This Is How America Grooms The Next Generation Of Army Leaders

West Point, Cadets

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.

Cadets can be seen jogging around the campus at all hours of the day, even at 7 AM.

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.

There is also one of President Eisenhower, who attended the academy.

The academy was founded in 1802. Prospective students must be between the ages of 17 and 23 in order to apply.

Most classes at West Point have less than 20 students. This is business law.

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.

Hats are not allowed to be worn indoors and must be worn at all times when cadets are outdoors.

Patches on their jackets indicate what company cadets belong to, with the year they will graduate below.

Walking from class to class, it's easy to catch a beautiful view of the Hudson River.

There are 4,400 total students at the academy.

About 15% of them are women.

Each must obtain a recommendation from a congressman or senator in order to apply to the academy.

In addition to their classwork, all cadets must participate in some type of sport. It can be intercollegiate, club level, or intramural.

The Military Academy is NCAA Division I for baseball ...

and of course football.

The cadet chapel, built in 1910, is one of the more striking buildings on campus.

Many of the students return to get married here, as they are not allowed to be married during their time in school.

It has the largest chapel pipe organ in the world.

Perhaps the most impressive part of campus is the mess hall, where all 4,400 students eat at once

It requires massive amounts of food.

Tables are stocked with essentials in preparation for the mad rush of hungry cadets.

Before entering the hall, the cadets all line up in formation.

Standing at attention.

Soon they're flooding into the mess hall.

This is what it looks like in a 20 second time lapse.

Certain tables are dedicated to different sports teams. These are the girls from the volleyball team.

The entire meal lasts 20 minutes.

And then they're off to their next class or activity ...

Preparing for their future of leading the U.S. military.

Want to see how this military training sticks with you for life?

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.