COMMAND AND GOVERNANCE
The superintendent, like a college president, heads USMA. The chief of staff is the principal executive to the superintendent in all command matters, directing and coordinating the formation of operating policies and implementation of decisions of the superintendent.
The dean of the Academic Board, like a college dean of faculty, coordinates the activities of the academic departments and advises the superintendent on academic matters.
The commandant of cadets is the military equivalent of a dean of students, overseeing cadet government and supervising the military training of the Corps of Cadets.
The superintendent, dean and commandant join the heads of academic departments; the directors of admissions, military instruction and physical education; and the medical activity commander, to form the Academic Board, which establishes standards for admission, academic performance and a wide range of other educational and administrative policies.
The faculty is composed of about 70 percent Army officers and 30 percent civilian professors. Since 1815, a Board of Visitors, similar in function to a board of trustees, has annually reviewed USMA’s curriculum, policies and equipment and submitted recommendations to the president of the United States.
THE ACADEMIC PROGRAM
The purpose of the academic program is to provide students with the intellectual foundation for service as a well-educated commissioned officer who possesses the knowledge and skills necessary for continued growth as a U.S. Army officer. In coordination with the Military and Physical programs, the Academic Program develops in cadets a professional self-concept as an officer and nurtures their competence, character and confidence to act decisively on matters of concern to the nation. The structure, content and process of education and development enables cadets to understand the interrelated roles of a commissioned officer. Soldier, servant of the nation, military professional and leader of character: The leader development process compels cadets to incorporate these roles into their emerging professional identities.
The vision of the Academic Program is to educate and inspire adaptive leaders of character to build the Army and the nation’s future. The program is challenging and distinctive, with the capacity to prepare graduates to meet challenges, opportunities and military threats with confidence in their abilities to accomplish their missions.
Providing a broad liberal education designed to develop versatile, creative and critical thinkers helps graduates anticipate and respond effectively to the uncertainties of a changing technological, social, political and economic world. West Point graduates will examine and assess the increasingly complex environment to identify new ideas and trends and imagine possible outcomes. Toward this end, the curriculum is structured to ensure a shared learning responsibility that provides students a foundation for continued intellectual development.
Thirteen academic departments are offering more than 35 majors:
- Behavioral Sciences and Leadership
- Chemistry and Life Science
- Civil and Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
- English and Philosophy
- Foreign Languages
- Geography and Environmental Engineering
- Mathematical Sciences
- Physics and Nuclear Engineering
- Social Sciences
- Systems Engineering
There are more than 35 research centers and research support centers at USMA. These centers, affiliated with and coordinated by the Institute for Innovation and Development, provide the infrastructure and support necessary to tackle the nation’s and the world’s most challenging problems. These research centers bring context to the classroom, are central to the vibrant and pioneering faculty, and are one way West Point connects to the Army and the nation.
USMA students are motivated, the faculty is world-class and, through these centers, scholars and scientists thrive and produce their best work. Cadets regularly win prestigious awards at national and international graduate-level conferences, the faculty hold fellowships and chairmanships in their discipline’s national organizations and their products are deployed to the Soldier.
THE MILITARY PROGRAM
USMA’s Military Program provides an outstanding professional foundation focused on education in the American military ethic and the Army’s core values, along with training in individual and small-unit leadership skills. Cadets are inspired to make a commitment to national service as an Army officer and to adopt the ideals of the seven Army values.
Cadets receive formal military education each year in subjects that prepare them to become leaders. This knowledge complements summer military training, where cadets learn basic soldier skills, such as firing a rifle accurately, navigating in the woods with a map and compass, and rappelling off high cliffs. Also, cadets have the opportunity to spend part of one summer assigned to a unit in the field Army. These assignments often take cadets to Europe, Korea, Alaska or Hawaii. Finally, cadets lead and train junior members of the Corps of Cadets.
The Office of the Commandant of Cadets oversees all aspects of the military training and development of the corps within the context of the Military Program. This program provides a dynamic, four-year, sequential and integrated developmental process to teach, train and inculcate the fundamental military knowledge, skills and abilities expected of an Army officer.
The Office of the Commandant is organized with a supporting staff and separate departments to execute the Military Program. The United States Corps of Cadets staff provides administrative, logistic and training management in support of the Corps of Cadets. The Department of Military Instruction provides formal Military Science education and organizes the majority of military training. The Brigade Tactical Department oversees the daily activities of the cadets.
Directorate of Cadet Activities
The mission of the Directorate of Cadet Activities is to significantly enhance the development of the United States Corps of Cadets militarily, physically, academically, morally and ethically, spiritually and socially by providing organized, comprehensive and diverse programs and facilities, which provide for entertainment, extracurricular, recreational, cultural and social activities. DCA operates the Eisenhower Hall Theatre, the Cadet Restaurant, Grant Hall, the Cadet Store and the Cadet Bookstore. Within DCA, cadet publications are produced such as the award-winning Howitzer Yearbook, the West Point Calendar, Bugle Notes, the Circle in the Spiral Literary Journal and the West Point Planner. Cadet Programs sponsors weekly events such as dances and yearly traditions including Ring Weekend, Yearling Winter Weekend and Plebe-Parent Weekend.
The DCA plans and organizes traditional class and Corps weekend activities. Special functions include dining-ins, dances, special events and extracurricular activities such as athletic, recreational, academic, religious, hobby, committee and Corps support clubs and activities. The DCA provides cadets and the West Point community with comprehensive, diverse arts offerings. The program includes classical/popular music, dance, ballet, drama, musical theater and the visual arts that complement the educational experience of the USMA. The DCA also engages in the sale of food, beverages and food catering services to support the Corps of Cadets. The West Point Club has partnered with the DCA for catering services for all non-cadet-related events and is the entry point for all catering questions. Finally, the DCA manages and operates the USMA Cadet Store and Bookstore.
THE PHYSICAL PROGRAM
The Physical Program prepares cadets for the physically demanding requirements of an Army officer. It endeavors to develop in cadets the ability to maintain personal and unit fitness, fosters the warrior spirit, builds an appreciation for teamwork and inspires the will to win. Specific program activities include physical education classes, regular fitness testing and competitive athletics.
The athletic program at West Point, respected throughout the nation, includes more than 25 intercollegiate teams for men and women. There are also the competitive club and intramural sports programs in which cadet companies establish competitive rivalries. The Army football teams attract national interest by playing teams from across the country. There are also the traditional encounters against Air Force and Navy. Army basketball, wrestling, hockey, track, baseball, soccer and lacrosse have gained their share of regional and national recognition. The rifle team is a perennial finalist in NCAA competition.
Office of the Directorate of Intercollegiate Athletics
The mission of the Office of the Directorate of Intercollegiate Athletics is to provide an extraordinary Division I athletic experience that develops leaders of character committed to the values of duty, honor and country.
The goals of the athletic department, including more than 25 varsity sports, are to recruit and develop scholar-athletes who lead the Corps; compete and win at the highest level; beat Navy and Air Force; adhere to Department of the Army, NCAA, conference and Academy rules, regulations and policies; and effect changes in legislation, policy and regulations that improve performance.
The sports offered by ODIA include baseball; football; softball; men’s and women’s basketball, cross country, soccer, tennis, track and field, lacrosse, rugby, swimming and diving; golf; gymnastics; rifle; wrestling; volleyball; and sprint football.
For tickets, visit www.GoArmyWestPoint.com.
Character development is central to the 47-month West Point experience. The emphasis on personal character is to support the West Point motto — “Duty, Honor, Country” — and the ideals of the seven Army values: loyalty, duty, respect, selfless-service, honor, integrity and personal courage. A powerful means of influencing character development is the day-to-day interaction with USMA staff and faculty members, who set high standards for ethical conduct, but the academy also relies upon several formal developmental means.
In the Military Program, cadets inevitably experience a wide variety of ethical dilemmas as they perform their duties as leaders and as subordinates. These dilemmas represent opportunities to make decisions that will shape their value systems and, potentially, the value systems of their peers. Officer and NCO supervision allows the cadets to make ethical choices under the guidance and mentorship of experienced, professional Soldiers. The Simon Center for the Professional Military Ethic at West Point has oversight of the instruction of Army values and the professional military ethic as well as the two programs that highlight the academy’s core values: honor and respect.
Simon Center for the Professional Military Ethic
The William E. Simon Center for the Professional Military Ethic educates, trains and inspires leaders of character in the Corps of Cadets through the development, coordination, and integration of the Professional Military Ethic in the curriculum and activities at West Point. The center’s core functions lie in five key areas: the Cadet Character Development Program, MX400 (Officership), the Cadet Honor Code and System, the Cadet Respect Program, and Cadets Against Sexual Harassment and Assault.
The Military Academy founded the Simon Center for the Professional Military Ethic in 1998 as the center of excellence to promote the military ethic. William E. Simon, a patriotic businessman, avid sportsman and generous philanthropist, provided a grant to establish the center.
Located in the vicinity of Washington Gate at West Point, New York, the United States Military Academy Preparatory School, also known as West Point Prep or simply the Prep School was formally established by Gen. Maxwell Taylor
in 1946. The history of prepping soldiers for West Point, however, goes back to 1916 when Congress enacted legislation authorizing appointments for Soldiers to attend West Point.
Today, USMAPS exists as an avenue of opportunity for a select group of soldiers and civilian aspirants to attend the West Point. The prep school continues to provide focused academic, military and physical instruction in a moral-ethical military environment to prepare, motivate and inspire candidates for admission to and graduation from the academy.
USMAPS is primarily an academic institution where soldiers and students from diverse backgrounds rigorously train in preparation for the challenges of West Point. It is also a military school with a career focus that develops the foundations of the professional and physical attributes needed for growth as an officer in the U.S. Army.
USMAPS opened its doors at the West Point Campus in the summer of 2011, having been at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, since 1975.
WEST POINT ASSOCIATION OF GRADUATES
The West Point Association of Graduates is the alumni association of the U.S. Military Academy. Its mission is to serve West Point and its graduates. A nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation, its philanthropic pursuits maintain a margin of excellence for cadets attending the academy.
The WPAOG offices are in Herbert Hall on Mills Road, just south of Lusk Reservoir. In addition to housing the WPAOG staff operations, there is a gift store, and West Point cadets, staff and faculty receive a 10 percent discount. The Great Hall is available for rental for promotions, awards, retirements and other functions. For more information, visit www.WestPointAOG.org or call 845-446-1500.
U.S. MILITARY ACADEMY BAND (WEST POINT BAND)
The U.S. Military Academy Band traces its roots back more than 200 years. Before the Revolutionary War, fifers and drummers were stationed with companies of minutemen on Constitution Island across the Hudson River from West Point. In 1778, elements of Gen. Samuel Parsons’ Connecticut Brigade crossed the Hudson River and established West Point as a permanent military post. After the American Revolution, Congress disbanded most of the Continental Army, but the 55 men at West Point, members of the Second Continental Artillery, remained. Among their ranks stood at least one drummer and one fifer who alone maintained the tradition of military music.
With the establishment of the U.S. Military Academy in 1802 came an increased demand for military music. As the academy grew, it needed fifers, drummers and buglers to drill the new cadets and provide an audible order to their duty day. By 1817, the ensemble was named the West Point Band and was performing with a full range of instruments. In 1866, it received the official title of the U.S. Military Academy Band.
Today’s band consists of four components: the concert/marching band, the Hellcats (the drum and bugle field music unit), the Benny Havens Band (popular music) and the support staff. As the senior premier musical representative of the Army, the band has appeared at many historic events. It also fulfills all the official musical requirements of the academy, including military and patriotic ceremonies, radio and television broadcasts, public concerts, sporting events and social activities for the U.S. Corps of Cadets and the West Point community.
The U.S. Military Academy Band gives free concerts throughout the year at West Point and in the New York City area. For event information, call the Performance Hotline at 845-938-2617 or visit http://westpointband.army.mil.