Update Your Profile

Stay up to date with all West Point news and stay connected with fellow grads

Update your Register Entry

Cullum Files

historical records

Class Notes

login required, available to graduates & widows

2006 Distinguished Graduate Award

BG Howard T. Prince II '62

For more than thirty years of selfless service to the Nation, Brigadier General Howard T. Prince II has been at the forefront of leadership studies and leadership education. His groundbreaking work is a signal achievement that truly exemplifies the West Point motto, "Duty, Honor, Country."

Howard Prince´s remarkable active duty military career spanned twenty-eight years beginning in 1962 when he graduated in the top five percent of his class as a Distinguished Cadet and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant of Infantry. His initial assignment was to the 1st Airborne Battle Group, 187th Infantry, 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, NC, where he served as an infantry platoon leader, scout platoon leader, company executive officer, aide-de-camp, and staff officer in the division G3 section. His troop leading skills emerged early in 1963 when his scout platoon outperformed all other infantry scout platoons and the scout platoons of the division´s 17th Cavalry to win the Beach Trophy as best scout platoon in the division. In 1965, he was selected for the Olmsted Scholar Program and completed studies at the University of Bonn in Germany. Following those studies, he was assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam where he was twice wounded during intense combat. The first time was in October 1967, while serving as a battalion staff officer. Following his recovery from the wounds he incurred at LZ COLT, he returned to his unit where he was soon assigned to command B Company, 5th Battalion, 7th Cavalry of the First Cavalry Division. During the Tet Offensive of early 1968, his unit was heavily engaged during the fight to recapture Hue City and relieve the pressure on the Marines fighting in and around its Citadel. While leading his company in an attack against a heavily fortified enemy position that controlled the main avenue of approach into Hue, he was wounded again. These life-threatening wounds required a medical evacuation to the United States where he was hospitalized for almost a year. For his gallantry in combat, he was awarded the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and two Bronze Stars with "V" device.

During an extended convalescence after leaving the hospital, he attended the Infantry Officer Advanced Course in 1968, completed a master´s degree in International Relations at American University in 1969, and then served as an instructor and assistant professor in the Department of Foreign Languages at West Point from 1969-1971. From 1971 through 1975, he completed his doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. Once again he sought an assignment to West Point, this time in the Office of Military Leadership as the Director of the Cadet Counseling Center. In this position, he applied his Army experiences and his clinical skills to develop a solid counseling program for cadets at a time when the Academy was addressing post-Vietnam tensions and conducting a major examination of the cadet Honor System in the aftermath of a widespread cheating scandal. He was instrumental in integrating women at USMA, masterfully maintaining the Academy´s warrior ethos while valuing the contributions of both genders. A true progressive, he spoke personally and passionately to the cadets, establishing himself as a significant and enlightened leader at a critical time in the Corp´s history. Following his work in the Cadet Counseling Center, he was the obvious choice as the first Professor and Head of the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership. He oversaw the reorganization of the Office of Military Leadership into the new Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership, establishing standards of academic rigor and developing a nationally recognized center of expertise in combat leadership, leader development, stress management, engineering psychology, and small unit psychology. He also personally led the creation of the first and only graduate program at the Military Academy. The Eisenhower Program of Graduate Studies in Leader Development (now known as the Tactical Officer Education Program) provides a way for the Military Academy to prepare tactical officers for their important role in cadet leader development. As testimony to its quality, programs in leader development similar to West Point’s have been adopted by both the Naval Academy and the Air Force Academy.

After a distinguished career in uniform, General Prince retired from active Army service in 1990. His contributions to leadership development did not end with his retirement, however. At the University of Richmond, he founded the Jepson School of Leadership Studies, the first undergraduate degree-granting school in leadership, a program that has prospered and become the best civilian program of its kind. In 2001, he was chosen to be the founding Director of the Center for Ethical Leadership at the University of Texas, which became UT´s first official center to focus on leadership education, research, and public service. Once again he found himself building another leadership program, this time at one of the Nation´s largest and most highly regarded public universities. As recognition of his service to the LBJ School and the University of Texas and his potential for continued contributions to leadership education at the University of Texas, Howard Prince was appointed to the Loyd Hackler Endowed Chair in Ethical Leadership on 1 September 2005. His significant contributions to leadership development have not been limited to the Army or the school campus. Since moving to Texas in 1997, he has been the principal architect of a major leadership development program for the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), which represents over 17,000 law enforcement agencies in the United States and other countries. For several years he has conducted leadership seminars at the FBI Academy for senior law enforcement executives from the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and senior executives from the CIA.

Brigadier General Howard Prince is above all a man of character and a scholar who has contributed a "lifetime of selfless service to the Nation." His ideas about leadership development and the enduring service of his students will continue to influence the Military Academy, the Army, and the Nation throughout the 21st Century.

Accordingly, the Association of Graduates of the United States Military Academy takes great pride in presenting the 2006 Distinguished Graduate Award to Howard T. Prince II.