Tom Brokaw is only the second journalist to be honored with a prestigious West Point award.
Past recipients of the Sylvanus Thayer Award include Gen. Douglas MacArthur, former President Ronald Reagan and Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.
"To be — in just a small way — in that company means a great deal," Brokaw said.
The award, named for West Point's fifth superintendent, is given to a U.S. citizen who exemplifies the ideals of the academy's motto, "Duty, Honor, Country." It has only been given to one other journalist — former CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite.
Brokaw, 66, was an NBC news anchor for more than two decades until his retirement in 2004.
He was honored partly for his contribution to the public's understanding of World War II through his books "The Greatest Generation" and "The Greatest Generation Speaks" and his work reporting from war zones.