- Mailing Address
606 Thayer Rd
West Point, New York 10996
- (845) 938-4011
- Email address
- School Information
- West Point's role in our nation's history dates back to the Revolutionary War, when both sides realized the strategic importance of the commanding plateau on the west bank of the Hudson River. General George Washington considered West Point to be the most important strategic position in America. Washington personally selected Thaddeus Kosciuszko, one of the heroes of Saratoga, to design the fortifications for West Point in 1778, and Washington transferred his headquarters to West Point in 1779. Continental soldiers built forts, batteries and redoubts and extended a 150-ton iron chain across the Hudson to control river traffic. Fortress West Point was never captured by the British, despite Benedict Arnold's treason. West Point is the oldest continuously occupied military post in America. Several soldiers and legislators, including Washington, Knox, Hamilton and John Adams, desiring to eliminate America's wartime reliance on foreign engineers and artillerists, urged the creation of an institution devoted to the arts and sciences of warfare. President Thomas Jefferson signed legislation establishing the United States Military Academy in 1802. He took this action after ensuring that those attending the Academy would be representative of a democratic society. Colonel Sylvanus Thayer, the "father of the Military Academy," served as Superintendent from 1817 to 1833. He upgraded academic standards, instilled military discipline and emphasized honorable conduct. Aware of our young nation's need for engineers, 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. (source: https://www.westpoint.edu/about/history-of-west-point)
- General Information
- The Office of the Diversity, Inclusion and Equal Opportunity (ODIEO) was established in May 2014 to be the focal point for West Point Diversity and Inclusion outreach initiatives, projects and plans. Collaborate with internal and external resources to develop and facilitate affinity groups as a forum for individuals to network, share knowledge, challenges and ideas. Identify and advocate diversity and inclusion training and awareness opportunities, as well as, organizational training needs in diversity management and inclusiveness. Lead and/or facilitate diversity management training and develop or assist in developing curriculum when needed. Additionally, provide institutional cultural direction/data on best practices to USMA directorates on programs and systems related to attracting, retaining and promoting a diverse workforce; and assists in the development of recruiting and marketing materials to promote employment opportunities and attract top talent. (source: https://www.westpoint.edu/about/west-point-staff/office-of-diversity)
The USMA published the The USMA Diversity Inclusion Plan 2020-2025. On page five, they write: "Why Diversity Matters The Armed Forces represent the nation it defends, including reflecting our nation’s diversity. There is a growing divide between the military demographic and the American people. An Army not representative of the nation risks becoming illegitimate in the eyes of the people. It is imperative that we leverage all aspects of the nation’s diversity to include gender, ethnicity, religion, education, thought, sexual orientation, and cultural background to create and sustain an inclusive organization that attracts the best the nation has to offer. We must create an environment that appeals to the aspirations of American’s younger generation. Only then will we be successful in competing with the civilian sector for the highest quality recruits. Increasing diversity in the Officer Corps and developing officers who engage and understand American society will foster a better civil-military relationship and assist in shrinking the gap between the military and civilian leaderships. A diverse and inclusive organization that is representative of the society it serves will allow us to attract dynamic men and women, which inherently will strengthen the force."
Created the Diversity Forum. Mission Statement: Nested in the West Point Leadership Center, the Diversity Forum provides diverse exposure, unique education opportunities, and empowerment activities for cadets to lead on topics of diversity, inclusion, and equity.
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
USMA offers a minor in Diversity and Inclusion Studies. The five-course minor includes the following requirements: Must take 2 of 3 PL377: Social Inequality EN352: Power and Difference SS392: The Politics of Race, Gender, and Sexuality. Must Take 1 of 4 HI391: World Religions HI461: Sex and Civilizations HI463: Race, Ethnicity, Nation HI398: Society & Culture in American History