West Point Response About Kosciuszko
“Without Gen. Kosciuszko’s efforts there would be no West Point,” Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen, Superintendent of the United States Military Academy writes.
Mr. Alex Storozynski
President Emeritus & Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees
The Kosciuszko Foundation
15 East 65th Street
New York, NY 10065
Dear Mr. Storozynski:
Thank you for your continued support of the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point. As Senior Commander, I want to make you aware of my position regarding the importance of our historic past to the present day teaching and instruction of the United States Corps of Cadets. The quotes attributed to Mr. Paul Ackermann, a USMA Museum Specialist, by Mr. David Levine in his article published in the January 2015 issue of Hudson Valley Magazine, do not represent the official view of the United States Military Academy.
As you are aware, the monument to Thaddeus Kosciuszko takes its place of honor upon the apron of Trophy Point and The Plain at West Point. The main portion of the monument being first proposed in 1825 by John Latrobe, and dedicated in 1828, making it one of the oldest monuments on The Plain and the oldest one to Kosciuszko in America. The Military Academy takes great pride in hosting each spring the annual Thaddeus Kosciuszko Observance and placement of a memorial wreath at the monument by the Friends of Kosciuszko at West Point.
General Kosciuszko’s work here was integral to the defense of West Point and the foundation upon which all other defenses in the valley were formulated. Without General Kosciuszko’s efforts, there would be no West Point, which would have had a dramatic effect on the American Revolution and our Nation’s history. We are extremely proud of our association with General Kosciuszko, his talented contribution to the defenses of West Point, and the lasting example his actions provide to our Cadets and Officers which we honor to this day with this statue and Kosciuszko’s Garden.
As an institution dedicated to educating, training, and inspiring the Corps of Cadets so that each graduate is a leader of character, committed to the values of Duty, Honor, Country, we appreciate an active learning environment, one willing to consider differing views and allowing for discourse which produces intelligent and educated assessment. I understand the article by David Levine in the January 2015 issue of Hudson Valley Magazine may contain a differing opinion, nevertheless, in dialogue with my staff I am assured we will continue to study the legacy of all brave officers who served at West Point and shall continue to examine history based upon fact and supportable evidence.
I thank you for continuing to carry the torch for our founding heroes and appreciate your willingness to support new research opportunities via The Kosciuszko Foundation. The Army takes seriously its stewardship of the Kosciuszko Monument and Garden for which we will continue to maintain the historic character to the greatest extent practicable and consistent with the mission at West Point.
Thank you for inquiring into this matter and for your continued support of our Cadets, Soldiers, and our civilian staff. Should you wish to discuss this matter further, please contact me.
Robert L. Caslen, Jr.
Lieutenant General, U.S. Army