Parachute Team - Where Astronauts Learn to Fly
The mission of the West Point Parachute Team is to educate, train, and inspire cadets to develop leadership skills and build self-confidence in an in extremis context.
West Point accomplishes this by providing the opportunity to work toward three specific and challenging goals: training freefall students, conducting precision freefall demonstrations, and competing and winning at the national level.
Photo: The 1995 West Point Parachute Team, which included future astronauts Frank Rubio ’98 (left) and Drew Morgan ’98 (center left)
Because the team is called upon for outreach demonstrations, West Point considers it a “support club,” with professional oversight from the Deputy Commandant and some noncommissioned officers assigned to USCC. One of its missions as a support club is to “jump in” the game ball for home football games. However, the team also competes in the U.S. Parachute Association (USPA) National Collegiate Parachuting Championships over the holiday break, going head-to-head against the U.S. Air Force Academy and other schools that have sport parachute teams. Approximately 75 collegiate skydivers compete in this event, the oldest and largest collegiate skydiving competition in the world. Consequently, the West Point Parachute Team is also considered one of the Department of Physical Education’s “competitive clubs.” With DPE support, they meet the requirement that every cadet will participate in one of the following divisions of sport: intercollegiate, competitive club or company athletics. Read more.