An Executive Emerges

A few days after his return, the Army chief of staff informed MacArthur that his next post would be Superintendent of West Point. At age 39, he was one of the youngest superintendents ever appointed and was responsible for the cornerstone of the Army's officer corps.

MacArthur's mandate, effective June 12, 1919, was to “revitalize and revamp the Academy.” The art and science of warfare had been radically altered during WWI, but the staff at the academy had been steadfastly resisting changes in the curriculum. Further, the war's insatiable demand for officers resulted in lowered entrance standards and in the program being temporarily reduced to one year. Thus, the cadet corps' class system, which plays a major role in transmitting ...

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