2021 Fall Family Weekend Recap

Held October 15-17, 2021, Fall Family Weekend celebrated the induction of new cadets into the 133rd MMA Corps of Cadets and honored senior cadets for the beginning of their final year at MMA. See all photos here.

On Friday, families began the weekend by shadowing their cadets through their first semester classes, discovering what a typical academic day is like at MMA.

“Allowing families the opportunity to sit in on their cadet’s class is an integral part of Fall Family Weekend, as it allows them to experience the quality of education their son is receiving, as well as feel a connection to their son’s daily life at MMA,” Academic Dean Mike Harding said. “Furthermore, it also provides an understanding of their son’s academic experience, thus adding to the important discussions held during  parent-teacher conferences.”  

Following that glimpse of a cadet’s academic day, cadets and parents gathered for lunch in the Dining Hall. Then, parents were given the opportunity to join the Parents Committee in Memorial Chapel for a meeting to discuss upcoming cadet events and Parent Committee-led activities.

In the evening, the MMA community gathered at Crystal City to cheer on the Colonels as they competed against Crystal City High School.

On Saturday, families started the day by celebrating new cadets at the Passing Through Ceremony in front of Stribling Hall. A long-time MMA tradition, the Passing Through Ceremony officially welcomes new cadets into the corps, marking their successful completion of the Crucible, Maroon Phase training and handbook test. Of note, this was the first year 100% of MMA cadets passed the Crucible in the first go.

Addressing cadets, Commandant Col. Grabowski told cadets he was very proud of all they had accomplished so far, emphasizing that MMA has tested their hearts, grit and perseverance, and that they are standing there today because they never quit.

"Today is a milestone for you because you have done more than these last nine weeks than your peers back home will do in the entire year. It has not been easy, but you have done remarkably well."

At the ceremony, family and friends pinned each new cadet’s hat brass on, signifying their official membership into the MMA Corps of Cadets. 

Following the Passing Through Ceremony, cadets marched to Colonels Field for their Battalion Review.

After the review, seniors received their senior rings at the Senior Ring Ceremony. On the field, they celebrated their accomplishments and the strength of the MMA brotherhood, and posed for photos with family and friends.

The Senior Ring Ceremony shares a common tradition, one that dates back to the early 1800s, with distinguished service academies and military colleges across the United States. The rings symbolize the pride they carry in their military education and training, as well as commemorate their brotherhood at the Academy.

In the afternoon, families visited the barracks to conduct room and uniform inspections. The inspection provided new insight and perspective into their cadet’s lives, expectations and living situation.

In the evening, MMA cadets, families, guests and faculty and staff gathered in Centennial Gymtorium for the Senior Ring Dinner & Ball. Gregg Center ’91 talked about the symbolism and history of the MMA senior rings, and he encouraged cadets to always wear them so they may find future connections to their brotherhood.

After dinner, cadets, their dates and families took to the dance floor and photo area for a fun, lively evening in tribute to the success of MMA’s senior class.

On Sunday, families spent the day with their cadets off-campus for some quality, one-on-one time.

Cadet News