Academic journal article Parameters

Passing (and Failing) at West Point

Academic journal article Parameters

Passing (and Failing) at West Point

Article excerpt

A favorite expression among West Point instructors is that "much of the history we teach was made by people we taught." Notable names such as Grant and Lee, Pershing and MacArthur, Eisenhower and Patton, Westmoreland and Schwarzkopf are among the more than 50,000 graduates of the United States Military Academy. Then there are some who left the academy without graduating and became known in fields other than the military.

Notable Graduates and Class Rankings

Robert E. Lee, 1829: Second out of 46

Ulysses S. Grant, 1843: 21st out of 39

George E. Pickett, 1846: 59th out of 59

George B. McClellan, 1846: Second out of 59

George Armstrong Custer, 1861: 35th out of 35

John J. Pershing, 1886: 30th out of 77

Douglas MacArthur, 1903: First out of 93

George S. Patton, 1909: 46th out of 103

Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1915: 61st out of 168

William C. Westmoreland, 1936: 112th out of 276

Alexander Haig, 1947: 167th out of 363

H. Norman Schwarzkopf, 1956: 43d out of 480

Wesley Clark, 1966: First out of 579

David H. Petraeus, 1974: 40th out of 833

Famous Former Cadets

Poet and author Edgar Allan Poe deliberately caused his expulsion in 1831 for "gross neglect of duty" and "disobedience of orders. …

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