Superintendent of the United States Military Academy

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The Superintendent of the United States Military Academy is its commanding officer. This position is roughly equivalent to the chancellor or president of an American civilian university. The officer appointed is, by tradition, a graduate of the United States Military Academy, commonly known as "West Point". However, this is not an official requirement for the position.

Contents

The Superintendency had often been a stepping stone to higher prominence in the Army. Four Superintendents became Chief of Staff of the Army: Hugh Lenox Scott, Douglas MacArthur, Maxwell Davenport Taylor, and William Westmoreland. The list of Superintendents includes five Medal of Honor recipients: Oliver Otis Howard, Douglas MacArthur, Albert Leopold Mills, John McAllister Schofield, John Moulder Wilson. Many Superintendents later became Commanding Generals, such as Joseph Gardner Swift. The post is now a terminal assignment in the Army; as a condition for detail to the position, officers are required by law to acknowledge that they will retire at the end of their appointment. [1] This formulation was meant to secure the independence of Superintendents from unlawful command influence; however, in practice the resulting "lame duck" status restricts their power and influence in the Army. [2] Since 2010, the army has considered reverting to the previous system or recalling a retired officer to fill the post. [2] The mandatory retirement precedent was not followed when Darryl A. Williams was nominated in June 2022 to serve as Commanding General, United States Army Europe and Africa. [3]

The billet carries the rank of lieutenant general, and is not counted against the Army's statutory limit on the number of active-duty officers above the rank of major general. For example, General Andrew Goodpaster originally retired from active duty as a full general, was recalled to assume the superintendency as a lieutenant general, and reverted to his four-star rank upon his second retirement.

Superintendents

Note: "Class year" refers to the alumnus's class year, which usually is the same year they graduated. However, in times of war, classes often graduate early.
A "—" in the Class year column indicates a Superintendent who is not an alumnus of the Academy.
#StartEndNameClass yearNotabilityReferences
118011803 Jonathan Williams   Colonel; Chief of Engineers; he vacated (rather than resigned) in June 1803, returning to the Superintendency in April 1805; elected to the Fourteenth United States Congress in 1815 [4] [5] [6]
(acting)18031805 Decius Wadsworth   Colonel; appointed 1st Chief of Ordnance in 1812; invented Wadsworth's cipher in 1817 [7] [8] [9]
218051812 Jonathan Williams   Colonel; Chief of Engineers; he vacated (rather than resigned) in June 1803, returning to the Superintendency in April 1805; elected to the Fourteenth United States Congress in 1815 [4] [6]
318121814 Joseph Gardner Swift 1802 Brigadier general; first graduate of the Academy; Chief of Engineers [a] [6]
418141817 Alden Partridge 1806 Captain; served as Acting Superintendent and Professor of Engineering; his administration was regarded as unsatisfactory and negligent to duties; when Sylvanus Thayer was appointed, Partridge refused to relinquish command and was court-martialed; he was sentenced to be cashiered in November 1817, and resigned from the Army in April 1818 [a] [10]
518171833 Sylvanus Thayer 1808 Brigadier general; "Father of West Point"; emphasized engineering; founded engineering schools; helped found the Academy's Association of Graduates; Sylvanus Thayer Award created by the Academy in his honor [a] [11] [12]
618331838 René Edward De Russy 1812 Brigadier general; military engineer; Union Army veteran [a] [13]
718381845 Richard Delafield 1818 Major general; Chief of Engineers; American Civil War veteran; served as 7th, 11th, and 13th Superintendents [a] [6]
818451852 Henry Brewerton 1819 Brigadier general; military engineer; Union Army veteran [a] [14]
918521855 Robert E. Lee 1829 Colonel USA; graduated second in his class at the Academy, without demerits; son George Washington Custis Lee, class of 1854, graduated first in class; served in Confederate States Army ( 1861–1865); President, Washington and Lee University (1865–70) [a] [15]
1018551856 John Gross Barnard 1833 Major general; military engineer; Union Army veteran [a] [16]
1118561861 Richard Delafield 1818 Major general; Chief of Engineers; Union Army veteran; served as 7th, 11th, and 13th Superintendents [a] [6]
1218611861 Pierre Gustave Toutant (P.G.T.) Beauregard 1838 General CSA; military engineer; ordered the firing of shots at Fort Sumter, South Carolina that started the Civil War [a] [17]
1318611861 Richard Delafield 1818 Major general; Chief of Engineers; Union Army veteran; served as 7th, 11th, and 13th Superintendents [a] [6]
1418611864 Alexander Hamilton Bowman 1825 Lieutenant Colonel; military engineer; son Charles Stuart Bowman graduated from the Academy, class of 1860 [a] [18]
1518641864 Zealous Bates Tower 1841 Major general; military engineer; Union Army veteran [a] [19]
1618641866 George Washington Cullum 1833 Brigadier general; military engineer; wrote Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. in 1891 and developed the Cullum number system [a] [20]
1718661871 Thomas Gamble Pitcher 1845 Brigadier general; veteran of Battle of Harper's Ferry, Mexican–American War, and the Civil War [a] [21]
1818711876 Thomas H. Ruger 1854 Major general; military engineer and lawyer; veteran of Civil War; military engineer and lawyer; military Governor of Georgia (1868) [a] [22]
1918761881 John McAllister Schofield 1853 Lieutenant general; recipient of the Medal of Honor for his actions leading an attack at the Battle of Wilson's Creek; Superintendent of the Academy (1876–81); Commanding General of the United States Army (1888–95) [a] [23]
2018811882 Oliver Otis Howard 1854 Major general; recipient of the Medal of Honor for his actions leading an attack at the Battle of Seven Pines despite wound which resulted in the loss of his right arm; led the campaign against Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce tribe; founder of Howard University [a] [24]
2118821887 Wesley Merritt 1860 Major general; veteran of the Civil War and Spanish–American War; first Military Governor of the Philippines [a] [23]
2218871889 John Parke 1849 Major general; military engineer; Union Army veteran [a] [25]
2318891893 John Moulder Wilson 1860 Brigadier general; recipient of the Medal of Honor for his actions at the Battle of Malvern Hill though acutely ill; Chief of Engineers (1897–1901) [a] [6]
2418931898 Oswald Herbert Ernst 1864 Major general; military engineer; Union Army and Spanish–American War veteran [a] [26]
2518981906 Albert Leopold Mills 1879 Major general; recipient of the Medal of Honor for continuing to lead his men at the Battle of San Juan Hill despite being shot in the head and temporarily blinded; appointed Superintendent to West Point by President McKinley, which carried automatic promotion from First Lieutenant to Colonel [a] [27] [28]
2619061910 Hugh L. Scott 1876 Major general; learned to speak many western Native American languages; Chief of Staff of the Army (1914–17) [a] [29]
2719101912 Thomas Henry Barry 1877 Major general; cavalry and infantry officer; veteran of Indian Wars, China Relief Expedition, and Philippine–American War [a] [30]
2819121916 Clarence Page Townsley 1881 Major general; coastal artillery officer; commanded 30th Infantry Division during World War I [a] [31]
2919161917 John Biddle 1881 Major general; military engineer; World War I veteran [a] [32]
3019171919 Samuel Escue Tillman 1869 Brigadier general; recalled from retirement during World War I to serve as superintendent; refused to add military aviation to the curriculum; instructor at the Academy for more than 30 years; author of numerous books on chemistry and geology [a] [33]
3119191922 Douglas MacArthur 1903 General of the Army, Field Marshal in the Philippine Army; United States occupation of Veracruz; Second Battle of the Marne, Battle of Saint-Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne Offensive during World War I; commander of the 42nd Infantry Division; established Honor Code, and intramural sports at the U.S. Military Academy; brigade commander in the Philippine Division; commander of the Philippine Department; Chief of Staff of the United States Army (1930–35); recipient of the Medal of Honor for actions during the Battle of Bataan, commander of the South West Pacific Area during World War II; Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers during the Occupation of Japan; Korean War; grandson of Wisconsin Governor Arthur MacArthur Sr.; son of Lieutenant General and Medal of Honor recipient Arthur MacArthur Jr. [a] [34] [35]
3219221925 Fred Winchester Sladen 1890 Major general; Superintendent of Fort McHenry National Monument (1931–32) [a] [36]
3319261927 Merch Bradt Stewart 1896 Brigadier general; infantry officer; Spanish–American War veteran; commander 175th Infantry Brigade during World War I [a] [37]
3419271928 Edwin Baruch Winans 1891 Major general; instructor at military schools; commended for leadership of the 10th Cavalry Regiment [a] [38]
3519291932 William Ruthven Smith 1892 Major general; artillery and infantry officer; commanded 36th Infantry Division during World War I [a] [39]
3619321938 William Durward Connor 1897 Major general; awarded two Silver Stars; Commandant of Army War College [a]
3719381940 Jay Leland Benedict 1904 Major general; artillery and staff officer; Army General Staff during World War II [a] [40]
3819401942 Robert L. Eichelberger 1909 General; American Expeditionary Force Siberia; commanded Eighth United States Army in World War II [a] [41]
3919421945 Francis Bowditch Wilby 1905 Major general; Chief of Staff of First United States Army (1939–41) [a] [42]
4019451949 Maxwell Davenport Taylor 1922 General; developed the phrasing of the Cadet Honor Code at the Academy; commander of 101st Airborne Division (1944–45); Chief of Staff of the Army (1955–59); Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1962–64); United States Ambassador to South Vietnam (1964–65) [a] [43]
4119491951 Bryant Edward Moore August 1917 General; commanded 8th Infantry Division killed in a helicopter crash on 24 February 1951 while commanding the IX Corps during the Korean War [a] [44]
4219511954 Frederick Augustus Irving April 1917 Major general; commander 24th Infantry Division during World War II [a] [45]
4319541956 Blackshear M. Bryan 1922 Lieutenant general; commanded Prisoner of War Division for all the United States during World War II; commanded First United States Army (1957–60); his son, Blackshear M. Bryan Jr., class of 1954, was killed in Vietnam [a] [46]
4419561960 Garrison H. Davidson 1927 Lieutenant general; Academy football coach (1933–37); combat engineer during World War II and the Korean War; helped construct The Pentagon [a] [47]
4519601963 William Westmoreland 1936 General; Distinguished Eagle Scout; given the Pershing Sword for the most able cadet upon graduation from the Academy; commander 101st Airborne Division; commander Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (1964–68); Chief of Staff of the Army (1968–72) [a] [48]
4619631966 James Benjamin Lampert 1936 Lieutenant general; combat engineer during World War II; early pioneer of nuclear weapons and nuclear power, served as General Leslie Groves' executive officer as part of the Manhattan Project after World War II; his father, James G. B. Lampert, class of 1910 was killed in World War I [a] [49]
4719661969 Donald V. Bennett 1940 General; Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (1969–72); commander United States Army Pacific (1972–74) [a] [50]
4819691970 Samuel William Koster 1942 Major general but demoted to brigadier general and denied a promotion to lieutenant general for covering up the My Lai Massacre [a] [51]
4919701974 William Allen Knowlton January 1943 General; World War II and Vietnam War veteran; his daughter married General David Petraeus who was a cadet while Knowlton was Superintendent; Chief of Staff for United States European Command (1974–76) [a] [52]
5019741977 Sidney Bryan Berry 1948 Lieutenant general; Korean and Vietnam War veteran, wounded twice in Vietnam; Superintendent during the time women were first admitted to the Academy; Commissioner of Public Safety for the state of Mississippi (1980–84) [a] [53]
5119771981 Andrew Jackson Goodpaster 1939 General; 8th Infantry Division (1961–62); Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (1969–74); Commander in Chief of the United States European Command (CINCEUR) (1969–74); retired then became Superintendent, then retired a second time [a] [54]
5219811986 Willard Warren Scott Jr. 1948 Lieutenant general; commander 25th Infantry Division (1976–78); commander V Corps (1980–81) [a] [55]
5319861991 Dave Richard Palmer 1956 Lieutenant general; military historian; instructor at the Academy and the Vietnamese National Military Academy [56]
5419911996 Howard D. Graves 1961 Lieutenant general; Rhodes Scholar; military engineer; Chancellor of the Texas A&M University System (1999–2003) [57]
5519962001 Daniel William Christman 1965 Lieutenant general; graduated first in his class in 1965; Senior Vice President for International Affairs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce; four-time recipient of the Defense Distinguished Service Medal. [58]
5620012006 William James Lennox Jr. 1971 Lieutenant general; artillery and staff officer; Deputy Commanding General Eighth United States Army; doctorate in literature from Princeton University [59]
5720062010 Franklin Lee Hagenbeck 1971 Lieutenant general; commander 10th Mountain Division (2001–03) [60]
5820102013 David H. Huntoon 1973 Lieutenant general; Director of the Army Staff; Former Commandant of the U.S. Army War College [61]
5920132018 Robert L. Caslen 1975 Lieutenant general; chief of staff for Combined Joint Task Force-180 (CJTF-180) in Afghanistan from May through September 2002; Chief of the Office of Security Cooperation for Iraq [62]
6020182022 Darryl A. Williams 1983 Lieutenant general; Managed U.S. response to the West African Ebola virus epidemic in 2016; Commander of NATO Allied Land Command (2016–2018); First black superintendent in the academy's history; Commanding General of United States Army Europe and Africa (2022–present) [63]
612022 Steven W. Gilland 1990 Lieutenant general; Academy's commandant of cadets (2017–2019), Commander of the 2nd Infantry Division (2019–2021) [64]
Jonathan Williams (1801-03), (1805-12) USACE Colonel Jonathan Williams.jpg
Jonathan Williams (1801–03), (1805–12)
Joseph Swift (1812-14) Colonel Joseph Gardner Swift.jpg
Joseph Swift (1812–14)
Sylvanus Thayer (1817-1833) SylvanusThayer.jpg
Sylvanus Thayer (1817–1833)
Robert E. Lee (1852-55) Robert Edward Lee.jpg
Robert E. Lee (1852–55)
Richard Delafield (1856-61) Richard Delafield.jpg
Richard Delafield (1856–61)
George Cullum (1864-66) George W Cullum.jpg
George Cullum (1864–66)
John Schofield (1876-81) John McAllister Schofield.jpg
John Schofield (1876–81)
Douglas MacArthur (1919-22) MacArthur Manila.jpg
Douglas MacArthur (1919–22)
Maxwell Taylor (1945-49) Maxwell D Taylor official portrait.jpg
Maxwell Taylor (1945–49)
Garrison Davidson (1956-60) Gen Garrison Davidson West Point Superintendent 1956 1960.jpg
Garrison Davidson (1956–60)
William Westmoreland (1960-63) Gen William C Westmoreland.jpg
William Westmoreland (1960–63)
Daniel Christman (1996-2001) Daniel W Christman.jpg
Daniel Christman (1996–2001)
Franklin Hagenbeck (2006-10) Franklin Hagenbeck.jpg
Franklin Hagenbeck (2006–10)
Darryl Williams (2018-2022) Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams.jpg
Darryl Williams (2018–2022)

See also

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References

General

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