It is a longstanding tradition of the United States Military Academy that, each year, the Fourth Class Cadets create a motto and a crest to represent the values which will stand behind the class as it moves, no longer as a group, but as individuals, into a new career as officers. Choosing the motto at a turning point as the cadets move from their lives as civilians into lives of service the crest serves as a concrete reminder of those values this class will emphasize as members of the Long Gray Line. Their traditions will follow them eternally.
The Class of 2013 has chosen the motto, "Defending the Dream." Our motto is displayed across the crest on a background of blue. It reflects our dedication to defending the United States of America and what it stands for. Blue represents our compassion for the world. Compassion is an integral part of the crest. In choosing to serve, we have chosen dedicate our lives in service of this nation. The gold outline surrounding the blue banner represents America's undeniable strength when facing any and all of its enemies.
The shield protected by the eagle's wings represents our choice to protect not only the United States, but mankind -- to stand for America's values. The stars surrounding the shield represent the thirteen colonies and the foundation of our nation.
The Arabic numeral, 2013, represents our class year as we persevere in our actions, ambitions, and achievements. We will forever uphold Duty, Honor, Country and our choice to focus on the defense of America's values in all situations.
The crossing of the Officer Saber and Cadet Sword represents our connection to the Long Gray Line and the traditions and values it upholds. These objects represent our present as cadets and our future as officers.
The Laurel Wreath behind the sword and saber represents our victories. We will be victorious in the future by integrating ourselves into the Army and being vital to war and peace.
The Class of 2013 is a part of something bigger than itself. In 2013, we will become members of a truly great Army. We are preparing for service and are, in our motto, recognizing not only our strengths, but our sacrifices. We have chosen to carry this burden, and we recognize and applaud those who have supported us. We, with fortitude, strength, and honor, are committed to "Defending the Dream."
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