The Military Academy's sports teams were historically called
The Black Knights of the Hudson, but the nickname has been
officially shortened to Black Knights. U.S. sports media use
Army as a synonym for the Academy; this usage is officially
endorsed. The Army mascot is the Mule. Army participates in
the NCAA's Division I-A as an independent team in football.
It is a member of the Division I Patriot League in most other
sports; its hockey program competes in Atlantic Hockey.
West Point's motto is "Duty, Honor, Country." It
is the oldest continuously occupied military post in the United
The site was selected for the construction of a fort by George
Washington, and the fortifications were designed in 1778 by
Thaddeus Kosciuszko. General Washington considered West Point
one of the most important positions on the continent. The
high ground above a narrow "s" curve in the Hudson
River enabled the Continental Army to control the vital river
traffic. He felt that the British Army could have split the
colonies in two if they gained control of this land.
George Washington quickly realized the need for a national
military academy, however his Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson
argued that there was no provision in the Constitution which
allowed for the creation of a military academy. However, when
Jefferson became president, he signed legislation establishing
the United States Military Academy on March 16, 1802 and the
school opened on July 4 of the same year.
The Superintendent from 1817-1833 was Col. Sylvanus Thayer.
He is known as the "father of the Military Academy."
He upgraded academic standards, instilled military discipline
and emphasized honorable conduct. Inspired by the French
École Polytechnique, Thayer made civil engineering
the foundation of the curriculum. For the first half century,
USMA graduates were largely responsible for the construction
of the bulk of the nation's initial railway lines, bridges,
harbors and roads.
The development of other technical schools in the US during
the post-Civil War period allowed West Point to broaden
its curriculum beyond a strict civil engineering focus.
After World War I, Superintendent Douglas MacArthur sought
to further diversify the academic curriculum. In recognition
of the physical demands of modern warfare, MacArthur pushed
for major changes in the physical fitness and athletic programs.
"Every cadet an athlete" became an important goal.
At the same time, the cadet management of the Honor System,
long an unofficial tradition, was formalized with the creation
of the Cadet Honor Committee.
In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed legislation increasing
the strength of the Corps of Cadets from 2,529 to 4,417
(more recently reduced to 4,000).
Women were first admitted in 1976.
No classes graduated in 1810 or 1816 and there were two
graduating classes in 1861, 1917, 1918, 1922 and 1943.
West Point began collegiate tradition of the class ring,
beginning with the class of 1835, and continuing ever since.
The lone exception is the class of 1837, which had class
In recent decades, the Academy's curricular structure has
been markedly changed to permit cadets to major in any one
of more than a dozen fields, including a wide range of subjects
from the sciences to the humanities.
» Buzz Aldrin
» Gen E. R. S. Canby
» Wesley Clark
» Benjamin O. Davis
» Jefferson Davis
» Abner Doubleday
» Dwight Eisenhower
» Ulysses S. Grant
» Stonewall Jackson
» Mike Krzyzewski
» James Longstreet
» Robert E. Lee
» Douglas MacArthur
» George Meade
» George Patton
» John J. Pershing
» Fidel V. Ramos
» Norman Schwarzkopf
» Jr. William Tecumseh
» Jeb Stuart
States Military Academy Official Website
Army athletics site
When you find Army Black Knights tickets that you would
like to purchase, they can be purchased online via our encrypted
safe and secure server. Or if you prefer, you may order
by phone. For faster service, please order online. Your
Army Black Knights ticket's order will be fulfilled within
6-24 hours. All tickets will be sent via Federal Express.
The shipping address must be the same as your billing address
at which you receive your credit card statement. If this
is not the case, we will need to obtain a fax written authorization
from you. If you would like to do this, you should contact
one of our ticket representatives.
The ticket inventory is updated on a hourly basis. However,
if the tickets you wish to purchase are no longer available,
we will contact you immediately and you will be given other
options or you may choose an alternative set of tickets
that we wil try to offer similar to the price range of your