Bugle Notes: Learn This!
West Point Alma Mater The Star Spangled Banner

Hail Alma Mater dear,
To us be ever near.
Help us thy motto bear
Through all the years.
Let Duty be well performed.
Honor be e'er untarned.
Country be ever armed.
West Point, by thee.

Guide us, thy sons, aright,
Teach us by day, by night,
To keep thine honor bright,
For thee to fight.
When we depart from thee,
Serving on land or sea,
May we still loyal be,
West Point, to thee.

And when our work is done,
Our course on earth is run,
May it be said, "Well done;
Be thou at peace."
E'er may that line of gray
Increase from day to day
Live, serve, and die, we pray,
West Point, for thee.

P.S. Reinecke, 1911

Oh, say can you see, by the dawn's early light.
What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming.

Whose broad stipes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight.
O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming?

And the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there.

Oh, say does that Star-Spangled Banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Oh, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
between their loved homes and wild war's desolation;

Bless'd with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the pow'r that hath made and preserv'd us a nation!

Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just.
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust!"

And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave,
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Duty-Honor-Country The Three General Orders

"Duty-Honor-Country. Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, and what you will be. They are your rallying points: to build courage when courage seems to fail; to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith; to create hope when hope becomes forlorn."

General of the Army Douglas MacArthur
Speech Upon Receiving the Sylvanus Thayer Medal
United States Military Academy
May 12, 1962
Streaming Audio Version

  1. I will guard everything within the limits of my post and quit my post only when properly relieved.
  2. I will obey my special orders and perform all of my duties in a military manner.
  3. I will report violations of my special orders, emergencies, and anything not covered in my instructions to the commander of the relief.
On Brave Old Army Team The Army Song

The Army team's the pride and dream
Of every heart in gray,
The Army line you'll ever find
A terror in the fray;

And when the team is fighting
for the Black and Gray and Gold
We're always near with song and cheer
And this is the tale we're told;

The Army team
(Band accompaniment)
Rah Rah Rah BOOM!

On, brave old Army team,
On to the fray;
Fight on to victory,
For that's the fearless Army way.
(Whistle Chorus)

March along, sing our song
With the Army of the free.
Count the brave, count the true
Who have fought to victory.

We're the Army and proud of our name!
We're the Army and proudly proclaim:

First to fight for the right
And to build the nation's might,

Then it Hi! Hi! Hey!
The Army's on its way.
Count off the cadence loud and strong.

For where'er we go, you will always know,

The Code of Conduct The Corps
  1. I am an American, fighting in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.

  2. I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command, I will never surrender the members of my command while they still have the means to resist.

  3. If captured I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.

  4. If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will give no information or take part in any action which may be harmful to my comrades. If I am senior I will take command. If not I will obey the lawful orders of those appointed over me and back them up in every way.

  5. When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am required to give name, rank, service number and date birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability. I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my country and allies or harmful to their cause.

  6. I will never forget that I am an American fighting for freedom, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my government and the United States of America.

The Corps! Bareheaded salute it,
With eyes up, thanking our God --
That we of the Corps are treading
Where they of the Corps have trod --
They are here in ghostly assemblage,
the men of the Corps long dead,
And our hearts are standing attention
While we wait for the passing tread.

We, sons of to-day, we salute you --
You, sons of an earlier day;
We follow, close order, behind you,
Where you have pointed the way;
The long gray line of us stretches
Thro' the years of a century told,
And the last man feels to his marrow
The grip of your far off hold.

Grip hands with us now, though we see not,
Grip hands with us, strengthen our hearts
As the long line stiffens and straightens
With the thrill that you presence imparts.
Grips hands tho' it be from the shadows --
While we swear, as you did of yore,
Or living, or dying, to honor
The Corps, and the Corps, and the Corps!

The Late Bishop H.S. Shipman

Schofield's Definition of Discipline Worth's Battalion Orders

The discipline which makes the soldiers of a free country reliable in battle is not to be gained by harsh or tyrannical treatment. On the contrary, such treatment is far more likely to destroy than to make an army. It is possible to impart instruction and to give commands in such a manner and such a tone of voice to inspire in the soldier no feeling but an intense desire to obey, while the opposite manner and tone of voice cannot fail to excite strong resentment and a desire to disobey. The one mode or the other of dealing with subordinates springs from a corresponding spirit in the breast of the commander. He who feels the respect which is due to others cannot fail to inspire in them regard for himself, while he who feels, and hence manifests, disrespect toward others, especially his inferiors, cannot fail to inspire hatred against himself.

Major General John M. Schofield
Address to the Corps of Cadets
August 11, 1879

But an officer on duty knows no one -- to be partial is to dishonor both himself and the object of his ill-advised favor. What will be thought of him who exacts of his friends that which disgraces him? Look at him who winks at and overlooks offenses in one, which he causes to be punished in another, and contrast him with the inflexible soldier who does his duty faithfully, notwithstanding it occasionally wars with his private feelings. The conduct of one will be venerated and emulated, the other detested as a satire upon soldiership and honor.

Brevet Major William Jenkins Worth

How is the Cow? What is the Definition of Leather?

She walks, she talks, she's full of chalk, the lacteal fluid extracted from the female of the bovine species is highly prolific to the nth degree.

If the fresh skin of an animal, cleaned and divested of all hair, fat, and other extraneous matter, be immersed in a dilute solution of tannic acid, a chemical combination ensues; the gelatinous tissue of the skin is converted into a nonputrescible substance, impervious to and insoluble in water; this is leather.

MacArthur's Opinion of Athletics MacArthur's Message

"Upon fields of friendly strife are sown the seeds that upon other fields, on other days, will bear the fruits of victory."

"From the Far East I send you one single thought, one sole idea -- written in red on every beachhead from Australia to Tokyo -- There is no substitute for victory!"

The Rocket Yell Scott's Fixed Opinion

(Whistle) - BOOM! - Ahhh
U.S.M.A. Rah! Rah!
U.S.M.A. Rah! Rah!
Hoo-Rah! Hoo-Rah!
AR-MAY! Rah!
Team! Team! Team!

"I give it as my fixed opinion, that but for our graduated cadets, the war between the United States and Mexico might, and probably would have lasted some four or five years, with, in its first half, more defeats than victories falling to our share; whereas, in less than two campaigns, we conquered a great country and a peace without the loss of a single battle or skirmish."

General Winfield Scott

Heritage Soldier's Creed
  1. How many lights in Cullum Hall? ------ 340 lights

  2. How many gallons in Lusk Reservoir? ------ 78 million gallons when the water is flowing over the spillway

  3. How many names on Battle Monument? ------ 2,230 names

  4. How is the cow? ------ She walks, she talks, she's full of chalk, the lacteal fluid extracted from the female of the bovine species is highly prolific to the nth degree.

  5. What is the definition of leather? ------ If the fresh skin of an animal, cleaned and divested of all hair, fat, and other extraneous matter, be immersed in a dilute solution of tannic acid, a chemical combination ensues; the gelatinous tissue of the skin is converted into a nonputrescible substance, impervious to and insoluble in water; this is leather.

  6. What do Plebes rank? ------ The Superintendent's dog, the Commandant's cat, the waiters in the Mess Hall, the Hell Cats, the Generals in the Air Force, and all the Admirals in the whole damned Navy.

I am an American Soldier.

I am a Warrior and a member of a team. I serve the people of the United States of America and live the Army Values.

I will always place the mission first.

I will never accept defeat.

I will never quit.

I will never leave a fallen comrade.

I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills. I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself.

I am an expert and I am a professional.

I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy the enemies of the United States of America in close combat.

I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life.

I am an American Soldier.

Movie Version
Adobe PDF Version
U.S. Army Flash Version

Three Rules of Thumb Leadership Principles
  1. Does this action attempt to deceive anyone or allow anyone to be deceived?

  2. Does this action gain or allow the gain of a privilege or advantage to which I or someone else would not otherwise be entitled?

  3. Would I be satisfied by the outcome if I were on the receiving end of this action?
  1. Know yourself and seek self-improvement.

  2. Be technically and tactically proficient.

  3. Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions.

  4. Make sound and timely decisions.

  5. Set the example.

  6. Know your soldiers and look out for their well-being.

  7. Keep your subordinates informed.

  8. Develop a sense of responsibility in your subordinates.

  9. Ensure that the task is understood, supervised, and accomplished.

  10. Build the team.

  11. Employ your unit in accordance with its capabilities.
Legends and Traditions of the Corps

....some anecdotes concerning the Long Gray Line....

  1. What is the significance of the Cadet Colors? ------ The components of gun powder are charcoal, saltpeter (potassium nitrate) and sulfur, which are black, gray, and gold in color.

  2. When was a Fourth Classman presented the Medal of Honor? ------ Cadet Calvin P. Titus, a Fourth Classman, was awarded the Congressional Medal of honor for gallantry at Peking, China, 14 August1900, while a soldier of the 14th United States Infantry. The medal was presented by President Theodore Roosevelt, 11June1902.

  3. Who used artillery fire on his former artillery instructor? ------ General Beauregard fired upon Major Anderson, who was stationed at Fort Sumter.

  4. When did the Corps of Cadets stand to arms? ------ In the New York riots against the draft of 1863, word reached West Point that a mob was going to visit and burn the Academy. Ball cartridges were issued to the cadets. Pickets of cadets with a field gun at each point were established at North and South Docks and Gee's Point. No attack was made, however.

  5. What is the largest piece of granite turned in the Western Hemisphere? ----- The shaft of Battle Monument.

  6. Who paid for Battle Monument? ----- The contributions of 6% of a month's pay from the officers and men of the Regular Army for a period of years.

  7. When was over half of the American Army stationed at West Point? ----- After the Revolutionary War, Congress reduced the Army to 80 men, 55 of whom were stationed at West Point.

  8. What is the oldest regularly garrisoned military post in the United States? ------ West Point has been garrisoned since 20January1778.

  9. What do the stained glass windows in the north wing of the Mess Hall depict? ------ The life of George Washington.

  10. What do the four statues in the mess hall represent? ------ As one enters the old center mess hall door, the statue on the right of the door represents Scholarship; the statue on the left of the door represents Loyalty; the statue on the right side of the center wing represents Physical Vigor; and the statue on the left side of the center wing represents Military Leadership.

  11. What is Excalibur? ------ It is the two-handed sword of King Arthur and depicted over the door of the Cadet Chapel.

  12. For what is the Cadet Chapel organ noted? ------ It is the largest church organ and the third largest organ in the world. In all there are over 18,700 pipes.

  13. What is the inscription on Benedict Arnold's plaque, and where is it? ------ The inscription contains only the rank and date of birth. Both the name and date of death have been gouged out. The plaque is in the Old Cadet Chapel (Post Cemetery).

  14. What are the names of the Army Mules? ------ Spartacus, Ranger, Trooper, and Traveller.

  15. Who was Pyrene? ------ Mousers used to be kept in the old mess hall, and the senior cat on duty was always named Pyrene.

  16. What is Murphy's Law? ------ 1. Nature always sides with the hidden flaw. 2. Things, if left to themselves, go from bad to worse.

  17. What was the spoony button? ------ The spoony button was a Full Dress button a cadet used to give to his girlfriend, the equivalent to the modern A-Pin.

  18. What is the origin of the name "Target Hill Field?" ------ A hill used as a back stop for cadet rifle practice was located in the North Athletic Field area.

  19. Who put the reveille cannon on top of the Clock Tower? ------ It is believed that Cadet Douglas MacArthur and a small group of cadets put the reveille cannon on the Clock Tower one night. It took two weeks to get it down.

  20. What is the Sunday night poop? ------ Six bells and all is well. Another week shot to hell. Another week in my little gray cell. Another week in which to excel. Oh, hell.

  21. When did cadets "cheer" for Navy at an Army-Navy football game? ------ In 1943, Wartime travel restrictions kept the Brigade at Annapolis when the game was at West Point. As a result of a coin toss, the First Regiment learned Navy songs and cheers, wore white caps to the game, and "helped" Navy beat Army.

  22. Where are the Lucky Spurs? ------ The Lucky Spurs are on the monument of General Sedgwick. The statue of General Sedgwick, cast from cannons captured by the VI Corps which he commanded during the Civil War, has rowel spurs that turn. An old legend is that if a cadet is deficient in academics, he should go to the monument at midnight the night before the term end examination, in full dress, under arms, and spin the rowels on the monument. With luck, he will not be found.

  23. What is the significance of the Foundation Eagle and where is it located? ------ It is the eagle in front of Washington Hall. A tradition states, if one looks at it during the academic year, he will not be found deficient in academics.

  24. What was the shortest tour served by a Superintendent? ----- Five days. General Pierre G. T. Beauregard of 1838, served as Superintendent from 23 January to 28 January 1861. He was reportedly relieved for his Southern sympathies.

  25. What did Brigadier General Henry M. Robert, USMA, class of 1857, write that is still in use today? ------ He wrote "Robert's Rules of Order," which has guided generations of Americans through the mazes of parliamentary procedure.

  26. Of the 800 West Point graduates serving the Union Army during the Civil War, how many became General Officers? ------ 297 of the 800 West Pointers became General Officers. At the beginning of the Civil War no graduate of West Point was a General Officer.

  27. Of the 294 West Point graduates serving in the Confederacy during the Civil War, how many became General Officers? ------ 14 of the West Point graduates serving in the Confederacy became General Officers.

  28. Who commanded the major battles of the Civil War? ------ There were 60 important battles of the War. In 55 of them, graduates commanded on both sides; in the remaining 5, a graduate commanded one of the opposing sides.

  29. Who are the past 5 Generals of the Army and Air Force and which one was not a USMA graduate? ------ General of the Air Force Henry H. Arnold, USMA 1907; General of the Army Omar N. Bradley, USMA 1915; General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower, USMA 1915; General of the Army Douglas C. MacArthur, USMA 1903; General of the Army George C. Marshall, VMI, 1901.

  30. What is the history of the Class Ring? ------ The class of 1835 was the first class to wear class rings. The Class of 1836 had no ring, but each succeeding class had one except for the Class of 1879, who chose cuff links. Before 1869, each person designed his own ring. In 1869, the ring committee was instituted to adopt a uniform design. The ring of today is designed by the Ring and Crest Committee. The ring varies from year to year but it always includes the Academy Crest and the Class Crest. The ring is worn with the Class Crest towards the heart before graduation and the Academy Crest toward the heart after graduation.

  31. Who was the first man killed in an airplane crash? ------ 1st Lieutenant E. Selfridge, USMA Class of 1903, was killed at Fort Myer, VA on 17 September 1908, when the plane in which he was riding with Orville Wright crashed.

  32. Where is the evolution of the Full Dress Hat to be found? ------ The Evolution of the Full Dress Hat is pictured in stone carvings over five windows in Grant Hall.

  33. With what is Abner Doubleday, Class of 1842, credited? ------ He is credited with having invented the sport of Baseball.

  34. Who headed the building of the Panama Canal? ------ Major General George Washington Goethals, Class of 1880.

  35. How did General Charles P. Summerall, former Chief of Staff, first win his fame? ------ As an artillery Lieutenant walking under fire to Peking's Imperial City gate in 1901 and chalking targets for his guns on the hinges of the gates.

  36. What graduate turned down an Olympic team position to join his classmate in Korea? ------ Lieutenant Richard Shea, Class of 1952 (USMAPS 1948). He was the hero of Pork Chop Hill where he won the Medal of Honor.

  37. Why was it impossible to establish a claim for a record in the old Varsity Pool when it was first built? ------ The pool was discovered to have been constructed one inch shorter than it was designed to be. This was remedied by lengthening the pool one inch at the cost of $1000.

  38. What are the mistakes on the French Monument? ------ Curved saber, straight scabbard; wind blowing flag in one direction, coat tails in the other; cannonballs larger than bore of cannon; button unbuttoned.

  39. Where was the "Black Hole of Calcutta? ------ Originally the Old Provost Prison located on the edge of Execution Hollow was used as a retaliatory prison, giving British prisoners in our hands the same treatment as Americans received in British prisons. It is now said to be the room under the Cadet Chapel that is visible from the steps on the north side.

  40. Where is the Kissing Tree? ------ On Flirtation Walk at Camp Buckner. It is a tree with a large orange band painted on it, 112 yards from Barth Hall.

  41. What is significant about First Captain Robert Woods, USMA Class of 1945? ------ He won a major letter in football at both West Point and Annapolis.

  42. What men are honored in Cullum Hall? ------ In the terms of the will of Brevet Major General George W. Cullum, the memorial hall which bears his name has service as a locale for tablets and portraits of distinguished deceased officers and graduates of the Military Academy. Included among those memorialized are: all deceased graduates who have won the Medal of Honor, all those killed in World War II and in the Korean Conflict, almost all graduates who were killed in previous wars, as well as all deceased former Superintendents and permanent Professors of the military Academy. There is now no room for further memorialization beyond a few commitments which have already been established.

  43. What were Colonel Sylvanus Thayer's three D's of the fighting men? ------ Discipline, Decision, and Devotion to Duty.

  44. What did General Lee say concerning commanders? ------ "I cannot trust with higher command, with command of others, a man who cannot command himself. Discipline of self, as well as others, is the soul of an Army."

  45. What is the significance of Fort Arnold? ------ The position of its gun actually commanded the Hudson. It received its name from the hero of Quebec, Benedict Arnold. After his defection to the British, it was renamed Fort Clinton.

  46. Who was Thaddeus Koscluszko? ------ He was a Polish officer, born in Lithuania, who was assigned the task of completing the fortifications for the defense of the Hudson. It took 28 months to complete the job. Part of the fortifications and a garden terrace built by him below the Plain, still remain as a memorial.

  47. What figure is represented on the USMA Library? ------ The statue that adorns the face of the USMA Library is that of Athena, or Minerva, mythological protectress of heroes, the brave, and the valorous. With her right arm stretched out in a gesture suggesting the spread of knowledge, her left resting upon her shield, Athena is the goddess who is wise in the industries of peace and the arts of war. It is particularly fitting that the figure adoring the new library should also be known for her supreme wisdom. The figure's right arm extends over the globe, showing our thrust into space, and clouds, symbols for world problems, surround the lower part of the globe. the figure, which is built into the top of the facade of the new library's tower, stands 18 feet high, looking out to the north. The helmet, shield and sword are from the Academy's Coat of Arms. The sculptor, Lee Lawrie, completed the work on Athena just before his death in 1963. One of the greatest sculptors of his time, an early commission of his was to adorn new building at USMA in 1908-1911. He executed the large mantel in the Academic board room of Headquarters Building with statues of nine epic heroes as part of this earlier commission and has done other nationally known work.

  48. How were new cadets greeted here in the 1850's? ------ New cadets were greeted by a barrage of buttons fired from a brass candlestick loaded with gun powder as they reported to their 1st Sergeant for duty.

  49. What is the oldest building on post? ------ The Superintendent's Quarters, Quarters 100, built in 1820 when Captain Sylvanus Thayer was Superintendent.

  50. Who was Dennis M. Michie? ------ He was a member of the Class of 1892 and the captain of the first Army Football Team. 1st Lieutenant Michie was killed in action in San Juan, Cuba in July 1898.

  51. What is the history of the Great Chain? ------ By the year 1777 it had been determined that West Point was the most practical site for the construction of a chain and its defending artillery. The chain was constructed by Peter Townsend in the Sterling Iron Works, 25 miles southwest of West Point. It was installed, along with supporting artillery, under the direction of General Parsons in 1778. The purpose of the Great Chain was to obstruct navigation on the Hudson River thereby cutting the British supply lines. The Chain was 1700 feet long. There were approximately 1200 links, each of which weighted between 90 and 122 pounds. It was stapled to large logs in order to float it and reached from Chain Cove to Constitution Island. The great Chain was protected by a boom just south of it. The boom, made of logs chained together, was placed so that a ship striking it would be slowed down to the point that it could not break the chain.

  52. What war contributed the most cannons to those of the West Point collection? ------ 104 cannons were retained from the Mexican War.

  53. After whom was Delafield Pond named? ------ Brevet Major General Richard Delafield, Class of 1818, who, in the 1830's and 1840's worked on the famous Cumberland Road. Later he was three times appointed Superintendent of the Academy. He also was the Chief of the Engineers from 1864 to 1866.

  54. What is the origin of cadet grey? ------ This color was introduced by Superintendent Partridge in the Fall of 1815. It was adopted to commemorate General Jacob Brown's impressive victory over the British at the Battle of Chippawa, 5 July 1814. Due to the inability of the government to furnish the troops with blue at the particular time, General Brown's regular troops were clothed in gray. The British initially thought that they were up against gray-clad militia troops, which they had earlier defeated. General Winfield Scott was one of Brown's brigade commanders at this battle.
    There is another and contradictory/simpler tradition regarding the origin of the grey uniforms. Scroll down a little here to see it.

  55. What is the subject of the Mural in Washington Hall? ------ The mural depicts the history of arms from earliest times as symbolized by the leaders of 20 great battles decisive in charting the course of civilization. Development of the weapons of war is also portrayed in authentic detail.

  56. What event marked the beginning of competitive intercollegiate athletics at West Point" ------ Navy football game of 1890.

  57. Who and from what class was the "Father of the Military Academy?" ------ Colonel Sylvanus Thayer, Class of 1808.

  58. What are the 5 Stone Warriors and what do they represent? ------ They are figures depicting the use of the horse through history, found between the two main entrances to Thayer Hall, one level below the road running downhill in front of the building. They represent, from left to right, Mounted Soldier, Medieval Knight, U.S. Cavalryman, Western Indian, and the Horsemen of World War I.

  59. What was the origin of the name "Weapons Room?" ------ Weapons Room was so named because weapons training was given to the Corps of Cadets in this room for many years before the conversion to use it as a cadet restaurant. It was formally located where the Office of Physical Education is now.

  60. What did Sherman, Class of 1840, say of war? ------ "There is many a boy who looks on war as all glory, but boys, it is all hell."

  61. Where was Execution Hollow and what was its significance? ------ Execution Hollow was a depression in the Northeast part of the parade ground. It was the location of executions during the Revolutionary War.

  62. What event contributed to the cessation of mortar practice from Battery Byrne? ------ A round landed across the river in the main intersection of the town of Cold Spring. Battery Byrne was located in Execution Hollow and is now buried there.

  63. Who was the Vigilance Committee? ------ The Vigilance Committee was the forerunner of the Cadet Honor Committee. These cadets were an unsanctioned group who policed the Corps of Cadets who committed dishonorable acts.

  64. Who officially sanctioned or authorized the formation of the Cadet Honor Committee? ------ In 1921, General Douglas MacArthur, then Superintendent, formally recognized the Vigilance Committee and formed the Cadet Honor Committee. Since that time, the Honor Committee has been in existence to uphold the Honor portion of the Academy motto.

  65. Robert Woods, USMA '45, won an athletic letter in football at both West Point and Annapolis. Who was his Navy counterpart? ------ Midshipman Joseph A. Grace, Jr., USNA '80, was a starter at Navy in soccer. In his junior year, he came to Army on a 6 month Academy Exchange Program. While here, he played starting center fullback for the entire year under Coach Joe Palone, beating Air Force and his teammates at Navy 1-0! He returned to Navy for his senior year and returned the favor, beating Army 2-0 and scoring the winning goal!
Slum and Gravy Benny Havens
Sons of slum and Gravy
Will you let the NAVY
Take from us a victory? Hell No!
Hear a warrior's chorus,
Sweep that line before us,
Carry on the victory! Let's Go!
Onward! Onward! Charge against the foe,
Forward! Forward! The Army banners go!
Sons of Mars and Thunder,
Rip that line asunder,
Carry on to victory.
Come fill your glasses, fellows, and stand up in a row
To singing sentimentally we're going for to go;
In the Army there's sobriety, promotion's very slow.
So we'll sing our reminiscences of Benny Havens, Oh!

Oh! Benny Havens, Oh! Oh! Benny Havens, Oh!
We'll sing our reminiscences of Benny Havens, Oh!

To our kind old Alma Mater, our rockbound highland home,
We'll cast back many a fond regret as o'er life's sea we roam;
Until on our last battlefield the light of heaven, shall glow.
We'll never fail to drink to her and Benny Havens, Oh!

May the Army be augmented, promotion be less slow,
May our country in the hour of need be ready for the foe;
May we find a soldier's resting place beneath a soldier's blow,
With room enough beside our graves for Benny Havens, Oh!

Black, Gold, Grey Away We Go
Black, Gold, Gray, as sons we salute you,
Ready to battle, and your honor defend,
We love you.
At your call the Corps true responds.
And we will fight to defend your name.
Our dear Old Alma Mater to the end.
Away, away, away we go,
What care we for any foe?
Up and down the field we go,
Just to beat the NAVY,
(Repeat three times)
The Locomotive Yell (USMAPS) USMAPS Purpose and Mission
Rah! Rah! - Ray! Ray! - U-S-M-A-P-S.
Rah! Rah! - Ray! Ray! - U-S-M-A-P-S.
Rah! Rah! - Ray! Ray! - U-S-M-A-P-S.
Rah! Rah! - Ray! Ray! - U-S-M-A-P-S.
Rah! Rah! - Ray! Ray! - U-S-M-A-P-S.
Team! FIGHT!
The Purpose of the United States Military Academy Preparatory School
To prepare selected candidates for admission to the United States Military Academy.

The Mission of the United States Military Academy Preparatory School

To provide appropriate academic, military and physical instruction in order to qualify and motivate candidates for admission to and graduation from the United States Military Academy.
The Soldier's Oath
taken upon entering the United States Army
Cadet Honor Code
"I, (your name), do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to the regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God." A cadet will not lie, cheat, or steal, nor tolerate those who do.
Why We Salute Definitions of the Tenets of the Honor Code

  1. THE SALUTE is an act of recognition between military personnel. Its origin is the ancient European custom of free men greeting each other by holding up their right hand to show that they had no arms. Prisoners do not salute. They are denied this privilege.

  2. THE JUNIOR salutes first, which is similar to the civilian customs and courtesies shown to elders, women, and persons placed in positions of authority.

  3. WHERE AND WHEN to salute. Salutes are exchanged out of doors, usually at a distance 6 to 30 paces. The best general rule to follow is to salute at the moment of recognition or eye to eye contact is made. At West Point and at USMAPS, cadets are expected to salute officers whether in uniform or in civilian clothes.

  4. SALUTING INDOORS. Normally no one salutes indoors. Exceptions to this rule are: reporting to an inspecting officer, reporting to a visiting officer of rank greater than anyone in the room, reporting when summoned by an officer, and reporting when permission has been granted to speak with an officer.

  5. SALUTING THE COLORS. When passing the colors or when the colors are passing by, the salute is rendered and held from a distance of six paces before to six paces after.

  6. WHEN IN DOUBT as to when and where to salute - "SALUTE."
LYING: Cadet candidates violate the Honor Code by lying if they deliberately deceive another by stating an untruth or by any direct form of communication to include the telling of a partial truth and the vague or ambiguous use of information or language with the intent to deceive or mislead.

CHEATING: A violation of cheating would occur if a Cadet candidate fraudulently acted out of self-interest or assisted another to do so with the intent to gain or to give an unfair advantage. Cheating includes such acts as plagiarism (presenting someone else's ideas, words, data, or work as one's own without documentation), misrepresentation (failing to document the assistance of another in the preparation, revision, or proofreading of an assignment), and using unauthorized notes.

STEALING: The wrongful taking, obtaining, or withholding by any means from the possession of the owner or any other person any money, personal property, article, or service of value of any kind, with intent to permanently deprive or defraud another person of the use and benefit of the property, or to appropriate it to either their own use or the use of any person other than the owner.

TOLERATION: Cadet candidates violate the Honor Code by tolerating if they fail to report an unresolved incident with honor implications to proper authority within a reasonable length of time. "Proper authority " includes the Commandant, the Assistant Commandant, the Director of Military Training, the Athletic Director, a tactical officer, teacher or coach. A "reasonable length of time" is the time it takes to confront the Cadet candidate suspected of the honor violation and decide whether the incident was a misunderstanding or a possible violation of the Honor Code. A reasonable length of time is usually considered not to exceed 24 hours.

To have violated the honor code, a Cadet candidate must have lied, cheated, stolen, or attempted to do so, or tolerated such action on the part of another Cadet candidate. The procedural element of the Honor System examines the two elements that must be present for a Cadet candidate to have committed an honor violation: the act and the intent to commit that act. The latter does not mean Intent to violate the Honor Code, but rather the Intent to commit the act itself.

The Cadet Oath
taken upon entering the United States Military Academy
Leadership Principles
"I, (your name), do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and bear true allegiance to the National Government; that I will maintain and defend the sovereignty of the United States, paramount to any and all allegiance, sovereignty, or fealty I may owe to any State or Country whatsoever; and that I will at all times obey the legal orders of my superior officers, and the Uniform Code of Military Justice." "Leadership in a democratic army means firmness, not harshness; understanding, not weakness; pride, not egotism."
     --General Omar Bradley

"History will show that no man rose to military greatness, who could not convince his troops that he put them first."
     --General Maxwell Taylor

"I would rather try to persuade a man to go along, because once I have persuaded him, he will stick. If I scare him, he will stay just as long as he is scared, then he is gone."
     --General Dwight Eisenhower

Army Blue "Cadetiquette"
We've not much longer to stay,
For in a month or two,
We'll bid farewell to "Kaydet Gray,"
and don the "Army Blue"

Army Blue, Army Blue,
Hurrah for the Army Blue,
We'll bid farewell to "Kaydet Gray,"
And don the "Army Blue."

With pipe and song we'll jog along,
Till this short time is through,
And all among our jovial throng,
Have donned the Army Blue.

To the ladies who come up in June,
We'll bid a fond adieu,
Here's hoping they be married soon,
And join the Army too.

Here's to the man who wins the cup,
May he be kind and true,
And may he bring "our godson" up,
To don the Army Blue.

'Twas the song we sang in old plebe camp,
When first our gray was new,
The song we sang on summer nights,
That song of Army Blue.

Now, fellows we must say goodbye,
We've stuck our four years thru,
Our future is a cloudless sky,
We'll don the Army Blue.

Cadet candidates are expected to act in a proper manner at all times.

This is especially true at social gatherings. These etiquette tips reflect the basic consideration Cadet candidates are expected to exhibit to others.

  1. The letters RSVP on an invitation mean "please let us know whether or not you can come." Whenever receiving an invitation from anyone with RSVP indicated, Cadet candidates MUST give them an answer whether it is "yes" or "no." Cadet candidates should consider the feelings of the people inviting them. Without a response or while waiting for a delayed response, others may spend money on a ticket or buy extra food assuming a guest's attendance. Return the consideration and kindness of an invitation with no less than what is expected -- a timely response.

  2. Once a Cadet candidate positively responds to an invitation they are committed, do NOT change their mind, and DO what they committed to do.

  3. After going to a social event, it is polite to send a thank-you note to the hosts. This is usually done 24 hours after the event.

  4. When going to a dinner with sponsors, officers, or NCOs, it is smart to dress conservatively. Cadet candidates should not wear old ripped clothes, or clothes that could be considered too casual. REMEMBER -- the image that you project to your sponsors or others in the community, not only reflect on you, but also on the Prep School, West Point and the Army.
A Glossary of Cadet and Cadet Candidate Slang

ASAP, As Soon As Possible

AREA BIRD, n. A cadet candidate who is serving Punishment by being obliged to walk on the "GO ARMY".

ARMY BRAT, n. Son or daughter of a career Army Soldier.

BEAST, n. "Old Corps" slang for Cadet Basic Training.

B.J., Fresh; lacking in respect. "Bold before June." (from the days when Plebe recognition was the day before June graduation).

BLOW OFF, v. To not worry about something. To not complete an assignment or homework. ("I blew it off.")

BOGUS, a. Uncalled for audacity.

BOLO, v. To fail a test or qualification.

BOODLE, n. Cake, candy, ice cream, etc.

BOODLER'S, n. The cadet snack store.

BUST, v. To revoke the appointment of a Cadet commissioned or non-commissioned officer.

BUTT, n. The remains of anything, as the butt of the month.

BUTTER BAR, n. A new Second Lieutenant.

CIRCULAR FILE, n. Trash can.

CIVVIES, n. Civilian clothing.

COLD, n. Absolutely without error, as "a cold max."

COM., The Commandant of Cadets.

COW, A member of the second class.

CRAB, n. One who attends the Naval Academy. Also "SQUID" or "MIDDIE."

D., a. Deficient; below average, as in academics.

D.M.T., n. Department of Military Training.

D.P.E. & A., Department of Physical Education and Athletics.

THE DAYS, n. Required knowledge for Plebes; signifying the duration to the next major event for the upperclass, and "A finite number for the end of eternity" for the Plebes.

FIND, v. To discharge a Cadet candidate for deficiency in studies, conduct, or honor.

FIRSTIE, n. A member of the First Class.

FRIED EGG, n. Insignia of the U.S.M.A. , worn on the hat or tarbucket.

GHOST, n. A fourth class cadet who hides in his/her room to avoid the upperclass or to shirk duties. Also refers to an upperclass cadet who is rarely seen around a cadet company.

G.I., n. Government Issue (not to be used when referring to enlisted personnel).

GOAT, n. A cadet in the lower sections. A cadet near the bottom of the class.

GRAY HOG, n. An extremely USMA/USMAPS-oriented cadet.

GREEN GIRL, n. Comforter.

GREEN SUITER, n. An Army officer.

GROSS, a. Blundering; disgusting.

HELD REPORT, n. Explanation of Report.

HELL CATS, n. Musicians who sound reveille and the calls.

HOP, n, A cadet dance.

HOTEL NIGHT, n. One night a week when sheets are broken down due to laundry send out.

IKETTE, n. A girl who frequents Eisenhower Hall for the sole purpose of picking up a helpless male cadet. Impressed only by the "man in a uniform" Image.

IRP, v. A command: "Immediate Response, Please."

JUICE, n. Electricity, Electrical Engineering.

LIMITS, n. The limit on the reservation to which Cadets are restricted.

MAX, n. A complete success, a maximum. v. To make a perfect mark in academic recitation; to do a thing perfectly.

O.A.O., One and Only.

O.CO., n. Officer in Charge.

O.D., a. Olive Drab.

ODIN, n. A Norwegian god to whom cadets appeal for rain before parades, inspection, etc.

OLD CORPS, The way things used to be at USMA, (i.e., "When Dinosaurs roamed the Plain..."); In reality, when the Firsties were Plebes...

P., n. A professor, an Instructor.

PDA, n. Public Display of Affection.

PLEBE, n. A cadet of the Fourth Class, a freshman.

PLEBE BIBLE, n. "Bugle Notes", handbook of the Corps of Cadets.

PMI, n. Afternoon Inspection, a state less than SAMI.

POLICE, v. To throw away, to discard.

PLEBE BIBLE, n. (slang for BUGLE NOTES) The handbook of the Fourth Class, contains all essential knowledge for survival.

POOP, n. Information to be memorized.

POOP-DECK, n. The Balcony in the USMA Cadet Mess from which orders are published.

POOPSTER (or more commonly: PREPSTER), n. USMAPS Cadet Candidate/graduate.

POP OFF, v. Sound off in a military manner.

PRO, a. Proficient, above passing in studies of looks.

PULL OUT, v. To barely complete an assignment on time and meeting only the minimum standards. (Also SLUG STOPPER, n.)

QUILL, n. (2-1) A report for delinquency.

ROCK SQUAD, n. Remedial Swimming, an additional class for Plebe non-swimmers. (Derivative - ROCK, n. An individual that struggles in academics and "sinks" to the bottom of the class. "ROCK MATH" is the lowest section in Plebe Math.)

RACK, n. Cadet Candidate bed, also SACK, v. To sleep.

R.H.I.P., Rank Hath Its Privileges.

ROGER, n. I understand.

ROOM CON, n. Confinement to quarters, as a punishment for breach of discipline.

RD=FC, n. "Rough Draft Equals Final Copy". The art of completing a paper or project in one sitting.

SAMI, v. Saturday Morning Inspection.

SLUG, n. A special punishment for serious offense. Also SLAM, v. To impose a special punishment on someone.

SNAKE, n. One who will cut in at hops. v. to cut in.

SOLIDS, n. Engineering mechanics.

S.O.D., n. Senior Officer Of the Day.

S.O.G., n. Senior Officer Of the Guard.

S.O.P., Standard Operating Procedure.

SOUND OFF, n. A powerful voice. v. To use the voice so as to be heard, shout.

SPAZ, v. To function improperly. n. Someone who functions improperly.

SPEC, (speck), v. To memorize verbatim, as: "to spec blind." (Also SPEC AND DUMP: to memorize material to pass a test, then forget it.)

SQUID, n. One who attends the Naval Academy.

STAR MAN, n. An academically distinguished cadet candidate.

STRIPER, n. A cadet captain.

SUPE, n. The superintendent.

TAC, n. A tactical officer.

TED, n. An intelligent person or one who learns quickly (Also GEEK).

T.E.E., n. Term End Examination, finals.

TIE UP, v. To make a gross error.

TOUR, n. One hour's walk on the area (punishment); a period of duty, as a guard tour.

TROU, n. Trousers.

TURNBACK, n. A readmitted cadet.

UNSAT, n. Unsatisfactory performance.

WENT-OFF, Special attention from an upperclass cadet.


WOOPS, Sound squids make when they see USMAPS Cadet Candidates.

WOPPER W.O.P.R., Written Oral Partial Review.

W.P.R., n. Written Partial Review.

WRIT, n. A written recitation, an examination.

YEARLING, N. A member of the Third Class; (also Yuk.)

YOU FLY, I BUY, Phrase. You pick the food up, and I'll pay for it.

ZOOMIE, n. One who attends the Air Force Academy.

Famous Quotes  
Excerpts from remarks made in the Cadet Mess by President Ronald Reagan to the Corps of Cadets and a national television audience on October 28, 1987.
"For here we train the men and women whose duty it is to defend the Republic -- the men and women whose profession is watchfulness -- whose skill is vigilance -- whose calling is to guard the peace, but if need be, to fight and win..."

Excerpts from remarks made in Eisenhower Hall Theatre to Corps of Cadets on 15 May 1991 by General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, USMA Class of 1956 and Commander of Operations in Operation Desert Storm.

"The mothers and fathers of America will give you their sons and daughters,... with confidence in you that you will not needlessly waste their lives. And you dare not. That's the burden the mantle of leadership places on you. You could be the person who gives the orders that will bring about the deaths of thousands upon thousands of young men and women. It's an awesome responsibility. You cannot fail. You dare not fail."

"...If you leave here with the word DUTY implanted in your mind; if you leave here with the word HONOR carved in your soul; if you leave here with love of COUNTRY stamped on your heart, then you will be twenty-first century leader worthy ... of the great privilege and honor ... of leading ... the sons and daughters of America ..."

"Nations have passed away and left no traces. And History gives the naked cause of it - one single, simple reason in all cases; they fell because their peoples were not fit".
     --Rudyard Kipling

"But the bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and notwithstanding go out to meet it."
     -- Thucydides, The History of the Peloponnesian War

"A leader is a man who has the ability to get other people to do what they don't want to do and like it:"
     -- Harry S. Truman

"The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike at him as hard as you can, and keep moving on."
     -- General Ulysses S. Grant -- On the art of war

"If I do my full duty, the rest will take care of itself."
     -- General George S. Patton, Jr.

"God grant that men of principle be our principal men."
     -- Thomas Jefferson

"I cannot trust a man to control others who cannot control himself. Do your duty in all things. You should never wish to do less."
     -- General Robert E. Lee