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Hargrave Military Academy (HMA) is a private American boarding school located in the town of Chatham, Virginia.

Hargrave is a school affiliated with the Baptist General Association of Virginia emphasizing Christian values that focuses on a college and military preparatory program. The school serves boys from around the world from grades seven to twelve and has a post-graduate (PG) program, through which high school graduates can improve their athletic abilities, grades, and SAT scores in preparation for college.

Early HistoryEdit

Hargrave Military Academy was founded in 1909 as the Chatham Training School (CTS). CTS and its predecessor, the Warren Training School, were general training schools for boys. In 1925, it was renamed in honor of one of its founders J. Hunt Hargrave, a well-to-do local farmer. The renaming was part of the school's evolution into a military high school, and is detailed in Colonel Aubrey H. Camden's 1959 book "Fifty Years of Christian Education in a Baptist School: A Historical Record of Hargrave Military Academy:

"In the early twenties, national magazines served as an advertising medium for solicitation of students. Out-of-state inquiries soon convinced the management that Chatham Training School was being interpreted to mean an institution for incorrigibles. It was deemed wise to change the name to Hargrave Military Academy. This change in name served two purposes. First, it corrected a misunderstanding as to the type of clientele desired. Second, it established a permanent memorial to Mr. J. Hunt Hargrave, who sponsored the school with deep convictions, devout faith, and collateral security from 1909 until his death in 1935."

T. Ryland Sanford resigned as President of CTS on February 19, 1918 and recommended to the Board of Trustees that Aubrey H. Camden, then the Dean, be his successor. Camden assumed the position of President on June 1, 1918 and would remain there for more than twenty years.

In response to appeals from patrons and students for military training to be made part of the available academics, a formal government inspection was conducted and H. W. Thomas joined the Hargrave faculty as the first commandant in January 1919. Hargrave has been approved for Junior ROTC (JROTC) numerous times since then, but many in the Hargrave community, most notably the Board of Trustees, feared that the addition of that program would put too much emphasis on military studies and lessen academics. Hargrave has consistently operated independent of JROTC, creating its own uniforms and cadet rank structure.

Hargrave saw a significant rise in interest regarding its military aspects upon the attack on Pearl Harbor and the entry of the United States into the Second World War. During this time, cadets had to live in buildings near the Hargrave campus rather than on campus as they normally would have.

On February 20, 1950, a fire ravaged the Academy, destroying the Old Building, Hargrave Hall, and Founders Hall. Not one cadet or staff member was harmed in the fire, but Sanford Hall alone remained, and at the time that building lacked heat and other accommodations. After an assembly before Colonel Camden in the Sanford Hall auditorium, a two-week vacation was declared. This was to allow time for Hargrave staff to work out a way to continue the regular academic schedule.

Colonel Camden, in his book on the first fifty years of HMA's history, writes:

"This institution was encouraged after the fire by many expressions of confidence in the form of letters, telegrams, and voluntary gifts from friends, patrons, and alumni. These communications came not only from Chatham and Virginia but from the North, South, East, West, and abroad... all the hearts and minds of these people were uplifted by the thought that from these ashes would be born a greater Hargrave."

On July 28, 1951, Colonel Joseph H. Cosby succeeded Colonel Aubrey H. Camden as President of HMA. Enrollment was at 214 for his first year as President, consisting of 183 boarding cadets and 31 day cadets.


The Camden Rifles, Hargrave's elite drill unit, was formed in 1951 in honor of Colonel Aubrey H. Camden. The Hargave yearbook, known as "The Oracle" and "The Talisman" through previous years, was renamed "The Cadence" in the same year.

Many of Hargrave's current buildings were built during Colonel Cosby's time as President. The Walter R. Davis gymnasium was finished in 1961 and Camden Hall and Cosby Hall were finished in 1963.

The 1970s were highly significant years for Hargrave. Black cadets were admitted to Hargrave for the first time in the summer of 1971, after the Board of Trustees passed a resolution that Hargrave would not consider race, color, or country of origin in its admission or employment policy and Colonel Vernon T. Lankford signed the Civil Rights Agreement.

With enrollment at 586 for the 1970-1971 year, the Hargrave Corps of Cadets was organised into one corps consisting of two battalions. This change did not last long. But while the HMA Corps of Cadets has remained as a single battalion since 1971, its commander is still a cadet colonel.

Female cadets were admitted for the first time in the 1975-1976 year, and Geri Lou Huizinga and Lynn Emerson became the first women to graduate from HMA in 1976.

However, the Vietnam War years were not easy for Hargrave. Despite such changes as the admission of non-white and female cadets, enrollment dropped, funds became low, and many hard choices had to be made to save money. The school laundry was closed, and the postgraduate program dropped.

By 1978, Hargrave had already begun to recover. Enrollment increased, and school finances were more stable. The General Douglas MacArthur award was presented for the first time in 1981, the first cadet to receive it being Henry A. Haymes. Ten years later, another first occurred as Andrew Ballen '91 became the first black battalion commander.

By 2009, the postgraduate program had returned and the four-week summer program a standard part of each year. Hargrave was an all-male school again, and Hargrave celebrated as the school turned one hundred years old under the leadership of Colonel Wheeler L. Baker.

The 2010 HMA Summer Program had an enrollment of 140 cadets and ran from June 27 to July 24, 2010.

On June 24, 2011, a change-of-command ceremony was held as Colonel Wheeler L. Baker turned over leadership of the school to Brigadier General Doyle Broome, Jr., the first staff member above the rank of colonel to hold the office of President. Presiding over the 2011 summer program was Brigadier General Broome's first major act as President of Hargrave.


One of the purposes of Hargrave Military Academy is to get cadets ready for college. Both Standard and Advanced High School Diplomas are offered, as well as dual-enrollment classes through Danville Community College. In addition to the 7-12 grade middle and high school, a one-year postgraduate program is also offered.


Hargrave is governed by a Board of Trustees, many of whom are alumni and community leaders. In addition, Hargrave has developed its own charitable foundation to allow philanthropists an opportunity to make gifts to the school.

The school is accredited by the Virginia Association of Independent Schools and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The school is a member of the Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States and the National Association of Independent Schools.

The current president of Hargrave is Brigadier General Doyle Broome, Jr., a retired US Army officer. Brigadier General Broome succeeded Colonel Wheeler Baker as President in a change-of-command ceremony in 2011.

Presidents of HMA:

Military aspectsEdit

According to their website, "Hargrave's military program is designed to present an environment in which a Cadet may gain a sense of humor, commitment and fidelity. The daily exposure of a military environment assists Cadets in developing self-discipline, character, ethics, team building and leadership."[1] Military aspects include the wearing of uniforms, a military-style organization of personnel, ranks, and a chain of command. The military aspect is headed by the Commandant (dean of students) Michael Cloy, Col. USA (ret.), the Commandant directly answers to the President. The Commandant has several TAC Officers that answer to him that each have a particular company that they are in charge of.

TAC OfficersEdit

  • Daniel Burs SgtMaj USMC (ret.) - Assistant Commandant
  • Robert Spears GySgt USMC (ret.) - Alpha Company
  • Steve Wilson SSgt USA (ret.) - Bravo Company
  • Brent Weinkauf Cpl USMC (ret.) - Charlie Company
  • Leroy Myers Sgt USMC (ret.) - Delta Company
  • Lance Jones MGySgt USMC (ret.) - Golf Company
  • Sgt Williams (USMC (ret.) - Band Company


  • Class A uniform is divided into four classes:
    • Class A consists of a blouse, gray trousers, white shirt with black tie, dress hat with white cover, black shoes with black socks, belt according to rank, officer's or NCO's sashes, white waist belt, white gloves, sabres for officers. Senior NCO's wear swords.
    • Whites is the same as Class A except the blouse is not worn and only ribbons, President's List, and Dean's List stars may be worn.
  • Class B uniform is divided into two classes:
    • Class B-I is a long sleeved gray shirt with black tie, dress hat without white cover, and belts according to rank.
    • Class B-II is a short sleeve gray shirt with no tie, garrison hat and belts according to rank.
  • Chapel Uniform consists of a white shirt with black tie, gray trousers, dress hat with white cover, black shoes with black socks and belts according to rank.
  • Class D uniform consists of khaki pants and the black HMA polo shirt.
  • ACU uniform consists of the full Army ACU uniform, including the blouse, pants, boots, and cover with a Hargrave issue PT shirt under the blouse.
  • Miscellaneous For formal affairs, a black bow tie is worn. The drill team and the Highlander bagpipe unit wear special uniforms. Black jackets and Varsity jackets are also worn by cadets depending on weather.


The Corps of Cadets consists of a battalion divided into eight companies: Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Golf, Band, and Headquarters.

  • Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie are where most boarding high school cadets are assigned.
  • Echo Company consists of day students.
  • Headquarters Company consists of Battalion Staff, who share a barracks with Delta Company. In previous years the majority of Auxiliary Officers lived together, beginning the year on Bravo Barracks and moving to Golf Barracks second semester when many of the Post Graduate players had left. Due to lower enrollment however, during the 2010-2011 school year Auxiliary Officers live with the companies that they were members of before they were commissioned. This change has led to some disputes with leadership of the companies due to difficulty in determining what staff members of the companies hold authority over the Auxiliary Officers.
  • Band Company is where members of the Marching Band are assigned.
  • Delta Company is the middle school company, which includes seventh, eighth, and ninth graders.
  • Golf Company is the Post Graduate, or PG, company and includes some seniors who play on the PG Basketball and Football teams.

Cadets live with their respective companies on assigned barracks. Band Company is on Barracks 800 with Bravo Company, Battalion Staff lives on Barracks 600 with Delta Company, Golf Company on Barracks 300 and 400, Charlie Company, the largest company, on Barracks 100 and 200, Alpha company on Barracks 700, and Bravo Company has Barracks 800. Delta Company lives on Barracks 500 and 600. Almost all rooms on the barracks are set up for two cadets to share. Some cadets with leadership positions, such as Battalion or Company Staffs, have their own rooms.

Every six weeks grading period, an "Honor Company" is chosen. The honor company is the company with the best overall academic and military performance. For winning, the honor company is allowed to sleep in on Saturdays, eats first at mess, and display a streamer on their guidon.


The rank structure at Hargrave is similar to that of the United States Army, the only changes being the exclusion of the rank of Specialist and the replacement of Private E-1 with Basic Cadet (BC). New cadets and those who are stripped of their rank have no insignia.

In their freshman year, cadets can achieve up to the rank of Private First Class or even corporal on occasion.

After going to Non-Commissioned Officers (NCO) School, cadets are able to get up to the rank of sergeant. After Senior Non-Commissioned Officers (SNCO) School, cadets can obtain numerous higher NCO ranks. One cadet is appointed to the rank of Command Sergeant Major, serving on Battalion staff as the highest-ranking NCO.

The week before the start of their senior year, cadets have the option of attending Officer Candidate School (OCS), which allows them to obtain commissioned officer ranks. The OCS Completion Ribbon is awarded to those cadets who finish OCS, but like all other ranks, a cadet officer's rank is not permanent and can be revoked.

Insignia 60px 60px 60px 60px 60px 60px 60px 60px 60px No Insignia
Title Sergeant Major First Sergeant Master Sergeant Sergeant First Class Staff Sergeant Sergeant Corporal Private First Class Private Basic Cadet
Insignia 75px 50px 25px 75px 50px 25px
Title Colonel Lieutenant Colonel Major Captain First Lieutenant Second Lieutenant

Cadet OfficersEdit

An officer, can hold many leadership positions ranging from platoon leader to Battalion Commander. The corps is run by the cadet officers and supervised by the military faculty members. From 1970 to 1973, the corps had two battalion commanders and a corps commander. When the Corps was recombined into one battalion in 1973, the position of Battalion Commander became the highest leadership position. The Battalion Commander is the commanding officer of the corps. Past Battalion/Corps Commanders include:

Battalion CommandersEdit

  • H. Williard Stephens, '30
  • James Twisdale, Jr. '43
  • Paul Sanderlin, Jr. '45
  • Frank Malinowski '46
  • Ballard Huff '47
  • Derwood Bush '48
  • Leon Story '49
  • Donald Loizos '49
  • William "Billy" Roberts '50
  • Donald E.J. Stewart, '51
  • Melvin McCabe Scott, Jr. '52
  • Jay Chambers '53
  • Harry Keast '54
  • James Edward Sanderson '55
  • John David Smith, III '56
  • Max Willard Nicholson '57
  • Thomas Wright Barlow '58
  • Edward Blease Eadie '59
  • Gene Wesley Johnson '60
  • Frederick L. (Ricky) Shreves '61
  • Leonard Barrell, Jr. '62
  • Dan G. Reeves '63
  • Jack Pattisall '64
  • Lance C. Newby '65
  • Felix R. Bedford '66
  • Jack Evans Peebles '67
  • Tommy Lankford '68
  • Rowe N. Eckard '69
  • David Fitzgerald '70
  • Colonel Sloan D. Gibson IV '71 Corps Cdr
  • lieutenant colonel Peter F. Larson '71 1st Bn Cdr
  • lieutenant colonel Ernesst Choquette '71 2d Bn Cdr
  • Jack H. Layne, Jr.'73
  • Charles L. Hayward '74
  • Benjamin G. White, Jr. '75
  • Mark M. Dixon '76
  • Mark A. Henry '77
  • George A. Bergamini '78
  • Gregory G. Williams '79
  • Christopher C. Flaesch '80
  • Jeffrey L. Herbin '81
  • Jeffrey A. Seely '82
  • Timothy B. Snell '83
  • Charles E. Canrobert '84
  • Henry J. Belingham '85
  • Todd C. Graves '86
  • Thomas E. Skews '87
  • Robert A. Stewardson '88
  • Don Elliott '89
  • Matthew Lindsay '90
  • Andrew Ballen '91
  • Daniel Bostick/David Larrymore '92
  • Don Ward '93
  • Jason Hinkley '94
  • Graham Ward '95
  • José Savinon '96
  • Jacob Gminder '97
  • Fred Fox '98
  • Justin Mildrum '99
  • Carlos A Pingarron Ch. '00
  • J. Parker Mills '01
  • Eric Briceno '02
  • Kirby W. Mills '03
  • Chad Lynn '04
  • Miguel Faria '05
  • Morgan Gardner '06
  • Josh Splinter '07
  • Scott Dinius '08
  • Oliver Salman '09
  • Harrison Holmes '10
  • Stanley Gordon Jones III '11
  • Daniel Jonas '12
  • Aidan White '13


Superior Performance
Is the highest award a cadet at Hargrave can receive. The award is given annually at an awards ceremony towards the end of every school year. It is traditionally given to the Battalion SGM and all Battalion 1SG's. The award has also been given to the Battalion Color Sgt. though this was a special case and awarded because of their superior performance all year. Also, the Cadet of the year traditionally receives the award.
Gen. Douglas MacArthur Award
The General Douglas MacArthur Foundation presents the MacArthur Cadet Awards in recognition of outstanding cadets within the Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States. The MacArthur Award is presented annually to seniors at these military schools. The award is designed to encourage cadets to emulate the leadership qualities shown by General Douglas MacArthur, as a student at West Texas Military Institute and the U.S. Military Academy. Approximately 40 schools are authorized to provide the award to its top cadet each year.
Cadet of the Month
Every month an award is given to a cadet from each company that displays good conduct.
Cadet of the Six Weeks
When a cadet makes cadet of the month, he/she goes in front of a board of officers to compete against all the other cadets of the month for that six weeks.
Cadet of the Semester
There are three six weeks per semester. When the cadet earns the award of cadet of the six weeks he is in the running for Cadet of the semester.

Honor RollEdit

President's List
Cadets with all grades B+ or above to include military grade and classroom performance grade will be on the President's list for that grading period.
Dean's List
Cadets obtaining an overall grade point average of a 3.3 and not having any grades below a C to include the military grade and classroom performance grade will be on the Dean's List for that grading period.
President's Commendation List
Post Graduate cadets taking less than six academic courses with a grade point average of 3.3 or above and no grades below a C to include the military and classroom performance grade will be on the President's Commendation List for that grading period.


Any cadet that is caught violating a rule will receive punishment. There are many ways to get a "character report" and the severity of the character report reflects what your punishment will be. For minor things such as not being prepared, or not being on time, it can result in counseling with your TAC Officer, and he will help you if he thinks that there is a problem that you need to fix together, he will help you with it. If it is something more severe such as fighting or possession of tobacco products, it will result in PT from your TAC Officer or another staff member from the military department, if it is something that is reoccurring with a cadet, or a very severe case of fighting or possession of tobacco products, you can receive ISS (In-School-Suspension), where you sit in the military office and receive 0's on all of the work that you miss, or OSS (Out of-School-Suspension), where your parents have to come pick you up and take you home and you receive 0's on all work missed, and upon the General's discretion, you may be dismissed from the Academy.

Honor SystemEdit

Honor Code

The honor code restricts cadets from lying, cheating, or stealing. Any cadet that violates, or is accused of violating any part of the honor code is sent to the Honor Council which consists of a panel of cadets that are elected by the student body, where, if found guilty, will be sentenced to punishment based on the severity of the incident. Punishment usually comes in the form of Honor Council tours which must be marched in Full Parade Uniform, but can include Motivational Platoon for repeat offenders, or expulsion.

Clubs and organizationsEdit

There are many different clubs and organizations that cadets can participate in while attending Hargrave, including:

  • Boy Scouts
  • Paintball Club
  • Scuba Club
  • Ski Club
  • Varsity Club
  • Photography
  • Forensics
  • Creative Writing Club

  • French Club (Disbanded)
  • Latin Club
  • Spanish Club
  • Drill Team
  • Journalism
  • Computer Club
  • Historical Movie Club
  • Quest (a Christian fellowship club with the Chaplain)

  • Color Guard
  • Chorus
  • Band
  • Fellowship of Christian Athletes
  • Rifle Team
  • Beta Club
  • Sabre Club
  • Honor Council
  • Honor Guard (Disbanded)

Notable alumniEdit


Notable AttendeesEdit

Further readingEdit

  • Fifty Years of Christian Education In a Baptist School: A Historial Record of Hargrave Military Academy 1909-1959, 1959, by COL Aubrey H. Camden
  • From Ashes to Excellence 1950-1970, 1984, by COL Joseph H. Cosby
  • Years of Change; Years of Growth: A History of Hargrave Military Academy 1970-2003, 2004, by Mary M. Tallent

References Edit

External linksEdit

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