There has been an exciting addition to the Cadet Life program at MMA! In an initiative designed to offer a more dynamic, fulfilling and youth-oriented cadet life curriculum, we are pleased to announce that as of April 1, Warrant Officer Richard “Rik” Thornton, Royal Marines Commando (Ret.), will fill a new role at MMA – the Director of Cadet Life.
In his new role, WO2 Thornton will be responsible for the general health, welfare, discipline, non-academic programming and morale of the Corps of Cadets. He will also be in charge of the assimilation of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award into the cadet life curriculum.
WO2 Thornton is an enthusiastic, positive youth leader who brings valuable skills to the Missouri Military Academy program. Read about the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and his experience below:
About The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award
The award is a unique self-development program available to young people worldwide aged 14-25, equipping them with life skills to make a difference within themselves, their communities, and the world. Participants embark on a wide variety of activities and projects that span four award sections – Community Service, Physical Fitness, Special Skills, and an Adventurous Journey – all with the goal to “better themselves while helping others.”
The DOEA was founded in 1956 in the UK by Her Majesty the Queen’s husband, HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award boasts operations in 144 countries around the world and is now entering its fourth year of operations in the United States. Missouri Military Academy will be the first DOEA chapter in Missouri and the only school in the United States to offer a school-wide program.
The goal of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is aligned with MMA’s 360 Degree Education – both exist to promote self-esteem and character development in young people. The 2013-2014 Corps of Cadets will have access to a life-changing experience.
About WO2 Thornton
WO2 Thornton comes to MMA from Valley Forge Military Academy and College in Wayne, Pa., where he was most recently Commandant of Cadets. He previously served in the capacities of Command Sergeant Major, Training Officer and Tactical Officer. Before coming to the United States, he was a Warrant Officer in the Royal Marines Commando, participating in complex operations and training activities on a global level.
WO2 Thornton’s educational qualifications include a Bachelor’s degree in Military Training and Science from Indiana University, licences in Human Resources and Physical Resources Management, and an NEBS diploma in Management and City and Guilds in General Technology and Mechanical Engineering Maintenance.
He boasts a long list of professional training and qualifications, including certification in first aid, first responder instruction, SCUBA instruction, survival tactics and physical training. In his spare time he is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys sailing, running, cycling and shooting. Thornton also has participated in winter biathlons, triathlons, skydiving, cross country and Alpine skiing and has climbed the Matterhorn, Mont Blanc, Mt. Kilimanjaro and the foothills of Mt. Everest.
“Rik brings an impressive knowledge of and enthusiasm for engaging young people in exciting, challenging activities,” said Missouri Military Academy president Charles A. “Tony” McGeorge. “This, coupled with his excellent rapport with young people, will bring a tremendous change to our program.”