Missouri Military Academy Cadets Earn 5 Trophies in National Military School Competitions

The Association of Military Colleges & Schools of the United States (AMCSUS) announced the 2021 competition winners at their annual conference in Alexandria, Virginia, in early March. Competing against cadets from top-ranked military schools from across the nation, Missouri Military Academy brought home five trophies in competitions, including the logic bowl, high school drill team, middle school drill team and high school and middle school physical training (PT) challenges.

"I am extremely proud of what our cadets and team sponsors have accomplished,” said MMA President Brigadier General Richard V. Geraci, USA (Ret). “What is significant is that we placed in all three important aspects of a premier military school — academic, military discipline and physical fitness. Only one other school also placed in all three.”

MMA tied with Marine Military Academy for the most overall AMSCUS awards in these three categories. At both the high school and middle school levels, MMA cadets finished in second place in the drill competition and third place in PT. The MMA high school logic bowl team placed third in the AMSCUS competition.

“Achieving high marks in all three areas reflects the holistic approach of our 360° Education and how well our cadets are performing physically, academically and in character and leadership through our emphasis on structure, self-discipline and accountability,” Geraci said.


Evaluating cadets’ academic performance, the AMCSUS logic bowl competition is designed to enhance critical thinking, prioritization, and leadership skills. Teams of five cadets are given 30 minutes to answer a series of logic puzzles, riddles, math and relational problems. This year, MMA placed second, behind Army and Navy Academy and Colorado Military Academy. The MMA logic bowl team included Cadets Colin Beck, Gabriel Kaiser, Michael Wever, Zijie Zhou and Ethan Zinser. President Geraci recognized the team for their accomplishment during the Winter Sports Assembly on 16 March 2021.

Missouri Military Academy cadets logic bowl team

President Geraci (center) congratulates the logic bowl team — Cadets Zijie Zhou, Colin Beck, Ethan Zinser and Gabriel Kaiser. Not pictured, Cadet Michael Wever.


Following a first-place high school team finish for the past three years, the MMA Fusileer Drill Team took second place in both the middle school and high school divisions in the AMCSUS national drill competition. As part of the competition, MMA’s team and other military high schools submit performance videos to be 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.

Led by team commander Cadet Michael Machary-Pagan, this year’s MMA high school drill team for the 2021 AMCSUS competition includes Cadets Gorka-Aitor Yarte-Zertuche, Domingo Holguin, Ryan Miles, Rene García Garza, Jingxuan Yan, Patricio Regis, Gabriel Iglesias, Michael Henderson and Gage Blanton. The MMA middle school drill team was led by team commander Cadet Damian Moore and included Cadets Sebastian Valdes, Brayden Edwards, Nathaniel Laughlin, River Punab-Mitchell, Walter Farley, Brody Ruckman and Duane Thompson. 

Missouri Military Academy high school cadets

President Geraci congratulated members of MMA's AMCSUS 2021 second place high school drill team at the winter sports assembly on 16 March 2022. From left to right, front row, Cadet Michael Henderson, team commander Cadet Michael Machary-Pagan, President Geraci, and Cadet Gorka-Aitor Yarte-Zertuche. Back row, from left to right, Cadets Gabriel Iglesias, Ryan Miles, Dominic Holguin, and Patricio Regis. Not pictured, Cadets Rene García Garza, Jingxuan Yan, and Gage Blanton.

Missouri Military Academy middle school cadets

MMA's AMCSUS 2021 second place middle school drill team received recognition at the winter sports assembly on 16 March 2022. From left to right, Cadets Walter Farley, Brayden Edwards, Brody Ruckman and Duane Thompson; President Geraci; and Cadets Damian Moore (team commander), Nathaniel Laughlin, River Punab-Mitchell, and Sebastian Valdes. 


In the AMCSUS National Physical Training Competition, MMA high school and middle school cadets placed third in their respective divisions. Results for this event, recorded by MMA leadership and scored by AMCSUS, are based on a timed 1.5-mile run and the maximum number of pushups and sit-ups cadets can perform in one minute for each exercise. All three events are to be completed by the 5-cadet team within a 1-hour window. MMA’s high school PT challenge team included Cadets Marco Afane, Michael Wever, Bryson Powell, Lucas Sydlewski and Gabriel Canonico. Middle school PT challenge competitors included MMA Cadets Brandon Lerner, Joshua Miller, Brody Ruckman, Hector Gonzalez and Evan Corley.

Missouri Military Academy high school cadets

MMA's high school PT competitors receive recognition from President Geraci at the 16 March 2021 Winter Sports Assembly. From left to right, Cadets Gabriel Canonico and Bryson Powell, President Geraci, and Cadet Lucas Sydlewski. Not pictured, Cadets Marco Afane and Michael Wever.

President Geraci congratulates MMA's middle school PT competitors  at the 16 March 2021 Winter Sports Assembly. From left to right, Cadet Hector Gonzalez, President Geraci, and Cadets Brody Ruckman and Evan Corley. Not pictured, Cadets Brandon Lerner and Joshua Miller.


Through the AMCSUS competitions, MMA annually faces off against peers from such schools as Marine Military Academy, Camden Military Academy, Massanutten Military Academy, Randolph-Macon Academy, Army and Navy Academy, Riverside Military Academy, Fork Union Military Academy, Fishburne Military School, St. John’s Northwestern, Valley Forge Academy and more. For more information about the AMCSUS annual competitions, visit https://amcsus.​org/competitions.

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