Two cadets from the United States Military Academy (USMA) arrived in Lisbon during March spring break for the Foreign Academy Exchange Program (FAEP), in the first exchange program between the United States Military Academy (West Point) and Portugal’s Army Military Academy (Academia Militar). Later this spring, two Portuguese Military Academy cadets will be hosted at West Point to continue the program.
The Foreign Academy Exchange Program (FAEP) is a 10-day program that offers a great opportunity for cadets to improve their knowledge of language and culture. Most recent exchanges have been to countries whose languages are taught at USMA and provide an opportunity to represent USMA at an academy abroad. Portuguese is taught at West Point, and FAEP visits are scheduled during spring break this year–one more reason for West Point cadets to pursue advanced language study. These cadets first meet and visit cadets abroad, and then USMA hosts foreign cadets at West Point. International cadets discuss life experiences at West Point and in America, and hopefully continue a personal and professional relationship throughout their professional career.
“The cadets exchange are a recent effort to increase long term military to military engagements between our partner countries. This Starting started with a semester immersion at the Portuguese Army Military Academy and is now continuing with the FAEP exchange. In the fall, two Navy midshipmen from the US Naval Academy will arrive in Lisbon to attend classes at Escola Naval, and two Portuguese Navy cadets from Escola Naval will go to the Naval Academy in Annapolis for a six-month exchange. Efforts are also in progress to develop an Air Force cadet exchange,” according to Colonel LeMasters. “These programs are critical to building long-term relationships between our two militaries. As these midshipmen and cadets progress throughout their careers, they will be able to use the personal friendships that they develop during these exchange programs to further professional contact and relations between our countries. When you can pick up the phone and call an old friend for information or for a favor, it is much more effective than a cold-call to someone you don’t know.”