273,522 Pages

The United States Military Academy (USMA) is an undergraduate college in West Point, New York with the mission of educating and commissioning officers for the United States Army. The list is drawn from non-graduate former cadets and cadet candidates. It is not unusual for the service academies to have high dropout rates. Of the original 103 cadets in the Class of 1826, only 43 graduated.[1] Non-graduates of the Academy have entered a variety of fields. Notable non-graduates include Edgar Allan Poe (literature), James Abbott McNeill Whistler (art), Maynard James Keenan (music), Adam Vinatieri (football), and even the military: Jacob Zeilin, Lewis Addison Armistead, and Courtney Hodges.


As these alumni did not graduate, their class year represents the year they would have graduated if they had completed their education at the Academy.
Name Class year Notability References
Hamilton, William S.William S. Hamilton 1818 Colonel; Illinois State Representative; Wisconsin Territorial Representative; son of U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, grandson of U.S. Senator and Major General Philip Schuyler; nephew of U.S. Representative Philip Jeremiah Schuyler; attended the Academy 1814–1817 [2]
Barrow, AlexanderAlexander Barrow 1820 U.S. Senator from Louisiana, lawyer; attended the Academy 1816–1818 [3]
Fannin, JamesJames Fannin 1823 Texas War for Independence; entered the Academy as "James F. Walker" in 1819 but resigned in 1821 from the Academy due to poor grades, absences and tardiness [4]
Zeilin, JacobJacob Zeilin 1826 First United States Marine Corps general officer, Commandant of the Marine Corps (1864–1876); part of Commodore Perry's expedition to Japan; discharged due to low grades [1][5]
Campbell, John ArchibaldJohn Archibald Campbell 1830 Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States; left the Academy after three years to care for family's affairs after father's death [6][7]
Poe, Edgar AllanEdgar Allan Poe 1834 Served as a non-commissioned officer in the U.S. Army 1827-1829; author who excelled in language who was expelled for neglecting duties. [8]
Armistead, Lewis AddisonLewis Addison Armistead 1839 Confederate Brigadier General killed at Gettysburg; expelled for a fight in which he broke a plate over the head of fellow future Confederate general Jubal Early; later commissioned in the Regular Army, which he left as a major to join the Confederacy [9]
Robinson, John ClevelandJohn Cleveland Robinson 1839 Left the Academy after three years but joined the Army one year later; Major General in the American Civil War; awarded the Medal of Honor for valor in action in 1864 near Spotsylvania Courthouse, Virginia; Lieutenant Governor of New York (1873–1874); served two terms as the president of the Grand Army of the Republic [10]
Tompkins, Charles HenryCharles Henry Tompkins 1851 Dropped out of the Academy after two years for unspecified reasons; Brigadier General; recipient of the Medal of Honor for twice charging through the enemy's lines on 1 July 1861 near Fairfax, Virginia, making him the first Union officer of the Civil War to receive the Medal of Honor b[›][10][11]
Green, Wharton J.Wharton J. Green 1854 Confederate officer; U.S. Congressman (1883–1887); dropped out before graduation [12]
Whistler, James Abbott McNeillJames Abbott McNeill Whistler 1855 Artist; discharged for academic and disciplinary problems after three years [13]
Houston, Andrew JacksonAndrew Jackson Houston 1875 U.S. Senator (1941); son of Sam Houston; dropped out [14]
Whittaker, Johnson ChesnutJohnson Chesnut Whittaker 1881 Born into slavery; expelled after board of inquiry and court-martial {falsely} convicted him of staging an assault on his own person; verdict overturned by President Chester Arthur-but Whittaker still expelled on grounds he failed a exam. Assault at West Point: The Court-Martial of Johnson Whittaker by John Marszalek popularized the case and led to his posthumous commission in 1995 [15][16]
Gilchrist, Albert W.Albert W. Gilchrist 1882 Governor of Florida (1909–1913); found deficient in experimental philosophy after three years at the Academy [17]
Fredendall, LloydLloyd Fredendall 1905 & 1906 Lieutenant General in World War II; expelled for poor grades in mathematics and poor general deportment; readmitted following year and expelled again; later received a direct commission in 1907; relieved of command after the Battle of the Kasserine Pass and reassigned to training commands [18]
Hodges, CourtneyCourtney Hodges 1909 General in World War II; dropped out after the first year because "found deficient" in mathematics, as was his second-year plebe classmate George S. Patton who graduated in 1909; Hodges then enlisted as a private and became the second person to rise from private to general; Instructor at the Academy after World War I [19]
Bevans, James MillikinJames Millikin Bevans 1921 Major General; recipient of the Distinguished Service Medal; discharged in 1918 [20]
Yarborough, RalphRalph Yarborough 1923 U.S. Senator from Texas (1957–1971); leader of the Democratic Party of Texas; dropped out after two years to become a teacher; enlisted in Texas National Guard; Lieutenant Colonel in World War II [21]
Cagle, Chris KeenerChris Keener Cagle 1930 Professional football player; played football at the Academy during the 1926–1929 seasons; resigned in May 1930 after it was discovered he had married in August 1928 [22][23]
Leary, TimothyTimothy Leary 1943 Counterculture icon, LSD proponent; dropped out [24]
Daly, Michael J.Michael J. Daly 1945 Captain; dropped out of the Academy after one year to enlist so he could fight in World War II; received a battlefield commission; awarded the Medal of Honor for assaulting several enemy positions [25][26]
Donlon, RogerRoger Donlon 1959 Dropped out of the Academy for personal reasons; Captain, later Colonel; recipient of the Medal of Honor for repulsing a much larger attack [27]
Gardner, James A.James A. Gardner 1962 Did not graduate; First Lieutenant; recipient of the Medal of Honor for actions leading his platoon in the relief of a company that was engaged with a larger enemy force [27]
Hatch, RichardRichard Hatch 1986 Winner of the first Survivor; dropped out [24]
Long Lance, Chief Buffalo ChildChief Buffalo Child Long Lance 1916 American journalist, writer and actor from Winston-Salem, North Carolina who became internationally prominent as a spokesman for Indian causes. attended in 1916 on a Presidential appointment, left to join Canadian Forces en route to World War I [28]
Looper, Byron (Low Tax)Byron (Low Tax) Looper 1987 Politician convicted of murdering his Tennessee State Senate opponent Tommy Burks in 1998; attended the Academy from 1982 to 1985; discharged due to a serious knee injury [29][30]
Keenan, Maynard JamesMaynard James Keenan 1988 Singer in the bands Tool and A Perfect Circle; would have been part of the Class of 1988 but he never started at the Academy as he was accepted to West Point in 1984 while he was a cadet candidate at United States Military Academy Preparatory School but decided to complete his term of active duty enlistment [31]
Vinatieri, AdamAdam Vinatieri 1995 National Football League placekicker for the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts; left the Academy after two weeks [32]
Hinote, DanDan Hinote 1999 Professional National Hockey League (NHL) ice hockey player; dropped out in 1996 when he was drafted by the Colorado Avalanche; first NHL player ever drafted from West Point [33]
Scherer, StephenStephen Scherer 2011 10M Air Rifle Competitor 2008 Olympics; transferred to Texas Christian University where he later committed suicide [34]
Edgar Allan Poe 2

Edgar Allan Poe

Whistler Selbstporträt

James Whistler


Timothy Leary

Maj Roger Donlon

Roger Donlon

Maynard James Keenan Roskilde 2

Maynard James Keenan

Vinatieri, Adam (USAF)

Adam Vinatieri

See alsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 Millett, Allan Reed; Jack Shulimson (2004). Commandants of the Marine Corps. Annapolis, MD: US Naval Institute Press. pp. 85–96. ISBN 0-87021-012-2. 
  2. "William S. Hamilton". Historical Marker Retrieved 2010-03-07. 
  3. "Barrow, Alexander". United States Congress. Retrieved 2009-03-22. 
  4. "Fannin, James Walker Jr.". Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved 2009-03-22. 
  5. "Brigadier General Jacob Zeilin, USMC". Who's Who in Marine Corps History. History Division, United States Marine Corps. Retrieved 2009-03-21. 
  6. "John A. Campbell". Oyez – United States Supreme Court. Retrieved 2009-03-22. 
  7. "John Archibald Campbell". Confederate War Department. Retrieved 2009-03-22. 
  8. Silverman, Kenneth (1991). Edgar A. Poe: Mournful and Never-Ending Remembrance (Paperback ed.). New York: Harper Perennial. pp. 34–37. ISBN 0-06-092331-8. 
  9. Johnson, Charles Thomas (2000). Heidler, David S., and Heidler, Jeanne T.. ed. Lewis Addison Armistead. Encyclopedia of the American Civil War: A Political, Social, and Military History. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company. p. 78. ISBN 0-393-04758-X. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Medal of Honor Recipients Civil War (M-Z)". Army Center of Military History. Retrieved 2009-04-02. 
  11. "Fiddler's Green: Charles H. Tompkins". Crossed Sabres. Retrieved 2009-04-10. 
  12. "Green, Wharton Jackson". United States Congress. Retrieved 2009-03-22. 
  13. Blackwell, Jon. "A Salute to West Point". United States Military Academy. Retrieved 2009-03-22. 
  14. "Houston, Andrew Jackson". United States Congress. Retrieved 2009-03-22. 
  15. Marszalek, John (August 1975). "A Black Cadet at West Point". Retrieved 2009-06-27. 
  16. Purdum, Todd (30 July 1995). "Week in Review: 115 Years Late, He Won His Bars". the New York Times. Retrieved 2009-06-27. 
  17. Florida historical society (1909). Florida Edition: Makers of America, Vol. II. Atlanta, GA: A. B. Caldwell. p. 87. Retrieved 2009-04-02. 
  18. Perry, Mark (2007). Partners in Command: George Marshall and Dwight Eisenhower in War and Peace. London: Penguin Group. pp. 178. ISBN 1-59420-105-6. 
  19. "General Courtney H. Hodges". United States Army Central. Retrieved 2009-03-22. [dead link]
  20. "James Millikin Bevans". Department of the Air Force. Archived from the original on 2012-07-17. Retrieved 2010-08-17. 
  21. "Yarborough, Ralph Webster". United States Congress. Retrieved 2009-03-22. 
  22. "Chris "Red" Cagle". College Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2009-04-08. 
  23. "A Look Back at 100 Years: Decade Three 1920–1929" (PDF). University of Louisiana - Layfayette. Retrieved 2009-03-22. 
  24. 24.0 24.1 "Some 'OO' Facts of West Point". United States Military Academy. Retrieved 2009-03-22. 
  25. "Medal of Honor Recipients World War II (A–F)". Army Center of Military History. Retrieved 2009-04-04. 
  26. "M. J. Daly dies, Medal of Honor recipient". Connecticut Post. 25 July 2008. 
  27. 27.0 27.1 "Medal of Honor Recipients: Vietnam (A–L)". United States Army Center of Military History. 24 November 2008. Retrieved 2009-04-02. 
  29. "Political opponent charged in slaying". Deseret News. 23 October 1998. Retrieved 2009-03-22. 
  30. Moehringer, J. R. (24 October 1998). "Tennessee Lawmaker Killed; Election Opponent Arrested". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-03-22. 
  31. Varga, George (31 October 2004). "Fired up and emoting on the state of politics, and more". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 2009-03-22. 
  32. Battista, Judy (1 February 2002). "Patriots' Vinatieri Has Quite a Foot and Quite a Tale". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-03-22. 
  33. "Free-agent wing Hinote signs with Blues". 3 July 2006. Retrieved 2009-01-13. 
  34. "Student Found Dead at Off-Campus Apartment". TCU Daily Skiff. 4 October 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-07. 

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.