Department of History
To educate, train and inspire the Corps of Cadets through the discipline of history so that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character committed to the values of Duty, Honor, Country and prepared for a career of professional excellence and service to the Nation as an officer in the United States Army.
New Instructors at Gettysburg
The History Department's new instructors discuss Union and Confederate actions on McPherson's Ridge on the 1st day of the Battle of Gettysburg as part of a staff ride during New Instructor Training.
As Army officers, West Point graduates will perform a broad spectrum of missions vitally important to our nation's security and interests. They must be intellectually and professionally prepared to face these challenges in an uncertain and dangerous world inhabited by peoples of different languages, religions, and cultures. The Department of History contributes to cadets' intellectual and professional development by imparting historical knowledge, an appreciation of history, and critical thinking and communication skills.
Officers who are critical thinkers challenge accepted wisdom in the search for truth and justice. They are open-minded and able to make independent and informed decisions. They reject simplistic answers that suggest the existence of a black-and-white world; rather, they accept the ambiguity associated with most human endeavors and seek the best solution rather than a single "correct" one. The study of history encourages critical thinking by requiring cadets to:
- formulate critical questions;
- conduct research by gathering and prioritizing information;
- analyze information within the broad context in which it appears;
- interpret and synthesize information;
- derive reasoned, evidence-based conclusions;
- assess and adjust their conclusions as conditions change or new information becomes available.