Winter Sports Progress: Fusileers  

The Missouri Military Academy Fusileer Drill Team is a cadet marching unit that performs sequences in armed regulation drill, unarmed regulation drill, armed color guard, unarmed color guard, armed exhibition, and unarmed exhibition. In competition, they are evaluated based on the formation commander's command voice and presence, drill sequence timing, the formation's ability to execute drill commands, the difficulty of commands, and the pacing, sequencing, military bearing, personal appearance and energy of cadets. 

In 2019 and 2020, MMA’s Fusileer Drill Team won first place in the Association of Military Colleges & Schools of the United States (AMCSUS) national drill competition. Read more. 

“As a drill team we have done our best to keep everything consistent with the previous years,” Fusileer Coach Rick Dehlinger ’93 said. “Cadets on the drill team have really embraced the Fusileers’ history and what it means to be among the elite at the Academy. We have our sights on restoring our status as the competition to beat at all drill competitions.” 

To be a Fusileer, cadets are required to practice in the morning and the evening, honing their skills as a perfectly in-sync unit. Monday through Friday, cadets begin their day at 6:30 AM to practice formations for an hour before breakfast. After classes, they practice from 4:00 to 6:00 PM. During each competition week, they also practice 8:30 to 9:30 PM.  

All of this practice amounts to incredible precision as a team and Fusileer competitor. More importantly, though, it develops a strong sense of dedication, good work ethic and comradery.  

“As a coach, it is great to see these young men grow their abilities as a team and an individual,” Coach Dehlinger said. “This season will be a building block in life. Cadets will learn to be resilient and compete at the highest level possible. As a Fusileer, cadets are expected to be the best at everything they do and are held to a higher standard academically, militarily and in their personal conduct.” 

The 2020-21 Fusileer Drill Team is led by Cadet Lt. Commander Bryce Bowen ’21 from Clive, Iowa. According to Bowen, mastering drill is a humbling task that hones their sense of discipline, concentration and grit. However, the greatest benefit of being on the drill team is the strong connections the team builds.  

"The best part of being a Fusileer are the connections we make. Knowing that we are part not just a team, but a family – that everyone on the team has each other's back and will support one another through anything," Bowen said. "At MMA, cadets might live and drill with their companies and their platoons, but the Fusileers are the elite – we hold the standard for drill, brotherhood, and how a cadet at Missouri Military Academy should be." 

According to Dehlinger, the team has a great deal of outstanding talent this year. Top returning competitors include:  

  • Yu-Jen Tong ‘22 from Shanghai, China 

  • Bryce Bowen ’21 from Clive, Iowa 

  • Michael Machary-Pagan ‘22 from Lake St. Louis, Missouri 

  • Damien Brown ‘21 from Altus, Oklahoma 

  • Gorka-Aitor Yarte-Zertuche 10 from Lisbon, Portugal 

  • Rene Garcia Garza ‘22 from Cadereyta Jimenez, N.L.,  Mexico 

  • Fernando Afane ’21 from La Libertad, El Salvador 

  • Parker Woodruff ’22 from Ballwin, Missouri 

  • Sun Kit Tsui ‘21 from Zhaoqing, China 

  • Dhalil Belko ‘21 from Kigali, Rwanda 

  • Kevin Wang ‘22 from St. Clair Shores, Michigan 

  • Victor Patino Matos ‘21 from Mexico, Estado de Mexico, Mexico 

  • Diego Lopez ‘21 from Chula Vista, California 

Top new competitors include:  

  • Gabriel Iglesias Osorio ’24 from Antiguo Cuscatlan, El Salvador 

  • Patricio Regis ’22 from Parkville, Missouri 

  • Braeden Andrews ’21 from Chesterfield, Missouri 

  • Gage Blanton ’23 from Columbia, Missouri 

  • Michael Henderson ’22 from Greenbrier, Arkansas 

  • Mutale Chilufya ’23 from Lusaka, Zambia 

  • Matthew Hamilton ’23 from Edmond, Oklahoma 

  • Sage Fuller ’26 from Bell Canyon, California 

  • Kruze Hagan ’25 from Kirksville, Missouri 

  • Richard Yang ’25 from Champaign, Illinois 

  • Domingo Holguin ’25 from El Paso, Texas 

  • Zijie Zhou ’24 from Shenzhen, China 

  • Anthony Melick ’23 from Overland Park, Kansas 

  • Kevin Gonzalez ’21 from Torreon, Mexico 

  • Timothy Varley ’24 from Coronado, California 

  • Samuel Way ’24 from Milton, Georgia 

 

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