Coleman, 2016 Class President, named First Captain

By U.S. Military Academy Media Relations

August 13th, 2015 | News, News and Features
Class of 2016 Cadet Eugene Coleman, front row middle, assumed his duties as First Captain Monday. He is the third cadet to ever hold the position of class president and first captain at the same time.  Photo by John Pellino/West Point DPTMS VI

Class of 2016 Cadet Eugene Coleman of Alexandria, Virginia, has been selected First Captain of the U.S. Military Academy’s Corps of Cadets for the 2015-16 academic year, achieving the highest position in the cadet chain of command. He assumed his duties Monday.

As first captain, Coleman, an economics and management major, is responsible for the overall performance of the approximately 4,400-member Corps of Cadets. He currently holds the position of class president.

According to official records, this is the third time a cadet has held these two positions simultaneously. John J. Pershing (USMA 1886) and Pete Dawkins (USMA 1959) were the only two others to have shared in dual roles.

Additionally, he is the fourth African-American to be named to this post. He follows in the footsteps of other notable first captains such as Douglas MacArthur, William Westmoreland and Kristin Baker.

The first captain, a senior who is also called the brigade commander, is similar to a student body president. His duties include implementing a class agenda and acting as a liaison between the Corps and the administration.

In addition, Coleman is at the top of a pyramid of cadet commanders who make up the chain-of-command for the Corps of Cadets at West Point.

Coleman graduated from Mount Vernon High School, Alexandra, Virginia, in 2012 where he held the position of class president.