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Besides the integration of southern-state and black cadets, the post-war academy also struggled with the issue of hazing.
In its first 65 years, hazing was uncommon or non-existent beyond small pranks played upon the incoming freshmen, but took a harsher tone as Civil War veterans began to fill the incoming freshman classes.
The Mexican–American War brought the academy to prominence as graduates proved themselves in battle for the first time. New barracks brought better heat and gas lighting, while new ordnance and tactics training incorporated new rifle and musket technology and accommodated transportation advances created by the steam engine.
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The academy was the only engineering school in the country until the founding of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1824.
It was so successful in its engineering curriculum that it significantly influenced every American engineering school founded prior to the Civil War. Lee first distinguished themselves in battle in Mexico.
Most graduates are commissioned as second lieutenants in the Army.
Foreign cadets are commissioned into the armies of their home countries.
Other nomination sources include the President and Vice President of the United States.