIC 107ORLANDO, Fla. -- Zach LaVine scored 37 points, Andrew Wiggins added 29 and Minnesota beat Orlando for its first road victory of the season.Karl-Anthony Towns had 20 points and 11 rebounds to help Minnesota snap a three-game losing streak. A night after collapsing defensively against Brooklyn, the Timberwolves led by 30 in o help Minnesota snap a three-game losing streak. A night after collapsing defensively against Brooklyn, the Timbe the first half.Nikola Vucevic led the Magic with 24 points and 14 rebounds.HORNETS 104, JAZZ 98CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Kemba Walker scored 21 points to help Charlotte beat Utah for its fourth straight victory.Marvin Williams had 19 points, including a big 3-pointer in the fourth quarter to help stretch Charlottes lead to four. Gordon Haywood led Utah with 29 points. Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys ' ' ' 
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