West Point: Military Post Overview

West Point offers a rigorous curriculum and unparalleled training in leadership. Learn about a typical day as a cadet at West Point.

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CADET JAE YU I knew I wanted to come to West Point after I came up here for a school field trip in the 2nd grade. The United States Military Academy at West Point is a premiere leadership academy where you can receive an education as well as become a commissioned officer upon graduation.

MAJ JOHN TURNER It's the oldest most continuously garrisoned military post in the United States of America, critical for the United States victory in the Revolutionary War and now critical for producing the next military leaders of our generation.

COL BERNARD BANKS So West Point is actually the most generous scholarship awarded in our country. Not only do you receive a full four year, tuition free education, but every student here is a member of the Armed Forces. And as such they receive paid benefits commensurate with their rank in the Armed Forces.

CADET JAE YU Being the third regiment commander means I am responsible for 1200 cadets during the academic year. I thought that every day would be a million miles per hour. In reality, it's all about time management.

CPT MELISSA STEELE On a typical day a cadet will go to more information where they will be inspected, their haircut, their uniform and just their general appearance. After anywhere from 3 to 6 classes, cadets are released and the majority of our cadets participate in company athletics or intramural sports.

CADET JAE YU You get more done in a typical day at West Point than you would normally do outside of West Point for a whole week.

COL BERNARD BANKS We purposefully do not look for people who have any desire to be ordinary. And so if you want to come to West Point it's not because you want a normal college experience. We're the first college of engineering in the United States. The engineering ethos still runs through our program today in that we do not award Bachelor of Arts so everyone of our students will receive a Bachelor of Science.

COL GENE RESSLER We have this enormous advantage teaching engineering here. We operate within the Army so while we're teaching people to be great Army leaders, we're also engaging the Army's real engineering problems.

CADET JAE YU Some of the opportunities available at West Point include being on the combat weapons team where you get familiar with automatic weapons, or being on the parachute jump team where you can jump from helicopters almost every day after school. West Point is definitely a special place.

MAJ JOHN TURNER On a given year at West Point we typically have around 13,000 applications open. Of those around 4,000 will become fully qualified. 1200 of them will eventually become a cadet at West Point. In order to be appointed to West Point, you have to be academically, medically and physically qualified, and obtain a nomination. You must go to your congressman or your senator’s websites. Each has a unique and different nomination application. Additionally, presidential nominations are given to those candidates whose mom or dad is active or retired in the United States military.

COL BERNARD BANKS If you want to come to the United States Military Academy these are the kinds of things that you should do. One, take a rigorous course load. Two, seek physical pursuits. And then finally, look for opportunities to take on the challenge of leadership.

CADET JAE YU The most important component of leadership to me is leading by inspiration. Listen to your subordinates. You have to walk a mile in their shoes before you can tell them to do something.

COL BERNARD BANKS To be an officer means that you will never ask if your Soldiers that which you are not willing to do yourself. That you have an obligation: mission first, people always.

COL GENE RESSLER If you have the goal of being an Army Officer and an Army leader, there's really no better place to come.

CPT MELISSA STEELE Every facet of cadet life centers around developing as a leader.

CADET JAE YU My peers, my fellow classmates are my brothers and sisters that I can truly depend on and will depend on when we're all commissioned officers in the United States Army.

COL BERNARD BANKS As an institution, what makes us unique is that we focus on the transformation of each one of our students in terms of becoming a leader of character.

CADET JAE YU Just going through the West Point 47 month experience truly developed me into a better person. I am ready to become an Officer in the United States Army. I'm Cadet Jae Yu at the United States Military Academy at West Point.