Background info on west point

It was originally founded as a school for the U.


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Corps of Engineers with a class of 5 officers and 10 cadets on March 16, It is one of the oldest service academies in the world. Framed by the Hudson Highlands and poised above the Hudson River , the academy currently occupies about 16, acres 6, hectares in Orange county, New York , 50 miles 80 km north of New York City. Although the site of West Point had been occupied continuously by troops since , it did not become U. Subsequent acquisitions were made from time to time. At the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War , both the colonists and the British had recognized the importance of gaining possession of the Hudson River valley, and West Point became the strategic key to its defense.

Soldiers arrive at West Point to join search for missing cadet

George Washington established his headquarters there in In Maj. Benedict Arnold , who was then in command at West Point, attempted to betray it to the British. The founding of an American military school had been proposed by Gen.


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  • Henry Knox in , and Washington and Alexander Hamilton repeatedly urged adoption of the plan. During the Revolution, the United States would be forced to rely on foreign military technicians such as Baron von Steuben , and it was clear that the young country needed to develop its own officer corps. Washington, who was himself an engineer, also felt that the mastery of military technology required extended study and could not be acquired by practice alone.

    The academy opened on July 4, Before it was conducted as an apprentice school for military engineers and, in effect, as the first U.

    Background & History | U.S. Army-Baylor Sports PT, West Point | Baylor University

    During its early years, however, the institution suffered from lack of proper organization and discipline. An act of Congress of April 29, , reorganized the academy and increased the authorized strength of the corps of cadets to , expanded the staff of the academy, and established a four-year curriculum.

    This legislative goal was not effective until the superintendency of Col. An act of Congress of July 13, , allowed the selection of a military academy superintendent from branches of the army other than the Corps of Engineers. The academy is under the immediate supervision and control of the Department of the Army, exercised through the superintendent, in whom is vested the immediate military command of the academy and the military post.

    The goal of the educational program is to instruct and train the corps of cadets so that each graduate will have the qualities and attributes essential to continued development through a lifetime career as an officer in the army. The four-year course of college-level education and training leads to a bachelor of science degree and a commission as second lieutenant in the army.

    West Point Documentary USMA 1998

    The curriculum is balanced between mathematics and basic and engineering sciences, the humanities and social sciences, military science, and physical education. Cadets must be at least 17 years of age but not yet 23 at the time of their appointment. In addition, they must be unmarried and have no legal obligation to support children, and females cannot be pregnant.

    They must have a high-school education or its equivalent and must take scholastic aptitude tests and a medical examination before admission. The great majority of appointments to the academy are made by U. In a typical year, more than 15, young men and women apply for admission to West Point.

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    Roughly one-fourth of applicants reach the nomination stage, and half of them are rated as qualified for admission. Fewer than 10 percent of applicants—some 1, prospective cadets—are accepted each year. Total enrollment is typically about 4, Citizens of more than other countries, if fully qualified, may also be admitted to the academy, although total enrollment of international cadets is capped at Women were first admitted to the academy in The academic year lasts from August to May inclusive.

    The third class sophomores receives extensive field training at the training areas on the academy reservation. Brian Heverly, director of emergency services, U.

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    Army Garrison, West Point, said. It also affects companies with employees who require unescorted access to conduct business on West Point, such as delivery drivers. After 10 p.


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    • All visitors must undergo on-the-spot background checks in compliance with the National Crime Information Center—Interstate Identification Index prior to being issued credentials. West Point has designated special events allowing visitors to gain access to the installation with a valid stateside driver's license or government-issued ID card.

      In addition, visitors should bring a state-issued driver's license compliant with the Real ID Act of Military or draft record.