Who says pomp and circumstance is dead in America? Well it's not at the US Military Academy. I would have loved to have witnessed the newest West Point Mule to arrive at the "Mule Induction Ceremony" which took place on March 31st at a brisk 8:30 am on the Hudson at West Point. The new, smaller third mule (a "Plebe" mule if you will) will now report to the much bigger upperclassman, Ranger III.
The 3-star commanding general of West Point, LTG Robe3rt Caslen, accepted the new Mule on behalf of the Academy, the Corps of Cadets, and the US Army. General Caslen and the mule donor are both graduates of the Class of 1975.
Army Mules have been the mascots of West Point for 117 years.
Steve Townes, West Point class of 1975, CEO/Founder of Ranger Aerospace Corporation, and a former Army Ranger is the “mule donor in perpetuity” for the Military Academy. He was a Mule Rider and the “Head Rabble Rouser” as a cadet, in addition to attaining high military cadet rank and winning the “Eisenhower Award” upon graduation. Townes quipped: “Some people give chairs of economics or build libraries with their names over the door—I’m squandering my grandkids’ inheritances on pack animals, literally forever!” When asked how much a mule actually costs, he said “That shall forever remain a military secret, but I assure you they’re worth a heck of a lot more than a mangy damned Navy Goat!”