The Pointer 1979 | Grayboy


CADET is a bi-annual, self-published, independent magazine and online publication about West Point.

created by 2 USMA grads @chrisWpestel @carolinepestel


The Pointer - Grayboy

Here’s a Blast from the Past! The entire Grayboy issue of The Pointer has been scanned into a PDF file that is now available for download on The Pointer was a cadet-run satire & parody publication that ran from 1923-1998ish??? (No one really knows when it ended…at least, we have yet to hear of a definitive end date. If you know more than us…let us know in the comments)

We obviously have a soft spot in our heart for magazines about West Point and magazines in general. But DID YOU KNOW that our Co-Founder, Chris, worked for Playboy Enterprises, Inc for 2 years as a photo editor, image tech, and layout designer? It’s true look it up!

More Download instructions:

  1. From Mike’s homepage ( click on "Military" or "Books and Comics."

  2. You can go from there to the storefront to purchase the download.

  3. It will be listed in your cart at a cost of $0.00.

You will be asked for some typical “shopping cart” information, but it's not going to be leaked to the FBI or anything, and you will not be asked for credit card info unless you make a non-zero cash purchase.

Of course, you can browse around and maybe buy a military poster, a Peter Parsec comic book, or one of Mike’s sci-fi/fantasy paintings or prints.

Mike is one of the few West Point illustrators we’ve come across. So, go support him. #GripHands

Putting this magazine together was one of the most fun memories I have of my time at the Academy, especially  collaborating with the likes of Bill Fullerton, Gus Stafford, Dave Olwell, Miguel Gutierrez, Thad Buzan and Gary Cheek. Karl Van Zant was a good sport, playing our version of Hef, and Clarence Taylor handled the business end.
— Mike Conrad USMA ‘80

A special issue of The Pointer, the magazine published by cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point. In 1979, the Academy attempted to co-opt what had been traditionally an entertainment and satire magazine created by cadets for the cadets' own enjoyment, and use it as a platform for official information. The result, after two or three issues, was a steep decline in readership, many cancelled subscriptions and angry letters from cadets and graduates all over the world, which showed that such a magazine would not reach the audience for which it was intended.

In a bid to restore faith in The Pointer, the staff proposed a more even balance between satire and serious features. However, there was much ground to be regained, so to signal the return of humor to the publication, they brainstormed to come up with something big, eye-catching, and above all, fun.

At the time, Playboy was riding high among the readers of the same demographic, and was already controversial in the public mind. So a parody of that magazine was a natural. With the relatively new presence of female cadets in the Corps, this issue was sure to ignite some controversy of its own, but to ensure that the women were not totally relegated to the role of cheesecake, the pictorial section featured male cadets in fictionalized profiles that were designed to turn the idea of eye-candy on its head.

The ploy worked like a charm. Soon, subscriptions were up, the world was fun again, birds were singing and Plebes took big bites. There was even a request from Playboy to send them an issue, which was featured in that magazine's "The World of Playboy" section.