What ’62 Gave Support # 1

Judo Club

by Dave McLaughlin

When Lee Taylor & I first started rooming together I saw his Judo Gi and asked him about it and then asked if he would teach me. We proceeded to workout in our own time and slowly gathered other cadets from our own class and other classes. When I wasn’t swimming or playing water polo we were practicing Judo. We had formed quite a good club but it was not “Official”. After several petitions the Comm. finally authorized us as a full competitive sports club in Sept 1961, with the proviso that we did not enter any competition. The Supt. and the Comm. figures that we were a new club without any experience and did not want us to make the Academy look bad.

We were invited to the Easter Collegiate Championships and Lee took weekend leave and entered, eventually taking 1st place individual. Lee presented the trophy to the Comm. who could not say much about it as Lee had won. A short time after that we were invited to the New York Metropolitan Championships and Lee and I took weekend leave and entered. Lee again took 1st place individual and together we somehow won 1st place team. Again what could the Supt. and Comm. say. We were now well established and upon graduation left the team in good hands.

Apparently the Club has continued to grow and prosper. They are the 2011 National Champions and is currently the three time defending Eastern Collegiate Champions. Their web site is http://allforthecorps.com/ Their OIC, LTC Hector Morales I know from meeting him at the National Championships several years ago in Houston. He has invited Lee and myself to help him “Belt” 8 members of the class of 2012 with their Black Belts while up there for our 50th which, of course, is the Club’s 50th also. Details still to be worked out.

Class of 1962 – Can Do

The Class of 1962 – Can Do

Complied by Class Scribe & Sports Historian Dave Phillips – 2004


Thirteen media guides covering 14 sports in which the Academy competes at the varsity level contain hundreds of individual and team records.Exactly one of these records can be said to belong the Class of 1962.


1st Row Downey, Mac McRaeBob LilleyLarry CraneGeorge KirschenbauerJohn SchmidtRobert FoxAl DeJardinRay LoPrestoJohnnie Nau, Linn, Ron Borrello 2d Major Ochs, Coach “Tipton”, White, Perkins, Kierstead, Caywood, Rogers, Boice, Arbogast, Vopatek, Cerzarski, Alikuppi, Davis, Sheppard, Capt. Munson, “Col. Reeder”, Maj. Wierenga 3d Michela, Banovic, Rusnak, Boyle, Dopslaff, Tanner, Haydash

I was unable to persuade anyone at the Academy to send me a baseball media guide. I think everyone was too busy winning 35 games, beating Navy three out of four, winning the Patriot League championship, and playing in the NCAA tournament.

In scrutinizing the on-line baseball archives, however, I found no mention of any member of the USMA Class of 1962 or any of the three teams to which that Class contributed other than the list of lettermen:

Larry Crane,
Al DeJardin,
Tom Eccleston,
Robert Fox,
Bob Lilley,
Mac McRae,
John Schmidt

John Grimshaw and Ray LoPresto appear in the Howitzer team photo.

Howitzer informs us that the 1960 team was 18-5 but lost to Navy and the 1961 team was 12-7-1 but lost to Navy. The 1962 team went 15-6 but lost to Navy.

In my mind’s eye I can still see Bob Lilley staggering under the longest, highest fly ball ever hit at Doubleday Field, post Babe Ruth. The ball was struck by Roger Maris during the exhibition game against the Yankees. Bob was holding down right field and had moved back towards the Library Tennis Courts fence out of respect for Maris. Now, if this happened in 1962, Maris was coming off the year he hit 61 home runs. If it happened in 1961, it was just after the major league season had begun, the season in which Maris would break the record. In fact, if it was 1961, it would have happened about 

the time Maris began his run at the record, because he did not hit his first homer until game 9 of the season. (He hit 61 homers in his last 154 games of the season, just as Ruth had hit 60 in his 154 games.)

The overflow crowd had leeched onto the playing field and more or less surrounded Bob as he followed the arc of the ball, gauging its trajectory with geometric logic and experience gained from hundreds of games of baseball. I heard someone yell, “Go back further!” Bob heeded this advice, camped under the high-flying missile and actually got his glove on it but could not hold it. Maris strolled into third base. The ball struck the ground perhaps 20 feet from the fence, a monstrous shot. 

It’s like it happened yesterday.

I did not witness George Kirschenbauer hitting a home run off the Yankees’ Bob Turley. I wish I had seen it. By all accounts, it was a magical moment. Turley was only a .500 pitcher in his last two years, despite being a young man; he was either 31 or 32 when he grooved one to our beloved Class president. This incident, like Bob’s heroic attempt, must be remembered by the generations to follow through oral history and story telling. Pass it on.


Stu is moving fast

When we, members of the Can Do Class, think basketball, we think Stu Sherard. After all these years, his name — the media guide calls him “Stu,” but Howitzer confirms the correctness of “Stew” — is found all over the Army record book as follows:

Named All-American (honorable mention)by the Converse Yearbook. 

In 1962 led Nation with free throw % of 92% 

One of 24 members of the 1,000-point club. (His entry contains an error in the calculation of his free-throw percentage.)

Number 10 all-time career scoring leader and was number one upon graduation. Only one player with just three years of varsity eligibility, “Mike Silliman”, scored more points. Only three players finished their careers with more average points per game than Stew’s 19.4. (Another error appears in Stew’s career ppg average.)
Number 7 all-time in points per game and third upon graduation.

Had seventh best season points per game average, 22.7, second upon graduation.

One of only three Army basketball players who led their teams in scoring each year of eligibility.

Number six in career free throws made, number one upon graduation.

Number five in career free throw percentage, number one upon graduation.

Had sixth best season free throw percentage, number one upon graduation.

One of only four Army basketball players who led their teams in free throw percentage each year of eligibility. (Another error appears in this chart.) Stew’s 15 for 15 in free throws against Rider College is matched only by “Kevin Houston”‘s 16 for 16.

Of Army’s great perimeter shooting guards of our time – Kouns, Houston, Sherwin, Stew – only Houston played in the era of the three-point shot (just one year), making us wonder, “What if…?” 

But — That still comes to five Academy records held at graduation.

The sleepy-eyed, rail-thin, hunched shouldered jump-shooting Missourian thrilled us for three years on Wednesday afternoons (I went to almost every game) and Saturdays.

He was team captain First Class year, never scored 30 points in a game (according to the media guide, but the 1960 Howtizer credits him with a 34-point performance against Massachusetts and he scored 35 points against UCLA in a Christmas Tournament); and was the Most Valuable Player of the 1962 East-West All-Star game, draining long jumpers over all those future pros. Oddly, the media guide does not mention this last fact but we who watched the game on TV in the Weapons Room (or maybe it was the First Class Club) will not forget it. My personal recollection includes a brief spell where Stew was having difficulty guarding Nate Archibald, but that in no way tarnishes the luster of this roundball hero.
As for the team accomplishments during our three years:

The 1959-60 team is Army’s 10th best in total rebounds, 8th best in rebounds per game, and had the 10th highest number of players disqualified for personal fouls.

The 1960-61 team was 9th highest in disqualifications, had one of Army’s 15 100-point games, and suffered one of Army’s 19 100-points-against games, losing 103 – 54 to Ohio State. This Army team was the first to go to the National Invitational Tournament, winning 13 of 14 games late in the season, including nine in a row.

The list of lettermen includes Larry Crane (1960 and 1962 — we would like Larry to tell us about 1961), Al DeJardin (1960 and 1962 — same question), Bob Loupe (1962), and Stew (1960, 1961, and 1962).

The media guide includes two photos of Stew and a rather odd one of Larry 

The 1959 – 1960 team was 14-9 and lost to Navy. 

The 1960 – 1961 team was 17-7 for a winning percentage of .708. That percentage has been bested only five times in the 43 seasons since: twice by Tates Lockes-coached teams, twice by Bob Knight, and once by Mike Krzyzewski. This team also lost to Navy.

The 1961 – 1962 team was 10-11 but we will long remember how we beat Navy in the Field House. Stew had fouled out and the straw that stirred the drink for Army’s offense, Al DeJardin, had also been disqualified. No matter. One of the five players we had on the floor was Bob Loupe — can anyone name the others? — and his famous scoop shot in the last few seconds was all we needed. Absolutely unforgettable. Navy did have one more chance, but I think they threw the ball away.

Army basketball has compiled a record of 1046-987 since 1903 (.515), including 37 – 63 against Navy. Our last winning season was 1984-85. 

Forgive another personal reminiscence. One lonely Saturday afternoon in 1959 at Camp Buckner, I checked out a basketball from the Guard Room and spent about an hour at the outdoor courts all by myself. Someone was walking the Area on the adjacent tennis courts. When I was done, I headed on back and the man walking the Area was taking a break under a tree. He called out to me with a surprised look on his face. I recognized him immediately: Fred Kaiser, captain-elect of the Army basketball team. He told me he had been watching while he walked and thought he was watching Stu Sherard. This is my all-time sports moment.

Oh, one more personal reminiscence. In 1971, I was on a pretty good Math Department team in the West Point faculty league. We won our league and were to face Military Psychology and Leadership for the championship. MP&L had Stew and Bill Cross and some supporting players. We knew the key to victory was to hold Stew down somehow. We decided not to double-team him but rather to put our best defender, Roy Buckner ’64, two-time lacrosse letterman, on him and employ a lot of switching and fighting through picks. The game was not that close. Stew got knocked down after every shot but had 30-something points and once again the Math Department was thwarted in its determination to dominate all faculty athletic competition.

Cross Country

Despite its status as a varsity sport, cross country archives proved elusive. That means I did not find any.

The sport is mentioned almost in passing in the track and field media guide. One column each is devoted to the men’s and women’s 2003 seasons. The men defeated Navy for the first time since 1996. The women also beat Navy for the first “sweep” since 1987.

So it’s back to our Howitzer for information on the 1961 season.

Howitzer lists John JonesFred LaRoqueStan Thompson, and Ron Zinn as Army “A” Award winners. The team photo depicts these four along with Gus Gertsch and manager Terry Murphy.

Although we have no context for this particular season, it must be seen as successful for several reasons.

We swept two triangular meets and went 4-1 head-to-head. One of those was against the hated Midshipmen, handily, 22-37, at Crabtown. John Jones finished first. Sweet. And largely unrecognized.

As a proponent of public transportation, I admire those who can run these long distances. One could say John, Fred, Stan, and Ron received at least some recognition as letter winners, but I would like Gus Gertsch to tell us what he got out of all that pain and suffering. Besides wonderful aerobic fitness, frequent rushes of adrenalin and endorphins, and a chiseled body, of course.


What is this powerful hold that football has over American men? We overlook the hypocrisy and cheating, the runaway costs, the tenuous connection between the institution’s football team and the educational mission. We devote ourselves to the fortunes of 19- and 20-year old athletes who may or, more likely, may not be students.

Speaking for myself, I love it and cannot get enough of it. Especially Army football. In my memory lane excursions, I spend time with the 1958 team, our three upperclass seasons, the Jim Young years, and the remarkable series of Army-Navy games that were determined by late field goals and 99-yard drives. 

I once promised my roommate, Chris Stanat, First Class year that if we did not beat Navy, I would sit in the lobby of the Ben Franklin Hotel reading my Tactics Notebook until it was time to head for the train station.

Our three seasons, under Coach Dale Hall, seemed disappointing at the time. We lost three times to Navy. We did not win the Lambert Trophy or achieve any kind of national recognition. We were 4-4-1 in 1959, 6-3-1 in 1960, and 6-4 in 1961.

In retrospect, these seasons grow somewhat in stature. I remember a victory at Penn State and another over Syracuse in Yankee Stadium. There were two tough, hard-fought losses to Oklahoma in a home-and-home series. We played strong teams. Dale Hall‘s three-year record at Army as head coach — 16-11-2, .586 — has not been eclipsed since. If these were not Golden Years for Army football, they were our years and we should consider them 24 carat.

Although no member of our Class is an all-time Army football record holder, ’62 can be found many places in the football media guide, probably the best of all the Army sports media guides. It’s detailed, voluminous, interesting, and professional.

Our first mention comes with a description of the Kimsey Center.

Al Rushatz receives several mentions. First is his two touchdowns in the second half against Navy in 1960. He led the team in rushing in 1960 (648 yards) and 1961 (556). In 1961, Al had back-to-back 100-yard rushing games: 151 yards on 22 carries against William and Mary and 125 yards on 24 carries against West Virginia. Al stands 24th in career rushing yards and was seventh upon graduation, behind only Bob AndersonGil StephensonTommy BellGlenn DavisDoc Blanchard, and Pat Uebel, Davis and Bell having had four-year careers. Al also led the team in scoring with 10 touchdowns and a PAT for 61 points in 1960 and eight TD for 48 points in 1961.

Mike Casp‘s photo appears as our Captain.

George Kirschenbauer is listed as team leader in pass receptions in 1960 with 25 catches for 273 yards, an average of 10.9 yards per catch. Tom Culver led the following year with 20 catches for 305 yards, 15.3 yards per catch. (And we thought Tom spent his time in the coach’s dog house, at least some of us less-informed types did.) These ratings seem to be based on yards per catch. Tom’s 55-yard reception from “Dick Eckert” against Navy didn’t hurt.

The defensive records included in the media guide begin with 1963.

Dale Kuhns is cited as being selected for the 1961 North-South Shrine Game. This classic was played on Christmas Day in Miami, the South prevailing, 35-16. Did Dale go and play? How was it? Which great players did he tackle or open holes for? Was he excused from recitation the day he got back?

1962 receives no further mention with respect to regional or national honors, although I recall seeing framed certificates on the wall of the old Cadet Gymnasium attesting to some kind of all-American status for Al for one and perhaps others. I wonder if those framed certificates were safeguarded when the gym was taken down?

In recognition of the important and difficult, time-consuming responsibilities of the head manager, the media guide lists them all and “T.R. Davis” is included.

The list of lettermen includes Glen Blumhardt (1959, 1960 but not 1961), Barry Butzer (1960, 1961), Bob Fuellhart (1960 but not 1961), Pete King (1961), Dale (1959, 1960, 1961), Al (1959, 1960, 1961), Tom Culver (1961), Bill Whitehead (1959, 1960, 1961), and Paul Zmuida (1960, 1961). I am guessing that the “missing” years I have recorded are a result of injuries.

In 114 seasons, Army has compiled a record of 622-406-51 for a winning percentage of .600, our 0-13 record in 2003 costing us seven points off that mark. We are 49-48-7 against Navy.

150, Lightweight, Sprint Football

Army is and always has been a powerhouse in this sport, sometimes referred to as lightweight football but now officially known as Sprint Football.

Sadly, no official media guide was published last year and we rely on the current coach’s self-published Year in Review (YIR) for history. 

We learn from YIR that Army began play in 1957 and has racked up a terrific record of 238-47-2 and a winning percentage of .833. Navy accounts for 29 and Cornell 12 of the 47 losses and our overall record against the Squids is 31-28-1, .525. Army often plays Navy twice in a season. In 2003, for instance, Navy won, 14-0, in the Pride Bowl — the conference has sponsored an exhibition game each year since 1983 — and Army won the conference game, 30-25, and the conference title with it.

The YIR does not list lettermen, but Howitzer states that we produced 13 Army “A” Award winners: Ron BrownSkip CampbellBob CarrollRuss DeVriesBob DeVriesTurk GriffithErv KammSteve KottJohn Landry, “Jon Lynn”, Art PattarozziLarry Sanders, and Sonny SloanMac McRaeErnie Webb, “Dick Storat” (manager), and Jim Kays (assistant manager) also appear in the team photo. I am guessing that injuries prevented one or more of these four from being letter winners in their First Class years. For example, Jim Kays earned a major “A” for Yearling and Cow years. Ron Brown is shown twice as team captain.

Our teams went 5-1 in 1959, 1960, and 1961, losing to Navy all three years. We were league champions in 1960.

Nobody has ever given serious thought to my idea to rejuvenate the Eastern Sprint Football League, which now includes Army, Navy, Cornell, and a couple of other teams. Why do Army and Navy not field two teams each in the league: Army Black and Army Gold, Navy Blue and Navy Gold. The two Army teams would not play each other, nor would the two Navy teams: conflict of interest. But add two more solid teams to the league and it would take off.


Through spring, 2003, Army rang up a record of 405-170-13, a winning percentage of .700. Against Navy, the record is 27-35-1, .437. 

All this was done with very little contribution from the Class of 1962.

Dick Sklar is shown in the Howitzer team photo and he was Corps Squad golf for four years, but we had no golf lettermen. In fact, a Cow, John Woods ’63, served as team captain our First Class year. But, get this, he was not the captain his own First Class year! What is up with that?

If a copy of this report makes it to Dick Sklar in Russia, maybe he can explain this interesting turn of events.

We took golf in PE; it was called a carryover sport. And I know many of us are completely hooked on it. It all goes back to those several lessons on The Plain when “Mr. Sorge” explained golf terminology to us: “The fairway is that portion of the golf course ‘twixt tee and green.”


The patient reader of the media guide will be pleasantly surprised to discover rather impressive contributions by the Can Do Class to the 78-year history of Army gymnastics.

Now this sport hit me hard when we first met on the 5th, 6th, or 7th floor of the Cadet Gymnasium, whichever it was, plebe year gymnastics instruction. Coach Maloney and the enlisted soldier with the squeaky voice demanded things from us I, for one, was simply not prepared to give. Climb a rope? Stand on my head? Swing my legs over a pommel horse? Forward roll? It was a relief finally to do these ridiculously easy skills, take my 2.2, and move on to boxing.

Where I once got a 2.7 for making Seth Hudak’s nose bleed. I never properly thanked him. But I digress.

Then we attended the corps squad gymnastics meet to qualify for a fall out and the scales fell from our eyes. And now, spend 10 minutes watching Olympic gymnastics and we can properly appreciate the sport and our guys who excelled in it.

We were Eastern League champions in 1960 and in 1962. The latter team, Maloney’s last, was Army’s last Eastern League championship (although Maloney resigned after the first meet!). Phil Costain, team captain, was Eastern League champion in the horizontal bar in 1962. Howitzer states that Phil was named national champion in that event in 1962 but there is no mention of this accomplishment in the media guide. Furthermore, one would think that the national champion would also be named All-American, but, 

according to the guide, no Army gymnast made All-American between 1958 and 1994. Is this an oversight?

We were 10-0 in 1960 and beat Navy by four, 5-2 in 1961 and lost to Navy by one (!), and 7-0-1 trounceing Navy in ’62.

The guide identifies our letter winners: Phil Costain (2 letters), Warren (Steve?) Foote (1 letter in 1962 but he did not graduate with us; does anyone know why?), Ed Hendren (2), Larry Mooring (1), Ken Wallace (2), Merle Williams (2), and Will Worthington (1). Of those I knew, I always considered them the fittest looking of the fittest.

In 79 years, Army has compiled a gymnastics record of 512-248-6, a winning percentage of .672. We are 43-28-2 versus Navy.


In his final year, Ron Chisholm held opponents to 2.18 goals per game, an Academy record that has stood for 42 years. This is the only Academy individual or team record belonging to the Class of 1962.
Ron had a sensational career but this writer is only now realizing it. 

His 50 career wins in goal is third all-time and put him first by 13 wins at graduation.

His 1639 career saves is 8th all-time but was first by 41 saves at graduation.

His career goals-against average of 2.53 is 3d all-time but was first by about a full goal at graduation. 

His career save percentage of .905 is second all-time but was tops at graduation.

His eight career shutouts is second all-time but was first by five shutouts at graduation.

In addition to his all-time record for goals-against per game in First Class year, his Cow year mark is still 6th best and his Yearling year mark is 9th. Ron stood first, second, and third in this category at graduation!

His save percentage in his last year puts him second all-time but he was first at graduation.

His five shutouts First Class year puts him second but first at graduation.

He received the Henry “Hal” Beukema Award as the most valuable player on the hockey team in 1962.

By my count, then, Ron Chisholm held eight all-time Army hockey records when we graduated. Was it just me who did not know this?

The hockey media guide is a good one and mining this Ron Chisholm data from it resulted in the discovery of a very interesting sub-story, one that might support a mini-series.

The goalie for the 1962-63 season was “Jack Shephard”, ’63. The year after that, the goalie was “Neil Mieras”, ’64. So each of those guys got to start in goal for one year. Well, Shephard eclipsed Ron in three of the all-time goalie records and Mieras tied him for another! These three goalies put together a five-year run of excellence unequalled in the annals of Army hockey history.

So visualize Shepard and Mieras, top goalies, riding the bench for two full years waiting for the man ahead to graduate. I’ll bet there is a story there and I hope someone will come forward with it.

The excellent media guide makes mention of Dave Harkins’ generosity in donating funds for the team recreation room and includes a full list of letter winners with their career statistics:
Marty Bilafer (forward, 24 goals, 28 assists, 52 total points), Rusty Broshous (forward, 20-43-63), Dave Harkins (forward, 30-34-64), Albie Symes (forward, 35-43-78), “Fred Avis” (forward, 11-14-25, did not graduate), Ron Chisholm, and Paul Dobbins, our captain (defense, 16-61-77). 

We were 16-5-1 in 1959-60. That .750 percentage is 5th best in modern Army hockey history. In 1960-61, we went 17-8 and were 17-6-1 First Class year. That year gets glowing treatment in Howitzer: 18 wins if one counts a victory over THE SWISS NATIONAL TEAM!, trouncing of BC, a shutout of BU to snap a 28-game losing streak to them, and a trip to the ECAC tournament (losing to Harvard in OT).

Since 1904, Army is 989-833-74, a winning percentage of .552. 

Army has never lost to Navy in hockey.


I know for a fact that many of our classmates had never heard of lacrosse prior to Beast Barracks. One afternoon during that stirring summer, rain forced cancellation of mass athletics and lots of new cadets found themselves sitting on the floor of the Central Gymnasium watching a replay of the 1958 Army-Navy lacrosse game. Army had won, 17-12 and was named national champions. Some of us were seeing lacrosse for the first time.

I knew about it. While a kid at West Point one October, I was importuned into trying out for the youth lacrosse team. Some eighth grade goon stuck me in the goal with a mask and baseball catcher’s chest protector. I took two or three balls on the shoulder and inside thigh and gave up lacrosse. I walked home and as I entered our quarters on Wilson Road, I heard the TV in the living room: “And that brings Bobby Thompson to the plate with two on and the Giants down by two.”

Our class made a giant contribution to Army lacrosse during our three years. We shared the national championship in 1961. In 1962, Bob Fuellhart received the Schmeisser Memorial Cup for being the nation’s top defenseman. (Although it was Jack Reavill who was singled out in Sports Illustrated because of his blue eyes.) In 1962, Al Biddison and Bob Fuellhart both made first team All-American.

Wait, there’s more. Al was honorable mention for All-America in 1960 and 1961. Bob was honorable mention for All-America in 1961. 

Butch Darrell honorable mention for All-America in 1961 and 1962. And old Blue Eyes was honorable mention for All-America in 1962.

And more. “Dick Ryer” joined Jackson, Al, and Butch at the North-South All Star game in 1962. I could not find anything on the web about this game, but it must have been played after graduation. Perhaps one of the four all stars will tell me about it.

No Army team since has sent four players to this game and no Army team has ever sent more than four players.

Of 108 names of all-time leaders in career and season points, career and season goals, career and season assists, career and season saves, and career save percentage, we find scant mention of classes earlier than about 1970: “Bob Miser” ’60 four times (he played three varsity seasons beforer coming to West Point), one guy from ’52, one from ’65, one from ’55, one from ’53, and “Norm Webb” from ’64. I think teams began scheduling more games a year and scoring soared after the giants who strode The Plain in the “60”s departed.

The list of lettermen includes “Dick Ryer” (one letter), Jack Reavill (1), “Dave Moore” (2), “Tom Middaugh” (3), Dave Harkins (2), Bob Fuellhart (2), Butch Darrell (2), Tom Culver (1), “Len Butler” (3), Rusty Broshous (2), Al Biddison (3), and “Mac Howard” (1).

As I say, these athletes were more important to Army lacrosse than we may have realized.

In 1960, we were 8-2, losing to Mt. Washington and Navy. In 1961, we were 9-2, losing to Mt. Washington and Virginia, beating Navy, and earning a share of the national championship. In 1962, we went 9-3, losing to Mt. Washington, Hopkins, and Navy.

Since 1907, Army has compiled a record of 657-285-7 for a winning percentage of .696. (I believe the media guide has an error in this calculation.) We are 26-49-3 all time against Navy.


Pistol is no longer an intercollegiate sport at West Point. This fact made it difficult to learn much about any contributions our class may have made to the program.

The Army Sports Information Office reported that it did not possess the archives from this sport. The OIC of the Cadet Pistol Club said the same thing. Later, I could not locate the Cadet Pistol Club on the Cadet Activities website. It appeared under Cadet Marksmanship Club and Cadet Competitive Shooting Club (which has beat Navy and Air Force three straight years).

Somewhere files exist that can tell us team and individual records over the years. Maybe this report will result in those files being located.

Our Howitzer, however, provides good coverage of the 1961-62 season. “Ray Pendleton”, “Dave Swick”, and “Bob Shuey” are singled out as Army “A” award winners. Dave is twice identified as captain of a team that went 7-1, finished first in the NRA sectionals, broke “the USRA intercollegiate record” and beat Navy.

Lee Pardi is shown as the team manager.

I never attended a pistol match nor do I recall ever meeting anyone who did. I won’t pretend to be ashamed of this shortcoming, but apparently our team was quite good and deserves to be in the spotlight, even this dim one I am shining.Nor can I say the event I will now describe actually happened but it might have happened. I’ll go so far as to say it must have happened.

It’s Army-Navy Winter Sports Weekend, 1962, at West Point. The Field House is packed for the basketball and wrestling contests. At some point that afternoon, we hear this from the PA announcer, “In Army-Navy competition this afternoon, in pistol: Navy, 1354. Army, 1377”. And a crowd of several thousand roars with approval to learn of this latest example of Army superiority.

Wouldn’t we all like to have an account of that sweet victory? A victory surely noted in the files but available to us now only in the 800 or so copies of the 1962 Howitzer. 

Questions remain.

Was the victory over Navy at home or in Annapolis? Is there “home court advantage in pistol?

What was that USRA intercollegiate record and how long did it stand?

What is or was the USRA?

Did their marksmanship help Dave, Ray, and Bob during their army careers? Were they able to continue to compete?

Members of the pistol team were also members of the Pistol Club. Was this a way to get around a lack of “off-season Corps Squad status” for our marksmen?

Was it even possible back then to go to a pistol match and have a place to sit down and spectate?

Finally, speaking as a bolo at Camp Buckner — I had to devote a Saturday afternoon to qualify in my second attempt — it is easy to respect those who can shoot a pistol well. As a lieutenant, I confirmed four incidents of soldiers harming or nearly harming themselves and others by mishandling the .45 cal pistol. And as a field grade officer shooting for familiarization at that same Camp Buckner range, I witnessed outstanding and competent fellow officers, officers who later commanded brigades and divisions, fire pistol shots that struck the ground 10 feet in front of their feet instead of targets 25 yards down range.


According to the media guide for Army’s rifle team, we have been competing since 1919 except for two periods when the program was discontinued: 1937-38 and 1995-96. The latter hiatus was due to a fire in the old rifle range. In 1932, competition was outdoors.

During that period, the guide reports that Army has compiled a record of 778-136, a winning percentage of .851. The 2003-04 team went 9-2 and lost to Navy at Annapolis, both teams breaking scoring records. Army’s team included men and women; a woman was our top shooter.

We look in vain for aggregate Army-Navy results. 

The new facility, which also houses the pistol team, is apparently quite wonderful.

Howitzer, but not the guide, informs us that “Ed Brown”, John DilleyJohn King, and “Joe Porter” were Army “A” Award winners and Ed is mentioned twice as captain. “Bob Martin” is pictured as manager.

I believe Bob did a good deal of firing himself. As he was in B-1 with me, I heard him relate some inside scoop on rifle marksmanship that was pretty interesting. There is a major mental component to it, I take it.

I wouldn’t know; I was a TRAINFIRE Marksman only. Everybody else I know made Expert or Sharpshooter. I could hit what I could see, however.

All these fellows had that club status thing going for them in the off-season. More power to them. 

And now we find our first mention of the Class of 1962 in the Army record book: John King was second team all-American in 1962! Who knew? Was a big deal made of this? I remember being presented with a certificate by the Commandant on the Poop Deck in recognition of B-1’s loss in the Brigade Intramural Basketball championship game (our coach, Ron Skarupa, was not available for some reason). John’s accomplishment deserved at least that spotlight.

I hope John will provide us some details.

Rifle went 8-0 our Yearling year, 6-3 Cow year, and 10-3 First Class year. During our Class’ three-year contribution to Army rifle, John King was the only shooter to achieve any all-American status.

Did the rifle team — and the pistol team, too, for that matter — make those fancy Spring Break trips to warm places like most off-season varsity sports do now? They couldn’t have gone far; we got off at 3:15 on a Wednesday and had to be back by supper formation on Sunday. At West Point now, I think that is called “short weekend”.


The soccer media guide informs us that Doug Morgan was named Regional All-American in 1961, one of 56 cadets to be so honored since 1959. As most of us knew nothing of the game back then, only now does Doug’s selection take on significance, at least for me. How did Doug — and the other lettermen listed in the media guide (Art Brown, “Ric Cesped”, Dick IrwinPaul Kirkegaard, “Sammy Samaniego”, John Schmidt) — learn the game well enough to play it at the college level? Sammy we understand, but the others? Perhaps they will tell us.

No mention of Art Brown as captain — we have to refer to Howitzer to confirm that the sleek goalie from C-1 had that position (I can see him yelling commands to his teammates all the way at the other end of the “pitch”) — and no other mention of our Class or our teams can be found in the media guide. Except the season records:

1959: 7-1-2
1960: 8-2-0
1961: 5-5-0

We lost to Navy all three years. 

Army soccer has an overall record of 561-330-105 (.616) in 82 seasons. We are 24-33-12 against Navy.


From what I could find, squash is neither a club nor a varsity sport at USMA and no archives were available to me. Again, maybe the distribution of this report will get those records out of the closet; we know they exist.

Again we turn to our Howitzer to learn what we can about Army squash, winter of 1961-62.

Our lettermen were Jim McQuillen, “Jim Peterson”, and Don Voss. The team photo also includes “Dave Windom” (manager) and “Rich Carlson”. Jim McQuillen is cited as captain.

In the absence of historical squash records, it is difficult to put the season in context. The team went 8-5, winning only one point each from the effete Ivy League powerhouses Harvard, Yale, and Princeton but shutting out MIT, Wesleyan, and Cornell and beating Trinity, 8-1. That win over Trinity looms large now, as Trinity has won the last six national intercollegiate squash championships and its coach is a former Army tennis coach.

Beating Trinity College in 1962 is something to boast about. Like bragging that Army football”s record against the University of Tennessee since 1984 is 1-0-1, both games being played at their place.

Most importantly, given no chance, we beat Navy, 6-3. Think about the number of times Army has upset Navy in any sport since we became involved in the rivalry and this victory stands out.

It was not easy to support the squash team by going to the matches. It was hard to find the courts, for one thing. There may or may not have been a place to sit. Few knew the rules until we learned them in Yearling PE. And there was always this uneasiness about playing without umpires and calling your own matches. We were at a disadvantage there; we had the Cadet Honor System. I always felt we had to be that much better under these conditions.

Here are my questions (and I welcome yours):

Did the same player get that one point against Harvard, Yale, and Princeton? Now that would be something to remember.

Where was that match against Navy played and how did we manage to win?

Is my sense of being at a disadvantage against the barbarians from other schools because of the Cadet Honor System overstated?

Doesn’t one use a different stroke in squash than in tennis and, if so, did that hurt “Jim Peterson” at all?

Were the two Jims, Don, and Rich ever to compete again in this sport? Or even play at all?


The Army swimming and diving teams of our era are the Rodney Dangerfields of Army sports history: no respect whatsoever.

The media guide has one Can Do class citation: Barry Thomas is listed as team captain, First Class year. 

To be sure, the media guide is all about now and the Class of 1962 is so five minutes ago. No “Army swimming history” no yearly records, no list of lettermen. Much space is devoted to the women’s team.

But just a glance at Howitzer is all you need to learn that the 1961-62 team BROKE EVERY ACADEMY RECORD (except one)!

Again: the 1961-62 team BROKE EVERY ACADEMY RECORD (except one)!

Using the analytical skills developed during 191/2 years of formal education, I conclude that Barry was a member of the record-breaking 400-yard free-style relay team and held the 50-yard free-style record when he graduated.

Then “Bert Finn” must have accomplished the same in the 400 yard free and “Steve Childers” in the breaststroke.

According to Howitzer, our letter winners were Barry, Bert, and Steve.

The media guide records Academy, pool, and plebe records in 14 individual and five relay events and four diving events. All these marks were set since 1977. The top ten times in the 14 individual events were likewise accomplished since 1977.

Everything is still in yards.

We were 11-4 in 1961-62 and lost to Navy.

Army swimming is 604-344-4 in 83 seasons for a winning percentage of .637. We are 29-37 against Navy. Army has won the Patriot League nine times in 14 seasons, including seven successive championships from 1992 to 1998.


According to the 2003-04 media guide, Army has compiled a record of 816-600-12 since 1920, a winning percentage of .576 (incorrectly calculated as .574 in the media guide.

The team’s record during the upperclass years of ’62 were 9-8 in 1960 (lost to Navy, 4-5), 6-9 in 1961 (lost to Navy, 1-8), and 11-6 in 1962 (beat Navy, 6-3) for a three-year mark of 26-23. That record includes 5 wins and 17 losses against Ivy League teams; we never beat Harvard, Yale, or Princeton during this period. “Lief Norlie” coached.

Army tennis is thriving now since joining the Patriot League. Since the spring season of 1995, Army has won the team title four times and finished second six times, losing out to Navy or American University each time. In three PL (individual tournaments)the Black Knights have won twice and finished second.

All tennis all-time individual records date from 1993; some team records are held by earlier classes, but not ’62.

Lettermen from ’62 were team captain “Jim Peterson”, Don Voss, and “Rich Carlson”. The team photo also includes Jim McQuillen.

From the media guide, I calculate the record against Navy as 27-48. In some years, we played the Squids twice, in some years not at all.

The Navy win in 1962 must have been sweet and wouldn’t we like to hear from Jim, Don, Rich, and Jim on this score?

Incidentally, regarding the Ivy League, in the early 1980’s, the Academy approached the Ivy League about joining them for football. This was prior to the Jim Young hire. The Ivy League position was that we would not be welcome because USMA, in effect, had an unlimited number of athletic scholarships.

Track & Field

Photo Ron Zinn, Olympics, Killed in Action – Vietnam

The Class of 1962 is hosed pretty well by the media guide. We can excuse the absence of the fact that Gary Brown held the Academy record in the pole vault for a while. After all, that record has been broken many times. And no doubt this athletic team does not receive abundant funding from ODIA as a “non-revenue-producing” sport, money being saved on the guide perhaps. So there was just no room in the guide for year-by-year season records, team captains, aggregate record against opponents, letter winners, and the like. 

It takes some digging in Howitzer to learn that the indoor track team defeated Navy in all three of our upper class years (although no member of ’62 seems to have been a member of the 1959-60 team). Howitzer also lists our letter winners: Gary Brown (team captain), “Terry Garwick”, Gus Gertsch, “Fred Gordon”, John JonesPete KingFred LaRoqueLarry MengelJerry SeayEd SpragueStan Thompson. The 1963 Howitzer adds “George Schein” and “Don Williamson”.

But how could the remarkable Ron Zinn not be included in the Army track and field media guide? He was a member of two US Olympic teams and I remember well watching the beginning of one of his Olympic races on television (black and white). He was in the lead as the walkers left the stadium. I was so proud of him and West Point I practically levitated.

The Gary Brown record prompts this thought: it would be a great thing to know what Academy records were held by ’62 at graduation.

Indoor track team records:

1959-60: 7-0, beat Navy; 1960-61: 3-3, beat Navy; 1961-62: 6-1, beat Navy by 2 points!

Outdoor track team records:

1960: 3-4, lost to Navy
1961: 2-5, lost to Navy
1962: 5-1, beat Navy by one point!

Wouldn’t you want some details of those two thrilling victories over Navy in 1962?


When we think about wrestling, our thoughts usually gravitate towards two images: endless repetitions of “sit out and turn in” in the Cadet Gymnasium during plebe wrestling instruction and Al Rushatz.

Al is featured prominently in the media guide. He is listed as team captain in 1962. His photograph appears in the pantheon of Army’s 14 All-Americans. He was third in the 1960 NCAA tournament at 177 pounds, won the Easterns at that weight the same year, and was Eastern runner up in 1961 and 1962 at 177 lbs. and 167 lbs. respectively. Only four Army wrestlers have ever done better at the NCAA championships than Al Rushatz, including the great double winner, Mike Natvig, Class of 63. Perhaps we can think of a way to memorialize our champion by getting a wrestling award named after him.

But Al R. was not the only outstanding wrestler in ’62. Buzzy Kriesel finished fourth at the Easterns as a Cow at 167 lbs. and Dale Kuhns was Eastern runner up at heavyweight as a First Classman. Howitzer lists Denny Benchoff, “Phil Burns”, and “Al McElhose” as additional Army “A” winners. In 1961-62, Al R. and Dale were both undefeated in dual matches.

This strong corps from the Can Do class led the Army wrestling team to records of 6-5 in 1959-60, 7-4 in 1960-61, and 6-4 in 1961-62. Apparently, Leroy Alitz did not believe is patsy schedules as we find Penn State, Syracuse, Springfield, Lehigh, Pittsburgh, and Illinois on the schedules, along with Navy.

Duty Honor Country

The Mission of the United States Military Academy

To educate, train, and inspire the Corps of Cadets so that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character committed to the values of Duty, Honor, Country and prepared for a career of professional excellence and service to the Nation as an officer in the United States Army.” 

The West Point Motto & Crest

The best source of information on the Academic Board’s selection
of the USMA motto in 1898 is found in the U.S. Military Academy Staff
Records which are available in the USMA Archives. There is very little information on the reason for the selection of the motto and no
discussion of why a committee was originally established in 1896 to
consider the subject of a so called “Device for the Military Academy.”

At an Academic Board Meeting of 31 January 1898 the committee
appointed to consider the subject of a “Device for the Military Academy” submitted a report dated 14 January 1898. After amendment, the report was ultimately adopted. This committee, which selected both the Academy’s crest and motto, stated that: “The selection of a
satisfactory motto includes some of the foregoing, such as significance, propriety, intelligibility, and suitability, as well as dignity, conciseness, and to a certain extent sonorousness and tradition.” 

Although some discussion of the reason for the selection of the crest is included, the following is the only mention in the Staff Records of the reasoning behind the selection of the words for the motto:

“After much thought and inviting the opinion of many others, the
Committee is satisfied that the sentiment expressed by the words:
‘Duty, Honor, Country’ more clearly and concisely express the genius of the institution than that embodied in any other motto or quotation which has suggested itself or has been suggested by others. It has met the approval of those to whom it has been submitted.” 

Charles W. Larned, Professor of Drawing, Chairman
E.W. Bass, Professor of Mathematics
S.E. Tillman, Professor of Chemistry

At the following meeting of the Board on 4 February 1898 it was decided, by a vote of 5 3 with three members absent, that the words for the motto should be arranged as “Duty, Honor, Country.” The amended report of the committee was then formally adopted.

At the 31 August 1898 meeting of the Academic Board it was resolved:
“that the Academic Board recommend to the Honorable Secretary of War
that the design for a Seal and Arms and the Motto submitted and
recommended by the Committee of the Academic Board appointed for its
consideration and preparation, be adopted as the Seal, Arms, and Motto
of the U.S. Military Academy.”

That approval was evidently forthcoming because at the 15 December 1898 meeting of the Board the following resolution was adopted:

“Resolved that the sum of one dollar and five cents ($1.05) be allotted from the Contingent Fund of the Military Academy appropriations for the current fiscal year, to be expended under the direction of the Academic Board for the payment of the fee for copyrighting the Arms, Motto, and Seal of the Military Academy, and Descriptive Text of same.”

Office of USMA Historian 25 February 1980

Dr. Stephen Grove — USMA Historian, Office of Policy, Planning and Assessment 

The Honor Code

Given by the Class of 1957


The purpose of the Cadet Honor Code is to foster a commitment to honorable living in cadets in preparation for their service as leaders of character for the Army. It is a baseline standard of behavior to which all cadets are expected to adhere. But, as part of their moral-ethical development at USMA, cadets are expected to go beyond this baseline and develop an understanding of the “spirit of the Code.” 

After ingraining the prohibitions of the Code in cadets, the Honor education program focuses on inculcating this related principle. Instead of teaching cadets just not to lie (a prohibition), the spirit of the Code emphasizes being truthful in all matters. The same goes for fairness (cheating), respect for others and their property (stealing), and professional responsibility (toleration). Cadets who live and abide by the spirit of the Code will never have to worry about violating the prohibitions of the Code. 

The spirit of the Code is embodied in the positive principle behind each of the Code’s four prohibitions. As an affirmation of the way of life that marks true leaders of character, the spirit of the Code goes beyond the mere external adherence to rules. Cadets who live only by the Honor Code do not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate. Cadets who live by the spirit of the Code will be truthful, fair, respectful, and professionally responsible. 


Honor has always been and will continue to be the foundation of cadet development at West Point. USMA’s Honor Code originated from a gentleman’s Code of Honor prevalent in the early officer corps. This “Code of Honor” was a broad concept, and in the Academy’s application it meant that a cadet was fundamentally honest and was to be accepted at his word. Not everyone agreed about what constituted a violation of the early Code, and until the mid-1920s, no attempts were made to place the Code into written form. Sylvanus Thayer stressed the importance of honor as an essential component of the character development of an officer and gentleman. Over time, the West Point community recognized that honor was the essential component of an environment in which discipline and education could develop the leaders of character for the Army and nation. The four tenets of the Honor Code originated at different times and were codified separately. 

LYING. Lying is the only one of the four tenets that has been a part of the Honor Code from West Point’s founding through today. Initially, the Honor Code was confined to rules against lying and requirements for integrity in the written and spoken word. 

CHEATING. The first attempt to expand the early Code beyond lying occurred when Sylvanus Thayer was Superintendent of the Academy. He considered cheating to be a violation of the Honor Code and announced that violators would be expelled. Expulsion for cheating faded out in the late 1800s. The USMA Adjutant in 1905 stated that if a cadet were caught cheating, his punishment would be severe, but would not necessarily warrant dismissal. He further stated that the Honor System at the time addressed only the standard that the word of a cadet is never questioned. However, two years later, in 1907, the Superintendent issued a written directive that placed cheating under the Honor Code, changing the Code to formally proscribe cheating. Acceptance and implementation, however, was not immediate. It was not until 1926 that the Academic Board responded with the particulars of how honor would apply in the classroom. But that same year the Superintendent stated in writing that initial honor violations in the classroom would be ignored; in effect, he granted cadets an automatic second chance. When the General Committee of the Academic Board requested clarification, the resulting policy established that if the first violation were flagrant, no second chance would be given. These rulings caused dissent and confusion, and as a result some instructors continued to give an automatic second chance at their own discretion for the next several years.

(The statement that cheating became part of the unwritten honor code in 1907 is incorrect. The correct date is 1905. The Superintendent acted soon after he learned of the adjutant’s response.)

STEALING. For many years, the Academy considered stealing a matter for the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) or Army regulations. Stealing, the third tenet of the present Honor Code, was not included in the early Code but was rather a matter of regulations. Offenders were court-martialed; if found guilty, they were separated from the Academy as a minimum. Stealing did become a part of the Honor Code in the mid-1920s, though serious violators were then (as they are now) referred to court martial. With the addition of stealing as an honor violation, the Honor Code became “A cadet does not lie, cheat, or steal” and remained so until 1970. 

TOLERATING. It was not until after the Civil War that a sense of non-toleration of violations of the Code became common. The first formal institutional statements on that issue occurred during Douglas MacArthur‘s superintendency. Prior to MacArthur’s formation of an Honor Committee and formalization of the Honor System in 1922, honor enforcement was conducted primarily through cadet Vigilance Committees that took matters into their own hands. 

Throughout the 20th Century, West Point required non-toleration, though the policy was not officially promulgated until quite recently. While not formally declared initially, cadets were certainly aware that toleration was proscribed.

During the 1951 cheating incident, numerous cadets who had not cheated themselves but merely knew of occasions when other cadets had done so chose to resign in lieu of separation. —
(The White Paper is mistaken here, please read the small print below)

Editor’s Note — Over the years since 1951 a number of myths developed which have become accepted fact. The Academy made no effort to dispel these myths; being interested only in moving beyond the scandal. Eleven Cadets of the 94 found guilty of Honor Violations had never cheated but admitted under oath to knowing of the cheating, and stated they took no action to report it. There was corroborating evidence from other cadets who admitted cheating, to support the statements of the eleven. The Collins Board found the eleven guilty under the term “Guilty Knowledge”. As a result of subsequent case reviews, not one of these eleven Cadets was discharged, or resigned. Each was reinstated in the Corps of Cadets, with his Class, and 9 of the 11 Graduated.During the period, beginning in 1923, the year the Honor System was officially sanctioned, on through the 1951 incident, non-toleration was expressed differently than today. Annually, during those 28 years, “General Principals upon which the Honor Code was founded — ,” were restated in the Bugle Notes, the book of Plebe Knowledge given to each Cadet entering the Academy. Non-Toleration was expressed as “Every man is Honor Bound to report any breach of Honor which comes to his attention.”By the late 50’s the phrase “nor tolerate those who do” had became an equal part of the Code and in 1970 the phrase was formally added. In 1998 The Cadet Honor Committee made the grammatical correction so that the Code became “A Cadet will not Lie, Cheat, Steal, or Tolerate those who do” thus insuring no misunderstanding as to the obligation of a Cadet to report violations..References are at the end of this White Paper.Note information relating to the 1976 Cheating Scandal is at


The informal non-toleration policy became more official as time went by. The 1958 Honor Guide for Officers stated that each cadet is responsible for assuring compliance with the Honor Code and System and that if he does not do so, he too is violating the Honor Code. In 1970, the non-toleration clause, “nor tolerate those who do,” was formally added to the Honor Code. 

Throughout the history of the Honor Code and system, the concept of non-toleration has been the most problematic and the most difficult of the four tenets for cadets to internalize. Today, cadets continue to find non-toleration to be an uncomfortable issue–some have trouble with the critical notion that members of a profession must choose loyalty to the profession over loyalty to friends. Currently, cadet honor education emphasizes the concept that the non-toleration clause is a vehicle for cadets to develop the personal responsibility and obligation to enforce the ethical standards of character, conduct, and competence within the profession of arms. Reporting a suspected violation is necessary to maintain the collective integrity of the Corps and the Army, not a personal act directed at an individual. 

Exceptional provisions like the Non-toleration Clause, which hold the cadet to standards of behavior above and beyond societal norms, provide concrete and constant, if not always gentle, reminders of the extraordinary nature of their moral duty to the people they have freely chosen to serve. . .The way to be is to do. And unless the cadet can do, and ultimately be, all that is required morally, he or she will not have attained the moral-ethical standards required of a professional officer in our Army. 


A grammatical correction was made to the statement of the Honor Code in 1998. For several years, the grammatical imperfection in the previous version of the Cadet Honor Code (A cadet will not lie, cheat, or steal, nor tolerate those who do) had been a subject of discussion among the Cadet Honor Committee, the Corps of Cadets, and the Staff and Faculty. In the spring of 1998, the Executive Staff actively explored the possibility of correcting the grammar without changing the meaning of the Code. Two events helped spur this action: 1) the planning for a Class of 1957 memorial to the Cadet Honor Code, and 2) the creation of the Center for the Professional Military Ethic. The Cadet Honor Committee wanted a properly worded code before it was carved into the memorial and before CPME began its outreach initiatives to the Army and the nation. In August 1998, the Executive Staff presented a recommended correction to the entire Cadet Honor Committee for discussion within their individual companies. On 29 September 1998, after careful consideration, the full Cadet Honor Committee, in a nearly unanimous vote, changed the statement as it read at that time (“A cadet will not lie, cheat, or steal, nor tolerate those who do”) to the current statement: “A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do.” This correction has not altered the meaning or the Spirit of the Honor Code. The grammatical correction adds clarity and strengthens the importance of non-toleration by making it co-equal to the other three tenets in the statement of the Code. 

The old wording implied that non-toleration was an added, perhaps optional, element of the code. The current wording undercuts that belief by connecting non-toleration in a grammatically tighter way to the first three forbidden acts. More important, cadets initiated and completed the action. 


Just as the statement, interpretation, and scope of the Honor Code have not remained static and unchanging, the procedures included in the Honor System to enforce the code have changed through the years. 

During the early period, when the Honor Code was generally concerned with lying, the Honor System was an informal enforcement process conducted first on a cadet-to-cadet basis and later through a cadet Vigilance Committee. The Academy became involved only in serious cases that had some official interest or impact. Otherwise, it appears that a “guilty” cadet was usually confronted by the cadet chain of command and asked to leave the Academy. 

In 1922 Superintendent Douglas MacArthur established the Cadet Honor Committee and formalized the Honor System. A two-tiered due process Honor System existed from 1926 until 1976. The first tier was a cadet hearing conducted by the Cadet Honor Committee when a violation was reported. In the second tier, a cadet found guilty by his peers could request a hearing before a board of officers or a court martial. 

If found not guilty at this second tier, the cadet was returned to the Corps but faced the unofficial punishment of the “silence” (before 1973). Since the “silence” was such harsh punishment, almost all cadets found guilty by the Cadet Honor Committee elected to resign rather than have a hearing before a Board of Officers. 

The “silence” ended in 1973 in the aftermath of a contentious honor case. The year before, the Corps voted on silencing a cadet who had been “found” as a result of a cheating incident but had been reinstated after an official review. Even though the results of the vote were decisive (80% in favor of silencing, 12% opposed, 8% not voting), the “silence” was not strictly observed. The ineffectiveness of the “silence” imposed in this case signaled the end of this practice. An important side effect of the end of the “silence” was the marked increase in the number of requests for a Board of Officers following “found” verdicts from honor boards. From September 1965 to June 1973, a total of 305 cadets were found guilty by the Cadet Honor Committee. Of those, only 15 elected to go before officer boards. During AY 1973-74, 10 of 25 cadets found guilty requested officer boards; during AY 1974-75, 14 of the 24 cadets found guilty at cadet boards requested officer boards. The end of the “silence,” in effect, made the option to select a Board of Officers a viable alternative to resignation. 

Later, following a 1976 cheating scandal, the USMA administration and the Corps of Cadets adopted several reforms, proposed in a series of reviews and studies commissioned to look at the Honor Code and System. USMA modified various academic procedures, including the practice of giving the same examination to cadets at different times during the class cycle. The Academy also became sensitive to the temptation to rely upon the special constraints imposed on cadets by the Honor System to enforce relatively insignificant requirements. “Using the Honor System to enforce regulations” by relying on the requirement for cadets to always tell the exact and whole truth also undermined the purpose of the System. 

With more and more cadets requesting officer boards, the cadet honor hearing had less impact and was becoming less and less a critical stage in the separation process. With 85% of the Cadets voting in favor of the proposed revisions, the Corps completely eliminated the two-tier system in 1977 in favor of a single “due Process” hearing at the cadet Full Honor Board level, now called the Full Honor Investigative Hearing (FHIH). From the Academy point of view, the two-tier system had become a procedural and administrative liability. It also had become a tremendous source of antagonism between the cadets and the Academy administration. Although there was one Honor Code, the two-tier system seemed to create different standards of enforcement, something that neither the Academy nor the Corps of Cadets could tolerate. 

Another key change to the Honor System after 1976 was the reintroduction of the concept of an alternative to the “single sanction” associated with a “found” verdict. Allowing “second chances” has a long history at the Academy, but such “discretionary” practices had disappeared in the 1940’s. The 1976 reviews and studies linked the single sanction of separation to an extremely serious underlying issue: cadet unwillingness to support the non-toleration clause of the Honor Code. Each of these studies recommended that West Point consider sanctions other than separation based on the individual facts of each case. Perhaps the most famous of these studies was the Report of the Borman Commission which recommended that “sanctions other than dismissal should be authorized for violations of the Honor Code.” In response to these recommendations, the Superintendent in 1977 began to exercise his discretion in deciding whether the sanction of separation or some developmental alternative was appropriate in any given case. This practice became a formal part of the Honor SOP in that year. 

Initially the Superintendent received little guidance on the exercise of discretion. In 1992, the Secretary of the Army provided specific guidance to the Superintendent directing him to evaluate all honor cases for possible discretion by applying the following criteria: intent, manner reported, resolve to live honorably, severity of the violation, and unusual duress at the time of the violation. 

These changes to the Honor System adopted in 1976, modified and streamlined in 1979 and 1988, fundamentally shaped the Honor System that exists today. The current procedures serve the needs of both the Academy and cadets — and most importantly ensure that the basic purpose of the Honor Code is still fulfilled. In addition the current System is designed to fully protect the rights of our cadets as they are being interpreted in the law and by the courts. A healthy balance has been struck between the essential demands that we place on the Code as an instrument of character development and the need to ensure fairness, thoroughness, and efficiency of process. 



Today, a 76-member Cadet Honor Committee fulfills two main functions – Honor Education of the Corps of Cadets and enforcement of the Cadet Honor Code. Current Committee composition includes an Executive Staff consisting of: Chairperson, Executive Officer, Secretary, Vice Chair for Investigations, Vice Chair for Education, Vice Chair for Liaisons, Vice Chair for Special Projects, Vice Chair for Mentorship, four Regimental Honor Representatives; and two company honor representatives, a Firstie (senior) and a Cow (junior), for each company. 


The Cadet Honor Committee investigates allegations of violations of the Cadet Honor Code brought to its attention. The investigative process begins with a company team (CT) initial inquiry. Following the inquiry, an investigative team (IT) from another company within the regiment conducts a thorough investigation and makes a recommendation. The Regimental Honor Representative (RHR) reviews the inquiry and investigation and makes a recommendation to the Vice-Chair for Investigations (VCI). If the three (IT, RHR, VCI) are not in agreement about whether to forward the case to an Honor Investigative Hearing (HIH) or to drop the case, the Chairperson of the Cadet Honor Committee will make the final recommendation to the Commandant. 

Once an investigation leaves the Cadet Honor Committee, the Special Assistant to the Commandant for Honor Matters (SAH) will review the case for completeness. After receiving legal advice on the case from the Chief of Special Actions in the office of the Staff Judge Advocate, the SAH takes the case to the Commandant. The Commandant reviews it and makes the decision to refer the case to an HIH, drop it, or send it back to the VCI for additional investigation. In practice, the Commandant normally accepts the recommendation of the Cadet Honor Committee. 

If the decision is to refer the case, an HIH is scheduled. The Cadet Board President (a First Class Honor Representative) and a Hearing Officer (from the SJA) run the HIH. The nine voting members of the HIH Board are the Board president, three other honor representatives, and five members of the Corps at large. The purpose of the HIH is to determine whether a cadet violated the Cadet Honor Code. To “find” a cadet in violation of the Honor Code requires a vote of six of the nine members. The standard of proof is defined as “more likely than not” for each element of the allegation. 


The Superintendent determines what sanctions to impose on all cadets found by an HIH Board to have committed an honor violation. The standard sanction for a violation of the Cadet Honor Code remains separation. 

Prior to deciding the disposition of a “found” cadet, the Superintendent reviews the entire case file. This file includes recommendations from the HIH board members, the Chair of the Honor Committee, the cadet company commander, the tactical officer chain of command, the Special Assistant to the Commandant for Honor Matters (SAH), and the Commandant. 

After receiving all of the recommendations and using the general criteria listed above, the Superintendent makes a decision on whether or not to grant discretion. He may grant discretion if he determines the violation does not represent that cadet’s overall character and it was an isolated mistake which the cadet can overcome with proper mentoring and guidance. If, however, the Superintendent determines the cadet has not fully accepted responsibility for his or her dishonorable act, cannot or will not live honorably in the future, or will not develop stronger character through the Mentorship program, then the Superintendent will not grant discretion and the cadet will be separated. 

Cadets receiving discretion are generally either turned back an entire class year, or their graduation is delayed until the December after their normal graduation date. In some cases cadets are sent to the Army, where a commanding officer in a “line” unit mentors the cadet and makes a recommendation regarding readmission. In a few special cases, especially for cadets early in their development cycle, the found cadet may be allowed to remain on track for graduation with his or her class. 

Though not always referred to as “discretion,” the notion of a “second chance” in select cases was not new to the Honor System when adopted in the 70’s. In the mid-nineteenth century, it was not uncommon to give a second chance to cadets who committed a violation of honor. In the 1920’s and 1930’s the second chance was not an espoused policy but still a possibility. The 1924 Chairman stated that cases of a minor nature were disposed of by disciplinary means. The 1930 Chairman said that while his committee would not offer a second chance, if an offense was a “small matter” the Honor Committee would not find the cadet guilty. The 1935 Chairman stated that a man with a record of truth and veracity would not be dismissed for a minor slip. 


If discretion is exercised, the “found” cadet is placed in a suspended separation status and enrolled in a mandatory USMA Honor Mentorship Program. The USMA Honor Mentorship Program is the keystone for helping cadets given discretion to overcome their mistake and to learn and grow from it. This program is a six-month process completed through one-on-one mentoring from an officer or senior non-commissioned officer. Some of the requirements of this program may include such actions as: conduct a self-evaluation using West Point’s Leader Characteristics (these are based on the current Army Officer Evaluation Report and include the Army Values and Leader Attributes, Skills, and Actions); participate in at least seven counseling sessions with the mentor; maintain a journal; write their own case in the first person for others to review, analyze, and learn from; present honor instruction; prepare a developmental project; conduct a role model emulation; and write a summary essay of their experience in the program. In some cases, separated cadets enter an Army Mentorship Program. In this program, a cadet serves in the active duty army as an enlisted soldier under the mentorship of a field grade officer. Upon successful completion of the mentorship program, they may reapply for admission to the Academy. 

To date, the Honor Mentorship program has been an overwhelming success. Those cadets successfully completing the program show greater understanding of their moral-ethical development and quite often assist other cadets in avoiding moral-ethical failures. 


When General Douglas MacArthur institutionalized the Honor System and USMA formally adopted the Honor Code, USMA also recognized to the need to educate cadets about the System while strengthening their character. The responsibility for education fell to the cadet Honor Committee. The Honor Committee conducted both formal and informal classes until 1982 when West Point implemented the Honor Education Program. Today, as part of the Center for the Professional Military Ethic’s (CPME’s) 67 hours of Values Education Training over four years, the Honor Committee conducts 20 hours of Honor instruction over a cadet’s first three years. In addition to the honor classes, the training consists of classes on respect issues, the Army Values, and the Professional Military Ethic. During the first year, the lessons focus on USMA Rules and Policies for Honor and Respect and their application to the academic, athletic, and barracks environment. During the second year, the theme is our Army Ethics Doctrine. The third year’s lessons focus primarily on Army Values and Ethical Leadership. In the culminating fourth year, the Values Education Program centers on the Professional Military Ethic and its practical application. Company Values Education Teams, consisting of both cadets and members of the staff and faculty, conduct this instruction, which includes the following topics: 

–Temptations to act dishonorably that lieutenants may experience in the Army, e.g., false reporting to meet standards, careerism, and deception by omission.
–Moral dilemmas as contrasted with self-interested behavior. 

–The requirements of the nation’s moral values, treaties, and laws. 

–The responsibilities of leaders in establishing an ethical climate in their units.

The formal four-year Values Education program is a significant improvement over similar previous Academy efforts. Of all the changes from times past that have led to the Honor System as we know it today, it is this enhancement in education and training that is having the most dramatic and positive effect. Values Education of the Corps of Cadets is a partnership effort of volunteer staff and faculty (officers, NCOs, and civilians) with the Cadet Honor and Respect Committees. The curriculum is professionally and progressively structured and designed to produce the leaders of character that our Army demands from West Point. The mandatory Values Education classes, which are the centerpiece of the moral-ethical education of today’s Corps, are a necessary step beyond and a far cry from the Academy’s earlier education efforts which often consisted of only a few formal classes for new cadets during “Beast Barracks” followed by informal cadet discussions in the “sinks” or hallways of the divisions during the academic year. 


The Superintendent has several means at his disposal to review, assess or otherwise obtain feedback on the health and vitality of the honor code and system. They include: 

Superintendent’s Honor Review Committee (SHRC)

The SHRC, consisting of cadets and members of the Staff and Faculty, meets monthly and publishes an annual report on various aspects of the Cadet Honor System. At the end of each academic year, the Superintendent mandates a charter to the SHRC from which the committee derives the tasks it will accomplish during the upcoming academic year.
The major finding in the most recent SHRC Report was that “The Honor System continues to play a prominent, productive role in the West Point Experience by providing the foundation for the process of character development.”
Corps Honor Survey. The Office of Plans, Policy, and Analysis (OPA) administers an Honor survey for the Corps of Cadets every two years in January. The survey gathers information about cadet attitudes and perceptions relating to the Honor Code and System. The statistical analysis of the Corps Honor survey provides the Superintendent with an assessment from the Corps on the state of the Honor Code and System.
In the most recent (1998) Corps Honor Survey, 92% of the Corps provided a positive response to the following two questions (with only 2 % providing a negative response):
I am confident I have the ability to apply the ethical principles of the Honor Code to situations I will encounter as a commissioned officer.

I will live by the spirit of the Honor Code once commissioned.
Commandant’s Sensing Sessions. The Special Assistant to the Commandant for the Respect Program coordinates sensing sessions between the Commandant and different cadet populations. During the academic year, between six to eight sensing sessions take place. The Commandant uses these sessions to receive input on cadet perceptions and attitudes on a wide variety of topics, to include the Honor Code and System.
Cadet feedback summarized in minutes from recent sessions completed this Academic Year includes the following:
“All agreed that honorable people do not lie, cheat, or steal.”
” — the Corps internalizes the Code and they are glad that it is in place.” 

Battalion Commander’s Survey. The Office of the Dean coordinates an annual survey of recent Battalion Commanders at the Army War College. Ethical conduct and values of West Point graduates are two of the topics surveyed.
On those subjects the Survey reported: “West Pointers are thought to exemplify Army values, approaching their jobs and soldiers with integrity and respect. Moreover, they can reason through ethical dilemmas.”
Middle States Accreditation Assessment. The Academy receives its academic accreditation from the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. Every ten years, the Academy conducts an extensive self-study and hosts an accreditation team from Middle States that evaluates the Academy’s success in achieving its mission. The most recent MSA report, while not specifically reviewing the Honor Code and System, highlighted them as a key aspect of the USMA experience.
“The commitment to moral-ethical development engages all members of the West Point community. The establishment of the Center for the Professional Ethic, has great potential as a source of integrating and coordinating activities and initiatives in the areas of honor, respect, values based education and leadership development.”
First Class Survey. OPA conducts a survey of First Class cadets every spring to measure their perceptions of the four-year developmental experience at USMA.
The vast majority of the Class of 1999 who responded to the First Class survey indicated their moral and ethical development (i.e., sense of integrity, honor, service, respect for others, etc.) was important to them while at USMA. 


The Honor Code will always be more than just the baseline standard of ethical conduct expected from all cadets while they are at USMA. As it always has in the past, it will continue to serve as an inspiration to cadets to go beyond simple proscriptions, and, once they graduate, to live an honorable life, abiding by the spirit of the Code, while serving as commissioned leaders of character in the United States Army. The Honor System will continue to maintain its two major purposes at West Point — educating the Corps on the concept of honorable service and investigating allegations against members of the Corps who may not have upheld the standards of the Code. The Cadet Honor Committee, with assistance from the Center for the Professional Military Ethic and the chain of command, will remain the primary administrators of the Honor System and the Corps’ vanguard for communicating and upholding the principles embodied in the spirit of the Code. All three — the Honor Code, System, and Committee — must be continually guarded and shaped by those who recognize the critical balance that must be struck between time-honored principles and the need to adapt certain procedural aspects to meet the demands of changing conditions. 

And, while the Honor Code and System have undergone changes over the last two centuries, the mission of West Point to produce leaders of character to serve our Army and our nation, and to fight and win the nation’s wars will never change. The Code and System, so critical to leader development at the Academy, will be subject to constant review and vigilance to ensure its most important functions are fulfilled. There is no higher priority for the leadership of the Academy than to ensure the viability, relevance, and integrity of Honor at West Point.


Chapters 8 & 10 of “A Return to Glory” by Bill McWilliams —

A two-part series article published Nov-Dec 2001 and Jan-Feb 2002 issues of the Assembly titled “The 1951 Honor Incident: Myths, Facts, and Lessons.”

Additional InformationA Sports Illustrated article in the 13 November 2000 issue seriously mishandled the truth. Some of the former Cadets interviewed for the Article provided information which did not correspond to their testimony before the Collins Board. (The 1951 Academy Investigative Board) In addition the article was completely lacking in fundamental knowledge or understanding of the code and system of that era. The Academy has steadfastly refused to release the names of the cadets discharged. It was a long standing policy not to release the names of cadets discharged for honor violations. In 1951, when the absolutely unprecedented incident blew up in everyone’s face, the Academy stuck determinedly to that policy – for three primary reasons. The institution wanted the men involved to be able to start their lives anew somewhere else, and not be dogged publicly, or labeled as criminals. The Academy was also well aware that families and friends would also be besieged by media if the names were released. And last, it was simply the right thing to do. Although some of the discharged Cadets have come forward on their own. This was the policy and is the policy today — a principal established long before our current attitudes toward our “Rights to Privacy”. In fact, the Academy was so determined not to release their names, the public affairs officer, when confronted by phone, by a muckraking journalist, who had obtained some volunteered names and called to say he was “going public” with them, then proceeded to demand the rest of the names be released, drew a sharp response from the Public Affairs Officer — the response was that the Academy would join with the parents of the discharged Cadets in court action against him if he released the names. Another group of associated (organized) journalists, threatened to sue the Academy to obtain release of the names. The Army and the Academy refused, and probably told them the same thing.

1976 Cheating Scandal

The following comments are by Bill McWilliams author of “A Return to Glory” which provides a detailed and complete investigation of the 1951 Cheating Scandal. Note there are 5 or 6 copies of “A Return to Glory” in Jefferson Hall – the Cadet Library 

“The article below shows how things can get wrapped around the axle far beyond what they need to be. 

I saw many other difficulties and parallels when doing a “desk top” look at the 1976 incident and the resulting corrective action – as late as 2001 when I did a desk top look at the existing system by evaluating the syllabi of honor instruction for all four classes. Many of the problems associated with the ’76 incident could have been avoided at the outset, had the Academy administration at that time known the entire history of the 1951 incident, one piece being the cadet honor committee had undoubtedly been corrupted in that incident and the cheaters actually schemed and successfully elected two men to serve their interests on the 1952 honor committee – until discovered during the Collins Board investigation. That was just one lesson that was never publicized or known, and vanished into the National and West Point archives – then reappeared in 1976.

Another was the fact that the men involved in the 1951 incident pointed fingers at a much larger number of participants – by name – then refused to provide substantiating evidence. The Collins Board couldn’t turn up corroborating evidence. It was the cheaters code of silence while pointing their fingers at everyone else. (Misery loves company.)

The ’51 crowd attempted publicly to discredit the Collins Board. (The cadet who spearheaded that effort later personally apologized to LTC Collins – in private of course, and the entire episode was never made known to Academy graduates or retained as lesson learned about how men act when they get caught with their hands in the cookie jar.) The 1976 bunch acted similarly with respect to the panels cranked up after the honor committee was found to be corrupt. (It’s a form of blackmail or extortion when people like that threaten institutional calamity and embarrassment. Their bluff needs to be called and there are ways to do that.) The Borman Commission was then activated and they cut a much wider swath. Had someone done a careful review of the entire 1951 incident, they would have learned that the 1951 corrective action process was fatally flawed and thus they failed to pick up on other important (same) factors that contributed to the 1951 incident as reappeared in the Borman Commission follow-on work after the 1976 incident exploded. 

The list of lessons the Academy failed to learn post 1951, goes on and on. And by the way, the most recent book written by Bob Sorley ’56, Honor Bright, etches that failure in stone. Why? He was constrained – or chose to – use only the official Army and Academy documents and position on the 1951 incident. No critical look at the entire process. Head back in the sand. I had to dig deeply to unearth all the activities of the men who perpetrated the 1951 incident, and low and behold the same kind of activities reappeared in 1976.”

Duty, Honor, Country and Too Many Lawyers

By John Harry Jorgenson, USMA 1967

Originally printed in “The Lawyer’s Washington” column in the American Bar
Association Journal for April 1977 (63 ABAJ 564-S67). Copyright 1977 by
the American Bar Association. [Reprinted by permission.]

THE United States Military Academy, located at and popularly known as West Point, recently went through a period that shocked its foundations as much as its transition from charm school to military college under Sylvanus Thayer, father of the Military Academy. First, under directions from Congress, it became coeducational — successfully from initial reports. Second, it suffered through the worst cheating scandal of its history. These events are totally unrelated, and it is the second this article examines. Paragraph 12.14 of the academy’s regulations provides: 

The Cadet Honor Code states that a cadet will not lie, cheat or steal, nor tolerate those who do. A cadet who violates the Cadet Honor Code shall be separated from the United States Military Academy.  Note “nor tolerate” was changed to “or tolerate” in 1998 to strengthen the Code.

Almost from the first day at West Point a cadet is expected to know what the honor code says and means. To paraphrase Justice Black, “It means what it says.” Enforcement of the code is vested in the corps of cadets, which, guided by tradition, the army, and the staff and faculty, has developed over the years an honor system through which cadets are educated and occasionally instructed on the honor code. The honor system is overseen by the honor committee, a group of cadets elected by their fellow cadets because of their strength of character.

During the 1976 cheating scandal — there have been several others — the system as directed by the cadets and as changed by the academy personnel to deal with the scandal came under heavy fire from cadets, irate parents, Congress, and defense attorneys assigned to counsel cadets accused of cheating.

The tip of the iceberg was uncovered by a professor (instructor, the army calls them) in the Department of Electrical Engineering. A series of take-home problems had been assigned to the more than eight hundred cadets enrolled in the class. Only one problem was clearly marked with the admonition that all work on the problem must be done individually. One cadet marked on his paper that he received help. The instructor then examined other papers to see whether the cadet who had helped the confessing cadet had marked on his paper similarly. He found instead that there was a striking similarity between a substantial number of the papers. After further examination, the Department of Electrical Engineering forwarded the names of 117 cadets to the honor committee, one of whose functions is to investigate allegations of honor violations and then vote on whether the accused violated the honor code.

The honor committee examined 101 of these cases, the others apparently resulting in resignation by the accused cadets prior to committee action. Of these 101 cadets, 52 were found guilty. Of the 52, four resigned, and the rest were referred to the Department of Law at West Point to learn their alternatives. Under the system, an honor committee of twelve cadets hears cases for and against the cadet. A unanimous vote of twelve is necessary to find the cadet guilty. A cadet who resigns is given an honorable discharge and leaves West Point, unless the Department of the Army believes a discharge of lower character is warranted. A cadet not found guilty resumes his place among the corps of cadets. As proceedings before the honor committee are secret, few people will know what occurred in either case. The names of cadets separated are deleted when specific honor violations are discussed in the periodic honor counseling sessions. Situations in which a cadet is found innocent are not discussed. Cadets are asked not to discuss specific honor violations with non-cadets.

The cadets referred to the Department of Law were assigned counsel from among the instructors. They probably were told that the next procedural step would be a hearing, with counsel, before a board of officers convened under Army Regulations 15-6. It was during this process that the actual extent of the cheating was disclosed publicly. Defense counsel for the accused cadets petitioned the secretary of the army for an investigation of the scandal, alleging that officials at West Point were trying to limit the investigation. During interviews with their clients the defense counsels were told of a pervasive, perhaps uncoordinated, web of honor violations stretching from toleration of cheating to reports that members of the honor committee would take bribes.
The secretary of the army, Martin Hoffman, declined at that time, May of 1976, to order an investigation, but the pressure, or ublicity, or gravity of the situation spurred the superintendent of the academy to action. Lt. Gen. Sidney Berry, in his role as commander of the academy, appointed an “internal review panel” on May 23,1976, to “investigate and examine evidence of violations of the Cadet Honor Code and other regulations for U.S.M.A. and recommend for referral to boards of officers, all cases for which this panel determines there is probable cause of a violation.” Since graduation was a few weeks away and most of the honor committee would be graduating, since summer training was a few weeks away and most of the juniors (second classmen) would have duties as new first classmen (seniors), and since almost all the accused cheaters were second classmen, Superintendent Berry was faced with the necessity of expediting the investigation. The panel was also given a charge to investigate or at least act as a check on possible corruption within the honor committee itself. It therefore reexamined all cases regardless of the previous outcome.

As of August 11, 1976, the internal review panel had looked into 235 cases arising from the take-home examination, including the original 117. By December 6, 134 cadets had resigned or had been separated in another manner from the academy for cheating on the problem. The rest presumably were not found guilty and retained their positions within their class.

On August 23 Secretary Hoffmann announced yet another panel while he was testifying before a congressional committee. This one was called “special advisory panel” and had the duty of taking a “broad-based, sensitive, nonintrusive look” into the honor system. The secretary also announced that cadets involved in the electrical engineering scandal would be separated, on a finding of guilty, but might reapply after one year for readmission. Cadet violators who had gone undetected were given a short grace period in which to come forward. Failure to do so and subsequent discovery would make them ineligible for the readmission option.

A Second Chance

A readmission committee would evaluate the interim year’s activities to determine whether the separated cadet desired a military career. Provision would be made, he said, to allow a separated cadet to spend the time in the army, which would demonstrate desire. A major legal problem in all this is the lack of specific statutory authority for setting up all the special committees, panels, and procedures. Courts have held that the honor system as it is supposed to be run does not violate fundamental fairness and is not criminal in nature. See, e.g., Dunmur v. Ailes, 348 F.2d 51 (D.C. Cir. 1965). Even taking into account the extraordinary allegations of command influence on defense counsel and their clients, corruption within the honor committee, and training and graduation pressures, the internal review panel is on shaky foundations. Calder v. Bull, 3 Dallas 386 (1798), limited the ex post facto clause to criminal cases, but in Fletcher v.Peck, 6 Cranch 87 (1810), retroactive civil legislation was declared unconstitutional. The internal review panel looked at all cases, regardless of outcome, on which the honor committee had ruled. The cadets found innocent at the honor committee level, absent prima facie evidence of tampering with the committee, arguably should not have been required to appear before the internal review panel.

A second legal problem raised by defense counsel was the refusal to permit counsel before the honor committee or the internal review panel itself. Counsel was and is allowed before the board of officers. Coupled with this refusal is the failure to give Uniform Code of Military Justice Article 31 warnings (similar to Miranda warnings) during the proceedings. In any administrative procedure in which liberty or a property right are at stake, a formal hearing must be provided. Boddie v. Connecticut, 401 U.S. 371 (1971). Depending on subsequent proceedings and the interests involved, formality and procedural requisites can vary. If an honor proceeding is considered administrative rather than criminal in nature, due process would seem to be satisfied if counsel is allowed at some point in the review, even if denied at the honor committee level. And Article 31 applies to criminal specifications or charges. Since the internal review panel would send any cases in which it found “probable cause of a violation” to a board of officers, where counsel is permitted, it would seem that due process, so far as access to counsel is concerned, was satisfied.
Defense counsel raise a third — and novel — argument. They contend that separation from the academy for an honor violation is not grounded on any statute but comes, rather, from the regulation quoted above. Without a statutory foundation, they argue, the honor committee, the board of officers, the superintendent, and the Department of the Army — each of whom reviews a finding of guilty and each of whom may reverse the next lower reviewing body — lack the power to separate a cadet following a finding of guilty.
The Uniform Code of Military Justice does not mention the honor system but does address cheating. Prior to 1958 any cheating uncovered by the academic departments was handled under the U.C.M.J., Article 133 of which says that cheating is a court-martial offense. A form specification (charge) is found as Form 122. What the army may point out eventually, since in early court fights it has argued only jurisdiction over the subject matter or exhaustion of administrative remedies, is that the honor system allows a cheating cadet to resign prior to placing himself in jeopardy of a court-martial. The resignation is by honorable discharge and is “voluntary.” It is unclear just what would happen if a “found” cadet refused to leave or tender his resignation after the Department of the Army affirmed a finding of guilty. should be up to defense counsel when a cadet is first referred to the Law Department to advise his client whether that course of action is available. If there is no option, defense counsel may be correct in asserting that lack of a statutory ground for involuntary separation, Without the option of a court-martial, would invalidate the separation.

As these issues developed in 1976, defense counsel turned to the civilian courts for relief. The army had time on its side. The cadets found guilty apparently were not allowed to attend class. If enough time went by, they would be behind their contemporaries, and under the rigid academic requirements — both scheduling and content — it would be impossible for a court to order reinstatement with no penalties, short of making a major ruling of an. equitable nature. Civilian courts were reluctant to become involved in what was perceived as a military matter. Since the honor system did not violate due process, since extraordinary measures were instituted to ensure fundamental fairness, and since an administrative hearing with counsel was guaranteed, the federal courts declined to intervene or enjoin the proceedings. Ringgold v.United States, 420 F.Supp. 698 (S.D.N.Y. 1976). In Alt v. Berry in the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (No.76-2218), a temporary restraining order was denied, and a stipulation of dismissal without prejudice was entered in January.

The United States Court of Military Appeals listened to arguments ostensibly on jurisdiction (Harms v.USMA., No. 76-58). Defense counsel added something on the merits to illustrate the abuses they believed required extraordinary intervention. That court denied the petition without prejudice until after the sanction of dismissal was imposed and after exhaustion of administrative remedies (including court martial?). One judge dissented, stating that the court did not have jurisdiction now and would not have it in the future because the cases did not arise under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Defense counsel argued that the effect of a separation is punitive. Separated cadets are denied a career in the army, the prestige of being a graduate of West Point, and of having a date of rank ahead of their R.O.T.C. contemporaries. Separation also would deny them a free education, less pain and suffering. But most of the separated cadets received honorable discharges, and steps are taken to protect their identities. (See Department of the Air Force V. Rose, 425 U.S. 352 (1976), for a discussion of the extent of the protection.) Neither does there seem to be a bar to a separated cadet’s enrolling in R.O.T.C. and receiving his commission in that manner. The benefits of a military career, moreover, do not vest until commissioning. Time at West Point is not considered time on active duty for either computation of base pay or for qualification for Veterans Administration benefits. An argument based on an irregular taking of a property right that is prospective in nature is tenuous.

Two Reports Issued

While the press, the army, and defense counsel were busily hacking away at each other, Secretary Hoffmann was awaiting two reports he had requested. One was the report from the special advisory panel, with its “sensitive, nonintrusive” look, chairmanned by Frank Borman, retired astronaut and present head of Eastern Air Lines. The other report, less discussed, was prepared by Bland West, deputy general counsel for military and civilian affairs, and Hugh Clausen, chief judge of the United States Army Court of Military Review.
Sons of West Point who cannot or refuse to believe that the system possibly could have gone sour should read the Borman commission report. The revelations in it are sobering. The commission points to an increase in popularity of the attitude that honor violations were just one more method of “beating the system.” It states that this attitude seemed to be encouraged by actions taken by academy and army personnel following several notable honor cases.

Two specific cases mentioned in the report were viewed by the cadets as unwarranted meddling in the honor system, which is supposed to belong to the corps of cadets. The first involved a cadet who had been found on honor but who remained at West Point after command influence voided the officers’ board concurrence. The ranking member of the board of officers, so goes the statement of my reliable source, wrote “open and shut case” on the cover sheet of the folder before passing it on to his subordinates. The cadets “silenced” the accused, believing that the honor committee had been correct and that the cadet had returned to the corps on a technicality.” The subsequent uproar in the press forced the corps to abandon officially the sanction of the “silence.”
In the other case, also reported heavily in the press, a plebe (freshman) lied about his reason for crying and the honor committee found him guilty of lying. The superintendent overturned the committee and the board of officers and reinstated the cadet. Several members of the honor committee resigned in protest over what they perceived as unwarranted meddling. Another reason cited by the commission for the apparent lessening of respect for the system and the code was the continuing and expanding use of them as a method of enforcing regulations. Twenty years ago the honor code and its system applied only to official statements — “present or accounted for” type of statements. Now the system pervades official, academic, and even social statements and duties. Cadets were taught in the mid-1960s that it was proper to compliment a host or hostess on the quality of food, regardless of its level of edibility, but that it was improper to tell an ugly blind date that imaginary official duties would prevent seeing her again that night.

As honor and regulations became more entangled, a cadet perhaps could consider himself safe from committing an intentional honor violation by simply failing to ask whether the contemplated action was an honor violation or a violation of regulations. The Borman commission also noted that while cheating on the E.E. problem was widespread, several of the cadet companies (living quarter organizations containing members from all four classes) had no incidents. Some of the cadet organizations fostered a “cool on honor” attitude through peer pressure, by example for underclassmen, and through the cadet rating system, in which members of a company rate their classmates and all members of the under class ostensibly according to desired military traits. Impressionable underclassmen quickly would learn how to please superiors.

The commission also criticizes the unanimous twelve votes to convict, under which guilty cadets go free on eleven-one votes. One cadet found guilty in the 1976 scandal had been found innocent on eight previous occasions for other offenses. At least one dishonest former honor committee member who “fixed boards,” and who is now serving in the armed forces, was uncovered by the Borman commission. With allegations like these, including the involvement of several cadet honor representatives in the current scandal, it is small wonder the superintendent established the internal review panel. The report indicates that the allegations of bribery and other serious offenses are still under investigation by the Department of the Army.

The other report, which I shall call the West report, studies allegations by the defense counsel of command influence, meddling, and bias and discusses allegations of unethical conduct raised by several academy officials, including Brig. Gen. Walter F. Ulmer, Jr., then commandant of cadets (sort of a dean of students). The report includes quotations from the press of defense counsel statements and quotations from statements made to the accused cadets by academy officials at several assemblies. Defense counsel on at least one occasion were denied permission to attend at least one of these sessions.

Defense Sometimes Overstated

The report concludes that the remarks of the defense counsel occasionally overstated the case. They may have been used in the heat of the moment. Certainly they did not approach sedition, as some academy officials have alleged. In the cool light of hindsight, says the report, the words used at press conferences or during interviews may have been chosen imprudently. But there was no unethical conduct involved. The report hints that defense counsel may have been overzealous on occasion. One by affidavit charged that his request for an extension of his tour of duty had been approved and then revoked. The report maintains that the approval was more of a “we will see what we can do” thing. The decision not to extend the officer, who has since left the service, was based on a ground that, for personnel management reasons, the officer could better be stationed elsewhere. Incidentally, it was made clear to all defense counsel — those stationed there and those assigned there for temporary duty — that they would not be transferred until all proceedings involving their clients had been completed.

Another defense attorney managed to have an efficiency rating raised since the reviewing officer had not followed official policy during the rating. The rating officer was told that an isolated instance may be noted but not used as the basis for the entire rating. The unethical conduct charges raised by some academy officials also were discussed. One defense attorney was criticized in the report for the use of “cheap trial tactics.” A cadet had told him that X, a member of the honor committee, had been bribed. Cadet X otherwise enjoyed a spotless reputation. During an interview with another cadet, the attorney said that Cadet X had confessed. The cadet said, “Really?” and the attorney tapped a tape recorder. The cadet told someone about the incident. It turned out that there was no confession on the tape. The attorney argued that there was nothing wrong with tapping the tape recorder since he never said he had a confession on tape.
From time to time the defense attorneys were accused of fighting the system instead of defending their clients. To the chagrin of at least some of their clients, defense counsel released petitions and affidavits in which accused cadets had made statements about other cadets. The Borman commission suggests that attorneys be assigned to West Point exclusively as defense counsel to prevent a conflict between their duty as teachers at the institution and their duty to their clients. The Borman commission’s suggestion that the unanimous vote be eliminated has been accomplished. The corps of cadets recently changed the honor system drastically, at least in terms of change at West Point. A ten-two vote is now required to convict, and the board of officers and honor committee hearings have been combined. Counsel is allowed to be present. The internal review panel is gone.
The Borman commission, the defense attorneys, and many cadets and West Point graduates have criticized the increasing use of the honor system to police cadets. The academy is instituting changes in the academic department to cut down on test situations that almost invite cheating. The commission recommends that all separated cadets be reinstated immediately. The commission felt that ethics classes, honor instruction, and enforcement had been lacking and that the cadets should be allowed to return. The secretary of the army, however declined to follow this recommendation, pointing out that separated cadets knew what they were doing, knew it was wrong, and knew what the consequences were. He added that the separated cadets could begin applying for readmission this summer. They must take some of the blame.
There also has been discussion of the single sanction of separation. Some believe it is too harsh, while others argue that sure punishment will deter. The burden of proof for conviction is “substantial evidence.” In order to find a cadet guilty of an honor violation, then, the evidence must show substantially that the cadet committed the offense that he knew or should have known that he was committing an honor violation and that he intended to do the act. The present chairman of the honor committee recently pointed out that 20 per cent of the usual honor violations–those other than the ones involved in the current scandal–that reach the full hearing stage result in a finding of guilty. Perhaps, once again, we are trusting to a jury of sorts to decide just what the truth is. The accused also may select some members of the board that will hear his case, not by name but from among his peers.

The number of cadets separated as a result of the honor scandal is 151. Of those, 126 have applied for readmission in July of this year. After this admissions process is completed, separation will again become the sole sanction for committing an honor violation, and the extraordinary readmissions policy will not be resurrected. Secretary Hoffman, just before the change in administrations, directed that the regulation requiring separation be changed to read “shall normally be separated” (italicized word added), thereby vesting discretion in the honor committee and the superintendent.
The names of cadets listed in affidavits at the request of defense counsel, some of which were released to the public to show the extent of the scandal, totaled 559. Sufficient or available evidence for presentation to the honor committee was found in five cases. Allegations involving recent graduates were referred to the Department of the Army. Evidence as to the other 554 was deemed insufficient or unavailable.

Institution Survives

Many of the issues raised by the defense counsel are now moot. Many of the charges critics of the honor system have made have been answered by changes to that system. The adverse publicity, which the army in general and West Point in particular may believe was unwarranted and generated by an unsympathetic and even hostile “group,” may have done the institution on the Hudson River some good. It still stands in spite of all those slings of outrageous fortune. And there will be parades this spring (I marched in about four hundred of them while I was there).

There is one memorable, if relatively unpublicized, statement to come from this affair. According to affidavits from defense counsel, Brig. Gen. Ulmer said, “The problem with the army is it has too damn many lawyers.” Having recently looked for a job again, I can sympathize with him.

Author’s Postscript August 10, 1998

While the cheating scandal’s effects on the Honor Code were being discussed on the WP Forum this year, I mentioned this article, and some of you asked me to post it. Here it is. As it is copyrighted by the American Bar Association, please don’t circulate this further than what would be considered “fair use” under Federal copyright law. As I mentioned to a couple of you, when I was collecting information for the article, the Dept of Army and USMA public affairs, particularly the junior officers who were WP grads, were surprisingly forthcoming and helpful, even referring me to members of the defense team for the “other” perspective. I also got what I considered to be nonpublic information from sources on both sides that showed that the extent of honor problems outside the cheating scandal were just as serious and more widespread than the cheating scandal problems indicated, but, due to the editors’ pens and a reluctance on my part to do muckraking outside the cheating scandal (or to expand the article to a book), I used only publicly available sources for the article and focused only on the cheating.

I also worked for a congressional committee in 1972-1974 and had some experiences in which individual offices wanted me to review the official records of some NON-EE cheating (or stealing) honor cases in 1976 when I was working as a law clerk for a Federal judge. I left those out, too, but they confirmed what the Borman Commission found — it was pretty clear that some members of the Honor Committee were fixing honor boards. Since Dept. of the Army was conducting criminal investigations at the time, I begged off, of course.

If I were writing this article today, this article would be much more critical of the level of “command influence” and on the reluctance of senior officials to pursue evidence of potential wrongdoing in NON-EE cheating (or stealing) cases that came to light during the cheating investigation But then, I didn’t have ten years’ experience of providing legal advice to criminal investigators. (Currently, am the Counsel to the Inspector General for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.) 

After publication of the article in 1977, I did get a call from General Ulmer who (I believe) was at Fort Hood at the time (I think he got a second star there). He spent an hour on the phone with me, walking line by line through the article and on more than one occasion told me that I was hurting my school and damaging reputations unnecessarily. I was dismayed by his suggestion that I was somehow being untrue to my school and that my article would damage both West Point’s reputation as well as individual reputations as I intentionally used only publicly available sources in the article itself and kept out names, including even Pelosi’s, and specific cases in which a description of the facts might lead a determined amateur sleuth to hive out who the miscreants were.

In fairness to him, I will admit that the quote at the end of the article did NOT get made during the cheating scandal episode. To set the record straight, several independent sources, on both sides, said he said it earlier, but it came to light during the cheating scandal inquiry. An alternative quote attributed to him was, “The damn lawyers are ruining the Army.” I presumed that it was a variation of the quote I used and not a separate one so did not mention it. Had his quote not been so “quotable” in a magazine for lawyers, and had it not been verified by several sources on both sides of the scandal, I would not have used it. I also must say that the phone call was the only contact I had with him, and several Forum members have commented to me that the call was out of
character for him.

Having been on the inside of a few controversies (the Franklin National Bank failure case in 1978, the Chrysler bailout in 1980, a couple of federal debt crises), too often facts matter much less than appearances, and I’ve often wondered if the public heat focused on him was justified or, like a good soldier protecting his command, had he decided to act as a lightning rod to keep the nonfactual, and hence unjustifiable, thrashings from hitting the institution itself. It appears it was the latter, and that is just fine with me.

Although a follow-up article was asked for, I decided not to write it since the open issues at the time of publication of the original one (how the military courts would rule, how any courts martial for the criminal investigations turned out, etc.) were resolved quietly and noncontroversially, which is to say, they didn’t raise any new and different material facts or involve any new and interesting legal issues. I also saw nothing to be gained by actually reporting on how specific people got punished as, in retrospect, the Army and USMA, but particularly the cadets themselves, handled the readmissions and the changes to the USCC regs and the honor code very efficiently and effectively, in my opinion.

The following is LTG Ulmer’s recollection, 08/03/98, of his statement quoted above:
Jack, I very quickly went over the honor article. I must confess I read your note so quickly that I’m not sure who is posting what where! Most of this is old stuff, but in any case, I never ever said “The goddam lawyers are ruining the Army.” I did say, “GD it, the lawyers are not running the Army” during a conference with my staff in Washington Hall when somebody mentioned we could not do something because of possible lawyer response, etc. I cannot recall the particular conversation from Fort Hood but no doubt it took place. But the lawyer activities were in some instances ethically questionable to say the least. Thanks for informing me. (And send this message anyplace that you have time and inclination to do!)
Jack Price

Monuments of West Point

Given by The Cadets Corps in Honor of the Cadets killed while undergoing flying instruction during the 2d World War

The Soldier Statue given by the Classes of 1935 & 1936 in Honor of the American Soldier

Given by the Class of January 1943

Dave Monument in honor of Major Francis L. Dade and his command of 110 men who were defeated by Seminole warriors at Dade Massacre on 28 December, 1835.

Douglas MacArthur

Catholic Chapel 1965

Jewish Chapel

The Old Cadet Chapel

The Cemetery holds many Members of the Long Gray Line

Interior of the Old Cadet Chapel

West Point’s Infamous Indoor Obstacle Course

Gray Matter – 17 March 2011 

Mention of the words “indoor obstacle course” to most West Point cadets or graduates, and you are bound to get an interesting reaction. For some, it recalls a recurring opportunity to set a record in physical education, or at least chalk up a maximum grade. For others, it means several afternoons spent in practice, attempting to cut a few seconds off the time required to negotiate an obstacle by improving one’s form, if only for bragging rights within one’s cadet company. For many, it was part of the natural course of events – neither feared excessively nor considered a great way to spend an afternoon. For some, however, images of “mission impossible” come to mind, due to inherent problems with height or upper body strength. All, however, unite in recalling the dry, dusty feeling in one’s lungs during the three laps on the indoor track that immediately preceded the finish line.

The indoor obstacle course now must be passed in order to graduate, and it is a devilishly intricate and demanding test of agility, flexibility, confidence and endurance involving eleven obstacles. Early versions arranged some of the obstacles in a different order, but the three minutes or so of hell remain about the same for all.

Nowadays, the first obstacle after the command of “Go” requires one to crawl under a low frame with a plastic or other sheet over the top. Hitting the supporting frame is slightly painful; bumping the sheet too much slows you down. Immediately following is obstacle two: a series of tires that forces you to raise your legs high to navigate without tripping. Not terribly difficult, but a single misstep can cause you to fall and lose precious seconds. An overly cautious approach costs almost as much time and runs the risk of being run over by the cadet who started 15-20 seconds behind you.

Obstacle three has changed in spirit, if not substance, over the years. It is a padded pommel horse draped in a mat, and at one time in the past, a dive, tuck and forward roll was required. Since military movement first became a part of the curriculum of the Department of Physical Education, now one’s hands may be placed on the horse and a vault executed with no other part of the body touching the horse. Also, a degree of subjectivity is introduced. A grader determines if you landed “under control” or not.

Assuming that you were under control and did not fall, you proceed to obstacle four, the shelf. It is a plywood platform about six or seven feet off the floor and supported by a pipe framework. One must grab onto the shelf – not the pipe framework – and pull one’s self onto the shelf. Then one faces obstacle five, the horizontal bars. Just navigate to the middle of the gym by walking on a pipe framework with vertical supports just far enough apart to challenge your balance in between supports. Being cautious again costs precious seconds – bounding from one support to the other like a monkey is faster. Then drop back down to main floor level and obstacle six, the suspended tire. Super athletes can jump feet first through the tire and slide their upper torso through on the run. Most cadets grab the two cables suspending the tires and then thrust their legs through, costing them about five seconds. Next is obstacle seven, the balance beam. Walk the entire distance without falling off, then jump down and execute a forward roll. Fall off or do a bad roll? Start over.

Obstacle eight is hated by the vertically challenged or those with less upper body strength. It is the infamous eight-foot wall. Get over it in any way possible without touching the vertical supports on either side. Easier for a tall cadet or those unafraid of rushing the padded wall at full speed, jumping up, and getting most of one’s body over on the fly. Obstacle nine is a horizontal ladder. Putting both hands on the same rung takes too much time. Alternating hands is faster, but only if you don’t fall. You have to start over if you do, and the clock is always ticking.

Take heart; the end is in sight. Of course, the finish line is on the indoor track above, and you are down on the main floor of the gym. Enter obstacle ten, the rope climb. Make it to the red line on the rope, jump onto the platform and climb onto the track. Getting your feet on the platform without reaching the red line with your hands will cost you a 15-second penalty; don’t make it up the rope and it costs you 30 seconds – enough to fail most cadets. Then you still have to climb a rope ladder up to the track and run anyway.

Once on the track, a helpful staff member hands you a medicine ball that you proudly carry around the track for one lap. Then you carefully place the ball into a bin and pick up a baton for another lap and another careful return to a bin. Then your dust-dry lungs must attempt to scavenge enough oxygen for a partial lap at full speed to the finish line. That or discover that giving less than everything you had left – even though you were certain that you had nothing left – puts you across the finish line at one second over the course record or the company record or the passing time for the indoor obstacle course test. There are several large plastic waste receptacles off to the left for those who need them. Better luck on the re-test. 

Your humble servant, J. Phoenix, Esquire


Ring Melt

R Day 1862

Dear reader, today we have a guest Gray Matter, written by Brian McEnany ’62, describing what approximated R Day for a member of the Class of 1862.

R-day in the mid-19th Century was not limited to a single day. The Post Adjutant’s arrival book documents quite a spread of time between the 1st of June, the first day candidates could arrive, and around the 20th of June when the medical examinations began. Our country was so large geographically that lengthy travel times were accepted. After all, the faster clipper ship from the West Coast still took 100 days. There was no transcontinental rail, and only the east bank of the Hudson River had a rail line. Stage coaches served the Academy from Suffern and Newburgh through Buttermilk Falls (now Highland Falls) and Canterbury (now Cornwall) for those arriving from the east. Steamers and sloops came up river from New York City or down from Albany daily to deposit new candidates at the South Dock for the long uphill climb to the level of the Plain.

On 10 June 1848, around mid-morning, Tully McCrea from Ohio and five other new candidates walked off the gangplank of a steamer from New York City. A sentry at the end of the dock recorded their names and directed them to Post Headquarters. They walk behind a cart loaded with their baggage up the dirt and gravel road to the level of the Plain above them. Three-quarters of the way up, the road branched to the left toward the Post hospital and the Mess Hall and to the right past a large, stone riding hall, the largest building of its kind at the time. 

Within a few minutes, the group halted in front of a Gothic building that served as the Post Headquarters and Library. Just in front of them, the stirring sounds of martial music could be heard. For the first time, the new candidates saw the precisely aligned ranks of the United States Corps of Cadets on parade as it marched and counter-marched in the summer sun. Crowds of tourists lined the grassy Plain to watch.

Tully and the other candidates opened the heavy doors to Post Headquarters and entered, while their baggage continued on to the cadet barracks. Inside, Tully entered the Post Adjutant’s office, where 1LT James B. Fry stood waiting behind a desk. LT Fry asked each of them to produce their conditional appointments and checked off their names. Tully signed his name in a large, red ledger book and filled in information about his family, their occupation, and his birth date, birth place, state and county. Next, Fry asked him to turn over all the money he brought with him. Candidates were not allowed to have any money other than the $30 per month that they received as pay, but they had to have at least $60.95 to cover the rent of a room and the purchase of any clothing needed. In return, they were given a small account book listing the amounts of their deposits. All their expenses were to be written in the book each month, as well as charges for some furniture items for their rooms, uniforms and books.

After all six candidates completed their processing, a soldier led them out the door and toward the Chapel, the Academy where they would take most of their classes, and the cadet barracks. As they passed through a sally port into the cadet area, a shower of gold buttons rained down from the loft above as the upperclassmen welcomed the new candidates. In the cadet area, the soldier led them to the 8th Division (Old Central Area) where an upperclassman awaited. The small group was herded into a room on the right of the doorway and immediately several upperclassmen – corporals and sergeants – began calling attention to their unsuitable posture, appearance and behavior. “Stand attention, Sir! Where do you think you are! Take off your cap! Put your heels together on the same line! Little finger along the seam of your pantaloons! [This exaggerated position of attention required that the palms face forward.] Button your coat! Draw in your chin! Throw out your chest! Keep your eyes 15 paces to the front and on that nail over there! Don’t let me see you wearing a standing collar again — and stand steady, Sir!”

After answering what seemed to be a thousand questions, Tully and two others were sent to their assigned room. Tully looked around the virtually bare, right hand room in the 7th Division, and then back at the other candidates – Cliff Comly from Ohio and Joseph Alexander from Georgia – all scared and over-awed by their introduction to life as a cadet. A loud bang and the door slammed open. A cadet Corporal from the 3rd Class entered. He handed Tully a printed piece of paper detailing the room arrangement and began explaining that the room was to be organized at all times. Minutes later, drums echoed in the sally port, and the stairwell rang with the thunder of new candidates rushing out the door to the cadet area. There they were formed up to march to lunch at the Mess Hall (current site of Grant Hall).

The column of gawky boys, clothed in civilian attire, had their eyes fixed on the collar of the boy in front of them. Several cadet Corporals circled and berated them – “Keep your toes pointed outward, Sir!” The drums and bugles played a bouncy martial air and the group lurched forward with a cadet Sergeant calling out “Hep, Hep, Hep!” Every once in awhile, one of them lost the step and trod on the heels of the boy in front. “Halt!” said the Sergeant, and immediately the Corporals descended upon them. Finally, they reached the front steps of the Mess Hall. Inside they stood in front of one of the twelve long tables until told to sit by the First Captain. Their meal was roast beef with potatoes, rice and beets, bread and gravy plus a bit of mince pie for dessert with coffee or milk, but the new candidates did not get to eat much of the meal. Within 30 minutes, the First Captain called them to attention and then commanded “Rise.” They rushed from the Mess Hall to line up to march back to the barracks. 

Upon their return, a cadet Corporal led them to the Commissary storehouse, where they were issued bedding (pillow, blankets, comforter), a water bucket, soap, a dipper, tin candle box, candles, candlestick holder, washbowl, broom, waste bucket, and a small looking glass. The clerk then handed them a slate, two slate pencils, ink, 12 sheets of paper and an arithmetic text. The clerk told Tully to tie all of them together in one of the blankets, push the broom handle through the loop, and hoist it on his shoulder for the return trip to the barracks. Many of the items issued to them that day were charged against their accounts, but the candidates would not be issued a uniform until after successful completion of the entrance examinations. In the interim, upper class cadets would tutor them in arithmetic and English grammar. 

The cadet Corporal returned to their room and informed them they were assigned to his squad. He explained how each of the items they brought back to the room were to be displayed and impressed upon them that when the drums began, they only had five minutes to be outside in the cadet area near the guardhouse. 

Evening meal was a repeat of lunch. Their marching was now getting more attention from upper class cadets as more new candidates joined the formation. More bugle calls were heard, and other cadets moved quickly into various parts of the cadet area. The evening meal was mostly leftovers from lunch. After returning to their room, Tully and his roommates were exhausted. Bugle calls and drums now controlled their entire day. Outside, a bugle played something called Call to Quarters. Tully opened his trunk and began to fold his clothing and place it in a wooden locker. He would have to purchase some new clothing soon, as today’s clothes were already stained and dirty. There was little time to write a note home – perhaps tomorrow there would be time to do that. At 10 o’clock, drummer boys tapped on their drum heads in the cadet area, and the bugler played Extinguish Lights. The upper class cadets yelled, “Lights out and get to bed!” Candidate Tully McCrea collapsed into his bed and quickly fell asleep. R-Day was officially over, but more excitement awaited him tomorrow.

Thanks to Brian for this excellent reconstruction; for a future Gray Matter, he will describe the testing that Tully and his classmates endured.

Your humble servant, J. Phoenix, Esquire