Marine Military Academy
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|Marine Military Academy|
|320 Iwo Jima Boulevard
|Type||Military school, Boarding|
|Religious affiliation(s)||No affiliation|
|Superintendent||Colonel Glenn Hill|
|Campus||142 acres (0.57 km2)|
|Color(s)||Scarlet and Gold|
|Athletics||Baseball, Basketball, Boxing, Cross Country, Drill Team, Football, Golf, Jiu Jitsu, Rifle team, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, Track and Field, Weight-lifting, Wrestling|
The Marine Military Academy is a private college preparatory academy located in Harlingen, Texas, offering a college preparatory curriculum for boys in grades 8–12 plus one year of post-graduate study. The school was founded in 1965. Its traditions and ideals are inspired by the United States Marine Corps, but the school is not affiliated with the United States Marine Corps except through its Junior ROTC program.
The academy is situated on the site of the former Harlingen Army Airfield, established in 1941. After closing, the field was re-opened in 1952 as the Harlingen Air Force Base which closed in the early 1960s. Since opening its doors as the Marine Military Academy most of the original buildings have been replaced with modern facilities. The adjacent runways became the Valley International Airport.
Courses offered include regular high school classes as well as honors courses, Advanced Placement authorized courses and dual enrollment courses for which college credit may be earned. Most courses are taught year-long.
Cadets have required attendance at tutorials for if they are failing any classes. There are no make-ups for failed exams or missed homework assignments without acceptable reasons and mandatory Closed Call to Quarters (time set aside each evening in the barracks for the completion of homework and studying for exams).
The school has summer programs including a four-week adventure summer camp for boys 13–17, as well as ESL classes for foreign students.
All cadets are required to participate in one of the offered extracurricular activities during the afternoon activity period which goes from approximately 4:00–5:30 P.M. The goal of the program is to provide all cadets an opportunity to participate in sports activities regardless of their skill level. Additional athletic activities conducted at the school include judo, boxing, rock climbing, cycling, PFT team, and drill.
Beginning with the 2000–2001 school year, varsity sports began competing in the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (T.A.P.P.S.) for statewide honors. Also offered at the eighth grade level is the V.I.S.A. program (Valley Independent School Association), with yearlong competition in various sports. As they are not permitted to participate in TAPPS competitive activities until they reach grade nine, this program provides eighth graders the opportunity to participate in volleyball, basketball, soccer and track and field sports against other member private schools.
Corps of cadets
The Marine Military Academy established one of the first Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (MCJROTC) in the nation. All cadets are members of the MCJROTC unit, unless they fail to qualify for full membership because of age or citizenship. In this case they receive the training as associate members.
Cadets are assigned to one of five company barracks, supervised by a drill instructor and assistant drill instructor. Introductory training lasts for four weeks, during which new cadets are taught varied general military skills and knowledge. These include military rank structure, uniforms, close order drill. They also undergo training on rappelling, a confidence course, obstacle course and high ropes course. Introductory training, also called the plebe system, is supervised by cadet NCOs serving as cadet instructors, who are supervised by a cadet officer, usually the public affairs officer or executive officer of the company. A parade is held at the end of the training during which the plebes place the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor on their garrison cover to symbolize the transformation from plebe to cadet.
Cadets come from various cultural backgrounds, including students from approximately forty-one states and eight foreign countries. Cadets from Mexico make up the largest complement of international students, but the school includes cadets from China.
The cadet rank structure is based on the United States Marine Corps rank and billet system, with the addition of Cadet before the title.
Eighth grade students cannot advance beyond Cadet Lance Corporal, and freshmen cannot exceed the rank of Cadet Corporal. However, eighth graders and freshmen more often serve as non-rates, those ranks up to c/Lance Corporal that are not non-commissioned officers. As a Sophomore, cadets may be promoted to an NCO rank. Juniors make up most of the Academy's staff NCOs.
Seniors are generally promoted to officer rank. They hold positions of command responsibility, as Platoon Commanders, Company Executive Officers, Company Commanders, Battalion Executive Officers, and Battalion Commanders. There are also many other Battalion Staff and Company Staff positions available for seniors not in billets of command.
The uniforms authorized for wear at the academy are parallel to that of the United States Marine Corps. During school days, the uniforms worn on weekdays are the Utility and Green "C" uniforms. Four days a week the prescribed uniform is Utility and on Fridays the Green "C" uniform is worn. During periods of exercise PT Gear is worn. The Dress Blue uniforms are often preserved for the Marine Corps Birthday Ball and periods of Leave. Raincoats and Letter jackets may also be worn when directed during cold or rainy weather. The Pistol belt can be worn in lieu of a Web belt when a cadet is in a "duty status" or, in certain situations, a cadet officer/noncommissioned officer. Cadet officers are also permitted to wear the Pistol belt while wearing the Dress Blue "A" and "B" uniforms. The blood stripe is no longer sewn into cadet Dress Blue pants.
Cadets are required to wear the uniform of the day at all times while enrolled (with the exception of leave) at the academy. In certain situations, however, such as community service events and other extracurricular activities, civilian dress may be authorized.
Since there are many varying cadet uniforms, certain events dictate which uniform is appropriate. For example, Dress Blue "A" is rarely worn. The school holds two specific events that require Blue "A": the Marine Corps Birthday Ball and The HM Smith Foundation dinner. Both Dress Blue "A" and "B" may be worn to civilian occasions which dictate white tie or black tie. Green "C"'s are issued at the QM during entrance intothe school for events off campus, including liberty on weekends and special leave.
- Dale Hellestrae, NFL player, Dallas Cowboys.
- Major General Jeffery L. Harrigan, USAF
- Rear Admiral Joseph Horn, USN
The Academy has been the subject of some controversy regarding its supervision of cadets on campus. During the 1997–1998 school year, Cadet Gabriel Cortez was attacked while asleep, and had his throat cut by two other cadets. Other allegations of abuse and neglect were made during this period of controversy.
Iwo Jima monument
The Iwo Jima monument, located on the Marine Military Academy grounds, is the original model, a creation of Dr. Felix de Weldon, and was used for the casting of the monument erected at Arlington National Cemetery. After completion of the monument, this sculpture was placed in storage until the early 1980s when its creator donated it to the Marine Military Academy. Donations were collected to fund the transport and reassembly of the monument, which was supervised by Dr. de Weldon. On April 16, 1982, the monument was officially dedicated. The Marine Military Academy is also the final resting place of Corporal Harlon Block, formerly a resident of Weslaco, Texas, one of the Marines immortalized in the famous photo of the flag-raising on Iwo Jima from which the sculpture is modeled.
- Maj Gen Wayne Rollings, past President of the Academy
- Walter Stauffer McIlhenny, benefactor of the Academy
- http://www.boardingschoolreview.com/school_ov/school_id/329 Archived December 7, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
- Marine Corps JROTC – History Archived 12 February 2011 at WebCite
- Ann Zimmerman, Houston News, The Few, The Proud, the Battered. Retrieved 2009-09-21. Archived 12 February 2011 at WebCite
- Pamela Colloff, Texas Monthly, A Few Bad Boys
- Harlingen, TX – Original Iwo Jima Memorial and Museum Archived 12 February 2011 at WebCite
- Harlon Henry Block (1924 – 1945) – Find A Grave Memorial Archived 12 February 2011 at WebCite