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Hargrave Military Academy
Motto Mens sana in corpore sano
Established 1909
Type Military, Private
President Dr. Wheeler L. Baker, Col., USMC, Ret.
Dean LTC Walter Sullivan
Founder T. Ryland Sanford & J. Hunt Hargrave
Chaplain Randel Clarke
Location Chatham, Virginia, Virginia, United States
Campus Rural
Colors Black and Orange          
Nickname Tigers

Hargrave Military Academy is a private American boarding school located in the town of Chatham, Virginia.

Hargrave is a school affiliated with the Baptist General Association of Virginia emphasizing Christian values that focuses on a college and military preparatory program. The school serves boys from around the world from grades seven to twelve and has a post-graduate (PG) program, through which high school graduates can improve their athletic abilities, grades, and SAT scores in preparation for college.



Hargrave Military Academy was founded in 1909 as the Chatham Training School. In 1925, it was renamed in honor of one of its founders J. Hunt Hargrave, a well-to-do local farmer. Chatham Training School and its predecessor, the Warren Training School, were general training schools for boys. The renaming was part of the school's evolution into a military high school.

On February 20, 1950, a fire ravaged the Academy. The fire and the rebuilding process was described by a former Hargrave president[1] in his book entitled From Ashes to Excellence: 1950-1970.

Hargrave has long been one of the Southern United States' leading military preparatory schools, and preparing young men for success in college is its stated primary goal.

The military department works hand-in-hand with the academic office and the faculty in providing an organized program. The school pursues a policy of student involvement in athletics, spiritual activities, and various other extracurricular activities are also an important part of intellectual and social maturity.

Sanford Hall

All students are encouraged to become involved outside the classroom and to be active participants in the Hargrave community.

Mens Sana In Corpore Sano is the Academy's motto, which is also found on the logo. The school is situated on a 214-acre (0.87 km2) campus with woods, pastures, trails, and ponds, in the hills of the Piedmont region of southern Virginia.

In addition to the extensive academic and athletic facilities, the campus also has the Owen R. Cheatham Chapel, Walter Cox Indoor Rifle Range, and an observatory. The Hargrave Rifle Team has gone 2 years undefeated in the VMSRL league, but was humiliatingly defeated this year by Fork Union Military Academy.

The Onishi-Davenport Aquatic Center


One of the purpose of Hargrave Military Academy is to get cadets ready for college. Both Standard and Advanced High School Diplomas are offered, as well as dual-enrollment classes through Danville Community College.


Hargrave is governed by a Board of Trustees, many of whom are alumni and community leaders. In addition, Hargrave has developed its own charitable foundation to allow philanthropists an opportunity to make gifts to the school.

The school is accredited by the Virginia Association of Independent Schools and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The school is a member of the Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States and the National Association of Independent Schools.

The current president of Hargrave is Col. Wheeler L. Baker, USMC (ret.). Col. Baker has earned a doctorate in education. He succeeded Col. John Walter Ripley, USMC (ret.) as president in 1999.

Col. Wheeler L. Baker, the current president of Hargrave

Past presidents:

  • T. Ryland Sanford (1909-1920)
  • Col. Aubrey H. Camden (1920-1950)
  • Col. Joseph Hathaway Cosby (1950-1970)
  • Col. Vernon T. Lankford, Sr.
  • Col. Andrew Todd
  • Col. Thomas N. Cunningham
  • Col. John W. Ripley (1997-1999)
  • Col. Wheeler L. Baker (1999-present)

Military aspects

According to their website, "Hargrave's military program is designed to present an environment in which a Cadet may gain a sense of humor, commitment and fidelity. The daily exposure of a military environment assists Cadets in developing self-discipline, character, ethics, team building and leadership."[2] Military aspects include the wearing of uniforms, a military-style organization of personnel, ranks, and a chain of command.


  • Class A uniform is divided into four classes:
    • Class A consists of a blouse, white ducks, white shirt with black tie, dress hat with white cover, black shoes with black socks, belt according to rank, officer's sashes, white waist belt, white gloves, sabres for officers. Senior NCO's wear swords.
    • Whites is the same as Class A except the blouse is not worn and only ribbons, President's List, and Dean's List stars may be worn.
    • Class A-I is the same as Class A except gray trousers are worn.
    • Class A-II is the same as Class A except a gray shirt is worn, gray trousers, and dress hat without a white cover.
  • Class B uniform is divided into three classes:
    • Class B consists of a white shirt with black tie, gray trousers, dress hat with white cover, black shoes with black socks and belts according to rank.
    • Class B-I is the same as the Class B. It's a long sleeved gray shirt, garrison hat and belts according to rank.
    • Class B-II is the same as Class B except it has a short sleeve gray shirt with no tie, garrison hat and belts according to rank.
  • Class C uniform consists of BDUs, a BDU cover, and combat boots.
  • Class D uniform consists of khaki pants and the black HMA polo shirt.
  • Miscellaneous For formal affairs, a black bow tie is worn. The drill team and the Highlander bagpipe unit wear special uniforms. Overcoats and jackets are also worn by cadets depending on weather.


The Corps of Cadets consists of a battalion divided into eight companies: Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Golf, Band, and Headquarters. Most boarding high school cadets are distributed among Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie companies. Echo Company consists of all day students. Headquarters Company consists of the and Auxiliary Officers, who share a barracks with Battalion Staff; additionally, some Auxiliary Officers have rooms on other companies's barracks. Members of the Marching Band are assigned to the Band Company. Delta company is the middle school company, which includes seventh and eighth graders. Golf Company is the Post Graduate, or PG, company and includes some seniors who play on the PG Basketball and Football teams.

Cadets live with their respective companies on assigned barracks. Band Company is on Barracks 100, Battalion Staff and Headquarters Company live on Barracks 200, Golf Company on Barracks 300 and 400, Charlie Company, the largest company, on Barracks 500 and 600, Alpha company on Barracks 700, and Bravo Company has Barracks 800. Delta Company resides in the Junior School Buildings, which also house most of their classrooms. Almost all rooms on the barracks are set up for two cadets to share. Some cadets with leadership positions, such as Battalion or Company Staffs, have their own rooms.

Every six weeks grading period, an "Honor Company" is chosen. The honor company is the company with the best overall academic and military performance. For winning, the honor company is allowed to sleep in on Saturdays, eats first at mess, and display a streamer on their guidon.


The rank structure at Hargrave is similar to that of the United States Army, the only changes being the exclusion of the rank of Specialist and the replacement of Private E-1 with Basic Cadet (BC). New cadets and those who are stripped of their rank have no insignia. In their freshman year, cadets can achieve up to the rank of Private First Class or even corporal in a few rare cases. After going to Non Commissioned Officers (NCO) school, cadets are able to get up to the rank of sergeant. After Senior Non commissioned Officers (SNCO) school, cadets can get up to the rank of Command Sergeant Major. The week before the start of their senior year, cadets have the option of attending Officer Candidate School (OCS), which allows them to obtain commissioned officer ranks.

Grade C-9 C-8 C-7 C-6 C-5 C-4 C-3 C-2 C-1
Insignia TAMU-09-Cadet-CSM.JPG TAMU-11-Cadet-1SG.JPG TAMU-12-Cadet-MSG.JPG TAMU-13-Cadet-SFC.JPG TAMU-14-Cadet-SSG.JPG TAMU-15-Cadet-SGT.JPG TAMU-16-Cadet-CPL.JPG TAMU 17a PFC.svg TAMU-17-Cadet-PFC.JPG No Insignia
Title Sergeant Major First Sergeant master sergeant Sergeant First Class staff sergeant sergeant corporal Private First Class Private Basic Cadet
Grade CO-6 CO-5 CO-4 CO-3 CO-2 CO-1
Insignia TAMU-03-Cadet-COL.JPG TAMU-04-Cadet-LTC.JPG TAMU-05-Cadet-MAJ.JPG TAMU-06-Cadet-CPT.JPG TAMU-07-Cadet-1LT.JPG TAMU-08-Cadet-2LT.JPG
Title Colonel Lieutenant Colonel Major Captain First Lieutenant Second Lieutenant
Abbreviation COL LTC MAJ CPT 1LT 2LT

Cadet Officers

An officer, can hold many leadership positions ranging from platoon leader to Battalion Commander. The corps is run by the cadet officers and supervised by the military faculty members. From 1970 to 1973, the corps had two battalion commanders and a corps commander. When the Corps was recombined into one battalion in 1973, the position of Battalion Commander became the highest leadership position. The Battalion Commander is the commanding officer of the corps. Past Battalion/Corps Commanders include:

Battalion Commanders

  • James Twisdale, Jr. '43
  • Paul Sanderlin, Jr. '45
  • Frank Malinowski '46
  • Ballard Huff '47
  • Derwood Bush '48
  • Leon Story '49
  • Donald Loizos '49
  • William "Billy" Roberts '50
  • Colonel Sloan D. Gibson IV '71 Corps Cdr
  • lieutenant colonel Peter F. Larson '71 1st Bn Cdr
  • lieutenant colonel Ernesst Choquette '71 2d Bn Cdr
  • Jack H. Layne, Jr.'73
  • Charles L. Hayward '74
  • Benjamin G. White, Jr. '75
  • Mark M. Dixon '76
  • Mark A. Henry '77
  • George A. Bergamini '78
  • Gregory G. Williams '79
  • Christopher C. Flaesch '80
  • Jeffrey L. Herbin '81
  • Jeffrey A. Seely '82
  • Timothy B. Snell '83
  • Charles E. Canrobert '84
  • Henry J. Belingham '85
  • Todd C. Graves '86
  • Thomas E. Skews '87
  • Robert A. Stewardson '88
  • Don Elliott '89
  • Matthew Lindsay '90
  • Andrew Ballen '91
  • Daniel Bostick/David Larrymore '92
  • Don Ward '93
  • Jason Hinkley '94
  • Graham Ward '95
  • José Savinon '96
  • Jacob Gminder '97
  • Fred Fox,. '98
  • Justin Mildrum '99
  • Carlos A Pingarron Ch. '00
  • Jordan P. Mills '01
  • Eric Briceno '02
  • Kirby W. Mills '03
  • Chad Lynn '04
  • Miguel Faria '05
  • Morgan Gardner '06
  • Josh Splinter '07
  • Scott Dinius '08
  • Oliver Salman '09
  • Harrison Holmes '10


Superior Performance
Is the highest award a cadet at Hargrave can receive. The award is given annually at an awards ceremony towards the end of every school year. It is traditionally given to the Battalion SGM and all Battalion 1SG's. The award has also been given to the Battalion Color Sgt. though this was a special case and awarded because of their superior performance all year. Also, the Cadet of the year traditionally receives the award.
Gen. Douglas MacArthur Award
The General Douglas MacArthur Foundation presents the MacArthur Cadet Awards in recognition of outstanding cadets within the Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States. The MacArthur Award is presented annually to seniors at these military schools. The award is designed to encourage cadets to emulate the leadership qualities shown by General Douglas MacArthur, as a student at West Texas Military Institute and the U.S. Military Academy. Approximately 40 schools are authorized to provide the award to its top cadet each year.Click here to see recipient
Cadet of the Month
Every month an award is given to a cadet from each company that displays good conduct.
Cadet of the Six Weeks
When a cadet makes cadet of the month, he/she goes in front of a board of officers to compete against all the other cadets of the month for that six weeks.
Cadet of the Semester
There are three six weeks per semester. When the cadet earns the award of cadet of the six weeks he is in the running for Cadet of the semester.

Honor Roll

President's List
Cadets with all grades B+ or above to include military grade and classroom performance grade will be on the President's list for that grading period.
Dean's List
Cadets obtaining an overall grade point average of a 3.3 and not having any grades below a C to include the military grade and classroom performance grade will be on the Dean's List for that grading period.
President's Commendation List
Post Graduate cadets taking less than six academic courses with a grade point average of 3.3 or above and no grades below a C to include the military and classroom performance grade will be on the President's Commendation List for that grading period.


The Bullring
Bull Ring

Any cadet that is caught violating a rule will receive punishment. There are many ways to get "stuck" and the severity of the stick reflects how many tours you will receive. A few examples include; disrespect to officer or NCO- 5 tours, poor judgment- 3 tours, gross poor judgment- 7 tours.

Marching times vary. Cadets will often march for 4 consecutive hours without water or bathroom breaks. If a bathroom break is desperately needed, the cadet may go, but puts their credit for marching at risk.

The picture of the bullring (right) depicts cadets marching with M1 Garand rifles, however this is very uncommon. Rifles are primarily used in ceremonial parades.

Motovation Platoon

Any cadet who shows immense disrespect or violates a serious rule will be sent to the Motovational Platoon. "MOTO" is a last resort before being dismissed from the Academy. In MOTO, cadets are pushed to their limits with excessive physical training each day for about one week. Most cadets will have the choice to either attend MOTO or be dismissed if they are presented with the option.

Honor System

Honor Code

The honor code restricts cadets from lying, cheating, or stealing. Any cadet that violates, or is accused of violating any part of the honor code is sent to the Honor Council which consists of a panel of cadets that are elected by the student body, where, if found guilty, will be sentenced to punishment based on the severity of the incident. Punishment usually comes in the form of Honor Council tours which must be marched in Full Parade Uniform, but can include Motivational Platoon for repeat offenders, or expulsion.

Clubs and organizations

There are many different clubs and organizations that cadets can participate in while attending Hargrave, including:

  • Boy Scouts
  • Paintball Club
  • Scuba Club
  • Ski Club
  • Varsity Club
  • Photography
  • Forensics
  • Creative Writing Club
  • French Club
  • Latin Club
  • Spanish Club
  • Drill Team
  • Journalism
  • Computer Club
  • Historical Movie Club
  • Color Guard
  • Chorus
  • Band
  • Fellowship of Christian Athletes
  • Beta Club
  • Sabre Club
  • Honor Council
  • Honor Guard (Disbanded)

Notable alumni

Interior of the chapel

Notable Attendees


  1. ^ Col. Joseph Hathaway Cosby From Ashes to Excellence: 1950-1970 Danville, VA McCain Printing 1984
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Jyles Tucker, San Diego Chargers.

External links

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