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History

West Point is our nation’s first and finest service academy. For more than two hundred years, the U.S. Military Academy has graduated leaders of character, including some of America’s most notable leaders. As saying goes, “Much of the history we teach has been made by those we have taught.”

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West Point was established in 1802 by Thomas Jefferson on what was formerly a Revolutionary War fort called Fortress West Point. It was built on the Hudson River right next to a 90 degree bend. So during the Revolutionary War, British troops would travel on the river and a great chain was hung across the river, the idea being that the ships would slow down when going into that 90 degree bend and would get caught by the chain.

So we have something here called the Thayer Method which is how all of our classes operate. We first do our reading on the topic that we're going to be discussing the night before, so we actually learn everything that's going to be talked about before we go to class.

If you walk around West Point, you'll see plenty of statues of our famous graduates. Men such as General Eisenhower, who's one of our two presidents. We also have General Patton and General MacArthur. General Patton, funny story, his statue actually shows him outside the library with a pair of binoculars looking away from it. So one of the jokes is that General Patton is always looking trying to find the library.

So it's a really amazing feeling coming to an academy like this with such a rich history. When you walk around, you see these statues of all the people that have come here before you. Whereas there are very high expectations set by them, we've been very well-prepared to meet those.

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