“40 Years Gives You A Whole Different Perspective”: Opportunities At West Point

Doug Waldrep


Doug Waldrep grew up in a military family. The son of an Army Dentist, he considered attending West Point or the Citadel, and decided that if you want to go somewhere, go to the best, so he chose the Military Academy. One of his biggest surprises at West Point was the regimentation required to efficiently move 4000 Cadets simultaneously to meals, classes, and other events. While at the Academy, he drew personal motivation from his Uncle Eddie, a World War II tank commander who lost both legs, but later became a door-to-door salesman on wooden prosthetics. At West Point, knee surgeries sidelined Doug temporarily, closing the door on many military schools and forcing him to overload physical fitness tests in his Firstie year (senior). When the Electrical Engineering cheating scandal broke, he was away on CPRC (Cadet Public Relations Council), talking with high school students. When he returned, he was shocked by the solemn atmosphere in the Corps, and noted that nobody was talking about the honor scandal. A pervasive sentiment among Cadets at the time was that, “it was only cheating if you get caught.” He was not caught up in the honor investigation, and upon graduating, he commissioned into the Field Artillery. He loved the Artillery, but decided to pursue medical school as a civilian, where he focused on Psychiatry. He was at Walter Reed when the September 11th attacks occurred, and his team mobilized immediately, providing psychiatric help to those who were at the Pentagon that day. He recalls that “they were living that direct hit… They’re preparing for war while they’re burying their own.” His team began suffering secondary effects from all the treatment they were providing, and had to treat themselves. After leaving the military, he entered private practice and heads up a department of psychiatry. He ends the interview by discussing what West Point means to him, noting that “you do the extra to do the job right.”


name Doug Waldrep
institution USMA, Medical University of South Carolina
graduation year 1977
service Field Artillery, Medical Corps
unit B / 2-36 Field Artillery
specialty Psychology
service dates 1977 2007