Once a year Missouri Military Academy cadets undergo a rigorous inspection that tests the knowledge they acquired in their JROTC classes.
The Annual Formal Inspection (AFI) is an event cadets prepare for the entire school year. An inspection team led by COL Stephen Pratt arrived on campus at 8:00 Friday morning to begin the day. After a briefing with school president MajGen Robert Flanagan and Senior Army Instructor SGM Henry Suddarth, COL Pratt examined the Color Guard and Honor Guard.
The inspection team then headed to the Barnard Hall conference room for a meeting with the Battalion Staff. Each member of the Battalion Staff delivered a report to COL Pratt about what their responsibilities entail at MMA and recapped what they have done in their position throughout the school year.
COL Pratt also took a moment in the staff meeting to recognize MMA cadets for their participation in the “Welcome Home Veterans” parade in St. Louis January 28. He said he was very proud to tell those he was with that day that he knew the cadets, who led the whole parade through downtown St. Louis.
After COL Pratt’s comments to the Battalion Staff, the inspection team spread out to each of the four barracks for room inspections. The commanders and platoon leaders of the companies led an inspection team member up and down each hallway to check the condition of each room and ask the room’s occupants a few questions.
Once all rooms were inspected, the Corps of Cadets lined up in the Field House for the In Ranks Inspection. Here the inspection team examined each cadet in formation, checking to make sure uniforms and position were correct. The Battalion Staff were also under inspection by COL Pratt.
Mexico High School JROTC students were also involved in this year’s AFI. The group has spent the year under the direction of 1SG Alan Hakes, and only participated in the In Ranks Inspection. MHS Principal Dr. Terry Robinson joined Flanagan, Pratt, and MMA Academic Dean LTC Frank Giuseffi in the reviewing stand for the event.
The Battalion Review followed, where a special surprise award was presented. The MacArthur Award is given to the cadet who displays exemplary work in academics, leadership, and athletics. This year’s recipient is Battalion Commander E.J. Chung ’12. The MacArthur Foundation included a medallion, a book titled “Melbourne to Tokyo,” about General Douglas MacArthur, and a $50 check.
At noon mess, Chung announced that the inspection team’s preliminary report was positive, but would need more time to find out officially. Chung also announced that Echo Company were the winners of this year’s F.I. Review. To congratulate them on a successful day, the MMA Parents’ Committee provided cake for the Corps at lunch.
For photos from Friday’s AFI, click on this link to our Flickr page.