On June 14, 1877 Henry Ossian Flipper graduated fiftienth in his class of seventy-six. After his graduation he accepted a commision to be a second lieutenant.
As an officer of the 10th calvary Henry Flipper helped serve at many forts. Flipper served at many forts including Fort Concho, Elliot, Quitman, and Davis.
After Flippers graduation he was assigned an appointment in Fort Sill. He became the first African-American officer to command African-American troops also known as the Buffalo Soldiers.
Also while at Fort Sill he utilized his engineering skills, and constructed roads and a system to help drain stagnant pools of water. These pools were known to spread Malaria. This project was such a success they named it after him "Flipper's Ditch".
In 1882 Flipper was accused of embezzlement after he discovered post funds missing from his room. Because of this he was found guilty and dismissed from service on June 30, 1882.
On May 3, 1940 Flipper died of a heart attack. After his death out of respect in 1976 a statue was unveiled at West Point honoring him. Every year West Point would give an award to the graduate who exemplified the highest qualities of leadership, self-descipline, and perseverance.