Selected List of Noteworthy Graduates
CLASS OF 1808
"Father of the Military Academy,” Thayer originated technical education in America and established the education and discipline philosophies still followed at the Academy.
CLASS OF 1815
BENJAMIN L.E. BONNEVILLE
Bonneville explored and mapped the Great Salt Lake and the Green, Snake, Salmon and Yellowstone Rivers, venturing into the unknown American West.
CLASS OF 1818
Webster founded Hobart College in 1822. He later founded and served as president of City College of New York from 1848-69.
CLASS OF 1819
GEORGE WASHINGTON WHISTLER
An eminent civil engineer, Whistler was chosen by the Czar of Russia to build a railroad from Moscow to St. Petersburg.
CLASS OF 1824
DENNIS HART MAHAN
A distinguished educator and writer, Mahan taught the science of war to numerous Army officers.
CLASS OF 1827
The Episcopal Bishop of Louisiana; served as Lieutenant General in the Confederate States Army.
CLASS OF 1828
Davis served as an Army officer, a U.S. Senator from Mississippi , and as Secretary of War from 1853-57. He later served as the only president of the Confederate States of America from 1862-65.
CLASS OF 1829
ROBERT E. LEE
Lee, the Academy’s ninth Superintendent from 1852-55, was a model cadet during his four years at West Point . He graduated second in his class and never earned a single demerit during his four years at the Academy. At the beginning of the Civil War, he was selected to serve as Commanding General of the Army, but instead resigned his commission and was named General-In-Chief of the Confederate Army from 1861-65. Lee's surrender to Ulysses S. Grant, class of 1843, at Appomattox Court House, Va., ended the Civil War. Fort Lee, Va., was named in his honor.
CLASS OF 1832
Ewell served during the Civil War in the Confederate States Army. He was also President of Wm. & Mary College from 1854 to 1888.
CLASS OF 1835
GEORGE G. MEADE
Meade served during the Civil War as commander of the Army of the Potomac from 1863-65. During this time, his army defeated Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia at Gettysburg, Va, Fort George G. Meade, Md., was named in his honor.
Sedgwick was the Commander of the Union VI Corps during the Civil War and was killed at the Battle of Spotsylvania.
CLASS OF 1837
Bragg fought under the command of future president Zachary Taylor during the Mexican Wars. He later served under Lee in the Confederate Army. Fort Bragg, N.C., was named in his honor.
CLASS OF 1840
WILLIAM T. SHERMAN
Sherman served under Ulysses S. Grant, Class of 1843, during the Civil War and led the historic “March to the Sea,” from Chattanooga, Tenn., to Savannah, Ga.; during the march, Sherman’s forces burned Atlanta, Ga., to the ground. He later served as Commanding General of the Army from 1869-83. The Sherman battle tank was named in his honor.
GEORGE HENRY THOMAS
Thomas commanded the Army of the Cumberland during the Civil War.
CLASS OF 1843
ULYSSES S. GRANT
Grant distinguished himself during the Civil War at the Battle of Vicksburg in 1863; his victory secured control of the Mississippi River for the Union. Lincoln later appointed him Commanding General of the Army in March 1864. On April 9, 1865, at Appomattox Court House, Va., Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia to him, ending the Civil War. He later served as the 18th President of the United States from 1869-77. Today, his image is immortalized on the $50 bill.
CLASS OF 1846
THOMAS J. “STONEWALL” JACKSON
Jackson served as a Lieutenant General and a Corps commander of the Confederate Army. He was accidentally killed by friendly fire at Chancellorsville.
GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN
Graduating second in his class, McClellan served as Commanding General of the Army from 1861-62. He was nominated for President in 1864, and served as governor of his home state of N.J., from 1878-1881. Fort McClellan, Ala., was named in his honor.
GEORGE E. PICKETT
At Gettysburg, Pa., in 1863, Pickett led more than 4,500 Confederate troops over half a mile of broken ground against withering artillery and musket fire. With parade drill precision they descended one slope, ascended the next, and assaulted the formidable Union line only to be forced back in defeat. Less than one fourth of the troops returned from the charge. The event, which was later called "Pickett's Charge," proved to be a turning point in the war. He continued to serve the Confederacy with great devotion throughout 1864 and 1865. Fort Pickett, Va., was named in his honor.
CLASS OF 1847
AMBROSE P. HILL
Hill is best known for his performance as an aggressive Confederate division commander who could move his troops at astonishing speeds. His finest hour was the forced march from Harper's Ferry to Antietam, which saved Lee's Army during the Civil War. In May of 1863, Lee described Hill as “the best soldier of his grade with me.” Fort A. P. Hill, Va., was named in his honor.
CLASS OF 1853
PHILIP H. SHERIDAN
Sheridan is remembered as one of the most stalwart and offensive-minded soldiers that served in the American Army. His leadership and courage under fire directly contributed to the Union victory in the Civil War. He later succeeded Sherman as Commanding General of the Army. The Sheridan battle tank was named in his honor.
CLASS OF 1854
OLIVER O. HOWARD
Howard was founder and president of Howard University in 1867.
JAMES E. B. STUART
As a cavalry officer and later as commanding general of cavalry in the Confederate Army, Stuart distinguished himself and his cavalry brigade for acts of valor and gallantry. He fought in many fierce battles, including the Battle of Seven Pines; he led multiple raids on Gen. Ewell's depots; he protected the Confederate retreat from Gettysburg. He was killed during a battle against forces commanded by Sheridan.
CLASS OF May 1861
Upton's extensive combat experience began at the Battle of Bull Run. He fought in the Peninsula Campaign of 1862 and assumed command of the 121st New York Volunteer Infantry. The battle of Spotsylvania in 1864 was Upton's defining moment; Upton devised a tactic of attacking in column formation rather than in linear formation. He served with Sherman in the "March to the Sea" and the burning of Atlanta. He later served as the Academy’s 19th Commandant of Cadets from 1870-75.
CLASS OF June 1861
GEORGE A. CUSTER
After establishing a reputation of daring and brilliance in battle, Custer served as an aide to Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan, Class of 1846, during the Peninsular Campaign and was commissioned a brigadier general at the age of 23. After conducting several successful operations in 1864, he was placed at the head of the 3rd Division, Calvary Corps, and was brevetted major general of volunteers. In 1876, he and his regiment of 655 men were defeated at the Battle of Little Big Horn.
CLASS OF 1877
HENRY OSSIAN FLIPPER
Flipper was the first African-American to graduate from the Academy.
CLASS OF 1880
GEORGE WASHINGTON GOETHALS
Goethals became an architect and was builder of the Panama Canal, 1904-14.
CLASS OF 1886
JOHN J. “BLACKJACK” PERSHING
Considered the second most senior officer in Army history, behind only George Washington, Pershing served as commander of the American Expeditionary Force during World War I. The two million-plus troops of the AEF made a decisive contribution to the defeat of Imperial Germany. Pershing's abilities as a leader distinguished him among European commanders, and through repeated successes on the battlefield, promoted American prestige around the world. He served as Army Chief of Staff in 1921, and was named General of the Armies of the United States by Congress upon his retirement in 1924.
CLASS OF 1889
Barrios, the Academy’s first international cadet to graduate, went on to serve as Guatemala’s minister of public works.
CLASS OF 1903
After World War I, MacArthur returned to West Point to serve as the Academy’s 31st Superintendent from 1919-22. During that time, he was responsible for the revitalization of the Academy. He was later promoted to General of the Army and served as Supreme Allied Commander in the Pacific Theater during World War II. During this time, he received the Medal of Honor for leading defense preparation and operations on the Philippine Islands. He later served as Supreme Allied Commander, Japan, and as commander, United Nations Command in the Far East. He was one of only five officers to be promoted to General of the Army (five stars).
CLASS OF 1906
ADNA R. CHAFFEE, JR.
Chaffee is known as the “father of the Armor Branch.” Despite a lifelong love of horses and riding, he spearheaded the movement of the American Army into "armored warfare."
CLASS OF 1907
HENRY H. "HAP" ARNOLD
Arnold was the pre-eminent U.S. military aviator. His vision and determination were instrumental in the establishment of the U.S. Army Air Corps (which later became the U.S. Air Force) and the development of the strategy of air warfare. He was one of only five officers to be promoted to General of the Army (five stars), and later served as the only General of the Air Force after its creation in 1949.
CLASS OF 1909
GEORGE S. PATTON, JR.
“Old Blood and Guts” Patton was one of the most colorful commanders in the Army. During World War II the famed commander of the 2nd Armored Division and later the Third Army displayed courage and daring as prominently as the pair of ivory handled revolvers he wore. Patton accomplished one of the most remarkable feats in military history in December 1944, when he quickly turned the Third Army northward to reinforce the Allied southern flank against the German attack in the Battle of the Bulge. The General's doctrine of aggressive employment of massive armor forces continue to prove themselves in combat arenas around the world.
CLASS OF 1915
OMAR N. BRADLEY
During his career, Bradley earned a reputation as one of the best infantry commanders in World War II. He commanded the 82nd Airborne and 28th Infantry Divisions before going on to command the 1st Army and the 12th Army Group. After the war he served as Army Chief of Staff from 1948-49 and served as the first Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1949-53. He was the last Army officer to be promoted to General of the Army (five stars), and the Bradley fighting vehicle is named in his honor.
DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER
During World War II, Eisenhower served as Supreme Commander of Allied Forces Europe from 1943-44, during which he lead the D-Day invasion of Europe. During that time, he was promoted to General of the Army (five stars.) After the war, he served as Army Chief of Staff from 1945-48, president of Columbia University in 1948. He served as the 34th President of the United States from 1953-61. He was one of only five officers to be promoted to General of the Army (five stars.)
: Of the 164 graduates of the Class of 1915, 59 achieved the rank of Brigadier General or higher, the most ever in a class.
CLASS OF April 1917
MARK W. CLARK
Clark succeeded Ridgway as U.S. and Supreme Allied Commander, Far East, from 1952-53. He successfully negotiated the armistice with the Communist forces in North Korea in July 1953, and later served as president of The Citadel, a military college in Charleston, S.C., from 1954-65.
MATTHEW B. RIDGWAY
Ridgway served in many positions during World War II, including commanding general of the 82nd Airborne Division and commanding general of the XVIII Airborne Corps. Later, he served as U.S. and Supreme Allied Commander, Far East, from 1951-52, Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, from 1952-53, and Army Chief of Staff from 1953-55.
CLASS OF 1922
MAXWELL D. TAYLOR
Commanded the 101st Airborne Division on D-Day, and during the Battle of the Bugle and the drive through Germany. Taylor served as Superintendent, USMA, 1945-49. He returned to Germany as U.S. Commander, Berlin, 1949-51, then took command of the Eighth Army, Korea, 1953-54. Taylor was Army Chief of Staff, 1955-59 and Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1962-64; after retirement in 1964, with the rank of General, Taylor served as U.S. Ambassador to South Vietnam, 1964.
CLASS OF 1929
FRANK D. MERRILL
Commanded the 5307th Composite Unit, also known as Merrill's Marauders, in 1944. Following World War II, Merrill served as Chief of Staff of the Western Defense Command, and later served as Chief of Staff and as Commander of the 6th Army. In 1947, he became deputy Chief of the American Military Advisory Mission to the Philippines.
CLASS OF 1933
WILLIAM O. DARBY
Darby organized and commanded the 1st U.S. Army Ranger Battalion in 1942. From 2,000 volunteers, Darby selected and trained 500 Rangers that successfully operated in North Africa and Tunisia. Darby trained and organized two more Ranger Battalions in 1943. The 1st, 3rd, and 4th Ranger Battalions were known as "Darby's Rangers," and were famous for their endeavors in the Sicilian and Italian campaigns. He was killed while leading a task force from the 10th Mountain Division in Northern Italy and posthumously promoted to brigadier general.
CLASS OF 1936
CREIGHTON W. ABRAMS, JR.
Abrams commanded the 37th Tank Battalion in World War II. He served in the Korean War as a Corps Chief of Staff and commanded at all levels from regiment through corps. General Abrams commanded the U.S. Army Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, from 1968 to 1972. He successfully ensured the safe withdrawal of American forces from Vietnam at the end of the conflict. Appointed Chief of Staff of the Army in 1972, he guided the rebuilding of the Army. The Abrams main battle tank is named in his honor.
CLASS OF 1941
ALEXANDER R. NININGER
Killed before his 24th birthday, Alexander "Sandy" Nininger died a hero. His heroism, character and commitment to the West Point ideals of Duty, Honor and Country made him worthy of emulation by future Army Officers. Nininger single-handedly charged into the enemy positions with a rifle, grenades and fixed bayonet. For his heroism "above and beyond the call of duty," President Roosevelt posthumously awarded him the Medal of Honor. In his honor for outstanding leadership and the virtues he embodied, the Corps of Cadets named the First Division of Cadet Barracks in his memory.
WILLIAM T. SEAWELL
After graduation, Seawell served as a pilot with the Army Air Force, which later became the U.S. Air Force. He served as commandant of cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy from 1961-63. He later served as the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer for Pan Am Airways.
CLASS OF 1946
Pomerantz served as the Special Assistant for Science and Technology, U.S. Department of Commerce, from 1962-69. Later, he served as president of Holiday Inns of America from 1969-72.
WESLEY W. POSVAR
Posvar, a Rhodes scholar, served as chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh from 1967-91.
CLASS OF 1947
FELIX A. BLANCHARD
Blanchard won the 1945 Heisman Trophy. He is one of only three Heisman Trophy recipients in Army football history.
GLENN W. DAVIS
Davis won the 1946 Heisman Trophy. He is one of only three Heisman Trophy recipients in Army football history.
ALEXANDER M. HAIG, JR.
Haig served as Chief of Staff to President Nixon from 1973-74; Supreme Allied Commander in Europe 1974-79; President of United Technologies Corporation 1980-81 and Secretary of State during the Reagan administration from 1981-82.
Scowcroft served as military assistant to President Nixon in 1972. He later served as National Security Advisor during the first Bush administration from 1989-1992.
CLASS OF 1949
JOHN G. HAYES
Among Hayes’ many accomplishments, he served as president of the Coca-Cola Bottling Company in 1963.
Puckett formed and commanded the 8th Army Ranger Company during the Korean War. Following the war, Puckett served as commander of the Mountain Ranger Division of the Ranger Department, and as the Ranger advisor in the U.S. Army Mission to Colombia where he planned and established the Colombian Army Ranger School.
CLASS OF 1950
An astronaut from 1962-70, Borman commanded the first circumlunar flight of the earth. He later served as president of Eastern Airlines.
FIDEL V. RAMOS
One of the Academy’s international cadets, Ramos served as a Philippine Army officer after graduation. He eventually became the country’s military’s Chief of Staff and later Secretary of National Defense. He later served as President of the Republic of the Philippines from 1992-1998.
CLASS OF 1951
EDWIN E. "BUZZ" ALDRIN
An astronaut from 1963-72, Aldrin participated in the first manned lunar landing with Michael Collins, class of 1952, and was the second man to walk on the moon.
ROSCOE ROBINSON, JR.
Robinson was the first African-American to be promoted to four-star general in the Army, and served with distinction in both Korea and Vietnam. He later served as the commanding general of the 82nd Airborne Division from 1976-78, commanding general, U.S. Army Japan from 1980-82, and as U.S. Representative to the NATO Military Committee from 1982-85.
CLASS OF 1952
An astronaut from 1964-70, Collins served with Aldrin during the first manned lunar landing. During the mission, he served as the command module pilot. He later served as the director of the National Air & Space Museum.
THORALF M. SUNDT, JR.
Sundt served as a doctor of Neurosurgery at the Mayo Clinic who became one of America’s premier neurosurgerons; Member of the National Academy of Sciences.
EDWARD WHITE II
An astronaut from 1962-67, White was the first man to walk in space. He was one of the three astronauts killed in the Apollo I disaster in 1967.
CLASS OF 1953
RANDOLPH V. ARASKOG
Araskog served as president and chairman of ITT Communications from 1979 and later as chairman and CEO from 1995-98.
CLASS OF 1954
JOHN R. GALVIN
Among his many position, Galvin served as the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, and the Commander-in-Chief, United States European Command from 1987-1992.
CLASS OF 1956
H. NORMAN SCHWARZKOPF
As Commander-in-Chief, United States Central Command from 1988-91, Schwarzkopf's command ultimately responded to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait with the largest U.S. deployment since the Vietnam War, including portions of the Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps as well as units from dozens of nations around the world. The success of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm marked what former President George Bush hailed as "the beginning of a new era of internationalism." After retiring, Schwarzkopf received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
CLASS OF 1957
JOHN R. BLOCK
Block served as the Secretary of Agriculture from 1981-86 during the Reagan administration.
CLASS OF 1959
Dawkins won the 1958 Heisman Trophy. He is one of only three Heisman Trophy recipients in Army football history. He later served as chairman and CEO of Primerica.
CLASS OF 1962
JAMES V. KIMSEY
Kimsey was the founding chairman of America On Line, and in 1996 was named their chairman emeritus. He also founded the Kimsey Foundation in 1996.
CLASS OF 1964
BARRY R. MCCAFFREY
McCaffrey’s many positions during his 32 years of military service include serving as deputy U.S. Representative to NATO from 1988-89, and later as Commander-in-Chief of U.S. Southern Command from 1994-96. After his retirement, he served as director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy during the Clinton administration from 1997-2001.
CLASS OF 1969
MICHAEL W. KRZYZEWSKI
Krzyzewski currently serves as the head men’s basketball coach for Duke University.
CLASS OF 1976
RICHARD MORALES, JR.
Morales was the first Hispanic cadet to serve as First Captain (cadet brigade commander).
CLASS OF 1980
VINCENT K. BROOKS
Brooks was the first African-American cadet to serve as First Captain (cadet brigade commander.)
ANDREA L. HOLLEN
Hollen was the first female to graduate from the Academy.
CLASS OF 1990
KRISTEN M. BAKER
Baker was the first female cadet to serve as First Captain (cadet brigade commander.)
CLASS OF 1995
REBECCA E. MARIER
Marier was the first female graduate to receive highest cadet performance score in all areas (academic, military, and physical programs) over four years.