Institution for the training of commissioned officers for the U.S. Army. Founded in 1802 at the fort at West Point, N.Y., it is one of the oldest service academies in the world. It was established as an apprentice school for military engineers and was, in effect, the first U.S. school of engineering. It was reorganized in 1812, and in 1866 its educational program was expanded considerably. Women were first admitted in 1976. The four-year course of college-level education and training leads to a bachelor of science degree and a commission as second lieutenant in the Army. West Point has trained such leaders as Ulysses S. Grant, William T. Sherman, Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, Jefferson Davis, John Pershing, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Douglas MacArthur, Omar Bradley, and George Patton.
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