Steve Browning said after the rescue early Sunday that it was "the most dangerous thing" he's ever done as a police officer.
Browning credited his crew with heroics in plucking the 20-year-old men from a rock formation.
The daring NYPD helicopter rescue in darkness and dangerous winds safely delivered the cadets from an 18-inch-wide ledge.
The U.S. Military Academy said the freshman cadets had gone rappelling on Storm King Mountain on their own. The cadets returned to class Tuesday and the academy is investigating.
The officers are being recognized Tuesday afternoon at Police Headquarters.
West Point is about 50 miles north of New York City.