West Point


Visiting Us

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Visitor Access Policy

West Point is open to the public but, there are requirements to access our installation.West Point and all other federally controlled installations comply with the Department of Defense’s implementation of the REAL ID Act of 2005.

To find out what the requirements are, please visit:

Identification requirements to visit U.S. Army Garrison West Point and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Historical Sites

CONSTITUTION ISLAND

Located across the Hudson River, Constitution Island was the site of the first Revolutionary War fortifications in the Hudson Highlands.

The British overran the positions in 1777, but the Americans returned in 1778 and made the island an integral part of Fortress West Point. In the 1830s, the island was purchased by Henry Warner and became the home of his two daughters, Susan and Anna. The daughters were prolific writers and conducted Sunday school classes for West Point cadets for 40 years. Anna wrote the words for the hymn “Jesus Loves Me.” In 1908, Margaret Olivia Sage and Anna Warner presented Constitution Island to the U.S. government for the benefit of the Corps of Cadets.

The Warner House and Revolutionary fortifications still stand and are available for tours most often from May through September. A voluntary contribution provides for a guided tour by Constitution Island Association volunteers. For reservations, call 845-265-2501.

WEST POINT CEMETERY

The West Point Cemetery sits on a promontory, once known as “German Flats,” on Washington Road overlooking the Hudson River and Constitution Island.

There are more than 8,000 men and women buried here. Included are those who died in virtually every armed conflict in which the U.S. has taken part. Revolutionary War Soldiers and local residents were buried here for several years before it was officially designated a military cemetery in 1817. The oldest grave, belonging to Ensign Dominick Trant, dates from 1782 and can be found in the oldest section of the cemetery in the northeastern corner. In this same section, a visitor will notice there are many graves marked “Unknown.” These graves hold the re-interred remains of Revolutionary War Soldiers and others who were buried in several plots around post.

The history of the academy can be seen in the graves of former superintendents and in the resting places of many military, civilian and sports heroes in West Point history.

Generals Thayer, George Armstrong Custer, Winfield Scott, John Buford, Lucius Clay, William Westmoreland and Norman Schwarzkopf Jr., are here, as are sports figures Dennis Michie, Glenn Davis, Charles Daly and Earl “Red” Blaik. They lie forever side by side with professors, clergymen, astronauts, spouses and children.

OLD CADET CHAPEL

Consecrated in 1836, the Old Cadet Chapel was originally constructed in the central area of the academy. When Bartlett Hall was scheduled to be built on that site in 1910, the West Point alumni provided funds to preserve their cherished chapel. It was dismantled stone by stone and reconstructed at its present site at the edge of the West Point Cemetery, where a new entrance to the cemetery was added. The reconstruction was completed in 1911.

The chapel is now used for Lutheran and other denominational services, weddings, memorial services and funerals of all faiths. The seating capacity is 450. The Old Cadet Chapel is one of five chapels on the academy grounds and is one of the oldest buildings still in use at West Point.

TROPHY POINT

Trophy Point is one of the most popular sites in the Hudson River Valley. The view to the north has been captured in paintings and photographs for the past two centuries. Memorials here commemorate many of our nation’s military campaigns. More than 300 cannons reflect American military history of the 18th and 19th centuries. Additional cannons can be seen at the West Point Museum at South Post.

GREAT CHAIN

Links forming the Great Chain stretched across the Hudson River at West Point during the Revolutionary War and served as a key element in the area defenses. Used from 1778 to 1782, the 500-yard, almost 100-ton chain floated on logs and was designed to act as a barrier to enemy ships. Thirteen original links, on loan from the West Point Museum, are exhibited in remembrance of America’s original thirteen colonies.

This was the second of two chains to be placed across the Hudson. The first was placed four miles below West Point between Fort Montgomery and Anthony’s Nose, near the location of the present-day Bear Mountain Bridge.

FORT PUTNAM

Fort Putnam was the single most important fortification at West Point during the American Revolution. Built in 1778 by Col. Rufus Putnam’s Fifth Massachusetts Regiment, it was the key fortification in the interlocking network of forts and redoubts making up West Point’s defenses. From this site, the Plain and approaches to the Great Chain could be protected. Originally, a wood and earthen redoubt, Fort Putnam is today an imposing stone fortress. The longevity of the fort was helped by an extensive renovation during the American Revolution Bicentennial in the 1970s. Exhibits in the West Point Museum fully explain Fortress West Point’s crucial role in our war for independence.

There is no charge to visit the fort, from which you can see most of West Point and the surrounding Hudson River Valley. The fort is open seasonally between June and August. Contact the West Point Museum at 845-938-3590 for available hours.

QUARTERS 100

One of the oldest buildings on post, Quarters 100 is designated for the superintendent and his family. Previous occupants include Robert E. Lee, Douglas MacArthur, Maxwell Taylor and William C. Westmoreland.

WASHINGTON MONUMENT

Washington was the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, the first president of the United States and “the father of our country.” In addition, he recognized the critical importance of the military position at West Point. He spent much time in this area, especially near the end of the Revolutionary War. Finally, he was among the foremost advocates of the establishment of a military academy. This statue was sculpted by Henry Kirke Brown and unveiled in 1916.

Museum

West Point Museum

The West Point Museum is adjacent to the Visitors Center. The museum is in the renovated Olmsted Hall at Pershing Center on the grounds of the former Ladycliff College. The building is named after the museum’s benefactor, Maj. Gen. George H. Olmsted, Class of 1922.

The museum’s collections represent military study from arms, armor and artillery to uniforms, military art and objects reflecting West Point’s diverse history. Originally opened to the public in 1854, the West Point Museum is the oldest and largest diversified military museum in the country. It contains national military treasures and one of the finest collections of military small arms available for public viewing. Every American armed conflict is represented in the 135 exhibits. A sampling of the four floors of exhibition galleries include one gallery that portrays the history of the U.S. Army during peacetime and its role as a formative nation builder and another gallery that recounts West Point’s history during and after the Revolutionary War, as well as the institutional history of the military academy. The museum also provides exhibits in memorial halls, banquet halls and in Thayer Hall to support the department of history’s cadet curriculum with exhibit themes ranging from ancient to modern civilization.

The West Point Museum is open 10:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. daily with the exceptions of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Admission is free. For additional information, call 845-938-2203/3590.

Click here to go to the West Point Museum website.

Chapels

West Point Chapels- Stock Photo

West Point has some of the most beautiful chapels in the military. The Cadet Chapel is a magnificent Gothic cathedral set high on the hillside overlooking the Plain. It has one of the largest pipe organs in the world, containing more than 23,000 pipes, and holds Protestant worship services every Sunday. The Chapel of the Most Holy Trinity holds worship services for Roman Catholics at West Point. The West Point Jewish Chapel, home of the academy’s Jewish religious support program, serves as the site for Jewish cadet worship, denominational activities for the community and hosts an array of academy functions. The Post Chapel accommodates community worship services and youth activities. The Old Cadet Chapel, in the West Point cemetery, was the original chapel at West Point. It accommodates Lutheran worship services, funerals and memorial services.

Religious programs at West Point include several denominational congregations that meet in auditoriums, lecture halls and chapels on post. The Protestant Sunday School and Catholic Religious Education meet in Thayer Hall. The Latter-day Saints congregation holds Sunday school programs and worship services in the academic buildings. Sunday services are also offered by the Lutherans who meet in the Old Cadet Chapel and the Gospel Congregation, which meets in the Post Chapel. Episcopal services are held just outside Thayer Gate at the local church in Highland Falls. Orthodox services take place on Sunday in St. Martin’s Chapel in the lower level of the Cadet Chapel during the academic year.

Opportunities to serve others are offered through the many congregations at West Point. Participation in the choirs, worship services, Sunday schools and youth groups are open to cadets, Soldiers, family members and others in the community. Dynamic programs for high school students and junior high youth are available through the West Point Youth Ministry, MCYM Club Beyond. Youth can attend children’s church programs at several of the chapels during worship services or the Awana program on Sunday evenings during the academic year.

A diverse and dynamic retreat program provides a variety of groups the opportunity for weekends of focus away from West Point. The Men of the Chapel have a monthly prayer breakfast and Women of the Chapel provide weekly Bible study and fellowship activities. More than 16 religious groups meet in the cadet area during the week. The chaplains also work closely with the Soldier ministries and family programs at West Point.

Click here to visit the Religious Support Office for more information on religious services on West Point.

Visitors Center

West Point Visitors Center

The Visitors Center provides an excellent starting point for all visitors and new arrivals to the U.S. Military Academy. The center offers historical and informational videos, parking, restrooms, a gift shop, pamphlets, a full-scale cadet barracks room and a movie theater. Access to the academy grounds is limited to guided bus tours from the Visitors Center daily.

The Visitors Center, on the site of the former Ladycliff College Library, continues to attract, educate and inform the public about the academy and its environs.

More than 500,000 people visit West Point each year, including alumni, friends and families of West Point cadets; school groups; senior citizen groups; and tourists. The U.S. Military Academy is one of the top three tourist attractions in New York, according to the New York State Department of Tourism.

The Visitors Center is open 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. daily, with the exceptions of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. For more information, call 845-938-2638. For guided bus tours, call 845-446-4724.

Click here to go to the West Point Visitors Center website

The U.S. Military Academy at West Point Band

The U.S. Military Academy Band traces its roots back more than 200 years. Before the Revolutionary War, fifers and drummers were stationed with companies of minutemen on Constitution Island across the Hudson River from West Point. In 1778, elements of Gen. Samuel Parsons’ Connecticut Brigade crossed the Hudson River and established West Point as a permanent military post. After the American Revolution, Congress disbanded most of the Continental Army, but the 55 men at West Point, members of the Second Continental Artillery, remained. Among their ranks stood at least one drummer and one fifer who alone maintained the tradition of military music.

With the establishment of the U.S. Military Academy in 1802 came an increased demand for military music. As the academy grew, it needed fifers, drummers and buglers to drill the new cadets and provide an audible order to their duty day. In 1817, the ensemble was named the West Point Band and was performing with a full range of instruments. In 1866, it received the official title of the U.S. Military Academy Band.

Today’s band consists of four components: the concert/marching band, the Hellcats (the drum and bugle field-music unit), the Benny Haven’s Band (popular music) and the support staff. As the senior premier musical representative of the Army, the band has appeared at many historic events. It also fulfills all the official musical requirements of the academy, including military and patriotic ceremonies, radio and television broadcasts, public concerts, sporting events and social activities for the U.S. Corps of Cadets and the West Point community.

The U.S. Military Academy Band gives free concerts throughout the year at West Point and in the New York City area. For event information, call the 24-hour hotline at 845-938-2617 or visit www.usma.edu/band.

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