WPAOG maintains a Cullum File or historical record for each graduate. Graduates are encouraged to provide information relating to their military career or professional lives for the file.
What does WPAOG include in the Cullum Files?
1—Official USMA documents.
2—Official WPAOG documents such as a DGA citation
3—Documents of moderate length received from the individual graduate or from his or her heirs
4—Newsclippings, articles, and other documents of moderate length received from third parties.
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Note: WPAOG will not place derogatory information into an individual’s Cullum File. Decisions regarding such information will be at the discretion of the VP for Alumni Support.
To whom will WPAOG release a Cullum File?
To the graduate. If the graduate is living, he or she is the release authority. Routine use of Cullum Files by WPAOG or USMA staff is permitted. If the graduate is deceased, WPAOG (VP for Alumni Support) may permit access to Cullum Files for research purposes. Research Policy. The files remain the property of West Point Association of Graduates.
The History of Cullum Files
Each graduate of the United States Military Academy is assigned a Cullum Number. In 1850, Brevet Major General George W. Cullum, 1833, began the monumental work of chronicling the biographies of every graduate. He assigned Number 1 to the first West Point graduate, Joseph G. Swift, and then numbered all successive graduates in sequence. Before his death in 1892, General Cullum completed the first three volumes of a work that eventually comprised 10 volumes, covering USMA classes from 1802 through 1950. The current Register of Graduates is a direct descendant of General Cullum’s seminal work.
From 1802 through 1977, graduates were listed by General Order of Merit. Thus, the Register provided a quick reference for those looking for class rank. Beginning with the Class of 1978, graduates were listed alphabetically, and then by date of graduation.
Currently, nine graduates have an “A” suffix after their Cullum Number. For various reasons, these graduates were omitted from the original class roster, and a suffix letter was added to avoid renumbering the entire class and subsequent classes.
Class files are maintained for each graduated Class. Any information of a general nature researched by the WPAOG staff or provided by members of the Class or any other individual or organization are placed in this file. By request, this file can become the official archives for the Class. Class secretaries and other officers are enjoined to provide copies of Class meeting minutes and other pertinent information that relates to the Class for inclusion in this file. Items of an individual nature of any member of the Class also are placed in this file along with inclusion in the graduate’s Cullum file.
Send your updates to:
West Point Association of Graduates
698 Mills Road, West Point, NY 10996-1607
call 800.232.4723, ext. 1545 or e-mail Marilee.Meyer@wpaog.org