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ASL
We Three Blings


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This isn't a UL, so much as it is a question. It is often said of General MacArthur that upon graduation from West Point, his record was surpassed by only two other people in the history of the Point, and one of them was Robert E. Lee. While I'm not doubting the veracity of this (it seems feasible given his later record), I've always wonder who the OTHER guy was.

Did he end up becomming a drunken bum who served a few years witohut distinction and left, or was he one of the ones who served for only a very short time and then left to seek a career in engineering or something as was often the case before the period of mandatory service was extended?

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"Dear Lord, please protect this rockethouse and all who dwell within..."

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Four Kitties
Layaway in a Manger


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You've got it a little twisted. Robert E. Lee graduated second in his class from West Point; his distinction was that he graduated without ever having acquired a single demerit.

MacArthur graduated first in his class, having set the highest scholastic record in twenty-five years (according to this site), and also without ever having acquired a demerit.

So there was no mystery "third guy" who equalled them in scholastic achievement, since their scholastic achievements didn't match!

Four Kitties

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ASL
We Three Blings


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Just because you graduate top in your class does not means you have not been surpassed. Consider that Robert E. Lee and the man ahead of him might both have had a higher overall average than MacArthur.

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"Dear Lord, please protect this rockethouse and all who dwell within..."

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Four Kitties
Layaway in a Manger


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Aha. So you think possibly Lee (at number two) and whoever was number one were the two who had higher academic records than MacArthur? I hadn't thought of it that way.

However, it seems to be contradicted by the site I linked to, which says MacArthur's academic record was the highest in 25 years. MacArthur graduated in 1903, and Lee graduated in 1829, so there were at least two others who surpassed Lee's academic record in that time (the guy who graduated first in 1829, and the guy from 1878).

Four Kitties

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If swimming is so good for your figure, how do you explain whales?

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DesertRat
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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Lee was second in his graduating class ; he may have been third, thirtieth, or three-hundredth when compared against graduates throughout the years. As noted, his major distinction was graduating without any demerits, a feat which has only been equalled by MacArthur.

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High on the wind, the Highland drums begin to roll, and something from the past just comes and stares into my soul... --Mark Knopfler

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schumichick
Deck the Malls


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I was born at the United States Military Academy (West Point)-- father was a grad (1954) & was teaching engineering there when I was born;
I also worked at the Academy (1985-1990 & 2001-2004)
the place is in my bones ... part of me
class rank is based on 3 criteria ...
academics
physical
military development
the cadets that excell in academics -- known as 'star men' -- have the highest GPA in academic subjects; & it is possible to have a GPA of over 4.0 at the end of the 4 years;
class rank, ultimately, is based on a computation of grades/marks in all 3 areas of criteria;
so #1 in the class is not necessarily the 'smartest' cadet in the class ... nor is the First Captain -- the cadet who commands the United States Corps of Cadets -- the #1 cadet in the class;
cadets are tracked throughout their 4 years at USMA -- I worked for the office that did this; cadets are identified at the end of the plebe (freshman) year & then put into increasingly responsible positions within their class; normally there are 2 cadets at the end of cow (junior) year who are in serious consideration for First Captain; that decision is made at the end of summer training; it is rather political & just recently, the cadet selected as First Captain was relieved at the end of the fall semester;
there are cadets who go through their entire 4 years without a single demerit or without any hours on the area; it happens frequently; & there are cadets who have hundreds of hours on the area by graduation (I was the discipline clerk for one of the regiments too);
class rank is important for USMA grads because it when they return to the Academy, the housing lottery goes by class year then class rank;
until the Class of 1980, the Register of Graduates listed each class by class rank; with the Class of 1980, the first to graduate women, the Register changed & now lists the class alphabetically;
additionally, there are at a minimum 3 graduation ceremonies each year ... sometimes more; the main ceremony at the end of May when the majority of the class graduates & is commissioned; another ceremony in mid-June for those who needed another few weeks -- usually b/c they failed their APFT; & another ceremony in December for those who needed another semester -- these are cadets who had to take a semester off, usually due to medical or family issues;
as for MacArthur ... laughing ... I worked for the Public Affairs Office at USMA for over a year; one evening I was walking through the living room & heard part of MacArthur's 'Duty, Honor, Country' speech on tv ... it was an episode of JAG; within days, I was replying to numerous emails requests for the text of the speech; just what I expected ...

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'We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty.' -- Edward R. Murrow

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Shamrock
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by schumichick:
[QB] I was born at the United States Military Academy ...the place is in my bones ... /QB]

Nice post. Interesting. What was the name of the movie about West Point - the one where some guy works there his entire life. Sees famous men created from scratch. Saw it many years ago.

I also love the story about how the remaining Cadets saluted those who were leaving to fight for the South at the start of the Civil War. Might even be true.

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Of all the things I've lost,
I miss my mind the most.

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schumichick
Deck the Malls


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The Long Gray Line -- Tyrone Power & Maureen O'Hara;
an extremely fictionalised account of the life of Marty Maher who was a PE instructor at the Academy for years;
according to my mother, who grew up in the village next to the Academy & whose father was an NCO Tac (died training cadets in August 1936), Marty Maher was the village drunk; he played cards with my grandfather & could not hold any liquor;
yes... the cadets did salute those who left the Academy to serve in the Confederate Army; there are many stories from the Civil War of classmates fighting each other; The Association of Graduates, the Academy's alumni organization, grew out of efforts to reunite classmates following the Civil War;
one of my favourite little factoids ... the statue of Patton ... the silver stars he was wearing when he died were melted into the hands of the statue ... you can faintly see them

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'We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty.' -- Edward R. Murrow

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schumichick
Deck the Malls


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oh ... my favourite West Point movie ...
Francis Goes to West Point ... the scene when Francis is drilling Donald O'Connor is laugh-out-loud funny

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'We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty.' -- Edward R. Murrow

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Shamrock
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quote:
Originally posted by schumichick:
The Long Gray Line -- Tyrone Power & Maureen O'Hara; an extremely fictionalised account of the life of Marty Maher....
yes... the cadets did salute those who left the Academy to serve in the Confederate Army...
one of my favourite little factoids ... the statue of Patton ... the silver stars he was wearing when he died were melted into the hands of the statue ... you can faintly see them

That's it - The Long Gray Line. Never let truth interfere with a good story.

Visited the Point once long, long ago as a Boy Scout. Always hoped my sons would be interested but they went their own way, as they should.

What would you say are the best (i.e. most accurate) histories about West Point?

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Of all the things I've lost,
I miss my mind the most.

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GI Joe
Jingle Bell Hock


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These aren't histories of the institution, per se, rather books that focus on the institution and a set of graduates during specific periods.

'Class of 1846' by John Waugh - follows the class with many notable Mexican and Civil War figures (Jackson, McClellan, etc.)

'The Long Gray Line' by Rick Atkinson (Washington Post staff writer) - so-so book follows the class of 1966 through Vietnam and the reshaping of the Army (Atkinson also wrote 'Crusade' an OK book about the Gulf War)

'Absolutely American' by David Lipsky (contributing editor for Rolling Stone) which documents his four year observation of the Academy, culminating in the graduation of the Class of 2002. The evloution of Lipinsky's own views of the military are at least as interesting as the shaping of the cadets themselves.

There's another excellent book out there which I do not have, but it follows the Class of 1915 - the so-called Class the Stars Fell on because of the high proportion of graduates who made general in WW II. Don't know the author.

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Once a Warrior Prince

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schumichick
Deck the Malls


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http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/projects/west_point/

the above link takes you to an extensive history of the Academy that the Poughkeepsie (NY) Journal did in 2002 -- USMA's bicentennial;
there are histories of the Academy;
I tried looking for one in particular ... which I have but can't remember the author -- he was a visiting professor of history at USMA; the book was published in 2002 & if I remember correctly was titled 'West Point' ... the author's first name is Theodore (Ted);
another book I enjoy a lot ... when I am feeling homesick for gray stone ... is The Campus Guide to West Point by Rod Miller ... it is a detailed discussion of the buildings & explains the history;
there were a number of books published in 2002 about the Academy ... most crap ... but the series the PJ did & the books I mentioned above were the best ...

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'We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty.' -- Edward R. Murrow

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GI Joe
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quote:
Originally posted by schumichick:
I tried looking for one in particular ... which I have but can't remember the author -- he was a visiting professor of history at USMA; the book was published in 2002 & if I remember correctly was titled 'West Point' ... the author's first name is Theodore (Ted);

You're not thinking of Ted Ropp are you? Is he still writing/alive?

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Once a Warrior Prince

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schumichick
Deck the Malls


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http://www.usma.army.mil/bicentennial/

found the link to the official bicentennial website
books are under the media tab

no ... not Ted Ropp

Theodore Crackel wrote the book I am recommending, published in 2002 for the bicentennial;

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'We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty.' -- Edward R. Murrow

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ASL
We Three Blings


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"The Long Gray Line" (the movie) was good for two things: Parades and music.

I've marched in god knows how many parades (we have them at least once, often twice a week) at VMI, but I've never actually seen one.

--------------------
"Dear Lord, please protect this rockethouse and all who dwell within..."

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schumichick
Deck the Malls


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there is something about march music ... sigh
at USMA, reviews were held twice a week during the spring semester (2 regiments) & only on Saturdays before home football games in the fall;
the cadets had drill & reviews -- you probably feel the same ...
the entire only paraded twice a year -- in the August (when the plebes were accepted) & in May for the graduation parade;

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'We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty.' -- Edward R. Murrow

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GI Joe
Jingle Bell Hock


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I remember the double-regimental reviews Tuesdays and Thursdays, and the full Corps reviews every Saturday during fall and spring. I also remember - with great pain and cold - the winter single-regimental band box reviews when they cleared the snow off the area adjacent to the 1st Division. But then again, we had class for half a day and room inspections every Saturday and mandatory chapel formation. I think dinosaurs roamed the Plain, too, but I'm a little fuzzy on that . . .

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Once a Warrior Prince

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DesertRat
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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[Smartass hat is on]

Oooooooooo, the full Corps had to do TWO FULL pass-in-reviews a year. Wow, that's tough.

Seems I recall that at The Citadel, the full corps did a pass-in-review every Friday, plus usually one or two Saturdays out of a month.

West Point... Pish tosh! [Big Grin] [Wink]

[Smartass hat is off]

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High on the wind, the Highland drums begin to roll, and something from the past just comes and stares into my soul... --Mark Knopfler

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GI Joe
Jingle Bell Hock


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[Turns on WP RingRadio]
Hello, Secret Cabal Personnel Office? Please add DesertRat2 to the 'Enemies List.' Yes, that's right, he's a cult follower of Pat Conroy. 'Nuff said. Red Rover, Red Rover, this Radio Call's Over. [Big Grin]

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Once a Warrior Prince

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DesertRat
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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Pat Conroy was a pussy. [Wink] Just another NFBSKbag Corps Squad athlete who couldn't hack it in the real Corps of Cadets. Only difference between himand all the others is that he wrote a best-selling book about it.

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High on the wind, the Highland drums begin to roll, and something from the past just comes and stares into my soul... --Mark Knopfler

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Matt H.
Deck the Malls


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This is too tempting...

No one is more professional than I. I am a Noncommissioned Officer, a leader of soldiers. As a Noncommissioned Officer, I realize that am a member of a time-honored corps, which is known as "The Backbone of the Army." I am proud of the Corps of Noncommissioned Officers and will at all times conduct myself so as to bring credit upon the Corps, the military service and my country regardless of the situation in which I find myself. I will not use my grade or position to attain pleasure, profit, or personal safety.

[fish]

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"Who needs the Bible? I've got this magic 8-ball."

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ASL
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by DesertRat2:
Pat Conroy was a pussy. [Wink] Just another NFBSKbag Corps Squad athlete who couldn't hack it in the real Corps of Cadets. Only difference between himand all the others is that he wrote a best-selling book about it.

A pussy? Graduating from the Citadel? The presitigious Military College of the South? Get out of town.

ETA: At VMI we call them "Permits." I almost wish we had a seperate barracks to exhile them to. Ahh crap, now they're going to trace my account and send me up for disrespect to a Cadet NCAA Team.

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"Dear Lord, please protect this rockethouse and all who dwell within..."

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DesertRat
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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ASL, are you a grad, or are you still a cadet?

Anyway, it's oddly comforting to know that you keydets suffer from some of the same problems we did. I swear, during my time on the honor court, I had more headaches and heartburn from damned athletes who thought the rules didn't apply to them... and worst of all, there was multiple incidents of coaches lying-- subverting the honor system themselves, to cover for their nasty little athletes. Disgusting.

(Add to that our football team sucks... for as poor cadets as they were, you'd think they'd at least make up for it by winning a game.)

--DR2, El Cid class of '02

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High on the wind, the Highland drums begin to roll, and something from the past just comes and stares into my soul... --Mark Knopfler

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ASL
We Three Blings


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quote:
ASL, are you a grad, or are you still a cadet?
Ask me that again in May.

I still could have sworn that either on the history channel or in a biography I heard/read that MacArthur had a record surpased by only two other men... But then the history channel isn't always reliable when it comes to trivia.

Anyways, just out of curiosity, who was the guy who finished ahead of Robert E. Lee in his own graduating class?

--------------------
"Dear Lord, please protect this rockethouse and all who dwell within..."

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snopes
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quote:
Anyways, just out of curiosity, who was the guy who finished ahead of Robert E. Lee in his own graduating class?
http://www.dean.usma.edu/math/people/rickey/dms/00541-Mason.htm
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