“I Wasn’t Quitting”: Determination At West Point And As A Field Artillery Officer And Comptroller In The Army

Edward Todd Counts


Todd Counts came to West Point from “back in the mountains” of Southwest Virginia, close to the Tennessee state line, where his father worked a small farm and drove trucks. Todd first learned about the Military Academy indirectly, after his cousin received a letter advertising a chance to take the entrance exam. He recalls having more interest in the brand-new Air Force Academy, but admits that he really only took the test (after finding a third friend with a car to drive to the test) in order to miss a day of school. He was an alternate for the Air Force Academy, but got the primary nomination for West Point. He struggled academically as a Cadet because of his lack of exposure to many of the subjects he had to take, especially Plebe English, but survived through hard work and with assistance from classmates. He tried a wide range of sports, most of which he had never seen in a high school with only football and baseball (they did not even have a gym for basketball). As a Cadet, he enjoyed his work as a member of the Honor Committee. Throughout his active-duty career, he cycled back and forth between Field Artillery assignments and duties as an Army comptroller. He served one tour in Vietnam in 1968-69 with the 5th Battalion, 27th Field Artillery, I Field Force Artillery in the Central Highlands. He rose to the brigade command level as an Artilleryman and as the Director of Resource Management at USMA in his final assignment. He worked as a CPA after retiring from the Army. In this interview he talks about his humble beginnings, and his tenacity in conquering obstacles at West Point. He discusses many of the different assignments he had, and then concludes with some thoughts about what West Point means to him.


conflicts Vietnam War Cold War
topics Leadership Teamwork Camaraderie West Point History Life After Military USMA 1961
interviewer Rick Black
date 29 January 2022


name Edward Todd Counts
institution USMA
graduation year 1961
service Field Artillery
unit 5th Battalion, 27th Field Artillery; I Field Force; 2nd Battalion, 20th Field Artillery; 4th Div Arty; 8/8 Field Artillery; USMA; 559th Artillery Group
specialty Comptroller
service dates 1961 1993