Author Archives: Erin Chambers

Commencement 2016

3_nguyenderekTHURSDAY, MAY 26:

Commencement Weekend kicked off on Thursday, May 26 with the 84th annual Wallace Fry Public Speaking Contest, which is held in honor of W. Wallace Fry, Jr. of the MMA class of 1903.

Three middle school students and four high school students vied for the top prize. The contest began with seventh grade speaker Tamar Modise whose speech was entitled, Do You Care? Homelessness in the USA. Modise was followed by eighth grader Derek Nguyen, whose speech was entitled, Society’s Codependence with the Environment.

“New technology has changed the interaction of people with the environment,” said Nguyen, who urged audience members to consider the impact that pollution and industry have on the planet. “We discovered atoms. … But at the same time, those atoms were used for nuclear warfare.”

The final middle school speaker was eighth grader Nehemiah Simmons, whose speech was entitled, The Irrelevance of the Constitution. Simmons argued that too few American citizens are aware of the inner workings of the U.S. government and the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.

6_simmons“With the prudent use of our individual votes, we … can ensure that we are a government of the people, by the people and for the people,” Simmons concluded.

The first high school speaker was sophomore Francisco Fletes whose speech was entitled, Depression: The Silent Murderer. He began his address with a hypothetical scenario, asking the audience to imagine themselves in a large crowd of people.

“Not one of them seems to notice you. You are waving your arms. You are screaming out. You are begging to be noticed. No one even bats an eye,” Fletes said. “This is how many adolescents suffering from depression really feel.”

The sophomore spoke of the teen suicide rate, which has decreased since 1986 but has recently begun to spike, and urged his fellow students to reach out to friends who seem distant or troubled.

15_fletesUp next was senior Kyle Mertens, whose speech was entitled, Rewards as a Detriment to Competition. Mertens, who argued that awards such as Employee of the Month are detrimental to worker performance and morale, competed in the speech contest for the second consecutive year.

“When one is comparing themselves to others, it’s very difficult for them to move forward,” he said. “Not everyone can win.”

Juniors Hector Villanueva (The True Cost of Contact Sports) and Michael Wetzel (The Ultimate Honor) spoke next, followed by a short intermission allowing the trio of judges to deliberate. Returning judge Lou Leonatti, J.D. of Leonatti & Baker PC was joined by Dr. Kurt Jefferson of Westminster College and Patrick Morgan, J.D. of the Missouri State Treasurer’s Office.

Simmons received The Joy McGeorge Middle School Oratory Award, which is presented to the middle school cadet whose speech is judged to be the best on the basis of charismatic and knowledgeable oratory skill.

Fletes received The W. Wallace Fry Cup for Excellence in Speaking, which is presented to the cadet whose speech is judged to be the best on the basis of delivery, content and depth of thought.

bruce -- by FosterFRIDAY, MAY 27: MS FINAL ASSEMBLY

Commencement continued on Friday, May 27 with the Company Competitive Drill. Each company completed a prescribed set of maneuvers on the drill field and were judged by JROTC and Commandant’s Office staffers. Echo Company was declared the winner for the second consecutive year.

Following the Competitive Drill, sixth to eighth grade cadets and their families gathered in the Memorial Chapel for the Middle School Final Assembly. After a short greeting by Associate Dean for the Middle School Edsel Baker, Commandant of Cadets LTC Greg Seibert took the stage to present barracks and military awards.

Best Squad Leader Award: Nehemiah Simmons

Piper Barracks Award, given to the cadet receiving the fewest checks during the school year: Michael Naughton

G. David Bailey Discipline Trophy, for the cadet with the fewest disciplinary reports for the entire year: Kevyn Bruce

AT2 Jorge Soriano ’89 next presented the Major George T. Piper Award for Outstanding Middle School Athlete to Jordan Hornick.

Up next was LTC Willis Kleinsorge, who presented Spring Family Weekend Science Fair awards, followed by the presentation of academic honors.

Academic Fourragere, Marking Period V: Dongyang Chen, Jordan Hornick, Scout Jones, Michael Naughton. Academic Fourragere, Marking Period IV: Enrique Acevedo, Dongyang Chen, Nicholas Gonzalez, Jordan Hornick, Scout Jones, Michael Naughton, Santiago Sanchez, Nehemiah Simmons. Academic Fourragere, Marking Period VI: Enrique Acevedo, Dongyang Chen, Nicolas Gonzalez, Jordan Hornick, Thomas Huckins, Scout Jones, Michael Naughton, Derek Nguyen, Santiago Sanchez, Nehemiah Simmons. (To earn Academic Fourragere, cadets must earn a 3.7 grade point average for the marking period.)

Delta Phi Honor Sociey, middle school members: Dongyang Chen, Jordan Hornick, Scout Jones, Michael Naughton, Santiago Sanchez, Nehemiah Simmons.

acevedo_simmons_gonzalezn_naughton_hornick -- by FosterScholarship Medal, given for an average GPA of 3.7 or higher during fall 2015: Dongyang Chen, Jordan Hornick, Scout Jones, Michael Naughton, Nehemiah Simmons.

Scholarship Medal, given for an average GPA of 3.7 or higher during spring 2016: Dongyang Chen, Jordan Hornick, Scout Jones, Michael Naughton.

AT2 Jorge Soriano ’89 and Baker next took the stage to present the final batch of middle school honors and conduct the eighth grade promotion ceremony. Diplomas were awarded to 23 students.

Derrill S. Kuhlman Award, for extraordinary achievement in math and science; and Highest Scholarship in the Sixth Grade: Scout Jones

Highest Scholarship in the Seventh Grade: Santiago Sanchez
Highest Scholarship in the Eighth Grade: Dongyang Chen & Michael Naughton
Richard White Improvement Plaque: Dongyang Chen
Judy A. Twells Middle School Drama Award: Alain Mestre

Faculty Plaque, awarded to an eight grade cadet who has shown the most leadership, cooperation and loyalty; and the Rotary Club Service Above Self Award, given to the cadet who, in the opinion of the faculty and staff, has been the most reliable helper during the school year: Michael Naughton

Paul Petit Award for International Relations, given to eighth grader(s) who have helped improve international relations in the middle school: Enrique Acevedo & Derek Nguyen

rodriguezc -- by FosterHal Heyman Memorial Award, for the eighth grader who, in the opinion of the faculty, possesses those characteristics that distinguish an All American Boy; and the Col. Jerome G. Harris Plaque, awarded to the most soldierly middle school cadet: Nehemiah Simmons

Petit Fellowship Cup, awarded to a cadet exhibiting the best fellowship for the year: Kevyn Bruce

Rotary “Leaders of Tomorrow” Award and $100 stipend:
Michael Naughton & Nehemiah Simmons

LT Governor Joe Maxwell Community Service Award, given to the middle schooler who contributed the highest number of community service hours: Oscar Lopez Benavides, 182.5 hours

President’s Award for Educational Excellence: Dongyang Chen, Michael Naughton & Nehemiah Simmons. (Given to eighth grade students who: earn a GPA of 3.5 or more for two or more consecutive years; and score in the 85th percentile in reading or math.)

President’s Award for Educational Achievement: Jordan Hornick


As middle school students and their families gathered in the Memorial Chapel, freshman through senior students and their families attended the High School Final Assembly. Accompanied by the MMA Band, the Corps of Cadets marched into the Centennial Gymtorium and recited the National Anthem before taking their seats

Academy President Charles McGeorge welcomed the crowd and spoke briefly about his favorite poem — Invictus — which a high school teacher shared with him during a tough time in his life.

The first batch of awards were presented by Academic Dean Dr. Frank Giuseffi.

fitzgerald_conyers_duing_lomasfreddie -- byECDavid Whitney ’54 Conservation Plaque, given for interest in and appreciation of conservation: Joseph Mulvey

Senator John C. Danforth Plaque for outstanding knowledge and appreciation of constitutional government: Maverick Jones

William F. Enright, Jr. ’37 Memorial Award for proficiency in business and computer studies: John Curley

Major William Bryan Essay Medal for excellence in writing: Alexander Seibert
Senator Thomas F. Eagleton Plaque for Excellence in Senior English: Connor Cunningham
Senator Thomas F. Eagleton Plaque for Excellence in Junior English: Sean Fitzgerald
Eugene Lamm Memorial Award for the most improved ESL student: Haozhang Li

Sylvia Mansfield Memorial Award and $200 stipend for ESL student(s) who have demonstrated great improvement in English: Yuqi Jin & Tamir Nyamdavaa

Next up was bandmaster WO2 Andrew “Freddie” Lomas with music awards.

welchjulia -- byECLTC E.R. Jackson Music Award for distinguished service to the music program: Robert Moore

COL Paul F. Cherches Memorial Award for the Most Valuable Band Member: Ethan Eisenmann

Streep Brothers Band Awards for loyalty, active participation, punctuality and good performance: sophomore Mitchell Duing, junior Sean Fitzgerald, senior Jacob Conyers

Following a performance of Like an Eagle by the Cadet Chorus, CPT Carl Estenik and SFC John Biddle took the stage to present military awards.

Master Sergeant Billy Crawford Memorial Award for Military Courtesy: Robert Van Huss
Military Policeman of the Year: Victor Armando Leon
Scottish Rite Free Mason Leadership Award: Ethan Istas
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War JROTC Award for patriotism: Sean Hannagan
Daedalian JROTC Medal: Connor Cunningham
National Sojourners Award for encouragement and demonstration of Americanism: Sean Fitzgerald
Fusilier of the Year: Carlos Liriano
Daughters of the American Revolution History Medal for essay writing: Gabriel Elizondo
Raider of the Year: Kian Moriarty
Special Forces Association Medal for an Outstanding Raider: Jason Russell

choir_shoemaker2 -- byECDaughters of the American Revolution Award for outstanding ability and achievement: Oscar Cortada

Military Order of the World Wars Award for improvement in military and academic studies: Cody Allen

Military Officers Association of America Medal recognizing exceptional potential for military leadership: Ethan Eisenmann

gasteluma -- byECVeterans of Foreign Wars JROTC Award for excellence; and ROTC Distinguished Service Award for contributions to ROTC: Alfonso Leon

U.S. Daughters of 1812 Award for academic excellence, leadership and discipline: Turbold Tumurkhuu

Guests from multiple organizations also presented military and leadership awards.

Sons of the American Revolution medal for leadership and military bearing: Ngonga Mugabo
(Presented by Sons of the American Revolution representative Albert “Buff” Chance ’71)

Military Order of Purple Heart National Leadership Medal: Orlando Farias
(Presented by SSG Ralph Skelly, WWII veteran and recipient of The Purple Heart)

U.S. Army Recruiting Command Award for an outstanding scholar-athlete: Jesus Gracia
U.S. Army Recruiting Command Award in recognition of outstanding achievement
and contributions to the JROTC program:
Miguel Gonzalez
(Presented by SGT Nathaniel Herndon, U.S. Army National Guard Recruiting representative)

American Legion Award for Scholastic Excellence, upperclassman: Russell Holman
American Legion Award for Scholastic Excellence, underclassman: Aaron Thompson
American Legion Award for Military Excellence: Enkhbilegt Luvsandorj
(Presented by LTC John Buckwalter, American Legion Zone I-Vice Commander)

The following athletic awards were presented by Athletic Director MAJ Kevin Farley.

Babe Ruth Sportsmanship Award: Alejandro Gastelum
Joe D. Bailey Award for Most Dedicated Varsity Athlete: Robert Shields
Outstanding MMA Athlete: Sean Fitzgerald

giuseffi -- byECThe following discipline and leadership awards were presented by Commandant of Cadets LTC Greg Seibert.

Class of 1968 Freshman Leadership Award: Richard Choy

Meritas Plaque for Excellence in Discipline: Victor Arturo Leon, Julien Mugabo, Nyamkhuu Chinguun, Eduardo Gonzalez, Thomas Dean, Jose Elizondo, Turbold Tumurkhuu, Mitchell Duing, Yinzhou Wang, Gabriel Vallejo.

istas_albertsen_gonzalezem_choy -- byECRichard Hall Memorial Award for an Underclassman Who Best Exemplifies the True Gentleman: Gabriel Elizondo

Residential Faculty of the Year Award, given to the mentor who has made an impact on the lives of the cadets in their company: LT Zoe Alsbury

Following a performance of Benedictus by the MMA Band, Academy President Charles McGeorge presented a number of behavioral awards.

AMSCUS Medal for integrity, scholarship, leadership and service: Oscar Cortada
Steve Walker Memorial Award for an Outstanding First-Year Cadet: Jared Violette
Jack Meyers ’39, Memorial Cup for Most Creative Cadet: Naranmandakh Ayulgui
Otto Ferguson Aviation Award is given to the first cadet in the corps to fly solo: Mauro Garza

McGeorge also recognized staffers for their years of service to the Academy.

Five years: Edsel Baker, CPT Murrell Adams, Deanna Blair, Chad Herron, Julia Welch.
Fifteen years: David Cross, MAJ Ananta Khanal.
Twenty years: Melody Daly, MAJ Peggy Reynard.
Thirty years: LTC Willis Kleinsorge.


Following the Baccalaureate ceremony in the Memorial Chapel, seniors and their families headed to the Centennial Gymtorium for the 33rd annual Senior Banquet.

One by one, each senior stepped through an arch of sabers for the final time, then descended the stage and was formally inducted into the MMA Alumni Association. Each senior’s name, college choice and photograph were projected as he crossed the stage.

conyersToasts were led by five-year cadet and Senior Class President Yunil Jeon.

“Every single lesson we have learned from this school,” Jeon said, “will help us to make the correct decisions when we are out in the real world, when we are struggling.”

Connor Cunningham then delivered the Class Chronicle, which featured photographs of each member of the Class of 2016.

moorer3“No matter how long we have known each other, we are brothers for the rest of our lives,” Cunningham said.

Alumni Association President Jeffrey R. Kays ’84 next took the podium and spoke of the “shared heritage” of every MMA graduate. According to Kays, a nine-year cadet who served as Battalion Adjutant his senior year, not becoming involved sooner in the MMA Alumni Association was a big mistake.

“If we had never met before but we somehow met in passing, say at an airport or a football game, we would immediately have a bond,” Kays said. “Even though I am 33 years older than you and we are may be from different continents, we would immediately know something about each other because we shared some of the same experiences.”

carter1The following awards were presented during the Senior Banquet.

Richard Cooper ’82 Plaque for the senior with the longest unbroken tenure as a cadet: David Lazcano, 5 years

American Veterans Medal for Military Excellence: Russell Holman

American Veterans Medal for Leadership: Thomas Dean. (Presented by American Veterans of Missouri representative SGT Carol Thompson and CPT Carl Estenik.)

Alumni Plaque for the Senior Voted Most Likely to Succeed: Matheus Alexandre
William S. Lowe Trophy: Eduardo Gonzalez
COL Jerome G. Harris Cup for Soldierly Qualities: Rene Padilla

IMG_1741COL Veon McConnell Korean Trophy for a cadet officer who performs his duty with diligence: Alfonso Leon

Dr. Gregory “Doc” McDonald Award, given to the cadet who demonstrates the MMA Honor Code and values: Damdinbazar Sumiyabazar

Class of 1984 Unhearalded Leader Award, given to a senior cadet who is not an officer, but is respected by his classmates and is considered an instrumental part of pulling the class together: William Carter

The banquet concluded with the singing of Old MMA led by Cadet Chorus member Eduardo Gonzalez and a benediction led by Class Vice President Jose Estrada.


Senior students gathered on the parade field for the final time on the morning of May 28. During this special Battalion Review, Battalion Commander for the 2015-16 school year Mohammad Emran Babak ’16 presented incoming BC cadet Gregory Prinster ’17 with the Davison Saber. As the ceremony ended, cadets seniors marched toward the Centennial Gymtorium with their families following suit.

24_group_tumurkhuu_dean_leona_leea_snyder_byECThe 2016 Commencement ceremony began as faculty members and seniors performed their traditional march into the Centennial Gymtorium to the tune of Marche Militaire. Leading the procession was LTC Willis Kleinsorge with the Class of 2015 Mace. After the posting of the colors and the Pledge of Allegiance, Academy President Charles McGeorge took the stage to welcome attendees.

The following awards were presented by Associate Dean for the Middle School Edsel Baker and Academic Dean Dr. Frank Giuseffi.

Stribling Cup for Highest Efficiency in the Middle School: Nehemiah Simmons
Sen. Christopher S. Bond Award for Outstanding Middle School Underclassman: Nicolas Gonzalez
Plaque for Highest Scholarship in the Freshman Class: Angel Alcaraz
Plaque for Highest Scholarship in the Sophomore Class: Gabriel Vallejo
Plaque for Highest Scholarship in the Junior Class: Gregory Prinster

babak2Following performances of You Raise me Up and the Battle Hymn of the Republic by the Cadet Chorus, McGeorge took the stage to present two staff awards.

Abbott-Albright Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, awarded to the outstanding teacher for the academic year: Cheryl Morris

Heimos Trophy for a faculty or staff member voted by fellow faculty members to have done the most for the boys during the year: MAJ Mike Pemberton

gonzaleze_ayulguiSalutatorian and Class President Yunil Jeon next presented McGeorge with a $1,550 check from the senior class, which will purchase a Marine Corps bench for the memorial wall.

Up next were the discipline and highly-coveted company competition awards, which were presented by McGeorge.

Robert H. Weaver Memorial Award:
Dr. Russell Holman & Mrs. Laura Holman
(Given to those who best exemplify unconditional effort on behalf of the Academy and Corps of Cadets; work towards the goals established by the Parents & Alumni Committee; and display unceasing drive and commitment throughout the year to better life at the Academy.)

Fritsch Plaque and stipend for the eleventh grade cadet who exemplifies honor, good discipline, academic excellence and service: Alejandro Gastelum

holmanDorsey Anderson Class of 1895 Cup for the Cadet Exerting the Most Gentlemanly Example: Russell Holman

Red Ireland ’41 Trophy for a Fighting Heart, for the cadet who displays loyalty and courage: Donald Williams

Mustang Scholars Foundation Plaque, awarded to the cadet who promotes multiculturalism in the Corps: Matheus Alexandre

M-Club Award, Highest Disciplinary Standing & Highest Scholastic Standing: Band Company
Highest Athletic Standing & Highest Military Standing: Bravo Company
Company Spirit Award: Delta Company
Honor Company: Charlie Company

Don Hooton Class of 1919 Fellowship Cup, awarded to the cadet voted by the Corps to be the Senior Most Valuable to the Institution: Enkhbilegt Luvsandorj

Outstanding Performance by a Company Commander Plaque: Eduardo Gonzalez
Charles I. “Stony” Wall Class of 1922 Cup: Eduardo Gonzalez
neimeyer(The second-highest leadership award given to an MMA cadet. Awarded to a cadet who displays the traits of character, leadership, scholarship and service upon which the Academy was founded.)

Cadets Charles Eckardt and Emran Babak next took the stage to receive their Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Medals, which were the first gold awards presented in the state of Missouri. For more information about their Adventurous Journey, click here. Babak next received the Legion of Honor, the highest award which can be given to an MMA cadet, which is awarded to an outstanding cadet who demonstrates industry, integrity, leadership and loyalty to MMA.

After receiving the Dr. James C. Olson Award for the Highest Scholarship in the Class of 2016, valedictorian Nishan Khanal took the stage to present his remarks. He was followed by commencement speaker Dr. Charles P. Neimeyer, Director of Marine Corps History and the Gray Research Center at Marine Corps University.

After a performance of The 1812 Overture by the MMA Band, seniors received their diplomas and walked across the stage, pausing to pose for a photographs. The ceremony concluded with the singing of Old MMA and the retiring of the colors.


The 127th Corps of Cadets marched from the Gymtorium to the front lawn, forming up for the final moments of their time as cadets at MMA. Family members and friends crowded the roped-off grass, snapping photos as seniors marched to the edge of Teardrop Lake. Upon command by Battalion Commander Emran Babak ’16, graduating seniors plunged their sabers into the grass, placed their hats upon their hilts, and saluted as the sound of Taps (led by bugler Mitchell Duing) echoed across the silent grounds.

As the final note faded, emotional seniors embraced one another for several minutes, tearfully hugging their brothers. The crowd of family members, faculty and friends soon flooded the grounds. A period of tearful goodbyes and hugs followed, as those with early flights home broke off and departed campus.

2016-17 Designations

group_fletes_elizondog_oldokhbayar_shields_gsateluma_prinsterg_zhangz_villanueva2016-17 DESIGNATIONS

The following designations and promotions for the 2016-17 school year were announced May 20 via Special Orders No. 61 and 62.

Battalion Commander
First Lieutenant Gregory Prinster

Battalion Sergeant Major
Sergeant Major Gabriel Elizondo

Battalion Executive Officer
Second Lieutenant Alejandro Gastelum

IMG_4638_henio_fletes_bestBravo Company Commander
Staff Sergeant Hector Villanueva

Charlie Company Commander
Staff Sergeant Bayar-Erdene Oldokhbayar

Delta Company Commander
Staff Sergeant Zenghui Zhang

Band Company Commander
Staff Sergeant Robert Shields

Drum Major
Sergeant Francisco Fletes


The final all-school assembly of the 2015-16 school year was held May 19 in the Memorial Chapel.

Emran Babak received the Douglas MacArthur Medal for displaying “exceptionally meritorious leadership and demonstrated duty performance as the Battalion Commander.”

Having successfully piloted a solo flight, Mauro Garza received his wings from Academy President Charles McGeorge.

Styles Fountain received the McDonough Trophy and John Curley received the Elmer E. Bohm ’13 Memorial Award, which is given “to the graduating athlete who as attained the highest scholastic average during his senior year.”

Delta Phi Honor Society and Future Business Leaders of America state competitors were recognized for their performance April 25 at the Future Business Leaders of America State Leadership Conference in Springfield, MO. Afterward, sophomore FBLA competitor Francisco Fletes presented the speech which won him second place in the Public Speaking I category.

Teacher of the Month Awards were presented to LT Sean Peters and CPT Steven Manning; Student of the Month Awards were given to Derek Nguyen and Garrett Stafford

SFC John Biddle and 1SG Randal Jacobson received the Presidential Gold Star for their leadership during the Formal Inspection process. Several sports awards were also presented to members of the lacrosse and tennis teams.

Most Improved Tennis Player: Robert Shields
Ming-Lee Lowe ‘88 Award for Most Valuable Tennis Player: Alejandro Gastelum

Junior Varsity Tennis Lettermen
Gerardo Calanda
Christian Foster
Jonathan James
Tyler Jansing
Ricardo Maceda

byFoster2Varsity Tennis Lettermen
Angel Alcaraz
Alejandro Gastelum
Ethan Istas
Brennan Morand (Team Captain)
Joseph Mulvey
Robert Shields

Lacrosse Awards
Most Valuable Player: Cody Allen
Offensive Player of the Year: Sean Fitzgerald
Defensive Player of the Year: Emiliano Gonzalez
Best Middle School Player: Nehemiah Simmons
Colonel Award: Griffin Gilman

Snider and Cha named 2016 Duke of York Fellows

SNIDERBIn early May, the 2016 Duke of York Fellows were announced: sophomore Edward Cha of Busan, South Korea, and junior Benjamin Snider-Bilbrey of Corona Del Mar, California.

Each school year, MMA cadets have the opportunity to apply to the Dukeo of York Royal Military School Fellows program and represent MMA at the Duke of York’s Royal Military School in Dover, Kent, England for a semester.

CHASnider-Bilbrey is the Echo first floor platoon sergeant, an MMA ambassador, a member of the MMA Delta Phi honor society, a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award winner, a member of the chess club and captain of the lacrosse team. Cha is a recipient of the Soldier’s bar, an assistant platoon sergeant and a member of the MMA soccer and wrestling teams.

For more about the 2015 fellows, click here.
For more about the 2014 fellows, click here.

DSCN8045_sniderbWhat inspired you to apply?

I thought the program was something very different than most other study abroad programs and the more I looked into the DoY school, the more I wanted to go there. SNIDER

My aspirations to join the armed forces or hopefully get into a service academy. CHA

What was the selection process like?

chaWe all had to meet certain requirements to even be eligible, and if we met those requirements we submitted a resume and an essay about why we wanted to go and why we should be selected. After those were in, we had to interview with many of the faculty here at MMA and they decided who the best candidates were. SNIDER

The selection process was tough. You can’t even apply if you do not have a GPA above a 3.25. But it didn’t end there. The board then interviewed me based on my essay about why I should be selected. CHA

IMG_0876_chaHow do you feel now that you have been selected?
What are you most looking forward to?

I was very exited when I found out I was selected and I am really just looking forward to it all. SNIDER

Now that I have been selected, I am most excited to experience and overcome the adversity that I will face given their rigorous courses. CHA

What do you hope to learn and experience on this trip?

I really just want to be open-minded on this trip and absorb as much as I can while I am there. SNIDER

I hope to learn how to lead proficiently and gain more knowledge about the military. CHA

Cadets earn JROTC Honor Unit with Distinction at 2016 Formal Inspection

IMG_3095On May 10, 2016, cadets assembled in the Chapel to receive the news they’ve nervously anticipated all year: Did they pass the JROTC Formal Inspection, known to all as “FI?” Did they retain MMA’s status as an Honor Unit with Distinction? Will the 128th Corps be allowed to wear the Gold Star?

The answer, presented by MMA Senior Army Instructor CPT Carl Estenik, was YES. The Corps responded with cheers to the news, echoed again when President McGeorge and Dean of Academics Dr. Frank Giuseffi offered a sleep-in the next day.

The reward came after a long process of preparation on the part of the JROTC faculty, cadet service learning project leaders, the battalion staff and the rest of the Corps. In addition to the typical inspection items such as barracks inspections, in ranks inspections and drill inspection, several new reports were required.

DSCN8156_shieldsRepresentatives from each LET level presented summaries of their service learning projects and fielded questions from inspectors. The projects included cleanup of the local performing arts center, Presser Hall, park cleanup and flood plain restoration, a tree planting project and support for a local organization that provides materials to foster children. The projects were planned by each LET group and executed on April 12.

The Battalion Commander Emran Babak, Battalion Command Sergeant Major Oscar Cortada and Battalion Executive Officer Jesus Gracia then presented the Continuous Improvement Project, which is a yearlong program required for reaccreditation by JROTC. The group had tackled updates to the inspection manual, since confusion and discrepancies made it difficult to communicate standards across the Corps of Cadets, resulting in unequal checks among the companies.

DSCN8118_alcarazThe cadets performed extremely well in all aspects of the evaluation, receiving high praise from the inspecting team during the outbrief conducted by the inspecting team.

All presentations and projects had to fulfill requirements based on rubrics set forth by JROTC. FI preparation began at the start of the academic year. Cadets and faculty met several times prior to the actual inspection to rehearse presentations, polish portfolios and practice questions and answers.

The new, more rigorous review is part of the JROTC Program for Accreditation, or JPA. Drill, color guard and barracks inspections compose a small part of the total score. The majority of the eligible score is derived from evaluation of instructor portfolios, the Continuous Improvement Project and the Service Learning projects.

IMG_3122_silvaAccording to President McGeorge, the new, more rigorous process is resulting in fewer schools with Honor Unit designations.

“This honor is the culmination of hard work by the entire school over the last 36 months and 12 months in particular.  The accreditation process by JROTC is now every three years, and this year they introduced a completely new and more rigorous format, greatly reducing the number of schools with this designation,” he said.

MMA to host free Jazz on the Lake concert May 21


MMA is proud to present Jazz on the Lake, a free concert on Saturday, May 21 at 6:00 p.m. at Teardrop Lake. In the event of rain, the concert will be moved to the MMA Gymtorium. Guests are welcome and are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets.

saxFeatured ensembles will include the MMA Big Band and the MMA Faculty Jazz Quartet. The concert will also feature Rob McGrath, a UK saxophonist and educator, and MMA Bandmaster WO2 Andrew “Freddie” Lomas of the Royal Marines Band.

Food and beverages will be available for purchase, and private tables of eight will be available for $20. To reserve a table, please contact


McGrath began playing the clarinet and saxophone at school in Kingston upon Hull, UK where he became a member of the Hull Youth Orchestra and Hull Youth Jazz Orchestra.

McGrath4aWhen he left school, he joined HM Royal Marines Band Service as a solo clarinetist, and spent three years at the Royal Marines School of Music, Deal. There he was awarded the Clarinet Cup, Woodwind player of the Year, and the coveted Cassell Prize Silver Medal. After 6 years adult service, McGrath left the Royal Marines and went on to study at Middlesex University, London. While at Middlsex he was taught by UK educators, including Nikki Iles and Pete Churchill.

McGrath has played and continues to play professionally with many different ensembles including Pave Jazz Jam, Joe Loss Orchestra, Ariya Astrobeat Arkestra, Moonlight Serenade Orchestra, Memphis Belle Orchestra, Empress Orchestra and many others.

SPORTS BRIEFS: Tennis & Lacrosse


MMA defeated Columbia Independent School 5-3 on May 9 in the second round of the Class 1, District 7 Team District Tournament.

In singles play, Alejandro Gastelum won 6-4, 6-3; Robert Shields won 6-0, 6-1; and Ethan Istas won 6-0, 6-2. In doubles play, Gastelum and Shields won 8-5; Istas and Angel Alcaraz won 8-0.

“It was great to win the first round of the Team District Tournament,” MAJ Mike Pemberton said. “I thought we hit the ball well and played pretty good tennis.”

The Colonels fell 0-5 to Kirksville High School on May 10 in the second round of the Class 1, District 7 Team District Tournament.

“We lost to the best team in our district,” Pemberton said. “I was proud of our team’s effort against Kirksville. The cadets came out and battled for every point.”

Cadets closed out their season May 14 at the Class 1, District 7 Individual Tennis Tournament.

Alejandro Gastelum defeated his Mexico HS opponent 7 – 6, 1 – 6, 10 – 4 (tiebreak) in the quarterfinal match. Gastelum next defeated his Moberly High School opponent 8-6 to earn the third place medal.

In doubles play, Brennan Morand and Joseph Mulvey defeated their Kirksville opponents (6 – 3, 3 – 6, 10 – 8); Robert Shields and Ethan Istas defeated their Columbia Independent opponents (6 – 4, 6 – 2).

“It was a cold and windy day to play tennis. In singles, Alejandro Gastelum did a fantastic job and had a great tournament. After losing to the number one player from Kirksville High School, Alejandro bounced back and won the third-place match,” Pemberton said. “Overall, I was proud of our effort, hustle, and good sportsmanship.”


IMG_9934_bestThe Colonels fell 2-12 versus Whitfield School on May 6 and were defeated 2-4 by St. Mary’s on May 7.

“The team stepped up and responded to the challenge this weekend and showed a lot of guts and determination,” coach LT Kevin Bissmeyer said.

According to Bissmeyer, both games saw the Colonels short-handed and relying on middle school players.

In their first match, Whitfield took an early 0-5 lead. Notable contributors included Cody Allen, who went 7-13 on faceoffs with one goal, 10 ground balls and two takeaways; and Emiliano Gonzalez with six ground balls, one interception and three takeaways. Sky Thunderchild started his first match as goalie.

“The Colonels did they best they could but were not able to mount a comeback against what was a very good team,” Bissmeyer said. “Player of the Game honors go to Otto Albertsen, who scored his first career goal to go along with 5 ground balls.”

According to Bissmeyer, cadets “started out strong” against the St. Mary’s Dragons and IMG_1504_bestscored the first two goals of the game, boasting their first halftime lead of the year. In the third quarter, the MMA defense faltered and allowed several goals. The match was called early due to lightning.

Leading scorer Allen won five of six faceoffs and finished with two goals, six shots and 11 ground balls.

“Unfortunately, a few plays is all it takes to swing a game one way or the other,” Bissmeyer said. “Henio had a fantastic game between the pipes, saving five shots while only allowing four goals.”

On May 12, in their fifth and final game of the inaugural lacrosse season, the Colonels fell 4-16 to Whitfield.

“MMA played their best and delivered the hardest hitting game of the season,” Bissmeyer said.

According to Bissmeyer, Fitzgerald and Allen played a “fantastic game,” combining for three goals, three assists and 23 ground balls. Albertsen added eight ground balls and a take away while Liriano led the defense with four ground balls and two take aways.

“It was a great season for the boys. The record obviously doesn’t show the amount of work we put in and the amount the boys improved. To go from never having seen a lacrosse stick before, to being able to hang with teams that have been playing the game for years, shows a great deal of commitment from the boys,” Bissmeyer said. “I am incredibly proud of the effort from the team and look forward to seeing them develop as lacrosse players over the next few years.”

Middle schoolers set sail across Teardrop Lake in cardboard boat

On May 4, with plastic-wrapped paddles fashioned from lacrosse sticks, five students and history instructor LT Kevin Bissmeyer set sail across Teardrop Lake in a cardboard boat.

Cadets who braved the maiden voyage were seventh grader Robert Abbott and eighth graders Kevyn Bruce, Jordan Hornick, Isaac Gastelum and Nehemiah Simmons.

painting“The boys designed and built the boat themselves, with a little help from myself and Coach Bissmeyer,” CPT John Noel said. “We used over 600 yards of Duct Tape, three gallons of Elmer’s glue and over 150 pounds of cardboard.”

According to Noel, the project was devised to simulate the famous crossing of the Delaware River by George Washington. The attack, which was depicted in a well-known painting by Emanuel Leutze, IMG_20160428_215108_123surprised the Hessian and British forces in 1776 during the Revolutionary War.

“Named The Christmas Nightmare after the events of the Battle of Trenton, which occurred on Christmas, this cardboard beauty was constructed sporadically over a two month period by the 8th grade social studies classes of CPT Noel and myself,” Bissmeyer said.

Cadets originally intended to participate in the Float for the Food Bank race April 30 but
were unable to attend due to inclement weather.
28_best_bissmeyer_hornick_simmons_gastelum_abbottThe boat sailed for 6 minutes and 27 seconds before it was dragged ashore by “deck hand” Guido Arredondo ’20. The vessel teetered a few times during the voyage, but no passengers fell into the water.

“I didn’t know cardboard could float,” onlooker freshman Sergio Contreras said. “It was fantastic how it could actually float.”


Building the boat was hard and took time and patience — waiting for the glue to dry and cutting everything out and putting Duct Tape on. Kevyn Bruce ’20

The hardest part was when we first started, because we didn’t have an idea of what should we do. Enrique Acevedo ’20

Building the skeleton of the boat. We had to make sure it was super stable. Jordan Hornick ’20

group_hornick_simmons_gastelumi_abbott_bissmeyer_bruce_arredondoDID YOU EXPECT THE BOAT TO SINK?

I thought it would sink. Michael Naughton ’20

After I saw the boat was complete, it looked sturdy and huge so I knew the boat would float. Kevyn Bruce ’20

I expected it to float, but only for a short bit of time. Jordan Hornick ’20

Yes, because was cardboard and there were a lot of people in the boat. Enrique Acevedo ’20


8I was proud of … the boat and it was a success. Kevyn Bruce ’20

Surprised. I didn’t think we would’ve made it that far. Jordan Hornick ’20

I felt great because the boat didn’t sink and it was worth it. Enrique Acevedo ’20

For video of the boat launch, click here.


NEWS BRIEFS: Academic Fourragere, Promotions & Soldier’s Bar


Having displayed outstanding academic achievement during the fifth marking period, the following 48 students received Academic Fourragere via Special Order No. 55.

Sixth Grade: Scout Jones. Eighth Grade: Dongyang Chen,
Jordan Hornick, Michael Naughton.

Freshmen: Angel Alcaraz, Nyamkhuu Chinguun, Samuel Guo, Alexander Hamm.

IMG_9196_baker_liuQYSophomores: Juan Cepeda, Edward Cha, Mitchell Duing, Jose Elizondo, Eric Juarez, YiJun Li, Qiyu Liu, Joseph Mulvey, Gabriel Perez, Alexander Seibert, Gabriel Vallejo, Yinzhou Wang, Sizheng Zhang.

Juniors: Sugar Dashdavaa, Gabriel Elizondo, Ngonga Mugabo, Bayar-Erdene Oldokhbayar, Photsavat Pongsuea, Gregory Prinster, Benjamin Snider-Bilbrey, Aaron Thompson, Hector Villanueva, Michael Wetzel, Zenghui Zhang.

Seniors: Matheus Alexandre, Fahad Aliev, Mohammad Babak, John Curley, Ethan Eisenmann, Jose Estrada, Sean Hannagan, Russell Holman, Yunil Jeon, Maverick Jones, Nishan Khanal, James Lane, Brennan Morand, Damdinbazar Sumiyabazar, Turbold Tumurkhuu, Jared Violette.


Upon the recommendation of the Promotion Board, the following appointments were authorized on April 28 via Special Order No. 54.

Lieutenant Colonel: Mohammad Babak.

9.28.15_FBLA_aliev_reynard_estradaJ_byECMajor: Eduardo Gonzalez, Jesus Gracia,
David Lazcano, Enkhbilegt Luvsandorj, Turbold Tumurkhuu.

Captain:  Fahad Aliev, Thomas Dean, Orlando Farias, Mauro Garza, Russell Holman, Damdinbazar Sumiyabazar.

First Lieutenant:  Purevsuren Bayanbaatar, John Curley, Ethan Eisenmann, Rodrigo Garza Navarro, Miguel Gonzalez, Sean Hannagan, Chinguun Khatigin, Robert Moore, Brennan Morand, Temuulen Nerguibaatar, Christian Paz, Jon Snyder.

Master Sergeant:  Matheus Alexandre, Bilguun Byambatsogt.

IMG_1177_vanhussStaff Sergeant:  Nishan Khanal.

Sergeant: Edward Cha, Clayton Ebert, Sean Fitzgerald,
Photosavat Pongsuea.

Corporal: Nelson Aguilera, Arnoldo Aguirre, Raul Correa,
Gabriel Elizondo, Haozhang Li, Paul Murphy, Alexander Seibert, Robert Van Huss.

Private First Class:  Enrique Acevedo, Christian Ashton, Yednekachew Atkins, Emilio Camou, Edward Cha, Caleb Cloyde, Mitchell Duing, Jose Elizondo, Styles Fountain, Samuel Guo, Thomas Huckins, Hernan Huerta, Yuqi Jin, Eric Juarez, Joseph Kaplan, Ashton Knipfer, Yasheng Lou, Rodrigo Maceda, Jacob McMahon, Jack Mitchell, Derek Nguyen, Gabriel Perez, Ulysses Suarez, Zihan Zhu.

khanal4Private Second Class:  Wyatt Brewer,
Elian Harants, Justin Haupt, Liam VanHoesen, Noah Webster, Hank Williams.

Private:  Nathan Nolan.


Having displayed outstanding military courtesy, bearing, neatness and attitude, the following cadets have been awarded the Soldier’s Bar via Special Order No. 53.

Arnoldo Aguirre, Edward Cha, Hector Chapa, Nyamkhuu Chinguun, Jose Elizondo, Ngonga Mugabo, Tamir Nyamdavaa, Hector Villanueva, Michael Wetzel.


Spring Community Service Day: April 12

mertens_jonesm_courtReynardPOn April 12, cadets were divided up by LET classes and visited four locations in mid-Missouri to help the community.

Ninety LET I students visited a soup kitchen in Columbia while 15 seniors in LET IV volunteered with the Angel Wings program.

“Angel Wings is a non-profit organization that gives away free clothing and toys to foster kids who do not have anything,” senior Jon Snyder said.

Snyder and several of his fellow LET IV classmates sorted and packaged hygiene items including shampoo, conditioner, soap, floss, toothpaste, toothbrushes, lotion and loofahs.

Other LET IV students spent their day at the Angel Wings store helping box up winter inventory and sort and hang summer clothing.

All too often, children in foster care are subjected to constant home changes until they either grow too old for the system or are adopted by a family. These constant moves typically leave these kids with little to no clothes. To make it easier on the children and foster parents, Angel Wings provides a large selection of free clothes for all seasons. Robert Moore ’16

westcott1Sixty LET II students traveled to Mexico’s Presser Hall Performing Arts Center. Some helped move materials from past productions, such as a large stained glass backdrop, to storage. Others painted walls; moved furniture; mopped and swept the floors; cleaned and vacuumed theater seats; built a fake flower decoration for the local Steel Magnolias production; and helped pull weeds from the lawn.

Across town, thirty LET III students cleaned up trash and planted approximately 450 redbud and sumac trees at the A. P. Green Estates.

12_babak_mejia_gracia_padillarene_gonzalezm_fariaso_leona“During this project, I learned that a single tree can provide seven people with oxygen for a whole lifetime,” senior Jesus Gracia said. “Planting 500 trees will benefit many people.”
According to junior Aaron Thompson, the trees will help combat soil erosion caused by a nearby creek.

“I learned how to plant a tree, which isn’t as simple as digging a hole and putting a tree in,” Gregory Prinster ’17 said. “We had to work together in order to carry the equipment and to plant the seedlings in the most efficient way.”


While his fellow cadets traveled to Columbia and Mexico on April 12 for Community Service Day, cadet Charles Norman departed for the state capitol in Jefferson City on his own journey — the Sophomore Pilgrimage.

Norman, a St. Louis native, attended the 82nd annual General Federation of Women’s Clubs of Missouri Sophomore Pilgrimage, which takes place on the second Tuesday in April. The program, which included approximately 300 students in its 2016 event, was created in 1934 to promote good citizenship and enable students to see state government in action.

This is not Norman’s first time at the state capitol. “I’ve been to Youth in Government multiple times now, where we spend a weekend at the capitol and learn about Parliamentary Procedure,” Norman said. “I am very interested in anything involving the state government.”

Norman is a member of the varsity wrestling and football teams, a trumpeter in the MMA Band, the sophomore class vice president and a member of the Boy Scouts of America.

Marine Corps University’s Dr. Charles Neimeyer to speak at 2016 Commencement

Missouri Military Academy’s 2016 Commencement ceremony on May 28 will feature keynote speaker Dr. Charles P. Neimeyer, Director of Marine Corps History and the Gray Research Center at Marine Corps University.


Director PhotoDr. Charles Neimeyer is the Director of Marine Corps History and the Gray Research Center at Marine Corps University in Quantico, Virginia. Dr. Neimeyer has previously served as Vice President of Academic Affairs at Valley Forge Military Academy and College. Prior to serving as Dean of Academics at the Naval War College, he was a full time professor of National Security Affairs from
1997-2002. He also previously served as a history professor at the U.S. Naval Academy and
the University of Central Oklahoma, where
he was named Liberal Arts “Outstanding Professor of the Year.”

During his 20-year career as a military officer, Dr. Neimeyer served in a variety of posts and stations in the Marine Corps, including tours in all three active Marine Divisions and service at the White House. While on active duty, he earned a Masters Degree and Ph.D. in History (with distinction) from Georgetown University. He also earned a Masters Degree from the Naval War College, where he graduated with highest honors. He retired from the Marines in 1996 as a Lieutenant Colonel and is married to Janet [Bell] Neimeyer of Glen Echo, Maryland.

Dr. Neimeyer has authored a variety of history and national security affairs articles. He has also authored the monographs America Goes to War: A Social History of the Continental Army, 1775 – 1783The Revolutionary War; and War in the Chesapeake: The British Campaigns to Control the Bay, 1813-1814. Dr. Neimeyer recently edited a volume titled On the Corps: USMC Wisdom from the pages of Leatherneck, Marine Corps Gazette and Proceedings.



Help Support the Senior Class Gift: U.S. Marines Bench

IMG_9424Missouri Military Academy’s Memorial Wall features the names of MMA community members who have died serving their country. Nearby benches honor three of the four service academies — the U.S. Army, the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Air Force.

But not the U.S. Marines.

“When LET classes go down to the field house, seniors usually sit on the service benches and wait until we start moving,” senior class president Yunil Jeon said. “One day I figured out that we are missing: a U.S Marines bench. At that moment I figured that we, the senior class, should get one for the school!”

IMG_9430The 2016 Senior Class Gift was thus chosen. The Class of 2016 has thus far raised several hundred dollars by selling raffle tickets April 16 at the Festival of the Arts and hosting a pancake breakfast fundraiser that morning.

They still have a ways to go, however!
To help support our seniors and Marines, click here.

Missouri Military Academy’s 2016 Spring Family Weekend

4.16.16_nguyenderek_rodriguezc_courtLTCKOn April 16 and 17, cadets and their loved ones gathered for the annual Spring Family Weekend honoring mothers and grandmothers.


Spring Family Weekend began with the annual Mothers Tea at  10 a.m. Mothers, grandmothers and sisters donned festive hats and enjoyed tea, snacks and a presentation from Academy President Charles McGeorge. While the ladies gathered in the atrium, fathers and other guests perused the middle school science fair display in the second floor hallway.

First Place Overall & Eighth Grade First Place
Derek Nguyen & Carlos Rodriguez, Measuring Lung Capacity

Second Place Overall & Eighth Grade Second Place, TIE
Dongyang Chen, Dissolution of Sugar Cubes
Kevyn Bruce & Thomas Huckins, Producing Hydrogen

Eighth Grade
Third Place: Enrique Acevedo & Ethan Ford, The Big Black Worm
Fourth Place: Elian Harants & Isaac Perales, Elephant Toothpaste
Honorable Mention: Martin Farias & Joseph Kaplan, The Future of Transportation

Seventh Grade
First Place: Nicolas Gonzalez & Santiago Sanchez, Thermal Conductivity
Honorable Mention: Tamar Modise, The Big Bubble

Sixth Grade
First Place: Scout Jones, Electrolysis
Honorable Mention: Alexander Sheldon, Super Absorbent Polymer

IMG_9223_sheldon_blaue_robley_quinnFollowing the Mothers’ Tea, the Corps and their families gathered on the front lawn for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award presentation. Cadets marched down the circle drive and received their medals from Academy President Charles McGeorge.

Silver Medals
Yunil Jeon
Russell Holman

Bronze Medals
Nyamkhuu Chinguun
Sugar Dashdavaa
Davaasuren Dashdavaa
Hector Villanueva
Ramon Rodriguez
Oybek Kirkland
Alexander Seibert
Benjamin Snider-Bilbrey
Weitao Cong
Robert Shields
Alejandro Gastelum


The festivities continued Saturday evening with the annual Festival of the Arts, which featured songs by the High School Band, Jazz Band, Rock Band and Cadet Chorus. Performances were punctuated by the presentation of journalism, band, choir and art awards.

IMG_9106_TOUCHETTEThe Festival of the Arts was an amazing array of color and music filling the night with laughter, culture and talent. The band took the crowd on a journey from Star Trek to Korean culture. The Choir sang their hearts out to give their mentor and teacher the best last performance of his career. As we said goodbye to MAJ Mike Shoemaker and the choir seniors, they passed the torch to the next generation. JONATHAN JAMES ’16


Pearl Green Whitney Memorial Award: senior Brennan Morand
Throughout the year, Brennan has served as a marketing intern, daily sacrificing his limited free time to photograph school functions. An award-winning graphic designer, Brennan spent his fifth period every day making copies, running errands, taking photos and receiving real-world job experience.

Lyle C. Wilson Award: senior Justin Touchette
Justin is a talented photographer and two-year member of the yearbook staff who is to be commended for his outstanding dedication to the yearbook. Justin’s photographs won first place at the Presser Hall Performing Arts Center photography contest and third place in the Balfour Great Shot contest. His images of the 2014 Crucible were printed in the hardbound 2016 Balfour Yearbook Yearbook.4.19.16_MooreL_byEC

Each year, the journalism bar is awarded to those students who go above and beyond the basic duties of a cadet enrolled in a journalism course at MMA. Recipients of the journalism bar must display exemplary classroom conduct and significant written or photographic contribution to the production of the yearbook and newspaper.

Oscar Cortada
Christian Foster
Jonathan James
Scout Jones
Lucas Moore
William Moore
Brennan Morand
Nathan Nolan
Alexander Seibert
Justin Touchette


Philip Russell ’68 Award for outstanding first-year member of the men’s chorus: Robert Van Huss ’16

Outstanding Contribution to the MMA Chorus: Eduardo Gonzalez ’16

During the intermission, cadets and their families browsed the Epple Memorial Art Show, which was held in the Centennial Gymtorium mezzanine.

IMG_8845“In the festival I had about 6 pieces of art showing,” Christian Foster ’19 said. “When I got there, I saw that one of the staff had bought my best piece yet. It was a landscape made out of all four seasons.”

Most Improved Award: Juan Letamendi ’17
Best Unconventional Art Award: David Garza ’16
Heart & Soul Award (for the most dedicated): Hernan Huerta ’18
Norman Rockwell Award (for the best illustration): Hank Williams ’18, Eduardo Gonzalez ’16
Michelangelo Art Award (for the best in sculpture): Naranmandakh Ayulgui ’16
Junior School Art Achievement Award: Jesus Perales ’20
Art Achievement Award: Gabriel Perez ’18
Creative Arts Award: Gabriel Vallejo ’18
Vincent Van Gogh Art Award (for the best Painting student): Emilio Nanni ’16
Banksy Graffiti Art Award: Sugar Dashdavaa ’17, Yinzhou Wang ’17

IMG_8857Pablo Picasso Art Award (for always sketching and improving): Cesar Garcia ’20, Parker Koontz ’17

Leonardo Da Vinci Art Award (for being a writer, an artist and a renaissance man): Emran Babak ’16

Attendees also purchased tickets for the halftime heads-or-tails game, during which cadets raised $300 toward the senior class project. Oscar Garcia correctly guessed the outcome of the most coin flips and was declared the winner of the game.

I enjoyed being a part of the Concert Band and playing all of the songs that some people didn’t get to hear at Maroon and Gold. The Jazz Band and Rock Band were amazing too! Choir was cool since they switched it up a bit and choose to sing some newer songs from this generation. NELSON AGUILERA ’16

IMG_9072_lomasfreddie_jeonBAND AWARDS

Jeff Crain & Jeff Jorishie Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Jazz Ensemble: Ethan Eisenmann ’16

John Philip Sousa Band Award: Yunil Jeon ’16

New additions to the Festival of the Arts this year included an all-student punk rock band (Yunil Jeon, Connor Cunningham, Otto Albertsen, Noah Hacker, Paul Murphy and Ethan Eisenmann) and a bluegrass song by the Salty River Boys — sophomore William Moore on the banjo, mentor CPT Thomas Roberts on the guitar, choir director MAJ Mike Shoemaker on the bass and Choir members Robert Van Huss, Noah Hacker and Otto Albertsen.


The day began with a senior class pancake breakfast fundraiser in the MMA dining hall.

“The pancake breakfast was a fundraiser for the senior project to get a Marine bench to join the rest of the military branches outside the Canteen,” Jonathan James ’16 said.

IMG_9288_padillareneThe pancake breakfast was followed by a battalion review and flower pinning ceremony. During this traditional MMA event, mothers pin their cadet with a red carnation provided by MMA. Mothers and grandparents who could not attend were represented by a faculty member or other MMA mother.

The flower pinning ceremony warmed the hearts of all the mothers and their sons. It was a special day to show our MMA mothers how much we appreciate them. The battalion review followed. Each company showed their appreciation for their mothers by trying to win the review for their families. In the end Echo, ended up taking home the win. JONATHAN JAMES ’16

During the battalion review, one cadet from each LET class received the Superior Cadet Award via JROTC Order No. 12. Students received the honor for displaying leadership potential, discipline, courtesy, character and excellence in military and academic scholarship.

Mitchell Duing, LET I
John Curley, LET II
Gregory Prinster, LET III, Second Award
Enkhbilegt Luvsandorj, LET IV



SPORTS BRIEFS: Tennis, Lacrosse & Raiders


Cadets hosted seven schools April 8 and 9 during the annual MMA Raider Meet.

MMA’s first team took first place overall and first place in the 10K road march, land navigation and gauntlet events. The first team earned second place in the Army Physical Fitness Test and Raider Challenge events.

MMA’s second team placed fifth overall, placing second in land navigation and third in the 10K road march and gauntlet.

According to Biddle, “MMA proved once again to be a force to be reckoned with” at the Fredericktown Raider Meet on April 23. Five teams competed at the event, during which cadets earned four trophies.

Cadets placed first in the 5K run, finishing four minutes faster than the second place team. They took second in the Gauntlet, finishing only four seconds later than the first place team. The Raiders took third in the one-rope bridge and obstacle course events and took fourth in the PT test and cross country litter carry events.


On April 14, the varsity tennis team played cross-town rivals Mexico High School and were defeated 6-3. Winning their singles matches were Robert Shields (10-7) and Ethan Istas (10-8). Istas and Angel Alcaraz won their doubles match 10-7.

“I thought we played well today. Unfortunately, some of the matches just didn’t go our way,” coach MAJ Mike Pemberton said. “In singles, I was impressed with the play of Robert Shields and Ethan Istas. Playing at the number four and five spots, both players have shown a lot of improvement.”

The following day, cadets faced Marshall, Fulton and Smith-Cotton high schools at the Marshall Tennis Tournament. The Colonels fell 1-5 versus Fulton and Smith-Cotton, with Ethan Istas winning his matches 10-8 and 10-6, respectively.

“This tournament was a great experience for our cadets. Using a round-robin format, each cadet played three matches. Ethan Istas played well and had a very good tournament,” Pemberton said. “Ethan defeated opponents from Fulton HS and Smith-Cotton. … Overall, I was proud of our effort, hustle and good sportsmanship.”

On April 25, cadets earned their first victory of the season 5-4 against Father Tolton Catholic HS.
Winning their singles matches were Gastelum (8-1), Shields (8-6) and Istas (8-1). In doubles play, Gastelum partnered with Shields and Istas partnered with Alcaraz. Both teams won their matches 8-1. In singles exhibition play, Jansing won 6-3 while Maceda and Jonathan James ’16 both won their matches 6-1.

“It was a great day to play tennis,” Pemberton said. “We were able to win two out of three doubles matches. Our doubles teams were focused and looked more comfortable playing together.”

Cadets faced Hannibal High School on April 28 and were defeated 1-8. Alejandro Gastelum defeated his opponent 10-3 in singles play. In exhibition singles play, Ricardo Maceda won 8-6.

“I was proud of our effort against a very good team from Hannibal,” Pemberton said. “Our cadets kept battling and never quit. Alejandro Gastelum did a great job against a very good player from Hannibal. Playing at number three, Alejandro did a good job of keeping the ball deep and mixing up his shots.”

The MMA tennis team fell 3-6 to Moberly High School in a home match April 29.

In singles play, Angel Alcaraz and Alejandro Gastelum won their respective matches 10-4. The doubles team of Gastelum and Robert Shields won 10-5 while Ricardo Mdaceda won 7-6 with a 7-1 tiebreaker in exhibition singles.

“We played pretty good tennis against a good team from Moberly HS. A lot of our matches were close and could have gone either way,” Pemberton said. “Alejandro Gastelum continued his solid play at number three singles. He is really hitting the ball well and controlling the tempo of his matches.”


The Colonels faced St. Mary’s High School on April 29, losing 7-9.

The score was tied at the quarter but MMA took the lead 4-3 early in the second quarter thanks to a score by Cody Allen. After a poor third quarter, St. Mary’s lead grew to four goals but shrank to two with two minutes left in the fourth quarter.

“The final two minutes saw a flurry of shots from Cody Allen and Sean Fitzgerald,” head coach LT Kevin Bissmeyer said. “The cadets put together an exceptional fourth quarter where they dominated possession.”

MMA goalkeeper Griffin Gilman boasted a 70 percent save rate. Allen and Fitzgerald each scored three times and James Myrick scored once. Allen, Myrick and Jacob McMahon each provided an assist.

“The second game in MMA lacrosse history was a great one!” Bissmeyer said. “The boys have progressed so much in just the last week. We didn’t get a single shot on goal in our first game and registered over 20 shots on goal tonight.”

MMA to host Spring Family Weekend celebrating Mothers and Grandmothers

MMA will be hosting the annual Spring Family Weekend on April 16 and 17. This event is MMA’s celebration of the mothers and grandmothers of our cadets, but all family members and friends are invited to attend. A schedule of events and their locations has been provided below, but please note that all events are subject to change or cancellation.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

5:00 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. Epple Memorial Art Show (Centennial Gymtorium Mezzanine). This event is open to the public.

7:00 p.m. Festival of the Arts (Centennial Gymtorium). Performances from the MMA band and choir, with awards presentations. All cadets are required to attend. Families and friends are encouraged to attend. The public is encouraged to attend this free event.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

7:45 – 9:00 a.m. Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser sponsored by the Senior Class (Dining Hall located in Barnard Hall). Cost is $5.00 for adults, $2.00 for cadets and children under 12. This event is open to the public.

9:00 – 10:00 a.m. Epple Memorial Art Show in the Koster Media Center (Centennial Gymtorium Mezzanine)

10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Flower Pinning Ceremony and Review
Review with Superior Cadet Award Announcement
Fusileers Performance
Honoring mothers and grandmothers. In the flower pinning tradition, mothers pin their cadet with a red carnation provided by MMA. Mothers and grandparents are asked to participate in the review. (Mothers who cannot attend will be represented by a faculty member or another MMA mom.)

6:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Vespers (Memorial Chapel)

For your convenience, the Quartermaster will be open Saturday from 9:00 a.m – 1:00 p.m. and Sunday 8:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.

For additional information, click here.


MMA holds first-ever lacrosse scrimmage

IMG_8558_bestOn April 8, the varsity MMA lacrosse team held its first-ever scrimmage. The White Team, coached by senior Fahad Aliev, defeated the Navy Team, which was coached by junior Kenneth Westcott, by a score of 6-2. Noah Hacker scored the first White Team goal with an assist from James Myrick, while the Navy Team’s first goal was scored by Nehemiah Simmons. Cody Allen ’16 of the white team was named Player of the Game.

DSC_0911_fitzgerald“Both teams played a very competitive game which saw fast breaks, big hits and plenty of goals,” coach LT Kevin Bissmeyer said. “Top performers were Allen and Myrick of the White Team, who both compiled 4 points. Allen had 3 goals and an assist to go along with a game-leading 13 ground balls. Myrick tallied 2 goals and 2 assists along with 5 ground balls from the attack position. Defensive standouts were Justin Touchette and Carlos Liriano who both helped Sky Thunderchild limit the opposing team to just 2 goals.”

Navy Team statistics:
Zeth Colin – 1 goal, 1 shot on goal, 5 ground balls,
Otto Albertsen – 1 shot on goal and and 4 ground balls
Sean Fitzgerald – 1 for 2 on faceoffs, 2 assists, 2 shots on goal, 9 ground balls
Nehemiah Simmons 1 for 2 on faceoffs, 1 goal, 2 ground balls
Martin Farias – 1 for 2 on faceoffs, 1 shot on goal and 6 ground balls
DSC_0930Robert Abbott – 0 for 1 on faceoffs and 2 ground balls
Isaac Gastelum – 1 for 1 faceoffs, 2 ground balls
Wyatt Smith – 1 ground ball
Jon Snyder – 1 ground ball
Emiliano Gonzalez – 1 ground ball
Griffin Gilman – 6 goals allowed, 3 saves

White Team statistics:
Jake McMahon – 1 ground ball
James Myrick – 2 assists, 2 goals, 3 shots on goal, 5 ground balls
Noah Hacker – 1 goal, 1 shot on goal, 2 ground balls
Cody Allen – 1 for 2 faceoffs, 1 assist, 3 goals, 5 shots on goal, 13 ground balls
Tamir Nyamdavaa – 1 for 3 faceoffs, 2 ground balls
IMG_3949_best_abbottJordan Hornick – 0 for 1 faceoffs, 2 ground balls
Joseph Kaplan – 1 for 1 faceoffs, 3 ground balls
Guido Arredondo – 1 for 1 faceoff, 1 ground ball
Caleb Cloyde – 2 ground balls
Carlos Liriano – 3 ground balls
Justin Touchette – 6 ground balls
Sky Spotted Eagle Thunderchild Henio – 2 goals allowed, 3 saves