WEST POINT, N.Y. – Assemblyman Brian Bergen joined the U.S. Military Academy’s class of 2026 Monday on its 12-mile predawn March Back, the final leg of their six-week basic training called “Beast.” The cadets disembarked at 4 a.m. from Lake Frederick to the academy, where they will be officially accepted into the Corps of Cadets Aug. 13.
Bergen, a 2001 West Point graduate and Apache helicopter pilot who served in Iraq, joined 180 alumni in this annual tradition.
“The nostalgia of course was overwhelming. The experience I had during my cadet basic training shaped who I am today,” Bergen (R-Morris) said. “The training is brutal and feels like it will never end while you’re in it, but it’s the bonds formed there that go on forever.”
Bergen marched back with cadets from his legislative district, Sathvik Medapati of Parsippany and Molly Webber of Morris Plains, daughter of Assemblyman Jay Webber and sister of Annie, a cadet at the U.S. Air Force Academy. They met up with two other cadets, Nick Taverone of Denville and Tyler Catapano of Parsippany, later in the march.
“These young men and women are the lifeblood of our republic. To be among them inspires me and gives me tremendous hope for our country’s future,” Bergen said.