Category Archives: Cadet Life

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.

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, Raiders & Lifeguards


As of April 2016, the following students have earned their Red Cross Lifeguard Certification at Missouri Military Academy. Requirements for the two-year Red Cross Life Guard Qualification included included a CPR/AED course, a 300-meter swim, a brick test and a two-minute endurance test in which students treaded water without their hands.

IMG_9686_willimonFahad Aliev
Weitao Cong
Oscar Cortada
John Curley
Aeron Lee
Jacob McMahon
Justtin Muilenburg
Juan Diego Silva Zuniga
Aaron Thompson
Evan Willimon

curley1The class was tough. What made it hard, though, were the long hours in the classroom with intermittent pool exercises. The hardest part was the final assessment, which included 2 tests and 3 live scenarios, all of which we had to perfect. … The majority of failures were for small mistakes — missing a few questions on the test or forgetting a certain procedure in the water, like giving detailed instructions to civilians, for example. I do not take the life of another lightly. I constantly think about the possibility of being in danger, and if I would feel confident in the abilities of the lifeguard present. JOHN CURLEY ’16


3.2.16_ChenYL_Eisenmann_zhangz_zhangs_eckardt_cepeda_zhouj_russell_schaaf_jin_wangy_lou_cong_ashton_webster_mitchell_choy_biddle_byEC1Eight members of the MMA Raiders team (Jason Russell, Kian Moriarty, Purevsuren Bayanbaatar, Charles Eckardt, Juan Cepeda, Ernesto Melgar, Zenghui Zhang and Victor Arturo Leon) competed April 2 at the Waynesville’s Raider Meet at Fort Leonard Wood.  The Colonels placed fourth overall of 12 teams, taking home first place in the 10k road march event with a time of 1 hour, 13 minutes.

IMG_4210“This event was actually 11.4K over very rough and hilly terrain,” Raider sponsor 1SG John Biddle said.

Cadets also took fourth place in the physical fitness test and fourth place in the one-rope bridge event, missing third place by only 20 seconds.

Judges of the six events included active duty drill sergeants, sapper soldiers and officers.


On April 1, the Colonels faced Helias Catholic High School at Washington Park Courts in Jefferson City. Cadets were IMG_1753_shields_bestdefeated 7-0 in a match cut short due to rain.

“The cadets did their best against a very good team from Helias Catholic,” Head Coach MAJ Mike Pemberton said. “Even though it was a tough match, the cadets kept battling and never quit. Overall, I was proud of their effort and hustle.”

On April 5, the Missouri Military Academy tennis team was defeated 1-7 by Fulton High School on the MMA courts. Ethan Istas defeated his Fulton opponent 10-2 in singles play. In exhibition doubles, Tyler Jansing and Ricardo Maceda won 6-6 (9-7).

“Even though we lost the match, I thought we came out and played pretty good tennis,” Head Coach MAJ Mike Pemberton said. “As a team, we are learning from our mistakes and showing signs of improvement.”

Educational Tour to Italy

group7Escorted by Missouri Military Academy staffers Rhonda Blaue, MAJ Edsel Baker and Dr. James Bonanno, seventeen students visited Italy in mid-March.

The program, which was coordinated by Worldstrides International Discovery Programs, began March 13 with an overnight flight to Italy.

IMG_0984_best_merino_arredondoIn Venice, cadets enjoyed a gondola ride and visited St. Mark’s Square, the Grand Canal, the Doge’s Palace and the Bridge of Sighs.

On day four of their journey, en route to Florence, cadets viewed the early Christian and Byzantine mosaics of Ravenna.

In Florence, students visited the Duomo, the Baptistery doors, the Church of Santa Croce and the Ponte Vecchio. At the Accademia museum, students viewed Michelangelo’s David and other works dating back to the 16th century from artists such as da Vinci, Michelangelo and Botticelli. That evening, cadets created their own pasta and cooked spaghetti with creme caramel.

IMG_0972_calanda_estradaCadets next traveled through Tuscany and explored Assissi, visiting the beautiful Basilica of St. Francis. They then continued into Rome, stopping at the Piazza Navona, the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, the Colosseum, the Arch of Constantine and Trajan’s Column.

Students next visited Pompeii, Roman city frozen in time by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 A.D., before flying back to the United States.

Maroon Bar, Soldiers’ Bar & Fencing Arch

3.2.16_fencing2_byECFencing Arch

On February 25, six cadets received the Fencing Arch via Special Order No. 41. Cadets were recognized for: participation in the classical French Fencing Club; continual practice, including attacks on the blade and basic parries; knowledge of distance and footwork; and displaying the gentlemanly behavior required of said sport.IMG_1066_BEST

Dongyang Chen ’20
David Garza ’16
Jack Mitchell ’19
Joseph Palen ’19
Yelin Zhou ’17
Zihan Zhu ’18

Maroon Bar

On March 3, twelve cadets received the Maroon Bar via Special Order No. 44, having displayed outstanding behavior for the month of February 2016.

IMG_5676_simmons_naughtonVictor Leon
Carlos Liriano
Ngonga Mugabo
Michael Naughton
Alexander Schaaf
Damdinbazar Sumiyabazar
Aaron Thompson
Gabriel Vallejo
Yinzhou Wang
liriano_thompsonHaijunhao Yu
Sizheng Zhang
Zenghui Zhang

Soldiers’ Bar

On March 3, having displayed outstanding military courtesy, bearing, neatness, attitude and performance of duty in the month of February 2016, eleven cadets were awarded the Soldiers’ Bar via Special Order No. 43.

Davaasuren Dashdavaa
Mitchell Duing
Jordan HornickIMG_0689_violette
Jose Mejia
Luis Merino
Temuulen Nerguibaatar
Nehemiah Simmons
Damdinbazar Sumiyabazar
Gabriel Vallego
Jared Violette
Jiaxuan Zhou

Cadet Promotions, February 2016

9.2.15_VanHuss_byVanTasell_BESTOn February 6 and 7, the following promotions were announced via Special Order No. 36,  No. 37 and No. 38.

Major: Emran Babak.

Captain: Eduardo Gonzalez, David Lazcano, Enkhbilegt Luvsandorj, Turbold Tumurkhuu.

First Lieutenant:  Thomas Dean, Ethan Eisenmann, Orlando Farias, Mauro Garza, Jesus Gracia,
Russell Holman, Damdinbazar Sumiyabazar.

Second Lieutenant: Purevsuren Bayanbaatar, Hector Chapa, Weitao Cong, Miguel Gonzalez, Jose Mejia, Robert Moore, Brennan Morand, Emilio Nanni, Temuulen Nerguibaatar, Christian Paz, Robert Pryor.

IMG_0073_BEST_cepedaStaff Sergeant: Maverick Jones, James Lane.

Sergeant First Class: William Carter, John Curley.

Sergeant: Nishan Khanal, Matheus Alexandre, Jonathan James, Dion Nguyen, Kyle Van Eekeren.

Corporal: Carlos Liriano, William Moore, Rongyang Yi, Eryao Zhang, Sizheng Zhang, Jose Balanza, Sugar Dashdavaa, Raul Escarcega, Ernesto Melgar, Aaron Thompson, Michael Wetzel.

Private First Class: Arnoldo Aguirre, Matheus Alexandre, Thomas Kiefer, Finley Lomas, Paul Murphy.

Private Second Class: Carlo Alcaraz, Kevyn Bruce, Emilio Camou, Caleb Cloyde, Yutong Dongfang, Christian Foster, Styles Fountain, Samuel Guo, Tamar Modise, Juan Moreno, George IMG_0435_thompson_BESTPietrofere, Zhicheng Mao, Kian Moriarty, Jesus Perales, Carlos Rodriguez.

For completing new cadet training and passing their handbook tests and Crucible challenges, the following recruits were awarded the privilege of wearing the MMA hat brass and Army JROTC gold star: 

BRAVO COMPANY: Yanlin Chen, Erick Puente.
CHARLIE COMPANY: Cesar Garza, Justin Haupt.
DELTA COMPANY: Wyatt Brewer, Joseph Mulvey, Noah Webster.
ECHO COMPANY: Rory Davis, Yuqi Jin, Jack Mitchell.

Cadet Achievements Recognized at All-School Assembly

IMG_9272_williamsD_farleyCadets and staff members attended the final all-school assembly of the semester on December 9 in the Memorial Chapel.


The ceremony began with the posting of the colors and the recognition of November 2015 Student of the Month Xin Xia by Academic Dean Dr. Frank Giuseffi.

November 2015 Teacher of the Month MAJ Michael Pemberton was also honored. According to Giuseffi, Pemberton exemplifies “decency, ethics, hard work, relational teaching” and many other MMA values.

“I have worked with him for many, many years. I’m proud to call him my colleague and also my friend,” Giuseffi said.

IMG_9193_sniderbilbrey_babak_giuseffiAlso recognized were Emran Babak, Benjamin Snider Bilbrey and Orlando Farias. The trio received the Excellence in Leadership Award for participating in the National Youth Leadership Forum.

“It’s an opportunity for cadets to listen to speeches on leadership from reputable leaders in the military, in politics, in law,” Giuseffi said.

December 2015 Student of the Month: Quinten Boyd
December 2015 Teacher of the Month: Megan Klukowski
Excellence in Mathematics Competition, Upper Division Top 10: Qiyu Liu


Athletic Director MAJ Kevin Farley next took the podium to deliver his remarks. He encouraged student-athletes to stick with their chosen sports and remain committed throughout the season.

IMG_9201_farley“I have been out to watch the basketball and wrestling teams perform,” Farley said. “I am very impressed with the work ethic you’re putting forth and the effort you’re putting forth.”

Farley then introduced the Pursuing Victory with Honor Award, which is given “for striving to achieve greatness, helping others to succeed, never quitting and remaining committed to excellence” both on and off the field.

Three recipients – Fahad Aliev, Oscar Cortada and LT Sean Peters – were recognized for becoming lifeguards. (For more information, click here.)

“They spent a lot of hours training to be lifeguards so we could open the pool more,” Farley said. “I’m giving all three of the guys the Pursuing Victory with Honor award because they went out of their way to help you guys have a better life here on campus.”

IMG_9220_russell_farleyAlso receiving the first-ever Pursuing Victory with Honor award were Gabriel Elizondo, Yedne Atkins and Jason Russell.

Russell lettered for the fourth time for his participation in Raiders, while Angel Alcaraz, Richard Choy, Damdinbazar Sumiyabazar and Yasheng Lou lettered in Raiders for the first time. All five also earned the Raider, Orienteering and Varsity ribbons.

Earning the Raider ribbon were Nishan Khanal, Robert Van Huss, Kian Moriarty, Zenghui Zhang, Qiyu Liu, Noah Hacker, Juan Cepeda Bremer, Turbold Tumurkhuu and Purevsuren Bayanbaatar.


Up next was Academy President Charles McGeorge, who presented the Bravo Zulu Award to WO2 Richard “Rik” Thornton, WO2 Freddie Lomas and LTC Gregory Seibert, who hosted a successful AMSCUS retreat and dinner for distinguished visitors earlier this semester.

IMG_9255_mcgeorge_luvsandorj_kirkland_moriarty_alexandre_thompson_maximovitchAlso receiving the Bravo Zulu award was CPT Gregory Maximovitch and his Entrepreneuership class: Enkhbilegt Luvsandorj, Oybek Kirkland, Tuguldur Altangerel, Kian Moriarty, Matheus Alexandre and Aaron Thompson.

On November 4, three seniors and three juniors raised several thousand dollars to boost the art supply budget by selling tickets for a morning lock-in. Instead of reporting for inspection, cadets received a sleep-in. For $10 each, they spent the morning playing basketball, chatting and working out in the weight room. Alongside CPT Maximovitch, the six Entrepreneurship students solicited approximately 205 individual donations.

Receiving the President’s Gold Star award was Sarah Dickherber. In her time as MMA CFO, she has: switched from cash to accrual basis; changed the year end from May 31 to June 30; received a “clean audit opinion” and no management comments for the year ending June 30, 2015; implemented new, and improved existing, internal controls, policies and procedures; and spent many hours researching the documentation on endowed funds.

IMG_9247_davis_mcgeorgeLast was a presentation of the Presidential citation to Drake Davis.

“Cadet Davis, while serving his local community as a lifeguard at Fugitive Beach in Rolla, Missouri,” McGeorge said, “saved the life of a person suffering from diabetic shock.”

To read the story of Davis’ life-or-death experience, click here.

Following remarks by Academy President Charles McGeorge and the screening of a short film by cadet Jose Estrada (click here to view) the assembly concluded with the retiring of the colors.

Band & Charlie win Halloween decoration contest

Charlie and Band companies defeated Delta, Bravo and Echo on October 31 as the Missouri Military Academy Corps of Cadets celebrated Halloween with parties and costume/decoration contests.

courtSeibert1Most attribute the Charlie/Band win to the haunted house constructed by Band Company seniors in the shared barracks basement.

“When Charlie and Band work together we are unstoppable,” freshman Thomas Kiefer said. “Plus we had a haunted house!”


12191275_10153100124300723_7478305389051828175_oRobert Moore ’16 said his favorite part of the Halloween holiday was “making the haunted house in the basement of Charlie.”

“It was a nice experience and a fun way to spend the last Halloween of my senior year,” Moore said.

We spent from 8:30 a.m. Saturday to around 5:30 p.m. setting up a haunted house in the TV room of Charlie and Band Company. Together cadets Robert Moore ’16, Ethan Eisenman ’16 and I gave up our sleep-in so that we could put up this haunted house and win the Halloween decoration contest for 2015-16. We seniors wanted our last Halloween Party to be a blast, and it was.

When you first entered the room you would go to the left and walk down the hallway. There you would meet a kid lying on the ground asking you to help him. He was covered in blood and there was a strobe light on him. As you would turn to the right to go to the next room, cadet Styles Fountain ’19 would run at you from the boiler room as a pig butcher with a bloody knife.

IMG_0542In the next room there would be a record player playing old music. I was also in that room trying to sell brains, hands, hearts and livers in jars. When no one wanted any I told them to get out and that “the doctor was ready for them.” The doctor in the next room was Eisenmann. He was splattering fake blood everywhere and telling cadet Joshua John ’17 to wake up and that he hadn’t given him permission to die yet. Moore was dressed up as an evil satanic bird and was casting spells over John’s dead body.

In the next room were a couple of clowns that I hastily hung up. Garrett Stafford ’17 stood in the corner and would wait until people had entered the room and then pop up behind them and scare them. BRENNAN MORAND ‘16


Each company voted for their favorite costume, choosing a company winner to compete for the overall title. Overall costume contest winner Cesar Perera ’18 received an $100 Amazon gift card. First place winners from each company earned $50 gift cards; second place finishers received $30 gift cards and third place winners received $20 gift cards.

12182421_10153100124315723_7391806469453418913_oBRAVO COMPANY
1. Miguel Gonzalez (Gangster) — 
2. Juan Pablo Garza (Bacon)
3. Kevyn Bruce (Power Ranger)

1. Thomas Keifer (Jesus) — 2.  Connor Cunningham (Wilfred the Dog) — 3.  Robert Moore (Death)

1. Styles Fountain (Pig Killer) — 2. Oscar Garcia (Ladies Man)
3. Clayton Ebert (Luigi)

1. Ceaser Perera (Captain Underpants)
2. Edward Cha (Gangster) — 3. Quinten Boyd (Assassin)

1. Alejandro Tovar (Muscle Man) — 2. Jeremy Elkins (Gorilla) — 3. Eric Juarez (Pilsbury Dough Boy)

12189438_10153100124305723_5158195197949545261_oCADET Q&A: WHY IS HALLOWEEN YOUR FAVORITE HOLIDAY?

Halloween is my favorite holiday. I enjoy it so much because one: I get free candy, and two: it allows people to be free and express themselves and just have a lot of fun. BRENNAN MORAND ‘16

My favorite holiday is Halloween because you get dress up as either scary or funny things and go to parties. THOMAS KIEFER ‘19

courtSeibert3Halloween I think is one of my favorite holidays because everyone gets to dress up and get candy for free on this night of the year. It is great to see everyone running around. ALEXANDER SEIBERT ‘18

Because you get to express yourself by using a costume. JESUS PERALES ‘20

Because it is one week after my birthday. JOSEPH PALEN ‘19

Even as an adult, I love the idea of dressing up and becoming someone else – even if it’s just for one night. I also have great memories from my childhood of my mother helping me decide which character I was to be. I now take that one step further and look for characters that I know I can fit into. Whether I buy my costume or come up with it on my own, does not really matter. It is the character and how you embody it that night that becomes special. The most fun that I have is watching the faces of the children I know as they trick or treat. Seeing the excitement as each door is opened and a person brings out candy for them is so much fun. Watching a child get dressed up to head out, as they realize that they are going to get candy and see some really cool homes, can bring the simplest of joys. This holiday, really, is for them. Having them switch their mind three, four or five times about what costume they want to wear; hearing them talk about all the candy they are going to get, how cool that house on the block was last year and what they think they might see this year brings a lightness to the heart. RENE PADILLA ’16


Bravo28I was Zach Randolph from the Memphis Grizzlies. I choose it because he is my favorite player. JOSHUA CAMPBELL ’17

This Halloween I dressed up as a Cholo because I had to improvise a last minute costume. JESUS PERALES ‘20

I was Wilfred, a dog from a show on Netflix. … I am a hardcore fan of the show. CONNOR CUNNINGHAM ’16

Bravo14I was a headless man, and I picked it because I wanted something scary! SKY THUNDERCHILD HENIO ’19

My Halloween costume was a zombie skeleton. I chose it because it looked realistic and really cool. JOSEPH PALEN ‘19


Charlie, because they had a nice haunted house. JOSHUA CAMPBELL ’17

Charlie constructed a haunted house in their rec room complete with a working cast of cadets who played different characters. They did a fantastic job and I really enjoyed attending the haunted house. THOMAS DEAN ’16

IMG_5365Echo. We worked really hard on the decorations. We used more than 75% of our free time decorating.

Echo, because they had the best decorations in my opinion. MICHAEL NAUGHTON ‘20

Delta, because it took them only seven people to put this together. They have been planning for weeks. JAKOB UNION ’20


Skittles. JOSEPH PALEN ‘19
My favorite type of candy is sour candy. JESUS PERALES ‘20
KitKat is my favorite candy. JACOB CONYERS ’16
Sour stuff. ROBERT ABBOTT ’21
My favorite type of candy is chewy Jolly Ranchers. JAKOB UNION ’20
My favorite candy is Reeses. SKY THUNDERCHILD HENIO ’19
My favorite type of candy is Twix. PHOTSAVAT PONGSUEA ’17
I like milk duds, and I like Twix. RAMON RODRIGUEZ ’17
My favorite types of candy are Twizzlers and Tootsie Rolls. THOMAS KIEFER ‘19


I like all scary movies because [they’re] fun to watch and [they] make you want to know what will happen next. PHOTSAVAT PONGSUEA ’17

I don’t like scary stuff that much. I usually do not watch any scary movies. SCOUT JONES ‘21

Scary Movie 2 because it is funny [and] kind of scary. JAKOB UNION ’20
I like Paranormal Activity. RAMON RODRIGUEZ ’17
I hate scary movies because I’m scared of everything! CHRISTIAN FOSTER ’19
The Conjuring. JACOB CONYERS ’16


67_MooreWDelta Company had a good party. We watched horror movies and scared each other and it was really fun. That Halloween night, I could not sleep because of the movie. I was thinking about that movie and it is really hard for me to sleep when I’m thinking about something really scary. TUGULDUR ALTANGEREL ’17

I am living in Echo Company and our theme was an insane asylum. We decorated the outside of the company with spider webs and creepy dolls on the ground. As you entered the company, more spider webs guided you down to the basement stairs. Strobe lights flashed on a creepy ghost that we hung in the hallway with fishing line to give the illusion that it was floating. Inside the rec room we had a party with great food and soda pong. Overall, Halloween was a great time. I enjoy it every year and will never forget the Halloween parties I attended at Missouri Military Academy. It boosts the spirts of all the cadets, new and old, and provides a time where we can relax from the stress that seems to build up higher than the clouds. This was my last Halloween at MMA and it will be missed. THOMAS DEAN ‘16



Selfless Service with a Smile: Fall Community Service Day

IMG_5626_garzaDThe cities of Auxvasse, Fulton, Columbia and Mexico received a helping hand from Missouri Military Academy cadets on September 29 – the Academy’s annual Fall Community Service Day.


After tidying up the grounds of the Audrain County Historical Society, MAJ Mike Shoemaker’s students joined MAJ Larry McClarey’s advisees to organize props and clear out old set pieces at the Presser Hall Performing Arts Center.

Our advisory group went to Presser Hall and helped the folks over there with carrying their props and relocating them. We made shelves, then we stacked the shelves with the theatre props and including flowers, typewriters, cameras, vases, liquor and weapons which all look so realistic but are actually fake and so light and easy to use. BILGUUN BYAMBATSOGT ‘16


LT Sean Peters’ advisees organized a supply shed, walked dogs and socialized cats and kittens at the Mexico Animal Shelter.

IMG_5201_pinks_DEANI helped at the animal shelter last year and enjoyed working with the dogs and cats. When we arrived at the shelter, they told us that we needed to organize the back storage shed. The back storage shed consisted of bags upon bags of dog food, cat food and cat litter. The amount of spiders in the room was unbelievable! We had to take all of the bags and boxes out of the room so we could sweep the floor. We then sorted the boxes and bags by size and color before we put them back into the room.

After we finished the storage room, we split up into groups for the next two jobs. The first group went to the shelter’s truck, which they use to transport the animals, and cleaned it spotless. I was part of the second group in charge of cleaning all of the windows in the building. As we cleaned the windows, we visited with the baby kittens and saw some that were born just one week before we arrived. Even though they looked like rats, they were still very cute. The bigger cats loved to climb up on your shoulders. My favorite kitten was this two week old ginger cat with light blue eyes who didn’t seem to be too interested in the people crowding around his cage.

Overall, this year’s community service day was a blast. The dogs and cats at the shelter were extremely cute and fun to play with. The back storage room is the cleanest it’s been in a long time. I enjoyed helping out at the animal shelter and I am looking forward to the next community service day in the future. THOMAS DEAN ‘16IMG_5482_nguyenDerek


LT Steven Manning’s advisees dug weeds, pruned bushes and swept sidewalks while tidying the grounds of the J.B. & Greeta B. Arthur Cancer Center. ESL instructors Lu Shu and Cheryl Lu combined their advisories and picked up litter at a local park and alongside Pollock Road.

I had three bags full of trash that I picked up, so I felt really good about that. TUGULDUR ALTANGEREL ’17


SFC John Biddle and LT Steven Maziarz accompanied students to the Missouri Veterans Home, where they washed dishes in the cafeteria and played bingo with residents.

My favorite thing about community service day is going to the VA home and being able to help them there. During community service day I went around the parking lot and the back area with my group and we picked up trash all around and filled two bags full of trash. We helped serve food to the residents and we were able to talk with them and get to know what life was like at the VA home. It IMG_5443_hackerwas also very fun to get to know a little history as well. After we helped clean up the food left over from the residents we were able to go to the cafeteria and get our food. We sat outside for a while to eat our food. When we went in to play bingo with the residents we realized it would be a very intense game. There were a lot of winners and a lot of game faces shown by the residents. At the end of the day I was glad I was able to go to the VA home and help the residents and staff there. I hope that I will be able to do it again the next time we have community service day. ALEXANDER SEIBERT ‘18

We visited three nursing homes with different personalities in the air at each one. My favorite nursing home was probably the last one we went to in Fulton, MO. These older ladies told us they don’t get out of their rooms that much. I felt bad because they don’t get many visitors. I was very lucky to play board games with some elderly people. It was nice talking to them about their past. You could be talking to a war hero, or a person that changed lives of many people, or created new things. They have their own special talents. It’s also cool to think how long they’ve been on Earth and how much experience they have. For me, meeting new people is one of the greatest feelings in the world. And also making an elderly person’s day, maybe even their week. All in all, community service day was all worth my time and made other people’s days better. DEVIN KOTAS ‘17

LOCAL YMCAIMG_5643_prinsterG

LT Lewis Bell and MAJ Keith Morgan’s students spent Fall Community Service Day re-painting stripes at the Mexico YMCA pool.

The YMCA has an outdoor pool that has two diving boards, a high dive, a small slide, and also has a tiny kiddy pool on the side. We helped unload all the paint buckets and the rollers. We painted the sides of the pool, and then began to paint the floor. The floor was the hardest, because in the deep end, there was a big ramp that led down and it was very slippery. It was really hard to walk up and down it, and paint on it. After we got the deep end done, all we had to was paint the lanes of the pool, and that wasn’t that hard. We had two people painting each lane, and two people painting the kiddy pool. This community service day was really hot and exhausting, but I feel good, because we helped out the community. TRAE VAN TASELL ‘16


LCDR Bill Bushnell’s advisees, supervised by librarian Fran Robley, visited the Mexico Chamber of Commerce on Community Service Day. The group washed windows, weeded flower beds and painted the conference room a warm shade of gold.

“I was privileged to take these hard-working MMA seniors to the Mexico Chamber of Commerce,” Robley said. “[It made] my heart happy to see these wonderful young men learning to give back to their community and enjoying it! … I was really proud of them.”

Our whole advisory went to the Chamber of Commerce. We started to pull weeds around the building and get any trash close to the curbs.  After that, everyone washed all of the windows inside and out, which was actually a pretty difficult task, since the windows went up to at least a story high. A friend and I had to maneuver a huge ladder out of the basement and outside.  After a good lunch everyone got back to work and started to paint an office on the upstairs floor. The color had been a greenish yellow color before. It looked like a really vintage paint they used in the 70s. The room was painted a coffee brown color. It made the room look more sophisticated and more relaxing.  The whole group spent about 5 to 6 hours painting that one room. Since no one really could paint professionally it took us a minute to paint it well. At a very slow pace, we didn’t mess things up.  At the end of the day it was all worth it because hard work really does pay and our group got to go on a Sonic run after we had finished. NELSON AGUILERA ‘16


The advisory groups of MAJ Mike Pemberton, MAJ Peggy Reynard and MAJ Ananta Khanal – about 30 students – packaged nearly 5,000 pounds of food for area communities at the Central Missouri Food Bank in Columbia, Missouri.courtMorris_palen1

We put oatmeal in a bag, stapled it, wrapped it and boxed it. We finished about 12 boxes. A box is filled with about 40 bags. That’s a lot! CHRISTIAN ELL ‘16


LT Cheryl Morris headed to Auxvasse Elementary School with her students, who picked up litter and tended to flowerbeds, while 1SG Randal Jacobson’s advisees spent the day at Arthur Hills Golf Course.

We got to help out the seventh graders and then help all the first, second, third and fourth graders pick up trash. This was a good trip because we got to help a school look nice and have fun at the same time. CHRISTIAN FOSTER ‘19

Article by LTC Willis Kleinsorge

Five cadets gave up their free time on Saturday, September 26, to do valuable community service work in a very poor area of Jennings, Missouri. Cadet Michael Naughton’s father is on the police force in Jennings and his department was hosting a cleanup of an area of 5 or 6
blocks in the poorer part of his police jurisdiction. Mr. Naughton told his son to invite a group of cadets to come to Jennings to help with this community service project. 9.26.15_courtLTCK_chapa_chenD_naughton_cong_johnjoshuaMichael contacted his advisor (me) and MAJ Edsel Baker.  MAJ Baker made the announcement at a noon mess and five cadets volunteered to help in this task.

Dongyang Chen ’20, Joshua John ’17, Weitao Cong ’16, Michael Naughton ’20 and Hector Chapa ’16 made their way to Jennings, not sure what they would find when they arrived. What they found was a very poor neighborhood being assisted in a major cleanup. Three huge demolition dumpsters were on the site to be filled. The area police academy had ten or so volunteers helping and a dozen college students were on hand.

Mr. Naughton greeted us, handed us gloves, loaded us up in a pickup with a trailer hitched to it, and put us immediately to work. The police force and academy had already spent several hours cleaning up the 60 abandoned houses / properties in this several block area. They had done a lot of the initial work in hauling tons of garbage and brush to the curb.

9.26.15_courtLTCK_chapaOur group did some initial cleanup, but mostly we loaded trailer after trailer of debris and then unloaded it into the three large dumpsters. We filled all three dumpsters to the max, two with garbage and one with brush. We then loaded up one more trailer and my pickup bed and headed to the city dump. It was a day of hard labor, but our time and effort was worth it. The local residents were pleased to see the police force going to the trouble to help clean up their neighborhood. It was an eye-opening experience for the boys and a very good service performed. We could have filled another dumpster or two if they would have been on site, but Mr. Naughton said he would have to work on it during the following week to finish up the job.

After spending several hours cleaning the neighborhood, Mr. Naughton treated us to a meal at the local Chinese restaurant. He then took us to the Jennings Police Department and gave us a tour of the police headquarters and jail. The group had a good day and all worked hard to help in this community service project.


My favorite part was when we finished painting the pool at the YMCA. JOSHUA CAMPBELL ‘17

Being with my brothers helping out, seeing them laugh, and having a good time with them while we help at the Food Bank. JOSE MEJIA ’16


I felt good because I gave back to my community. SKY SPOTTED EAGLE THUNDERCHILD HENIO ’19
I felt like I had helped make many people happy. ROBERT PRYOR ’16IMG_5567_frith_robley

At first I thought I was going to hate picking up chestnuts all day, but it was actually fun. I would like to do more community service. SCOUT JONES ‘22


I think having community service day is valuable and very important because it teaches us that a community should look after another and help each other, and it teaches us life skills. BILGUUN BYAMBATSOGT ’16
Selfless-service and care for one’s neighbor and community are essential traits to virtue and character.  All of you should feel proud that you gave back and helped someone, some group or organization today! DR. FRANKGIUSEFFI

IMG_5595_pinksBecause it builds teamwork and discipline. JOSHUA CAMPBELL ‘17

I do think community service is important because some of the workers have tough jobs and they need just some extra help.

To keep the community looking as nice as possible. DION NGUYEN ‘16

Recruits become full members of Corps through The Crucible

IMG_4761_palen_bestNew students at Missouri Military Academy were formally welcomed into the Corps of Cadets on September 26 following The Crucible, a series of physical exercises designed to test students to their limits.

Events included a physical training test, a combat water survival swim, a ruck march, an obstacle course, a paintball battle, a climbing wall challenge and a rappel down the MMA tower. Following The Crucible, cadets celebrated with a Warrior Dinner in the MMA mess hall.

“All of our young men showed great enthusiasm and motivation throughout the day negotiating this capstone event,” said Director of Cadet Life WO2 Richard “Rik” Thornton. “The Crucible for the new recruits was completed Saturday with a 100 percent pass rate.”

IMG_4626_letamendi_bestPer Special Order No. 10, the following recruits are awarded the privilege of wearing the MMA hat brass and the Army JROTC honor unit with distinction Gold Star.

BAND COMPANY: Nelson Aguilera; Yednekachew Atkins; Zeth Colin; Timothy De Groot; Mitchell Duing; Jose Elizondo; Joshua Evans; Malachi Grice.

BRAVO COMPANY: Christian Ashton; Kevyn Bruce; Emilio Camou; Drake Davis; Yutong Dongfang; Gabriel Elizondo; Nicolas Gonzalez; Thomas Huckins; Hernan Huerta; Ashton Knipfer; Parker Koontz; Devin Kotas; Victor Leon; Finley Lomas; Luis Merino; Juan Moreno; James Myrick; Juan Perez; Carlos Rodriguez; Alexander Schaaf; Robert Van Huss; Jared Violette; Zihan Zhu.

CHARLIE COMPANY: Enrique Acevedo; Angel Alcaraz; Gerardo Calanda; Nyamkhuu Chinguun; Ming Choy; Yuan Cui; Davaasuren Dashdavaa; Styles Fountain; Isaac Gastelum; Scout Jones; Victor Leon; Yasheng Lou; Alain Mestre; Tamar Modise; Kian Moriarty; Nathan Nolan; George Pietrofere; Jorge Servin; Alexander Sheldon; Juan Silva; Xin Xia; Haijunhao Yu.

IMG_4532DELTA COMPANY: Jose Balanza; Edward Cha; Sugar Dashdavaa; Ethan Ford; Jonathan Frith; Fernando Garcia; Noah Hacker; Ryan Hannagan; Elian Harants; Lincoln Haynes; Christopher Hill; Dion Nguyen; Stamatis Pelekanos; Jakob Union; Kyle Van Eekeren; Yinzhou Wang; Hank Williams; Yelin Zhou.

ECHO COMPANY: Arnoldo Aguirre; Matheus Alexandre; William Carter; Caleb Cloyde; Elias Elizondo; Christian Foster; Mig Gisa; WrayVauze Givens; Samuel Guo; Juan Letamendi; Derek Nguyen; Joseph Palen; Jesus Perales; Aaron Thompson; Michael Wetzel.

How did you feel when you finished The Crucible?
Noah Hacker ’18: I felt like a champion after The Crucible.
Jonathan Frith ’16: I felt such a sigh of relief. It was the best feeling of accomplishment ever.
Dion Nguyen ’16: Tired!
Victor A. Leon ’18: Really tired!

What was the best part of The Crucible?IMG_4653

Noah Hacker ’18: My favorite part was the ruck march. I was in the back with my battle buddy and we helped out with the slow people that fell short.

Jonathan Frith ’16: The best part was watching Delta Company work together as a team to make sure every one of our brothers passed.

Victor A. Leon ’18: Running the mile. I like running.
Dion Nguyen ’16: The ruck march.

The water combat survival skills. It was a lot of fun to go swimming after all that work. AARON THOMPSON ’17


CADET Q&A: What was the hardest part of The Crucible?
Noah Hacker ’18: The hardest thing was the swim test with the rifle.
Jonathan Frith ’16: Swimming with rifles because you sort of psyche yourself out.
Dion Nguyen ’16: Rock climbing, because I am scared of heights!

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: MMA Boy Scouts Lane and Stafford

IMG_0296_morgan_lane_murphy_stafford_norman_gastelumI_diederich_maximovitchA journey which began in first grade ended in twelfth – at a review board meeting September 8, senior cadet James Lane of Wentzville, Missouri, was officially awarded his Eagle Scout rank. According to MMA scoutmaster MAJ Dennis Diederich, “less than three percent that start the program ever make it to the end.”

Lane’s Eagle Scout project, building a set of two benches for the MMA tennis court, was inspired by a meeting with his MMA advisor: science instructor and tennis coach MAJ Mike Pemberton.

Following some Google searching and a bit of planning, Lane said he “built the benches” piece by piece “almost every day until they were complete.”

IMG_0318_lane“The entire experience,” Lane said of Boy Scouts, “has taught me so many life lessons and leadership skills.”


Following in the footsteps of Lane and his predecessors – MMA’s Troop 39 has produced 18 Eagle Scouts since 2000 – is sophomore Garrett Stafford of Collierville, Tennessee, whose Eagle Scout project is currently underway.

Stafford has so far constructed two of three 8-foot-long picnic tables made of treated lumber, which, unlike the school’s older tables, are designed with a center brace to avoid bench sagging. Once complete, the trio will be used at MMA events throughout each school year – the two completed tables were broken in during summer 2015 and the 2015-16 opening picnic.

IMG_0357_staffordStafford, who joined the Scouts as a Tiger Cub, traveled the world in August 2015 thanks to his involvement in the Boy Scouts of America.

“My favorite Scout outing so far has been the 23rd World Scout Jamboree in Yamaguchi, Japan, representing the USA as part of Troop 201 of the Southern Region,” Stafford said. “While in Japan I learned about the spirit of unity between the World Scouting Organization, and made lots of new friends as well.”


Current MMA Scoutmaster MAJ Dennis Diederich, who joined Cub Scouts at 8 and became an Eagle Scout ten years later, has been a Boy Scout leader since 1978, over 37 years. He earned the Arrow of Light Award as a Cub Scout; the God and Country and Order of the Arrow awards as an Eagle Scout; and the District Award of Merit and the Council Silver Beaver Award as a Scoutmaster.

“I have two sons who are both Eagle Scouts and a grandson that is currently a Tiger Cub,” Diederich said. “My wife and I both believe in and support the Scouting program.”

DIEDERICHAccording to Diederich, Missouri native Hugh Carnahan began his Boy Scout career at MMA in the fourth grade and completed every step of the process at MMA, becoming an Eagle Scout in 2007.

“We have new Scouts that we’re teaching the basic skills,” Diederich said, “but the majority of our Troop is existing Scouts that can continue their scouting careers here at the Academy.”

Famous Eagle Scouts include Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon; Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York City; U. S. President Gerald Ford; filmmaker Michael Moore; billionaire Ross Perot; Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld; movie producer Steven Spielberg; Walmart founder Sam Walton and many other notable men.

IMG_0273_normanThe 18 cadets who have earned their Eagle through MMA’s Troop 39 since 2000 are: Ted Esser of Missouri in 2000; Chris Free of Illinois in 2001; Chris Towers of Texas in 2002; Josh Grassl of Kansas in 2003; Nick Fenton of Arkansas in 2004; Srinivas Mantha of Texas in 2004; Erich Sullivan of Vermont in 2005; Hugh Carnahan of Missouri in 2007; Dane Frederick of California in 2007; Thomas Clubb of Oregon in 2008; Nate Brand of Illinois in 2008; Mitchell Thomas of California in 2009; James Schwank of Illinois in 2010; Thomas Abraham of Oklahoma in 2011; Travis Skinner of Illinois in 2012; Jacob Beatty of Nebraska in 2013; Adam Schmitz of Missouri in 2014; and James Lane of Missouri in 2015. MMA’s Troop 39 is a member of the Great Rivers Council and the Grand Prairie District.


Troop 39 scoutmasters throughout the years have included LTC Ron Rosendahl, MAJ Joe Ableman, MAJ Dennis Diederich and LTC James Medley. Business instructors CPT Gregory Maximovitch and MAJ Keith Morgan have joined Diederich to assist during the 2015-16 school year.

“I have always highly regarded those who are able to complete Eagle Scout,” Maximovitch said. “It’s an impressive thing.”

127th Corps Leadership is Complete: Cadet Leader Training Concludes August 12 with Designations


At 1600 hours on Wednesday, August 12, the cadet leadership camp participants, Academy administrators and faculty gathered in front of Stribling Hall to hear Special Order number 1, which would announce the remaining battalion and company leaders for 2015-16.

The ceremony took place with the cadets in full dress uniform, formed up by camp platoon in front of 2015-16 Battalion Commander Mohammad “Emran” Babak and Battalion SGM Jose Estrada. President Tony McGeorge, Director of Cadet Life WO2 Rik Thornton and Commandant LTC Greg Seibert lined up under the flagpole for the announcement.

Prior to the designation announcementjohncurleyaward, President McGeorge presented a Presidential Citation to incoming senior John Curley, who represented MMA at the annual Missouri Boys State convention in June and was the first cadet to be elected Boys State Governor. McGeorge announced that Curley was a write-in candidate – only the third in Boys State history.

Cadets waited anxiously to hear if their name would be called among the battalion staff, executive officers or platoon leaders within the first special order of the year. The positions must be earned during the cadet leadership camp, which began August 3. Leader training and exercises offer a chance to develop leadership skills and to show members of the designation board what each leader has to offer.

The special order was read and the following cadets will round out the leadership roster for 2015-16:

Executive Officer:  Emilio Nanni

First Platoon
Platoon Leader:  Fahad Aliev
Platoon Sergeant:   Jean-Luc Shyaka

Second Platoon
Platoon Leader:  Chinguun Enkhjin Khatigin
Platoon Sergeant: Alejandro Gastellum

Third Platoon
Platoon Leader:  Temuulen Nerguibataar
Platoon Sergeant:  Julien Mugabo

Executive Officer:  Weitao Cong

First Platoon
Platoon Leader:  Naranmandakh Ayulgui
Platoon Sergeant:  Gregory Prinster

Second Platoon
Platoon Leader:  Christian Ell
Platoon Sergeant:  Kenneth Westcott

Third Platoon
Platoon Leader:  Purevsuren Bayanbaatar
Platoon Sergeant:  Ramon Rodriquez 

Executive Officer:  Damdinbazar Sumiyabazar

 First Platoon
Platoon Leader:   Hector Chapa
Platoon Sergeant:  Zenghui Zhang

Second Platoon
Platoon Leader:  Jose Mejia
Platoon Sergeant:  Max Murati

Third Platoon
Platoon Leader:  Aeron Lee
Platoon Sergeant:  Eugenio Felix

Executive Officer:  Thomas Dean

 First Platoon
Platoon Leader:  Oscar Garcia
Platoon Sergeant:  Tuguldur Altangerel

Second Platoon
Platoon Leader:  Tristan Hendrix
Platoon Sergeant:  Clayton Ebert

Third Platoon
Platoon Leader:  Ryan Pinks
Platoon Sergeant:  Benjamin Snider

Platoon Leader:  Robert Moore
Platoon Sergeant:  Robert Shields

Platoon Leader:  Brennan Morand
Platoon Sergeant:  Griffin Gilman


 Adjutant S-1: Russell Holman
Security Officer S-2: Orlando Farias
Operations Officer S-3: Enkhbilegt Luvsandorj
Logistics Officer S-4: Mauro Garza
Public Affairs Officer S-5: Bilguun Sandag Byambatsogt

Congratulations to all leaders!


Commencement Weekend 2014-15

83_estenik_wei_mcgeorgeCOMPANY COMPETITIVE DRILL

Commencement activities began the morning of May 22 on Colonels Field with the Company Competitive Drill contest. First up was Echo, followed by Delta, Charlie, Bravo and Band companies — each group 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 of the competition. Cadets received a trophy and ribbon for their company flag, after which parents mobbed the field to congratulate their sons and pose for photographs.

Following the conclusion of the drill competition, seven members of the Fusiliers (Octavio Gomez ’15, Francisco Fletes ’18, Jose Nachon ’16, Lucas Moore ’18, Oreste Giorgi ’17, Eduardo Gonzalez ’16 and Alberto Avila ’18) took the field to perform individual and group routines.


Sixth, seventh and eighth graders and their teachers celebrated their accomplishments at the middle school final assembly May 22 in the Memorial Chapel.

The ceremony began with a processional, the Pledge of Allegiance and remarks by Director of the Middle School MAJ Edsel Baker, followed by award presentations. Award presenters were Baker, LTC Greg Seibert, CPT John Noel, LTC Willis Kleinsorge and MAJ Paul Petit ’86 of Mission, Texas.

Hal Heyman Plaque: Sky Thunderchild ’19
Derrill S. Kuhlman Award (math/science): Rogelio Coria Lopez ’21
Rotary Service Above Self Award: Sky Thunderchild ’19
Petit Plaque for International Relations: Dongyang Chen ’20 & Martin Farias ’20
Best Squad Leader Award: Zaide Johnson ’19
G. David Bailey Discipline Trophy (fewest disciplinary reports): Santiago Sanchez ’21
Piper Barracks Award (fewest checks): 
Rogelio Coria Lopez ’21 and Jordan Hornick ’20
George Piper Outstanding MS Athlete Award: Christian Cosner ’19
Harris Plaque (soldierly qualities): Elijah Flores ’19
Richard White Improvement Plaque: Jacob Ornstein ’19
Petit Fellowship Plaque: Victor Pablos ’19
Faculty Plaque for Leadership, Cooperation & Loyalty: Eugenio Valdes ’19
Rotary Leaders of Tomorrow Award & $100 stipend: Zaide Johnson ’19 and Rodrigo Santos ’19
Syl Mansfield Memorial Award (ESL) & $100 stipend: Juan Pablo Medrano ’21

Highest Scholarship
6th grade: Rogelio Coria Lopez
7th grade: Jordan Hornick
8th grade: Santiago Ramirez

Delta Phi academic honor society members: Rogelio Coria Lopez ’21, Juan Pablo Medrano ’21; Santiago Sanchez ’21; Eugenio Valdes ’19.

The following cadets maintained a 3.7 GPA for at least one month, receiving Academic Fourragere.

5February: Chandler Bolinger ’19, Rogelio Coria Lopez ’21, Juan Pablo Medrano ’21, Santiago Sanchez ’21.

March: Chandler Bolinger ’19, Rogelio Coria Lopez ’21, Juan Pablo Medrano ’21, Santiago Sanchez ’21, Eugenio Valdes ’19.

April: Rogelio Coria Lopez ’21, Elijah Flores ’19, Luke Greenman ’20, Joseph Herrington ’20, Juan Pablo Medrano ’21, Santiago Sanchez ’21.

May: Rogelio Coria Lopez ’21, George Englehardt ’21, Joseph Herrington ’20, Juan Pablo Medrano ’21, Santiago Sanchez ’21, Eugenio Valdes ’19.

The following 20 students were recognized for maintaining A and B grades for at least one month — almost 56 percent of middle school students were recognized. As of May 22, 50 percent of middle schoolers had a year-to-date GPA of at least 3.0.

6Sixth graders: Robert Abbott (2); Rogelio Coria Lopez (9); George Englehardt (2); Juan Pablo Medrano (6); Santiago Sanchez (6).

Seventh graders: Eric Asbjornson (1); Dongyang Chen (5); Luke Greenman (6); Joseph Herrington (2); Jordan Hornick (7); Michael Naughton (6); Diego Ochoa (1); Nehemiah Simmons (4).

Eighth graders: Chandler Bolinger (7); Christian Cosner (1); Elijah Flores (7); Zaide Johnson (2); Santiago Ramirez (6); Rodrigo Santos (5); Eugenio Valdes (7).

For having maintained a GPA of at least 3.7 for at least three consecutive months, the following students received the Scholarship Medal for Academics.

First Semester: Rogelio Coria Lopez ’21, Santiago Ramirez ’19, Eugenio Valdes ’19.
Second Semester: Rogelio Coria Lopez ’21, Juan Pablo Medrano ’21, Santiago Sanchez ’21.

The assembly ended with the promotion of the 17 eighth grade students to the ninth grade. Cadets and their families were invited to attend a reception in the assembly hall after the ceremony concluded.


The high school final assembly celebrating academic, musical, military and athletic achievements was held May 22 in the Centennial Gymtorium. Accompanied by the MMA Concert Band, the Corps of Cadets marched into place and recited the National Anthem.


IMG_5659_kulasAcademy President Charles McGeorge kicked off the assembly by recognizing faculty and staff members for their contributions to the school.

“These people work for your sons and for the school selflessly and they devote a great deal of time, energy and effort into each one of these young men,” McGeorge said. “[They] really are the reason why these young men are so successful and accomplish so much.”

The following faculty and staff members were recognized for their service to the Academy:

Irene Hard, Laundry Technician, 15 years
Charles Stockdall, Maintenance Technician, 15 years
Dan Burton, Maintenance Technician, 10 years
Jason Jones, Maintenance Technician, 10 years
Cassandra Brooks, Annual Fund Manager, 5 years
Amy Groves, Director of Human Resources and Financial Aid, 5 years
David Higgins, Barracks Mentor, 5 years
CPT John Noel, Athletic Director, 5 years
Gary Stewart, Admissions Counselor, 5 years
Richard VanDuyne, Maintenance Technician, 5 years

Academy librarian CPT Katherine Larison received the Bravo Zulu award, while IT staffer Mike Kulas received the Presidential Gold Star Award.

IMG_5654_larison“Larison is being recognized with a Bravo Zulu Award for her wonderful performance with regard to community service,” McGeorge said. In 2014, the Corps of Cadets amassed 5,888 hours of community service. This year, they totaled 7,457 hours. “Under CPT Larison’s guidance we met and exceeded our community service goal.”

Each cadet is required to complete a minimum of 20 hours of community service in order to graduate to the next grade at MMA.

“We believe very strongly that it is their obligation not only to be a good family member and to give to their family, but to give to their community as well,” McGeorge said, “to be baseball coaches and football coaches and work in their church or at their hospital.”

Director of College Placement MAJ Kevin Farley and Academic Dean Dr. Frank Giuseffi were also recognized “for their splendid performance with regard to college placement and scholarship performance.” Of the 68 graduating seniors, 71 percent were admitted to highly selective colleges.

IMG_5838_elizondo“We want to thank the two of them and recognize them with our Bravo Zulu Award for outstanding performance,” McGeorge said. “Well done!”

Kulas received the Presidential Gold Star Award “in recognition of his personal courage and disregard for self in acting to protect our cadets from possible personal harm.”

“Kulas’ actions on our cadets’ behalf has upheld the highest traditions of the MMA faculty,” McGeorge remarked.62_garciajr


Academic Dean Dr. Frank Giuseffi next took the stage to present the following annual academic awards.

David Whitney 1954 Plaque: John Curley ’16
MAJ William Bryan Medal: Simon Barrera ’15
SEN John C. Danforth Plaque: Jose Garcia ’15
William F. Enright, Jr 1937 Memorial Award: Kane Anderson ’15
SEN Thomas F. Eagleton Plaque for Excellence in Senior English: Octavio Gomez ’15
SEN Thomas F. Eagleton Plaque for Excellence in Junior English: Oscar Cortada ’16
Eugene Lamm Memorial Award (ESL): Rongyang Yi ’18
American Legion Award for Scholastic Excellence, Underclassman: Maverick Jones ’16
Sylvia Mansfield Memorial Award & stipend (ESL): Jesus Villalobos ’16 and Maximiliano Perez ’15

13_giuseffiThe following cadets were also recognized for earning straight As throughout the school year in core college preparatory subjects.

Daniel Amezcua: ESL II
Gerardo Amezcua: ESL II
Kane Anderson: US Government
Mohammad Babak: AP Calculus AB, AP Chemistry, English II Honors, US History
Purevsuren Bayanbaatar: Written Language
John Curley: Biology II, Entrepreneurship
Jose De La Vega: Biology I
Zikun Deng: AP Physics I
Charles Eckardt: Biology II Honors, Chinese II
Jose Garcia: US Government
Octavio Gomez: World History
Nishan Khanal: AP Calculus BC, AP Physics C-Mechanics, Biochemistry, C++ Programming, Visual Basic
MinJun Kim: Geometry
Alexandre McDonald: College Algebra
Kyle Mertens: Algebra II, Biochemistry
Cole Mueller: Economics Honors, English IV, Humanities
Ajay Nemali: Economics
Alex Otti: AP Chemistry
Maximiliano Perez: ESL Science
IMG_5716Gregory Prinster: English II Honors, Geometry
Pablo Rodriguez: ESL II
Jean-Luc Shyaka: Biology I Honors
Damdinbazar Sumiyabazar: US History
Turbold Tumurkhuu: Chinese IV
Gabriel Vallejo: Biology I, Chinese I
Hector Villanueva: English II
Jorge Zamorano: ESL III
Yuchen Zhang: ESL Science


First-year bandmaster WO2 Freddie Lomas next presented the band awards, followed by a performance of Homeward Bound by the MMA Cadet Chorus.

LTC E.R. Jackson Music Award: Gavin Hendee ’15
Streep Brothers Band Award (Senior): Miles O’Keefe ’15
Streep Brothers Band Award (Junior): Robert Moore ’16
Streep Brothers Band Award (Sophomore): Photsavat Pongsuea ’17
COL Paul F. Cherches Memorial Award: Tony Reed Vaughan ’15


Senior Army Instructor CPT Carl Estenik and Army Instructor SFC John Biddle next presented military awards, along with guest presenters including: past president of the Military Officers Association Missouri chapter LTC John Jones, US Army ret.; LTC Denny Pendergrass, US Army ret.; LTCMDR David Christian, US Navy ret.; Alan Heidbreder; SSGT Joshua Greer; and SGT Carol Thompson.

MSGT Billy Crawford Memorial Award: Rodrigo Elizondo ’15
Military Policeman Of The Year: Rodrigo Vilches ’15 (second consecutive year)
Daedalian JROTC Medal: Vincent Burke ’15
Fusilier Of The Year: Francisco Fletes ’18
Best First-Year Fusilier: Alberto Avila ’18
Veteran of Foreign Wars JROTC Award: Nolan Borgsmiller ’15
US Daughters of 1812 Award: Kotaro Kasamatsu ’15
Sons of the American Revolution Medal: Victor Gomez ’15
Military Order of the Purple Heart National Leadership Medal: Enkhbilegt Luvsandorj ’16
Raider of the Year: Juan Cepeda ’18
Special Forces Association Medal for an Outstanding Raider: Oscar Cortada ’16
US Army Recruiting Command Award (academics): Connor Cunningham ’16
US Recruiting Command Award (athletics): Cole Mueller ’15
National Sojourners Award: Rodrigo Padilla ’15
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War JROTC Award: Jonathan Richardson ’15
American Veterans Medal for Military Excellence: Victor Marroquin ’15
American Veterans Medal for Leadership: David Lazcano ’16
Military Order of the World Wars Award: Ariyandev Sandui ’15
Military Officers Association of America Medal: Adam Schmitz ’15

IMG_6174_harris_noelATHLETIC AWARDS

The following sports awards were presented by Athletic Director CPT John Noel.

Babe Ruth Sportsmanship Award:
D’Cherion Nelson ’15

Joe D. Bailey Award for Most Dedicated
Varsity Athlete: Hugh Harris ’15


Commandant of Cadets LTC Gregory Seibert took the stage to present the following discipline and leadership awards.

Class of 1968 Freshman Leadership Award: Daniel Amezcua ’18
Richard Hall Memorial Award: Logan Byrd ’17
Mentor of the Year: LT Katie South

IMG_5777_deanMeritas Plaque for Excellence in Discipline: Claudio Arias ’15; Naranmandakh Ayulgui ’16; Thomas Dean ’16; Oreste Giorgi ’17; Eduardo Gonzalez ’16; Xiao Liang ’15; Paul Murphy ’20; Gregory Prinster ’17; Diego Quintanilla ’16; Santiago Sanchez ’21.


Following a performance of Best Day of My Life by the MMA Concert Band, Academy President Charles McGeorge took the stage to present the final awards.

AMCSUS Medal: Roger Gonzalez ’15
LT Gov. Joe Maxwell Community Service Award: John Curley ’16
Steve Walker Memorial Award for an Outstanding First-Year Cadet: John Curley ’16
Jack Meyers Class of 1939 Memorial Cup for Most Creative Cadet: Victor Gomez ’15

IMG_6155_mcguire_zhangremingtonDuke of Edinburgh’s Award bronze medalists: Deigo Quintanilla ’16; Damdinbazar Sumiyabazar ’16; Turbold Tuumurkhuu ’16; Jesus Villalobos ’16; Jorge Villarreal ’17.

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award silver medalists: Haoming “Remington” Zhang ’15; Dustin McGuire ’15; Alfonso Leon ’16; Jose Estrada ’16.


The Class of 2015 and their family members gathered in the Memorial Chapel on the evening of May 22 for the Baccalaureate ceremony, a traditional religious event held prior to Commencement.

Chaplain MAJ Edsel Baker led the benediction and delivered the baccalaureate address, playing the song Glory Days faintly in the background as he spoke. Baker compared his experience as a sophomore during the 50th anniversary of his high school to the senior class’ experience as juniors during MMA’s 125th anniversary celebration.

“They were the golden class of Lafayette High School,” he said. This special group could do no wrong, while other classes felt unimportant in comparison.

12_bakerMuch of the rhetoric during his sophomore year touted high school as the “glory days” of life, Baker said. But he disagreed.

“I thought, I’m not buying it,” Baker said. “These aren’t my glory days. I don’t want high school to be my glory days. … I wanted my high school to prepare me for my glory days.”

The “glory days” occur in your careers, at your wedding, as your children are born and grow up, Baker said. The duty of a high school is to give young men and women the tools necessary to change the world with their accomplishments.

“What have we done in this space to prepare you for what comes next?” Baker said, indicating the Chapel in which he spoke. “There is a part of you that’s spiritual. It’s that part that connects with the universe writ large and helps you through your daily life.”

“That spiritual part of you needs things, and hopefully we have equipped you with the things that it needs,” he concluded. “You need a place to be centered and to come back to. And so each Sunday night we gather here to hopefully center you.”

Baker closed the service with a benediction. Hymns throughout the ceremony included For The Beauty of the Earth and Holy, Holy, Holy. Prayers were led by Academic Dean Dr. Frank Giuseffi, and the Cadet Chorus performed Let All The People Say Amen accompanied by MAJ Mike Shoemaker on the drums.

Immediately following the conclusion of the ceremony, seniors and their families walked from the Chapel to the Centennial Gymtorium for the Senior Banquet.

IMG_5915_richardsonSENIOR BANQUET

The senior banquet began with the induction of the Class of 2015 into the MMA Alumni Association. As each senior student’s name was called, his senior portrait and college choice was projected behind him. Each senior crossed the stage, strode under an arch of sabers (held by Kane Anderson’15 and D’Cherion Nelson ’15) and paused for photos at the end of the stage. As every graduate descended the steps, Alumni Association Board President-Elect Jeff Kays ’84 and LTC Paul Gillette ’70 shook hands with him and presented him with an engraved drinking glass.

Up next were toasts to the Academy, the Corps of Cadets and the Class of 2015 led by senior class president Jose Garcia ’15 and Academy President Charles McGeorge. After a short invocation by class cadet council representative Cole Mueller ’15, dinner was served.

Following a buffet dinner of fish and steak, guests viewed the senior video created by the MMA Marketing Department and heard the traditional Class Chronicle, this year delivered by seven-year cadet Tony Reed Vaughan ’15. Vaughan was awarded the Richard Cooper ’82 Plaque for the Longest Tenure by Kays, who delivered his remarks after a bittersweet rendition of See You Again by senior chorus members Zikun Deng and Kotaro Kasamatsu.

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.

IMG_6134_kays_vaughan“As you can imagine, I was ready to move on by the time graduation arrived. Actually, I was probably ready to move on by November of 1983. But I stuck with it,” he said.

“Don’t wait for Homecoming. Organize get-togethers with alumni wherever you may be at any time of the year,” he advised the Class of 2015. “You have earned your right to wear the ring. You have earned your right to come back here year after year and stand with the thousands who came before you.”

After Kays’ speech, he joined Gillette and Academy President Charles McGeorge in presenting several senior awards.

Alumni Plaque for the Senior Voted Most Likely to Succeed: Kane Anderson ’15
American Legion Military Excellence Medal: Maxwell Broughton ’15
American Legion Scholastic Excellence Medal: Edmond Biruta ’15
MMA JROTC Distinguished Service Award: Adam Schmitz ’15
William S. Lowe Award: Nolan Borgsmiller ’15
COL Veon McConnell Korean Trophy: Guangning Wei ’15
Plaque for Outstanding MMA Athlete: Hugh Harris ’15
Class of 1984 Unhearalded Leader Award: Edmond Biruta ’15
Dr. Gregory “Doc” McDonald Award: Simon Barrera ’15
COL Jerome G. Harris Cup for Soldierly Qualities: Dustin McGuire ’15

IMG_6064_garciajrJose Garcia ’15 then presented a $2,100 check to McGeorge on behalf of the Class of 2015. The funds, earned through service projects and gifts, will purchase the Academy’s first Academic Mace, which will be used during all academic ceremonies and is symbolic of the school’s authority to confer diplomas.

“That mace will live forever and lead every academic parade [and] every graduation from this point forward,” McGeorge said. “Thank you.”

The ceremony concluded with the singing of Old MMA led by Kasamatsu and a benediction led by Simon Barrera ’15. As cadets and their families exited the gym, they received copies of the local paper The Mexico Ledger featuring formal portraits and the college plans of each graduating senior.


Senior students gathered on the parade field for the final time on the morning of May 23. During this special Battalion Review, Battalion Commander for the 2014-15 school year D’Cherion Nelson ’15 presented incoming BC cadet Mohammad Babak ’16 of Logar, Afghanistan, with the Davison Saber. As the ceremony ended, seniors marched toward the Centennial Gymtorium, their families following suit.

The 2015 Commencement ceremony began as faculty members and seniors performed their traditional march into the Centennial Gymtorium to the tune of Marche Militaire. After the posting of the colors and the Pledge of Allegiance, Academy President Charles McGeorge took the stage to welcome attendees.

16_gonzalezroger“The time that we spent together has focused on your professional resume, your accomplishments as a man, and the building of the future,” McGeorge said.

The President challenged cadets to keep community service, morality and virtue in mind as they enter the next chapter of their lives.

“We have two resumes. We have our professional resume, and then we have our personal resume,” McGeorge said. “What is it that you give back to society? How have you contributed and made your family and your community a better place?”

Chairman of the Board R. Stribling Koster net took the stage to highlight the Academy’s progress during the 2014-15 school year.

“We thank you for your support. Thank you for bringing your sons here,” Koster said. “We thank you for everything you have done to help MMA succeed for not just the last 125 years but hopefully and surely the next 125 as well.”


Middle School Principal MAJ Edsel Baker and Academic Dean Dr. Frank Giuseffi presented the following academic awards.

Stribling Cup for Highest Efficiency in the Middle School: Chandler Bolinger ’19
SEN Christopher S. Bond Award for Outstanding Middle School Underclassman: Rogelio Coria  ’21
Plaque for Highest Scholarship in the Freshman Class: Gabriel Vallejo ’18
Plaque for Highest Scholarship in the Sophomore Class: Gregory Prinster ’17
Plaque for Highest Scholarship in the Junior Class: Nishan Khanal ’16


Following a performance of Battle Hymn of the Republic by the Cadet Chorus, McGeorge once more took the stage to present the following awards.

Heimos Trophy: CSGT Mike Harding
Robert H. Weaver Memorial Award for those who exemplify philanthropic support for MMA: Linda Angel and Robert Moore, parents of cadets Robert and William Moore
Fritsch Plaque and stipend: Mohammad Babak ’16
Dorsey Anderson Class of 1895 Cup: Rodrigo Padilla ’15
Red Ireland Class of 1941 Trophy for a Fighting Heart: Steven Prinster ’15
Mustang Scholars Foundation Plaque: Edmond Biruta ’15
Outstanding Performance by a Company Commander: Victor Marroquin ’15
Don Hooton Class of 1919 Fellowship Cup & Charles I. Wall Cup: Simon Barrera ’15
Legion of Honor: D’Cherion Nelson ’15

M-Club Award: Bravo Company
Highest Athletic Standing: Echo Company
Highest Disciplinary Standing: Charlie Company
Company Spirit Award: Bravo Company
Highest Scholastic Standing: Bravo Company
Highest Military Standing: Company Company
Honor Company: Bravo Company


Academic Dean Dr. Frank Giuseffi next called senior class president and valedictorian Jose Refugio Garcia ’15 to the stage, presenting him with the James C. Olson Award for the Highest Scholarship in the Senior Class. As he took the podium for his remarks, Garcia said he would never have imagined he would be named valedictorian.

“MMA helped me by trial and error to turn my weaknesses into strengths,” he said. “MMA has done the same to all of its cadets.”


Keynote speaker Chancellor of the University of Missouri Dr. R. Bowen Loftin next addressed cadets, relating a few true tales from throughout his career to illustrate his thoughts on leadership.

He began by describing a Gulf of Mexico sailing expedition gone awry in 2008 during his tenure as CEO at Texas A&M University. Six people — four student researchers and two safety officers — set sail. Five returned.

“You’re sleeping and all of a sudden your boat’s upside down, total darkness, and water is coming in rapidly,” Loftin said.

Roger Stone, a 53-year-old father of two, died saving the lives of two students.

“He grabbed the only available life jacket he could find, handed it to one of them and pushed them both out into the sea,” Loftin said.

“Humans like to be loved,” he said. “You have been loved by your parents, your family, your friends, the faculty and staff here at MMA. They love you. But some day as a leader, people won’t love you any more. And that’s a hard thing. It’s a hard thing at my age. It’s a very hard thing at your age.”

Loftin related this somber story to a silent Commencement crowd, connecting it to one of the most important lessons he learned about leadership. He concluded his speech by challenging cadets to remember that the path of a leader isn’t always easy.

“You will be extraordinarily successful in your careers going forward,” Loftin said. “I wish you the very best in your future endeavors. … Congratulations to each of you and best wishes for a very, very bright future.”

After a performance of How To Train Your Dragon by the Concert Band, seniors received their diplomas and walked across the stage, pausing as they descended the steps to pose for a photograph. (Prints can be ordered here.) The ceremony concluded with the singing of Old MMA and the retiring of the colors.


The 126th 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 D’Cherion Nelson ’15, graduating seniors plunged their sabers into the grass, placed their hats upon their hilts, and saluted as the sound of Taps (led by bugler Joshua John ’17) echoed in a round 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 flooded the grounds. An hour of tearful goodbyes and hugs followed, as those with early flights broke off and departed campus.

Valentine’s Day Weekend 2014

image of miss missouriThe Valentine Ball is an MMA tradition that goes back many years and includes the annual appearance by the reigning Miss Missouri. The attendance of Miss Missouri is a special tradition that originated when MMA began hosting the Miss Missouri pageant more than 40 years ago. The Junior Class President has the special honor of escorting Miss Missouri during the evening. This year, Miss Missouri 2013 Shelby Ringdahl, will be on hand to crown the 2014 Valentine Ball Queen who is chosen from among the young ladies escorted by MMA cadets.

The event has special activities that are customary to the formal dances at Missouri Military Academy. MMA follows many customs of a formal military ball.  Guests and cadets are asked to participate in a receiving line at the beginning of the ball where they are introduced to the President and his wife and other school officials and guests. Later in the evening a Grand March is held to formally open the ball, and a crowning ceremony will take place to select the 2014 Valentine Ball Queen.

The formal Valentine’s Ball is free to all attendees and is sponsored and planned by the Junior class.  There is an optional dinner beforehand for which advance tickets must be purchased, a link to make your reservation is provided here.

EVENT SCHEDULE (All events and locations are subject to change)


7:45 – 9:15 a.m. 

Pancake Breakfast: MMA Dining Hall sponsored by the Senior Class. $5 per adult, $2 for cadets and children under 12. You may purchase tickets on site the morning of the breakfast.

8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Parent-Teacher Conferences:  Conferences will be held in the Barnard Academic Building with check in at the Barnard Hall atrium.  A website link will be provided later in January to pre-register for your conference times. 

Scholastic Book Fair:  Barnard Hall Library. 

Quartermaster Store:  Barnard Hall Atrium

11:00 a.m. Parent Committee Meeting: Barnard Hall Library

12:15-1:30 p.m. Passing Through Ceremony will be conducted on the front campus and will continue with a military review in the Field House.

1:30 p.m. Mess (Lunch)

1:45 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. Cadets may check out for the evening or overnight with parents with their permission.  Overnight checkout with their own parents only!

6:30 p.m. Valentine Dinner in the Centennial Gymtorium.  Purchase your Valentine’s Dinner tickets here.  We hope you will join us for the dinner, it’s a great time to relax and enjoy a wonderful evening prior to the dance and allows time to visit with your son and his friends. Attendance is not mandatory.

8:00-10:00 p.m. Valentine Ball in the Centennial Gymtorium.  All cadets and their families are welcome and is free of charge for all attendees.  Formal attire is required which includes cocktail dresses, suits or ballgowns for ladies and business suits or tuxedos for men. Cadets will wear their winter dress uniform.  Cadet’s are not required to bring a date although they are welcome to do so at no charge to them, unless they attend dinner beforehand.

A professional photographer will be on site to take photos and their dates and/or their families. Photos will be available for purchase directly from Steve Biggers Photography within a few weeks of the event.  More information will be provided by the photographer at the event.


7:00 a.m. – 6:15 p.m. Cadets are permitted to checkout with their parents.

6:15 p.m. Cadet Check-In

6:30 p.m.  Vespers in the MMA Memorial Chapel. Parents are welcome to attend once their cadets have checked in.