Guide to USMA Jargon




Morning Room Inspection.  Rooms in AMI are in a high state of cleanliness.


Abbreviation for the Cadet Area. The location of cadet barracks and academic buildings.


The residence facilities where Cadets live while at West Point.


The last week of the 6-week Cadet Basic Training.

Beat the Dean

A phrase commonly used by cadets and faculty during a final exam time.


Slang for snacks, food, or candy. 

Bugle Notes

The “plebe bible.”

Butter Bar

A new second lieutenant. 

Cadet Honor Code

The pledge that all cadets live by: "A cadet will not lie, cheat, or steal, or tolerate those who do."


Upper Class cadets orienting new Cadets.

Prospective Cadet

Someone, typically high school seniors and/or juniors applying to West Point.

Candidate Kit

An online “package” of forms and instructions you need to complete your application.

Candidate Portal

A portal where current candidates can access their application files online, a password-protected site where you find your Candidate Kit.

Candidate Questionnaire

An initial candidate application which is considered "starting a file."

Candidate Statement

Three questions that the applicant (Candidate) answers in essay form as part of the application package (Candidate Kit).

CFA Candidate Fitness

Physical assessment that you must pass to be considered for admission to West Point.


 Civilian clothing.


Abbreviation for the Commandant of Cadets.


The groups of cadets that you live with.

Corps of Cadets

The population of Cadets at West Point.

Corps Squad

A member of the Corps who is on a Division I sport team.


Cadets in their 3rd year at West Point, similar to being a college junior.

Cullum Number

Reference and identification number assigned to each graduate, often referred to as the "C-number."


Directorate of Admissions or the Admissions Office.


Department of Military Instruction.


Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board which schedules the required medical exam prior to acceptance consideration at West Point.


Department of Physical Education.

First Captain

Highest ranking Firstie, also known as the Brigade Commander.


Cadets in their 4th Year at West Point, similar to being a college senior.

Full Bird

A Colonel in the US Army.

Goat Engineer Game

A football game between the "Goats" (the bottom half of the senior (Firstie) class academically), and the "Engineers" (the top half). Held just before the Army-Navy game.

Gold Book

Military book on the character program.

Green Book

Military book on the military program.

Green Girl

Slang for the issued cadet bed comforter. 

Hell Cats

Musicians who sound reveille and the calls.

The Howitzer

Annual yearbook.


Indoor Obstacle Course Test.


Judge Advocate General - the ‘law firm’ of the Army.

Letter of Assurance

Communication to an applicant (Candidate) that he or she will most likely be offered admission upon completion of their application (Candidate Kit).

The Long Gray Line

The prestigious corps of West Point graduates who represent high achievement and the promise of outstanding, ethical leadership.


How to address a female officer.


The Mess Hall is the facility where cadets eat their meals every day.


A formal recommendation from a Congressional member or other authorized official that is required for admission.



Parents Almanac

Helpful information for parents that is posted on the Candidate Portal, usually in February or March.

Parents Club

A support network for families of cadets located throughout the U.S.

Personal Data Record

A basic form that the applicant (Candidate) fills out as part of the application process (Candidate Kit).


Cadets in their 1st year at West Point, similar to being a college freshman.


Afternoon Inspection, a state less than AMI.


Someone who attends or attended the prep school.

Reception Day
or R-Day

The day that the incoming class of cadets reports to West Point, usually the last Monday in June.

Red Book

Military book on the academic program.


Saturday Morning Inspection. The most difficult level of room inspections. 


The changing of companies.


How to address a male officer.


Summer Leaders Experience, a week-long immersion experience for prospective students the summer before their senior year of high school.


A member of the Corps who is not on a Corps or Club squad team.


One who attends the Naval Academy.


Abbreviation for the Superintendent of West Point. The highest ranking officer on post. 


Abbreviation for Tactical Officer. Tactical Officers are Army officers who help run each cadet company. There are 36 cadet companies.


Term End Examination, also known as finals.

Thayer Award

Given annually by the academy since 1958, the award honors an outstanding citizen whose service and accomplishments in the national interest exemplify the academy’s motto, “Duty, Honor, Country.”

Thayer Week

A particularly busy week that entails multiple  academic , military and physical requirements.


 United States Corps of Cadets.


United States Military Academy, also synonymous with West Point.

(Prep School)

United States Military Academy Prep School.

West Point Field Force

Active duty, retired Army officers, or civilian members who help recruit future cadets.

White Book

Military book on the physical program.


Written Partial Review. A test given during a class.

Yucks or Yearlings

Cadets in their 2nd year at West Point , similar to being a college sophomore.


One who attends the Air Force Academy.