Anthony Tata’s graduation from high school did not launch him into the unknown. Tata’s ambitions had aimed high for some time as the son of teachers who served their communities as educators, a school board member and as a long term representative on the Virginia General Assembly law-making body. Tata himself laid his plans early on, and was accepted upon graduation into the United States Military Academy. USMA is also referred to as West Point, Army, The Academy or simply The Point. Located in West Point, New York, this four-year federal service academy has overlooked the Hudson River since cadets were first trained in artillery and engineering in what was then a garrison in 1794. West Point was constructed as a defensive garrison post in 1778 by Polish engineer and hero Tadeusz Kosciuszko. The Hudson River Chain and the high ground above a narrow S curve in the river was an excellent position for the Continental Army to stop British ships from sailing further up the river, which would have divided the Colonies. Commander Benedict Arnold of West Point committed an act of treason by trying to sell the fort to the enemy. Arnold’s treason prompted the Army to change the garrison’s name to Fort Clinton.
Anthony Tata’s alma mater, the United States Military Academy at West Point, was idle in the years after the Revolution. It wasn’t until 1801 that the newly inaugurated President Thomas Jefferson directed the establishment of plans to establish the Military Academy at West Point, appointing the first superintendent.