Come Join Us!
The organizational meeting of the Hudson Valley/Connecticut Chapter was held on Sunday, 20 January 1980, at the Van Wyck Homestead Museum in Fishkill, NY. The Company members who attended this meeting agreed to form an area chapter, encompassing the Lower Hudson River Valley and Western Connecticut. It was decided to immediately apply for a charter with the parent organization and acting officers were selected.
Since this was still the period when collectors made up the bulk of Company membership, local members were encouraged to bring representative pieces from their collections for display as well as any materials they might wish to make available for sale or trade.
The first regular meeting of the Chapter took place Monday evening, 10 March 1980, at the same location. The word had spread to other local as well as prospective Company members. The group grew rapidly. So, when the West Point Museum was offered as a larger alternative meeting location, a change was quickly made. The museum was an immediate drawing card, so the name of the Chapter was changed to the West Point Chapter. An unforeseen benefit of the move was the ability to draw on larger population centers to the south, including Northern New Jersey.
During the Museum's relocation period from Thayer Hall to its present address, the Chapter met at the Rockland County (NY) Sheriff's office.
The West Point Chapter has been a tremendous success. It is currently the largest and most active chapter in the Company. It is also the oldest in continuous active service. To this, it owes much to the geographic area, which boasts a dense population to draw on. However, their base of operation, the West Point Museum, attracts members just by its reputation. The membership is continually in debt to the Museum and its staff for their help and support. It is a debt they can, obviously, never repay.
The West Point Chapter meets at 7:30 PM on the second Tuesday of each month, except for January, February, and August. The location is in the West Point Museum, just outside the Thayer Gate and behind the Visitors' Center, on Main Street, in Highland Falls, NY. Light refreshments are served. Early arrivals are allowed a bit after 7:00 PM. Attendance at these meetings is encouraged, but not a requirement to belong.
The cornerstone of almost every Chapter meeting is the speaker. It is a tradition begun early in the Chapter's existence where military researchers, archivists, collectors, archeologists, veterans, and the like from the local area, including members of the Chapter, present their subject matter to the membership. These presentations average about 45 minutes, and can be as simple as a speaker reading a paper to full blown theatrical productions with full audio and visual aids.
2016 Meeting Schedule*
M.Bennett & J.Fiorella
Show & Tell
The Battle of Pellís Point
What Happened at Hampton Roads?
Valiant Female Patriots
Battle of the Bulge
Chaining the Hudson
Sinking of the USS Indianapolis
Bannermanís Island Arsenal
Civil War Presentation Swords
From Members' Collections
* These are Tuesday dates.
2017 Meeting Schedule
Please see Latest News page.
2017 Schedule To Be Announced
View Recent Meeting Schedules
A tradition since the first regular meeting, tables are usually made available at Chapter meetings for the members to display items of militaria from their personal collections that they wish to display, sell, or trade. Members who have their own commercial enterprises involving militaria may take advantage of the free table space at the flea market as well.
Show & Tell
Usually once a year, or when there is an occasional gap in the series of speakers, the Chapter hosts a Show & Tell. It remains one of the most popular meetings on the schedule. Here, members individually may present items of interest to the Chapter's membership. These things could include original artifacts or documents, photographs, rare books, military collectibles, memorabilia, reproductions, and the like. Most presentations are usually limited to a single item, in order to let others have a chance. Members with larger amounts of material to present all at once do so as a scheduled speaker.
You may attend several chapter meetings, as a guest of a current member, before joining officially. If you do not know anyone in the Chapter, other arrangements can be made.
The oval shaped Chapter Patch, pictured at the head of this page, was designed by the Chapter's own Phil Candela after an earlier design by Chapter founder Mike McAfee. It features a northern view of the Hudson River as it snakes its way through the natural fiord of the Hudson Highlands. The famous S-curve in the river, where the Great Chain stretched between "The West Point" and Martellear's Rock (Constitution Island) during the later years of the American Revolution, can be seen near the horizon. A silhouette of the famous CMH Rifleman stands in the foreground.
The embroidered patch is available to Chapter members at a nominal cost of $3.00 each. New Chapter members may get one (and only one) for just $1.00 when they join.
Most members prefer to wear the colorful black trimmed patch sewn to the front of a black baseball/golf cap, which is also available from the Treasurer for just $6.00.
Replacing Colonel Elting
Company Fellow and former Chapter Chairman Len Pomerantz announced in 2001 a plan to recruit ten new chapter members to replace our late friend, Col. John Elting.
A career army officer, Col. Elting was a renowned author and historian. He was an original member of The Company (joining in 1950), a Fellow, a former officer and a former Governor. John was the recipient of The Company's Distinguished Service Award (1982). He was also a founding member of the Chapter.
"Frankly," says Len, "Col. Elting couldn't be replaced with 110 new members. This great military historian, author, speaker and friend will be missed by all....In tribute
to Col. Elting, let us recruit these needed ten new members."
Come Join Us at The Park
All Chapter members and their guests are welcome join an informal get together prior to each Chapter meeting. Enjoy a full meal to a snack (Dutch treat) and the fellowship of fellow members at The Park Restaurant, just across the street and a little up the block from the Museum, at 451 Main Street, in Highland Falls. The group can usually be found in the back of the restaurant. Start time is about 5:50 PM.
Applying for membership in the West Point Chapter of the Company of Military Historians is quite simple. You must first apply for membership in the national organization, if you are not already a member. (Join the Company of Military Historians) The form requires a current member of the organization to sponsor you. Like attending as a guest, our chapter will help make arrangements to find you a sponsor. Once this process is started, you must make out a personal check for $10.00 payable to "West Point Chapter, CMH" to cover your first year's chapter dues. Send the check to:
Mr. Chuck Quinn, Treasurer
West Point Chapter - CMH
62 North Airmont Rd
Suffern, NY 10901
Do you have any questions about the Chapter or the Company?
Send Juanita Leisch-Jensen an e-mail by clicking here.
(Please, no questions about the West Point Military Academy or the Museum)