Tag Archives: SGM Henry Suddarth

A Cadet’s Perspective: Values of a Good Cadet Leader

by Blake Gorman ’13, Eagle Columnist

“Criticize in private, praise in public.”

-1SG Jacobson

I, as an MMA cadet leader, can sometimes feel that the way I run my platoon is the wrong way to do it. I try to run my platoon according to the ways that I feel is the right way but I wanted to take the initiative to find out what is truly the right way of running a platoon or a unit in general. Now, what I mean by the correct way is not by the book, though there is a lot of helpful advice in the book. But there are times when a leader is going to be put into situations where “by the book” isn’t going to cut it. Everyone has their own styles of leadership but there are times where it just goes a step to far. What I mean by this is that a leader merely focuses on the negative things, which is not a good way to motivate your unit. If a leader wants to motivate their unit they have to “praise” them. Let them know they are doing the right thing, so they can continue doing it. When you use positive motivation results will always show.

Criticism is necessary but not in front of everybody else. First of all, you lose respect of that individual and the unit. You’re going to criticize an individual’s performance do it one on one instead of  screaming at them in a formation. My company commander always tells me “If someone in your platoon gets a check then it’s technically your check too.” So if you’re yelling due to their poor performance, you’re yelling at yourself. It’s a leaders job to teach until they know that their unit knows. After that if they mess up discipline them.

With a large enrollment of new boys and a small enrollment of old boys, there is going to be a lot of inexperience in the core. But having a lot of new boys is not necessarily a bad thing because there is also a lot of potential for re imaging MMA. Now, it is on us leaders to do this. If we do, we can form a responsible, respectful, attentive, and successful battalion.

However, there are  concerns that the military department of MMA brings up about leadership, like dedication for example.  Sometimes they fear leaders are “half stepping” their positions. This means leaders have to take their positions seriously and always set the example.  Dedication is essential to success.  One important position that requires such dedication is squad leader.  They have to be the ones that are most involved with their subordinates. Squad leaders are supposed to be the last person to be delegated too. He also mentions that squad leaders are the ones that are supposed to know the most about their subordinates.

An overall leader is a leader that finds a solution to a problem and he doesn’t point fingers at anyone. He has to know his weaknesses before he knows his strengths. He is not selfish but he is selfless. For example, my company executive officer, Cadet Master Sergeant Nguyen, dedicated his time every day just to make sure that the entire company is motivated and everyone is in check. One day he even looked up a quote for every cadet in the company, even leaders. There are many ways to motivate a company and it can be as simple as doing things like sticking quotes on everyone’s door.

Right now in the core, leaders are still learning different styles of leadership. There is no specific way to lead. Everyone has a unique style of leadership: one person could lead with a strict disciplinary style while the other one is more reserved and leads with positive motivation.

This is also one of the worst times of the year to be a leader because it’s close to Christmas break and everyone just got back from Thanksgiving break. This is going to make everyone act up and cadets are going to be lacking a lot of discipline. There are many external conflicts like keeping everyone under control and make sure that they are in line but there is a major internal conflict too. I as a leader right now is struggling to keep myself in line and to still keep my authority. The only thing that crosses my mind though is what I’m going to do when I get home and it is tough to keep my MMA state of mind. I’m having a difficult time just keeping myself disciplined and I’m also trying to keep the platoon disciplined.

Old boys know how to cope with this issue but the new boys have no idea what they are getting themselves into. In times like this we need to warn them about how it’s going to affect their performance because they probably don’t even notice it and they won’t until it has affected their company with checks. It is important to warn the new boys about what’s going to happen throughout the year so they can perform at their best potential. The more that we keep the new boys informed the more they feel like they are a part of something. The new boys that we are leading now are very important to keep motivated because they could one day be the Battalion Commander. Now, wouldn’t that be something special to know that I was the first one to impact on the way he leads now. A new boy’s first leader is the leader that is going to impact him the most. That impact could be a positive one or a negative one. That new boy can either lead like the way you do because he respected you as a leader or he can lead the exact opposite way that you did because you were a poor leader that didn’t give anyone respect but you still demanded them to respect you.  This is not the type of leadership we should promote to them.

Responsibility is a key to being a successful leader. Sergeant Major Suddarth states that, “Leaders need to take their positions seriously always set the example that their subordinates can follow.”  If a leader sets a poor example their subordinates will follow that example which will make that subordinate a terrible cadet, which will affect the overall performance of the Corps. Leaders make a big impact on the core, and it is up to us to maintain and improve.

There are many ways to put yourself in a position to lead at MMA.  If you apply yourself early and often, it will become clearer which style of leadership is the best one for you and your unit. But always keep in mind that your leadership can affect everyone around you.  If it is a positive effect, the corps will continue to produce effective, responsible, and strong leaders for the future.






Blake Gorman is a senior cadet from Wentzville, Mo.  He is interested in attending colleges such as The Citadel, University of Missouri, and Missouri State University.



Cadets to Travel Far and Wide to Honor Missouri Veterans

Veterans Day is an annual opportunity for everyone to remember those who have served the United States through the armed forces, but it is an especially significant time for Missouri Military Academy cadets to present very unique yet formal ways to remember those men and women.

Cadets will be appearing in several different locations around the Midwest at community Veterans Day events.

On Friday, November 9, MMA cadets are taking part in a joint celebration with Mexico High School students.  The entire corps of cadets along with the Mexico High School student body will assemble in the afternoon for several events.  MMA Senior Army Instructor SGM Henry Suddarth will address the students and educate them about the world that American servicemen and servicewomen experience.

As part of that celebration, the Mexico High School and MMA bands are scheduled to play a number of patriotic tunes for the visiting veterans.  There will also be a presentation of colors by the MMA Color Guard.  All area veterans are encouraged to attend this special celebration which begins at 1:00 p.m.

Cadets will then present a Battalion Review at the Missouri Veterans Home in Mexico Saturday morning at 10:00.

On Sunday, MMA will continue its recognition of veterans as the Academy’s band and color guard are set to march in a Veterans Day parade in the St. Louis suburb of Florissant.  While those cadets honor veterans in that area, MMA’s World War II re-enactment group, the Railsplitters, will appear at the veterans celebration in Columbia, Mo.  The event in Florissant begins at 1:00 p.m., while the Columbia appearance will be at 10:00 a.m.

Families Gather at MMA for Spring Family Weekend

Mothers and grandmothers were the guests of honor at Missouri Military Academy’s Spring Family Weekend.  The annual event includes activities that honor mothers and grandmothers and their influence on their sons.

The Mothers’ Tea kicked off the weekend, as incoming MMA president Charles A. “Tony” McGeorge and Mrs. McGeorge joined a number of mothers and grandmothers in the Barnard Hall atrium.  The tea was hosted by the Office of Advancement and the MMA Parents’ Committee.  Incoming chairperson Cynthia Dillon of Colorado Springs, Colo. and incoming vice-chairperson Leslie Teague of Plato, Mo. spoke briefly about the upcoming 2012-2013 school year.

After the tea, families made their way to the new Stribling Hall, where MMA president MajGen Robert M. Flanagan joined the Office of Advancement and MMA faculty and staff to dedicate the terrace that is attached to the back of the building, which will house a 50-year time capsule.  The area has been named after MMA alumnus Bill Ewton of the class of 1941.  MajGen Flanagan and Director of Advancement Dan Fowler unveiled a plaque that will be displayed on the terrace.  Ewton’s daughter, Valynda, spoke of her father at the event, noting that her father held only his wife higher in his heart than MMA.  The area will be known as the Bill Ewton ’41 Terrace.

Families had the opportunity to sign their sons out for the afternoon before returning to campus for the Kathryn C. Epple Memorial Art Show and the Festival of the Arts in the Centennial Gymtorium.  Many cadets displayed their work in the art show, including Best in Show winners Rodrigo Delgadillo ’13 for his scratchboard, “Bob,” and Byron Amidon ’16 for his graphite drawing, “Skull.”

After the conclusion of the art show, the audience took in performances by the Middle School and High School bands, chorus, Dramateers, the new high school jazz band and other fine arts groups.  Several cadets showed off their skills with a solo.  The entire show was well received by the crowd.

MMA faculty also awarded cadets with the annual fine arts awards.  Ribbons and plaques were presented to cadets who were most outstanding in the areas of art, drama, band, chorus, and journalism during the 2011-2012 school year.  Winners can be seen by clicking here.

Cadets could spend the night out with their parents after the show before returning Sunday morning.  Families enjoyed a pancake breakfast sponsored by the Class of 2012 before heading to the Field House for Sunday’s main event, the Flower Pinning Ceremony.  Cadets were in formation for the pinning, where mothers and grandmothers pin red flowers on their sons and grandsons.  In a special part of the ceremony, MajGen Flanagan and Mrs. Debbie Flanagan pinned white flowers on those cadets who have lost their mothers.

After the pinning ceremony, the crowd took in a performance by MMA’s Fusileers followed by the Sunday Battalion Review.  As part of the Review, Senior Army Instructor SGM Henry Suddarth presented the Superior Cadet Award to cadets Nathan Hollinger ’12 (LET IV), Eoghan Matthews ’13 (LET III), Alec Noonan ’13 (LET II), and Jonathan Miller ’15 (LET I).  The award is given for excellence in military and academic scholarship and leadership; demonstrated qualities in discipline, courtesy and character; and potential for achieving positions of ever increasing responsibility at MMA.

The weekend concluded with Vespers in the Memorial Chapel with Susan Iverson of Germantown, Tenn. serving as a guest speaker to the cadets.

For photos from all of Spring Family Weekend, click on this link to our Flickr page.

Delta Company Takes Army Days Crown

Army Days is an annual event at Missouri Military Academy where cadets compete against each other through physical challenges and teamwork exercises.  On Saturday, March 24, each company was split up into three platoons, who then competed against other companies’ platoons to gain points for their barracks as a whole.  The obstacle course, land navigation exercise, pugil stick competition, and tug-of-war highlight some of the events that are part of the Army Days competition.  Delta Company proved victorious at the end of the day, earning them the coveted Golden Boot!


Pictured (left):  Members of Delta Company pose after their big victory Saturday




Pictured (right):  Delta Company Commander Jared Roberts ’12 accepts the Golden Boot from Battalion Commander E.J. Chung ’12 and Senior Army Instructor SGM Henry Suddarth


PHOTOS:  Check out the Army Days 2012 photo album on Flickr

MHS Calls On MMA for JROTC Assistance

Missouri Military Academy will play an active role in Mexico High School’s quest to add a JROTC program to its curriculum.  Mexico High School Principal Dr. Terry Robinson says the district’s students have never had an opportunity to fully participate in an official JROTC program before.  He says his support for potentially bringing JROTC to Mexico High stems from his observations of the program during his time at Hillcrest High School in Springfield, Mo.

He says implementing JROTC into the curriculum at Mexico High School will provide another outlet for area students.

“Students value structure and we believe that the program and its message will translate into something positive for young people,” Robinson said.  “These are ideas and values we believe can be transmitted at the high school level.”

Mexico High School freshman Amber Allison receives introductory information from MMA JROTC Instructor SGM Henry Suddarth.  Allison, along with 14 other MHS students, began their JROTC training Tuesday.

Robinson and Mexico Public Schools Superintendent Tina Woolsey contacted MMA president MajGen Robert M. Flanagan this summer about what MMA could possibly do to help.

“We suggested to Dr. Robinson and Superintendent Woolsey that we ‘train the trainers’ by allowing some number of their students to come to our school to start the program – not so much where they go through MMA JROTC, but rather to train them and help them understand the process,” Flanagan said.  “That way, when the program is approved, they would go back with a year or two of experience and would be able to train new members.”

Perhaps the greatest obstacle to getting that program started is a long and arduous application process.  Robinson says the school district submitted its application about six months ago, but it could be as long as 36 months before Army officials give their approval.  Until then, MMA JROTC Instructor SGM Henry Suddarth will train a group of 15 students who have signed up for the program.

Robinson and Flanagan both say they are very pleased to begin the partnership, and are hopeful the program is approved as quickly as possible.

Robinson says students from other school districts in Audrain County may also be invited to participate.