For many years there had been confusion as to how names were and are added to the Gold Star Platoon. There didn't seem to be a formal set of guidelines defining the process.
In 2012 the Board of Trustees established a task force to learn the history of the platoon and develop guidelines and standards that can be used in the future. After much research and discussion the task force presented its' proposal to the BOT who reviewed and approved them after some changes.
The major decision was to create 2 memorials. These will be the Gold Star Platoon and The Legion of Honor. Both lists will be included in any memorial, where names are read. It was also approved that all names, currently on the Gold Star Platoon, will be grandfathered. Below are the guidelines for both memorials and how they are to be maintained.
Gold Star PlatoonAny former cadet who died while on active duty, in a designated combat zone, in any branch of the armed forces of the United States ( Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard, or Reserves ) or the armed forces of an allied nation are eligible for admission.
Legion of HonorAny former cadet who died while on active duty in any branch of the armed forces of the US (Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard, Reserves, Department of Defense Civilian, or Dept of Defense Contractor) or the armed forces of an allied nation. Also to include acts of terrorism; federal, state, or local law enforcement; fire department; or medical emergency services are eligible for admission.
Nomination ProcessWhen an alumnus is nominated, a committee is to be formed to validate the nomination. The Chairman will appoint two members from the Board, one of which is to be the President of the Alumni Association. The Academy President will serve on the committee and appoint two members of the Academy to serve. The committee will report back to the Board with its recommendation. The Board of Trustees has final approval for adding a person to the Gold Star Platoon or Legion of Honor.
Records ManagementThe Association and the school will maintain copies of the guidelines and the names on each memorial with the information also on the Association web site.
With these guidelines and from some archived data the task force was able to suggest names have been added to the memorials immediately. All names were accepted and approved and the BOT started the process to acquire an additional Gold Star and new Legion of Honor plaque. The new plaques will have the ability to have plates added to them, if the need ever arises.
It is the hope of the BOT and the Association Officers that these new guidelines and additions to the memorials will bring an end to any and all confusion that has existed in the past. When someone asks how an alumnus is added to a memorial we can now have definitive guidelines that define both memorials and the nomination process.