We are so fortunate to have a strong, well educated, and well prepared military. One of the key sources of military education was founded on March 16, 1802. On that day, President Jefferson signed legislation which created the United States Military Academy. The Academy is otherwise known as West Point.
George Washington viewed the location of West Point to be crucial in his efforts to gain an upper hand over the British. Thaddeus Kosciuszko, a brave warrior in the Battle of Saratoga, designed fortifications which eventually became Washington’s headquarters in 1778. West Point remains the United States’ oldest continuously occupied military post.
Although Civil Engineering was the initial education focus of West point, it has transformed into an academic institution with more than a dozen fields of study available to the 4000 members of the Corps of Cadets. West Point has long been known for its focus on honorable conduct.
It has produced an amazing group of graduates who are accomplished in military, scientific, industry, and political settings. It is difficult to limit the list of individuals you might know who are West Point Graduates. Here is just a sprinkling of its auspicious alumni:
Presidents of the United States Dwight D Eisenhower (Supreme Commander Allied Forces in Europe) and Ulysses S. Grant (General in Chief, Armies of the United States), as well as Jefferson Davis (President of the Confederate States of America). Other graduates who played a role in the government included: Alexander Haig, (Secretary of State, Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, Chief of Staff to the President) and Brent Scowcroft (National Security Advisor, Military assistant to the president).
An exceptional group of military warriors including: Douglas MacArthur (Supreme Commander of the Pacific and UN Forces in Korea), H. Norman Schwarzkopf (Commander-in-Chief United States Central Command), Kristin Baker (US Corps of Cadets, First Woman Brigade Commander), George Patton, Jr. (Commander of 4rd Army European Theater), William Sherman (Commander of the Armies of the United States), Omar Bradley (Commanding General 1st Army 12thy Army Group European Theater in World War II), General George A Custer (defeated at the Battle of Little Big Horn), Robert E Lee (General in Chief, Confederate Armies), and John Pershing (Commander-in-chief of the Allied Expeditionary Force in World War I).
Explorers such as Benjamin Bonneville who mapped Yellowstone, Salmon, Snake, and Green Rivers, as well as the Great Salt Lake.
Astronauts such as Edward White II (First to walk in space), Edwin “Buss” Aldrin (astronaut involved in the first lunar landing), and Michael Collins (command module pilot Apollo 11).
Academics including: Sylvanus Thayer (“Father of the Military Academy”), Horace Webster (Founder of Hobart College), and Wesley Posvar (chancellor, University of Pittsburgh).
As well as business mogels such as John Hayes (president Coca-Cola Bottling Co), Frank Borman (president Eastern Airlines), and Reuben Pmerantz (president Holiday Inn).
Just as a side note…You can watch cool videos of the West Point Band at: http://www.youtube.com/user/BandWestPoint