MMA Commemorates the Birthday of Gen. Clifton B. Cates

On August 31, Missouri Military Academy Corps of Cadets commemorated the birthday of one of our most accomplished alumni, Gen. Clifton B. Cates, Class of 1910. This highly respected and decorated alumnus served as the 19th Marine Corps Commandant from 1948-1951. 

Cates led a distinguished military career, serving through several major conflicts, including World War I, World War II and the Korean War. During his time as Marine Corps commandant, he became well known as the man who fought Congress to save the U.S. Marine Corps from possible extinction in 1951, paving the way for the USMC’s growth and prosperity.

One of his most honorable moments, came earlier in his career, during World War I. In July 1918, Cates was in France leading a platoon within the 96th Company, when it was attacked — killing most of the company, including the commander. Cates took over temporary command, and while wounded in the leg and shoulder, he scribbled a note to the battalion commander, which read:

“I have only two men left out of my company and 20 out of other companies. We need support but it is almost suicidal to try to get here as we are swept by machine gun fire and a constant artillery barrage is upon us. I have no one on my left, and only a few on my right. I will hold.”

During this annual event, birthday cake is traditionally cut with the sword of a Marine officer as a reminder of General Cates’s legacy. Following Academy tradition, Cadet First Lieutenant Marco Afane, the battalion commander of the 134th Missouri Military Academy Corps of Cadets, cut and presented the first piece of cake to the oldest cadet present, Cadet George F. Davison Junior, a member of the Class of 1968 and grandfather of Cadet Sean Mumm.

Cadet Davison then passed the second piece of cake to the youngest cadet present – 7th grader Cadet Michael Emminger – as a symbol of the passing of MMA traditions from one generation to the next. 

We are proud to honor Gen. Cates and share his story and example to our cadets each year.

Cadet News

 Active Shooter Training

Educators and other professionals from approximately 15 safety, security and emergency response organizations and schools from Audrain County and across the state gathered at Missouri Military Academy on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022, to take part in active shooter and intruder response training, hosted by the Academy and conducted by South Western Communications.

Read More about MMA Brings Together Safety, Security and Emergency Response Organizations and Schools for Active Shooter Response Training