A Leader of Integrity, Service and Dedication: MMA Honors Col. Charles R. Stribling III

A Leader of Integrity, Service and Dedication: MMA Honors Col. Charles R. Stribling III

Feature photo: Cadet Battalion Sergeant Major Gage Blanton and Cadet Battalion Commander Marco Afane place a wreath at Colonel Stribling's grave on March 29, 2023.

On March 29 each academic year, Missouri Military Academy honors and remembers Colonel Charles R. Stribling III (March 29, 1927 — Sept. 20, 2017), MMA Class of 1944. Col. Stribling served as an MMA instructor, coach, alumni director, commandant of cadets, vice president and executive officer until, eventually, he became president of the Academy – a position he held for 25 years. Under his guidance, MMA was designated an Exemplary Private School by the U.S. Department of Education.  

A pillar of honor and decency, Col. Stribling taught thousands of cadets how to be soldiers, scholars and gentlemen. Today, cadets honor his memory and pay their respects on Col. Stribling Remembrance Day, March 29, by laying a wreath at his gravesite. 

Col. Stribling had profound connections with the military and the Academy. He was...

  • The son of the late Col. and Mrs. C.R. Stribling Jr. 
  • A great-great-grandson of Admiral C.K. Stribling, who was the superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy from 1851-1853.  
  • A great-grandson of Benjamin R. Cauthorn, one of MMA's original founders in 1889.

Col. Stribling graduated from MMA in 1944 and went on to serve in the U.S. Navy from 1945-1946. After his service, he earned a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Missouri in 1949 and 1950, respectively. He joined the MMA faculty in 1952 and served for 16 years in various positions. In 1968, he succeeded his father as MMA president. He retired as president in 1993 but continued to serve as chairman and then chairman emeritus of the MMA Board of Trustees. 

In order to maintain Col. Stribling's legacy for all current and future cadets, a statue of him stands on front campus, a place where every cadet walks daily as they pass from the barracks to Barnard Hall. Artist Javier Campuzano, '82, created the life-size bronze statue of Col. Stribling standing with a cadet. The cadet is modeled after Phil Baum, '63, who donated funds for the project materials. The project was planned by the Alumni Association with the intention of placing the statue near the Senior Walk. 

Having had a positive impact on thousands of alumni throughout his service to MMA, the statue symbolizes Col. Stribling's greatness as a leader, mentor and role model. Col. Stribling’s legacy is one of great integrity, service and dedication to the Academy. 

More photos on Flickr.

Cadet Gage Blanton (far left) with Cadets Gabriel Canonico, Lucas Sydlewski, Anthony Melick, and Brett Miles

MMA Chaplain Joan Cotton 

 Cadets Gabriel Canonico, Lucas Sydlewski, Anthony Melick, and Brett Miles

Missouri Military Academy trumpet player

 Cadet John Carlos Ahuja

military academy bag pipes

 MMA Bag Pipe Corps: Cadets Mason Brooks, Robbie Peck, and Adam Swenson

MMA Color Guard: Cadets Bradley Thumbi, Gabriel Iglesias, Gorka-Aitor Yarte-Zertuche, Kellan Mugisha and Zijie Zhou

Cadets Kellan Mugisha and Zijie Zhou

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