Regulations relative to the admission of cadets into military academy by B.F. Butler, Secretary of War, February 15, 1837
Congress strove for political fairness when it established regulations for admission of cadets into U.S. military academies. By basing distribution on congressional districts, Congress allowed individuals from every state to achieve careers as officers in the U.S. armed forces.
…the appointments are made from among the applicants …so as to give one Cadet to each Congressional District.
Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress
Preparing Military Leaders
In 1802, Congress created the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, to train Army officers for national defense. Congress later established additional service academies. To ensure broad representation and experience, each state and congressional district is allotted a number of entrants. Military service academies have produced many distinguished leaders, including West Point graduate Dwight D. Eisenhower, who became supreme allied commander in Europe during World War II and the 34th U.S. president.