Missouri Military Academy Celebrates Spring Family Weekend 2024

Missouri Military Academy Celebrates Spring Family Weekend 2024

Missouri Military Academy (MMA) welcomed approximately 350 current cadet families, alumni, friends, and families of prospective middle school and high school cadets during Spring Family Weekend, April 19 through 21, 2024. Feature photo above, high school senior Cadet Connor Edwards with his mom Karri Ortiz during a Spring Family Weekend classroom visit.

The weekend included conferences for families with teachers and company leadership advisors to discuss cadets’ progress, opportunities, and achievements; the Passing through Ceremony for new cadets; a military review and awards presentation; a parent social at the Oaks Country Club; and the Maroon & Gold Gala. Families of prospective cadets participated in an open house on Saturday morning and attended the military review by the corps of cadets.

Parent Classroom Visits, Family Weekend April 2024

MMA family members attend Reading Specialist Sheila Meny's class with their cadets during Spring Family Weekend 2024. 

The weekend also included the Epple Memorial Art Show on display in Barnard Hall, featuring the artwork of MMA middle school and high school cadets. This annual art show honors Drs. Robert and Kathryn Epple, prominent physicians in Mexico during the 1950s and 1960s, and their family. A 1943 graduate of MMA, Robert Epple served as the MMA physician for 13 years.  

Missouri Military Academy cadet artwork on display at the 2024 Epple Art Show

The annual Epple Art Show, featuring cadet artwork, was on display in Barnard Hall during Spring Family Weekend.

Spring Family Weekend 2024

Cadet Tucker Graydon, a high school freshman from Rolla, Missouri, prepares to receive his hat brass.

Spring Family Weekend 2024 Passing Through Ceremony

Saturday's events included the Passing Through Ceremony, where family members presented cadets with their newly earned hat brass. 

Passing Through Ceremony and a Military Review

MMA families watched the military review in the Alain M. Garcia Field house on Saturday morning, then enjoyed free time with their cadets. Above, high school sophomore Cadet Jesus Robinson from Shiller Park, Illinois, with his parents.

MMA presented the following awards and recognitions during Saturday’s military review. Upon the recommendation of MMA’s U.S. Army Junior Reserve Officer Training (JROTC) Department and the approval of the U.S. Army’s Cadet Command, the following cadets were awarded Leadership Education Training (LET) awards for superior performance and exemplary leadership as a cadet: Cadet Nathan Dempsey from Colleyville, Texas, Cadet Mason Brooks from Henrietta, Texas, Cadet Alvaro Gonzalez Farre from Atizapan, Mexico, and Cadet Adrian Rodriguez from Las Vegas, Nevada. Cadet Eric Shellabarger from Mexico, Missouri, received the JROTC Cybersecurity Superior Cadet award. 

Upon the recommendation of MMA President Brigadier General Richard V. Geraci, USA (Ret), Cadet Gabriel Iglesias Osorio from Antiguo Cuscatlan, El Salvador, was awarded the American Military Colleges and Schools of the United States (AMCSUS) Leadership Award for continued superior performance as a senior cadet while enrolled at MMA.

Cadet Bradley Thumbi, of Overland Park, Kansas, was named the 2023-2024 MMA recipient of the coveted General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award for his superior performance of duty while serving as cadet battalion commander for the 134th Missouri Military Academy Corps of Cadets. This annual award is presented by the MacArthur Foundation to exceptional cadets at military schools and colleges who emulate and practice the qualities exemplified by General Douglas MacArthur while he was a cadet at the West Texas Military Institute and the United States Military Academy. 

Missouri Military Academy president congratulates a cadet for an award

 MMA President Geraci congratulates Cadet Dempsey for receiving the JROTC LET Training 4 award.

At the Maroon & Gold Gala, MMA family and friends came together to support the Academy at its most important fundraiser of the year. The event included performances by the MMA band (including jazz and string bands), choir, bag pipes, and Fusileers, the Academy’s Army JROTC drill team. 

Fusileers Maroon and Gold

Maroon & Gold include performances by the Fusileers Drill team (above), choir (below), band and bag pipes.

Choir Maroon and Gold

MMA families will return to Mexico on May 17 and 18 for the Academy’s final events of the year, including the final all-academy assembly and 8th-grade promotion ceremony, senior baccalaureate, senior banquet, commencement for the 135th MMA Corps of Cadets and Final Formation.


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