First Captain and Brothers’ Keeper
July 1990

“First Captain and Brothers’ Keeper,” Ensign, July 1990, 72

First Captain and Brothers’ Keeper

Of the more than four thousand cadets enrolled in the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, in 1988–89, Captain Mark M. Jennings was selected first captain, making him the brigade commander of the entire corps of cadets. The appointment is the equivalent of being student-body president at a college—except that the selection is made by the faculty as well as by his peers.

“It was an honor and a great responsibility,” says Captain Jennings, who has also served as elders quorum president in the West Point Branch. A former full-time missionary in Korea, Mark and his quorum focused on missionary work in addition to their other duties. At least eleven investigators were baptized through their efforts.

Mark had a variety of unusual experiences while at West Point. He served on the speech-writing staff for General Carl Buono, the United States Army chief of staff, for several weeks, and he was host to the Russian military chief of staff during his visit to the academy.

Following his graduation in June, Mark was assigned to the First Ranger Battalion at Fort Stewart, Georgia. “Whether I have a lifetime career in the military or not,” he says, “I have gained a great appreciation for my faith and my country.”

Photo by United States Military Academy Studio, West Point