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U.S. Inside/Background

West Point - modeling leaders: what does it take to get there


"To educate, train, and inspire the Corps of Cadets so that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character committed to the values of Duty, Honor, Country and prepared for a career of professional excellence and service to the Nation as an officer in the United States Army."


The four-year integrated academic, military and physical development programs are conducted in a strong moral-ethical environment grounded in the bedrock values of integrity and respect for others.


The Academy is located approximately 50 miles north of New York City on the west bank of the Hudson River in Orange County , New York . West Point is America 's oldest, continuously occupied military installation, first garrisoned on January 20, 1778 . The U.S. Military Academy was established by an Act of Congress on March 16, 1802 .


The 4,000 members of the Corps of Cadets represent every state in the U.S. and several foreign countries. About 1200 New Cadets enter the Academy on Reception Day each year (about July 1st). Approximately 16 percent of the Corps of Cadets are women.


To be considered for admission to West Point , a candidate must be at least 17 but not yet 23 years of age on July 1st of the year of admission, be unmarried and have no legal obligation to support children. Candidates must be qualified academically, medically, and physically, and must receive a nomination from an approved source, such as a member of Congress.


In addition to core curriculum, balanced in the arts and sciences, and a required five-course engineering sequence, cadets may select from 44 majors. Classes are small, usually less than 18, and the faculty to student ratio is 1:8.


Cadets participate in Cadet Basic Training their first summer and Cadet Field Training their second. During their third and fourth summers, they act as cadre for the first two classes or participate in military or academic programs worldwide.


Physical education and athletic participation occur throughout the four years, with 25 varsity sports and numerous intramural and club sports available.


Over 100 extracurricular activities are available, including religious, hobby and sports clubs.


Upon graduation, cadets are awarded Bachelor of Science degrees and commissions in the U.S. Army. They serve on active duty for a minimum of five years. West Point graduates have served our country in a variety of capacities over the last 200 years, as military leaders, engineers, explorers on land and in space, and as leaders in business and government.

Cadet Formation in Battle uniform
Cadet Formation in Battle uniform



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Source: Courtesy of United States Military Academy;
Last modified: 20071204
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