The United States Military Academy at West Point is one of the most elite institutions in the country. Located about an hour north of New York City, its mission is to train the next generation of leaders for the U.S. Army.
Students, or cadets as they are called at the West Point, receive a full scholarship in exchange for a 5 year commitment to the Army.
The school is surrounded by the serene setting of the Hudson River, but life there is anything but relaxing. In addition to their studies, cadets must participate in some form of organised athletic activity, maintain impeccable appearance, and possibly take on leadership roles within the student body.
All of this doesn’t leave much time for anything else, cadets say. But the ones we spoke to said they were ready to take on any responsibility that lies ahead.
Statues of historic U.S. leaders remind them of the standards they must live up to. A statue of George Washington sits on front of the hall bearing his name.
The academy was founded in 1802. Prospective students must be between the ages of 17 and 23 in order to apply.
Business is a popular major at the academy, along with engineering, foreign languages and social sciences. Cadet Caroline Rice majors in American Legal Studies.
Cadet Matt Ghidotti is one of the highest ranking students in the class of 2013. He is the Brigade S2, which means he overseas security for the entire student body.
Patches on their jackets indicate what company cadets belong to, with the year they will graduate below.
In addition to their classwork, all cadets must participate in some type of sport. It can be intercollegiate, club level, or intramural.
Many of the students return to get married here, as they are not allowed to be married during their time in school.
Certain tables are dedicated to different sports teams. These are the girls from the volleyball team.
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