West Point

What do American Presidents Ulysses S. Grant, Dwight D. Eisenhower and former Philippine President Fidel V. Ramos have in common?

They all graduated from one of America's distinguished schools of learning - the United States Military Academy, better known to everyone as West Point. Since its establishment in 1802, the academy has brought forth men and women who excelled in many fields even after serving the country in times of war and peace. Many of them turned out later to become lawmakers, governors, astronauts, CEOs and yes, presidents. Perhaps the next man who will sit in the Oval Office some decades from now is currently assigned somewhere in Afghanistan.

Located 50 miles north of Manhattan, the West Point is open to the public during cadet parades, concerts, sporting events and graduation ceremonies. However, touring the grounds is only allowed by joining a guided tour from the Visitor's Center (picture above) which is just outside the main gate. This being a military facility, all visitors are required to show government-issued IDs. Adjacent to the Visitor's Center is the must-visit West Point Museum with its large display of military artifacts.

Battle Monument

How many more wars?

War trophy

Future cadets?

A cadet shows the Hudson River to mom & dad.

The West Point is on an ideal location above high ground where the river curves into an "S" - this satisfied General George Washington during the American Revolutionary War in establishing a military garrison with fortifications meant to defeat the advances of British navy ships up the river. Today, the West Point is considered the longest continually-used military garrison in the United States.

Cadets marching on to a brighter future

... to Baghdad? Kabul? Sorry guys, Subic is closed.

Athletics plays a big part in a cadet's formation. Besides baseball, there's football (with a heated rivalry against the Navy), basketball, lacrosse, ice hockey, rugby, wrestling, soccer and swimming. Watch out, the Army Black Knights are out to beat the Navy!

West Point admits 1,150 to 1,200 young men and women every year ranging from 17 to 23 years old. There's no tuition fee to worry about - just a debt of service to repay the Motherland, that is, to serve the US Army for at least 5 years. Hope these new guys are not running scared.


  1. Wow, I didn't realize that West Point is open to the masses. Or is it just at certain times of the year?

  2. Ah, the campus looks very neat and beautiful. I may not agree that it is a good place for learning, but I suppose it's a good place to take photos!

  3. Anonymous10:12:00 AM

    thanks for taking us on this tour to west point via this post. the place, based on photos reminds me of pma in baguio, less that picturesque hudson river.

  4. Hi Photo Cache,
    Yes, the grounds are open to the public but only if you join a guided tour or say you attend one of their public events.

    Hi Linguist-in-Waiting,
    I know not everyone will like the idea of studying in a military school but students here really go through a lot of mental & physical challenges. Like the students themselves, the campus is indeed very neat!

    Hi Docgelo,
    We just attended a pass in review at West Point and my friend who comes from Baguio thought the uniforms reminded her of PMAers. Photos will be in the next entry.

  5. Anonymous12:13:00 PM

    "I may not agree that it is a good place for learning"

    Linguist-in-Training, West Point is fourth all time in Rhodes Scholar winners, and they are among the top 7 feeder schools into Harvard graduate schools. It is a pretty good place for learning

  6. Good to know West Point opens to the publics for certain events. I may go visit during those time though! Beautiful campus~

  7. What a beautiful campus!

    How did Philippine President Fidel V. Ramos repay his tuition fees ? :-0

  8. Hi there!

    Wow, thanks for taking us into this wonderful trip. It's not often I find bloggers who blog about military academies and share amazing history too.

    In the "Future Cadets" photo, I've seen those types in Fort Santiago. I don't remember if they're exactly the same but they really look alike. I have a picture but I can't find it in my archives. Haha!

    I love military men mainly because of their uniforms and their brave souls.

  9. Hi Micki,
    Plan your visit during one of their parades - it makes the visit even better.

    Hi Sidney,
    Pres. Ramos was actually one of their international students so I think he was sent by the Philippine government and served the Philippines after graduation.

    Hi HalfCrazy,
    Thanks for visiting! I'll be posting photos of their parade soon.

    Hi George,
    Thanks for pointing it out. I got the years mixed up: 1778 when it stood as a garrison and 1802 as an academy.

  10. this is a nice post about west point. it reminds me of a movie i watched when i was in high school.

  11. the last photo looks like in baguio while 2nd to 4th reminded me of corregidor.

  12. this reminds me the corregidor i had been when i was in manila 3yrs ago

  13. the palce actually reminds me of baguio. though not as grand but with the activities in these photos... it somehow is.

  14. Anonymous6:07:00 PM

    Nice post as always. I'm a follower of your blogs and other posts. Keep going and continue to share beautiful places.

  15. Anonymous9:28:00 PM

    baguio? LOL i don't like wars, or war monuments for that matter LOL but i do appreciate the men in uniform you got, sweet!


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