A Board of Visitors is appointed once a year to attend the annual examination of cadets at the Military academy. Seven persons are appointed by the President of the United States, and two United States Senators and three Representatives in Congress are designated by the presiding officers in the Senate and House of Representatives, respectively, at the session of Congress next preceding the examination.

It is the duty of this Board of Visitors to inquire into the actual state of the discipline, instruction, police administration, financial affairs, and other concerns of the academy. The visitors appointed by the President report the results of their examination to the Secretary of War, for the information of Congress at the beginning of the next session; the Congressional visitors report directly to Congress, within twenty days after its meeting, their action as visitors, with their views and recommendations concerning the academy.

These visitors receive no compensation for their services, except the payment of their expenses for board and lodging while visiting West Point, and an allowance of not more than eight cents per mile for traveling expenses, going and returning by the shortest mail routes.

Articles Of War

The statutes of the United States contain a code of laws for the government of the army, known as the " Articles of War," and to these every officer and soldier is required to yield implicit obedience or suffer the penalties therein provided. These articles number 128. They include all ranks and conditions of the army, the formation, jurisdiction and conduct of general courts-martial, field-officers' courts, regimental courts, and garrison courts. Officers can only be tried by general courts-martial. (See " Judge Advocates-General.") The other courts are composed of officers chosen by commandants in the field, in the regiment, and in the garrison for the trial of minor offenses committed by soldiers and non-commissioned officers.