Army Functional Area 47: Academy Professor, United States Military Academy

This post is about what it will take an officer to attain the position of Army Functional Area 47: Academy Professor at the United States Military Academy.

Approximately 50 miles North of New York City is the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. This military educational institution is considered the best of the best. Candidates who desire to attend this facility can either apply to the academy, or they can be nominated by a member of Congress or a Resident Commissioner.

In today’s post, we are going to delve into the professors who teach the approximate estimate of 1,300 students who enter the United States Military Academy each year.

Academic Programs

The United States Military Academy uses a system in which students must complete core instruction courses. These include:

  • Mathematics

  • Constitutional Law

  • Information Technology

  • Economics

  • Chemistry

  • International Relations

  • Physics

  • Political Science

  • Engineering

  • Foreign Language

  • History

  • English Composition

  • Geography

  • Psychology

  • Philosophy

  • and Leadership

The emphasis is on small class structure with homework issued daily. Professors are primarily used to guide, while the student is responsible for their own learning. Professors will have experience and a major in the area they will teach in.

There are approximately 600 faculty members consisting of approximately 75 percent military and 25 percent civilian personnel across academic departments. And nearly 18 percent of the USMA faculty is senior military officers.

Source: Geni

Functional Area 47 Job Description

Basic Functional Area 47 Job Description

Basically, a FA47 Academy Professor provides academic leadership. This individual will assist in formulating the curriculum, instruction methods, and setting standards required for students to graduate. Essentially, the Academy Professor will instruct candidates within their areas of academic expertise. The areas of expertise include:

  • 47A Professor This individual is a senior officer who has ample experience at the USMA. To attain this position, an officer must be recommended by the Academic board and approved by the Superintendent. At the point, they must be nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate.

  • 47C Professor of English

  • 47D Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

  • 47E Professor of Law

  • 47F Professor of Systems Engineering

  • 47G Professor of Foreign Language

  • 47H Professor of Physics

  • 47J Professor of Social Sciences

  • 47K Professor of History

  • 47L Professor of Behavioral Sciences

  • 47M Professor of Chemistry

  • 47N Professor of Mathematical Sciences

  • 47P Professor of Geography and Environmental Sciences

  • 47Q Professor and Associate Dean

  • 47R Professor of Mechanical Engineering

  • 47S Professor of Physical Education

  • 47T Professor of Leadership Development

  • 47U Professor of Military Sciences

As you can plainly see, the USMA covers a wide range of academics, and there is a need for Academic Professors in many areas.


It is wise to study the Commissioned Officer Professional Development and Career Management pamphlet 600-3. The requirements for FA47 start on page 207.

I will say that for the 47A position, it is expected the candidate has a Doctorate. For all other positions, a Masters Degree in that area is the norm.

Academy Professors are also recommended by the Academic Board and approved by the Superintendent. They then must be approved by the Director of Military Personnel Management and the Office of the Army Deputy Chief of Staff.

To attain this desirable position, a candidate must serve 12-months in an Operational Experience upon completing their first phase of the Advanced Civil Schooling assignment. An Academy Professor FA47 will not be below the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

Before Becoming an Academy Professor

In most cases, new professors will have to take a basic class on how to teach at the college level. They will then teach a core program, and during the non-class time, the FA47 will help train. There will be responsibilities that include board assignments in extra curricular activities. The FA47 is expected to provide assistance in all of these.

United States Military Academy Leadership

United States Military Academy Leadership

All Area 47 assignments are under the leadership of the USMA. They are:

  • Superintendent – Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams
  • and Command Sgt. Maj. Jack H. Love

Based off the date you are reading this article, new people may have taken the job.

Well Known Names Who Were Alumni

There are some well known people who have graduated from West Point, and some of these have been professors. Some names include:

“The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.”

~ General Dwight D. Eisenhower

Final Thoughts

Obtaining a FA47 position at the United States Military Academy is a great goal to set. It will take a lot of work and diligence, but keep in mind that many of these individuals can stay in the position past mandatory retirement.

The FA47 Academy Professor can have pride in knowing they are an integral part of educating the Army’s future leaders. Just that alone is enough inspiration to start completing all you need to in order to become a Functional Area 47 Academy Professor.

We would love to hear from any who are currently, or have held this position. We also are open to any questions or comments relating to the FA47 position. Thank you for visiting, and have a great day.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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1 thought on “Army Functional Area 47: Academy Professor, United States Military Academy”

  1. Good Morning,

    My name is MAJ Eunicia K. Cawthon. I am currently an AGR Officer and stationed in Atlanta, Ga. Before coming back into the military I was an Adjunct IT instructor under a UGA satellite campus. I would like more information on FA47. I am prepping myself for an opportunity as I am reaching my Sr level of MAJ. Can you please provide me addition information. Thank You so much!

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