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

Isaac Newton "Ike" Skelton

2012 Thayer Award Recipient Citation

Since 1958, the West Point Association of Graduates has presented the SYLVANUS THAYER AWARD to an outstanding citizen of the United States whose service and accomplishments in the national interest exemplify personal devotion to ideals expressed in the West Point motto: “Duty, Honor, Country.”

In a distinguished career of public service that has spanned more than five decades, the Honorable Ike Skelton has been a superb example of that motto.

For thirty-four years, Mr. Skelton served as the U.S. Representative from Missouri’s 4th District. In Congress, he championed legislation for a strong national defense, to include high-quality professional education, joint operations among the Services, and military health reform and other initiatives supporting the welfare of our men and women in uniform. From 2007 to 2011, he served as Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.

In critical national leadership roles, Congressman Skelton demonstrated his support for doctrine and capabilities enabling the Services to fight as a joint force. Specifically, he was a leader in the legislative effort that resulted in the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986. The Act established inter-service relationships and served as a blueprint for the joint doctrine that has shaped U.S. force projection around the world. He presciently anticipated the need for a strong National Guard and successfully fought to restore funding for end strength and force structure for the Army National Guard. He also helped preserve Air National Guard fighter wing formations required for special missions.

Mr. Skelton’s actions also demonstrated his personal belief in our nation’s obligation to care for those who bear the burden of defending it. He advocated for bills supporting strong military pay, quality health care, normalization of deployment dwell times, and other quality-of-life matters for service men and women, as well as their families. Among the most striking example of such bills is the Ike Skelton National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011, which authorized robust funding for the defense of the United States and its interests abroad, for military construction, and for national security-related energy programs.

It is with great pride that the West Point Association of Graduates presents the 2012 Sylvanus Thayer Award to the Honorable Ike Skelton.

Jodie K. Glore ’69 Chairman, West Point Association of Graduates

Ike Skelton - Recipient of the 2012 Sylvanus Thayer Award