Marion Military Institute

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Marion Military Institute
Marion Military Institute emblem.gif
MottoTruth, Honor, Service
Military Junior College
PresidentColonel David J. Mollahan, USMC (Ret.)
CommandantColonel Edwin W. Passmore, USA (Ret.)
Address1101 Washington Street, Marion, Alabama 36756, United States
32°37′25″N 87°19′16″W / 32.6237°N 87.3211°W / 32.6237; -87.3211Coordinates: 32°37′25″N 87°19′16″W / 32.6237°N 87.3211°W / 32.6237; -87.3211
Campus160 acres (0.65 km2)
ColorsOrange and black
Sporting affiliations
Marion Military Institute Logo.png

Marion Military Institute, the Military College of Alabama,[1][2] commonly referred as MMI, sometimes Marion Institute, Marion Military, or simply Marion, founded in 1842, is a state-supported educational institution located in Marion, Alabama.[3] It is the official state military college and the nation's oldest military junior college.[4] Known as the "American Eton",[5] MMI was ranked as the top military junior college and also ranked as the 12th in Nation's best community college by CNN Money.[6][7][8] In a recent report by the U.S. Department of Education, Marion Military Institute tops all of the other Alabama Community Colleges, Troy, and UWA by having the highest alumni salary among these schools.[9]

Marion Military Institute is one of only four Military Junior Colleges in the United States which offers various military training programs.[10] These programs include the Army's two-year Early Commissioning Program (ECP), an Army Reserve Officers Training Corps program through which qualified cadets can earn a commission as a Second Lieutenant after only two years of college.[11] MMI's ECP is one of the country's leading U.S. Army commissioning programs.[4] The Service Academy Program (SAP) is a freshman year of academic and physical preparation for students who wish to attend one of the Service Academies in the United States. It is designated, endorsed, and selected by all five Service Academies.[12] MMI also offers Marine Corps Platoon Leaders Course (PLC) and the first two years of Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps.[13][14] Over the years, MMI has produced more than 200 generals and admirals in the United States Armed Forces.[15][16]

MMI is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees.[17] It has association memberships in the Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States and the Alabama College Conference.[18] The accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Commission on International and Trans-Regional Accreditation entitles all the services and privileges of regional, national and international professional recognition.

Marion Military Institute is an Alabama Historical Marker.[19] It is the home of two National Register of Historic Places - The MMI Chapel and Lovelace Hall, and the President's House.[20][21] Alabama Military Hall of Honor (the Old Marion City Hall), created by executive order of Gov. George Wallace in 1975, is also on campus.[4] The MMI Corps of Cadets has become a well known participant at Birmingham Veterans Day Parade, the nation's oldest and largest Veterans Day celebration.[22]


Believed to be J.T. Murfee (middle of the back row) with cadets of B company

Marion Military Institute traces its origins back to 1842 with the creation of Howard College in Marion, Alabama by the Alabama Baptist Convention.[4] During the American Civil War, South Barracks (later known as Lovelace Hall), built in 1854, and the Chapel, built in 1857, served the Confederacy as Breckenridge Military Hospital from 1863 to 1865.[4] Along with the President's House (built 1912), these buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[20][21]

In 1887, the decision was made to move Howard College (now Samford University) to Birmingham. The then President of Howard College, Colonel J. T. Murfee, LL.D.,[23] and a handful of faculty and students decided to remain in Marion, Alabama and immediately reorganized and founded Marion Military Institute, a military preparatory high school and college.[4] It was modeled after Murfee's alma mater - Virginia Military Institute.[4] Although built as a military college, H. O. Murfee, MMI's second president, believed that Marion was destined to become the "American Eton."[5] Under his leadership, MMI achieved national recognition. President William Howard Taft served as President of the Board of Trustees. Then president of Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson was the guest speaker at the convocation for the class of 1905.[24] However, the plan to pattern the school after Eton College was interrupted by World War I. The military nature of MMI was again emphasized due to the outbreak of the war.[24] In 1916, United States Army ROTC program was first offered at MMI, when the institute was designated as an "Honor Military School with Distinction" by the United States Department of War.[6]

The U.S. Army Early Commissioning Program was established at MMI in 1968.[4] In 1971, MMI became coeducational.[4] In March 2006, the Alabama state legislature passed a resolution placing MMI under the auspices of the Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education. MMI became "the State Military College of Alabama".[4] As part of the transition to a public institution, Marion phased out its high school program. In May 2009, the last high school class graduated from Marion Military Institute's Preparatory School Program, a program that traced its origins back to 1887.

Cadet structure[edit]

The HQ of the Corps of Cadets after Alumni Weekend parade 2016
Senior cadets help juniors prepare for their LDAC in 2013.

The Corps of Cadets is organized into a battalion consisting of the Headquarters staff and six companies including Band, A, B, C, D, and E.[24] A cadet lieutenant colonel command and control of headquarters and five companies of cadets as the battalion commander.[24] Each company has a cadet captain commanding, a cadet first lieutenant executive officer, two cadet second lieutenant platoon leaders, a cadet first sergeant, and two cadet sergeant first class platoon sergeants.[24] Each platoon normally has three to four squads and each squad is led by a cadet staff sergeant. Each squad leader has a team leader serving with the rank of cadet sergeant or corporal, depending on experience and ability.[24]

Class A uniform rank insignia Class B, C and ACU rank insignia Cadet rank Position
USMA BDE XO.png Cdt ltc.png Lieutenant Colonel Battalion Commander
USMA BN CDR.png Cdt maj.png Major Battalion XO, S3
Honor Council Chair
USMA BN XO.png Cdt cpt.png Captain Company Commanders
Battalion S1, S2, S4, S5
USMA LT.png Cdt 1lt.png First Lieutenant Company XO
Battalion Chaplain
Organizational Commanders (White Knight, Swamp Fox, and Honor Guard)
USMA LT.png Cdt 2lt.PNG Second Lieutenant Platoon Leader
HQ Staff Assistant
Chevrons - Artillery Quartermaster Sergeant 1847-1851 (black & white).png Army JROTC Cadet Command Sergeant Major.png Command Sergeant Major Battalion Sergeant Major
Chevrons - Infantry First Sergeant - CW (black and white).png Army JROTC Cadet First Sergeant.png First Sergeant Company First Sergeant
Chevrons - Infantry Sergeant Major - CW (black and white).png Army JROTC Cadet Sergeant First Class.png Sergeant First Class Platoon Sergeant
N/A Army JROTC Cadet Staff Sergeant.png Staff Sergeant Squad Leader
Assistant S5
N/A Army JROTC Cadet Sergeant.png Sergeant Team Leader
N/A Army JROTC Cadet Corporal.png Corporal Team Leader
N/A Army JROTC Cadet Private First Class.png Private First Class
N/A US Army JROTC Cadet Private.png Private
N/A N/A Private New Recruits

Clubs and organizations[edit]

White Knights[edit]

The White Knights were established in 1950. Founded by the Cadet Commander Gene Hyche to promote precision drill, discipline, and to establish a union of brotherhood and trust among its members.[25] The team consists of cadets from across the nation. Try-outs are held at the beginning of each semester and consist of twenty-one days of intense training in military drill techniques. Membership in the White Knights is based on military drill proficiency.[25] Each year the Knights receive invitations to perform throughout the United States. In past years they have performed at such events as the Sugar Bowl, Orange Bowl, Indianapolis 500, and the Air Force Academy Invitational Drill Meet.[25] They also perform in parades such as Mardi Gras in both New Orleans and Mobile, the inauguration of U.S. presidents and state governors, and various Veterans Day and Christmas parades.[25]

Swamp Fox[edit]

A member of Swamp Fox
Cadets learn hand-to-hand combat techniques during training in 1975.

Originated at Marion Military Institute in 1963. Named for Francis Marion, who was called The Swamp Fox, due to his daring exploits during the American Revolution.[26] He and his small and poorly equipped force harassed the British loyalists along the Peedee and Santee Rivers. The Swamp Foxes were to be the most physically fit, most disciplined, and the most technically and tactically proficient small unit at all times. The Swamp Foxes of MMI were required to maintain a 2.5 GPA and a 270 on an Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT); the three week regimen to join the ranks of the Swamp Foxes borrowed skills tests from various infantry schools including Ranger, Expert Infantry Badge, Air Assault, and Airborne.[26] They had their own organizational creed:[26]

I am a fox…A soldier and elite. Committed to defending the United States of America, against all aggressors, both foreign and domestic. I therefore shall endeavor to keep my body physically fit, that I may out-perform my enemy… To keep my mind alert, that I may out-think my enemy… To keep my spirit ready, that I might give my all, including my life, to defeat the enemies of this great nation. And to keep my brotherhood strong, that should one be in need, I will go to his aid, should one be in battle, I will be his support. We shall hold each other up until the stars shall fall.

Honor Guard[edit]

MMI's Honor Guard is an organization dedicated to the display and upkeep of the Colors. The daily function of the Honor Guard is to ensure that the National Flag is raised and lowered every day. Color Guard, as a detachment of the Honor Guard, are tasked to perform Chapel Detail when required. On special occasions, such as parades, Color Guard sends a team to perform the detail.[27]

Normandy Society[edit]

The Normandy Society (military history club) was formed in 1994 by LTC David W. Bauer (Class of 1956) and named to honor those who participated in the 1944 Normandy Invasion. The Normandy Society is open to all cadets, but full membership and election to officers require satisfactory grades and citizenship. Meetings are held in the Baer Memorial Library on Wednesday nights to study military history campaigns and events. Classic war movies, weapons displays, and field trips are used to educate and interest MMI cadets. The cadets in this organization have raised money for worthy projects at MMI through sales of souvenir items and clothing as well as through individual donations. Previously, Normandy Society donated money to replace the wheels of the Reveille Cannon on the Quadrangle. This year they decided to help replace the video and sound system in the chapel, a greatly needed improvement.

Scabbard and Blade[edit]

Scabbard and Blade is a national joint service that was started in 1904 and has over 230 companies nationwide. The primary purpose of Scabbard and Blade is to raise the standard of military education in American colleges and universities; to unite in closer relationships their military departments; to encourage and foster the essential qualities of good and efficient officers; and to promote friendship and good fellowship among the cadet officers. The society also disseminates knowledge of military education to the students and people of the country. In general, members acquaint the public with our national defense needs.[28]


There are also other major organizations on campus, such as Ranger Challenge, intramural sports, Honor Council, Scuba Tigers, Band & Chorus, Service Leaders Club, Swim team, Flying Tigers, Gaelic Club, Drama, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.[29]


MMI football team, the state champion of 1912

Marion Military Institute athletics is nicknamed "Tigers".[30] It is a member of Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC/Region XXII), which is a part of National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I.[30] Currently, MMI has varsity teams for baseball, men's basketball, softball, tennis, cross country, and golf.[30] The school colors were originally pink and green when established, but they were changed to orange and black following Woodraw Wilson's appearance at the MMI convocation.[24] Marion adopted the tiger as the mascot in tribute to Princeton University.[24]

After 15 consecutive winning games, MMI men's basketball team made history to capture school's first ACCC Basketballl Championships in 2015-2016 season.[31][32] They also represented Region XXII at the NJCAA Men's National Basketball Championships, but lost to McLennan Community College (70-78) in the first round.[33] Marion Military Institute men's tennis team showed its dominance in the state of Alabama by holding the NJCAA Region XXII Championship five years in a row from 2011 to 2016.[34] In 2013, the school hired former MLB player Matt Downs as the head coach of the baseball team.[35] In 2016, Christopher Lawrence, former personal trainer of Javier Arenas and Kirani James, became the Marion's cross country coach, in which shows MMI's ambition of being more athletically competitive.[36]

Historically, Marion Military Institute also had a football team, which captured the state championship in 1912.[37] On November 28, 1918, MMI earned a 101-0 victory over Howard College Football Team at home. This is MMI Football's largest margin of victory and the second largest margins of defeat in the history of Samford University Football Team.[38] In 1922 season, MMI cadets were defeated 0-110 by the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, Alabama in what still stands as the school record for largest margin of victory and as the Crimson Tide's only 100 point game.[39]

List of Presidents[edit]

Alabama Military Hall of Honor

16 individuals have served as the president of Marion Military Institute:[40]

No. Portrait Name Term Notes
1 COL James Thomas Murfee.jpg J.T. Murfee 1887-1906 Former Lieutenant Colonel, CSA[41]
First Captain and standing 1st in VMI Class of 1853[42][41]
2 H.O. Murfee in 1905.jpg H.O. Murfee 1906-1919
3 Walter Lee Murfee.png W.L. Murfee 1919-1944
4 - J.T. Murfee, II 1944-1953
5 - Linton H. Baer 1953-1954
6 - Robert Calhoun Provine 1954-1958
7 Admiral Cato D. Glover.jpg Cato D. Glover 1958-1959 Admiral, USN (Ret.)
8 - Paul B. Robinson 1959-1973
9 Rear Admiral Draper L. Kauffman.jpg Draper Kauffman 1974-1976 Rear Admiral, USN (Ret.)
10 - Thomas H. Barfield 1976-1983 Major General, USA (Ret.)
Class of 1935[15]
11 - Clyde W. Spencer 1983-1990 Major General, USA (Ret.)
Class of 1946[15]
12 - Joseph L. Fant, III 1990-1994 Major General, USA (Ret.)
Class of 1947[15]
13 Brigadier General Wayne T. Adams.jpg Wayne T. Adams 1994-1998 Brigadier General, USMC (Ret.)
Class of 1960[15]
vacancy 1998-2000
14 Robert F Foley portrait 1996.JPEG Robert F. Foley 2000-2004 Lieutenant General, USA (Ret.)
Medal of Honor receipiant
15 - James H. Benson 2004-2009 Colonel, USMC (Ret.)
16 Colonel David J. Mollahan.jpg David J. Mollahan 2009–present Colonel, USMC (Ret.)

Notable alumni[edit]

Early Commissioning Program[edit]

Service Academy Program[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Corps 2015-2016". Marion Military Institute. Retrieved 2017-09-09.[dead link]
  2. ^ Barr, Colin; Carey, Hilary M. (2015). Religion and Greater Ireland: Christianity and Irish Global Networks, 1750-1969. McGill-Queen's Press. p. 434. ISBN 0773597352. Retrieved August 12, 2017.
  3. ^ CollegeBoard. "Marion Military Institute". CollegeBoard. Retrieved 2017-09-12.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Marion Military Institute". Encyclopedia of Alabama. Encyclopedia of Alabama. Retrieved 2017-08-04.
  5. ^ a b National Magazine, Volume 34. Bostonian publishing Company. 1911. p. 460. Retrieved June 4, 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Marion Military History". Retrieved 2017-09-10.
  7. ^ "How does your community college stack up". CNN Money. Retrieved 2017-09-10.
  8. ^ "MMI Ranked #16 in Nation among Community Colleges". WSFA. Retrieved 2017-09-10.
  9. ^ U.S. Department of Education (2017). "College Scorecard". U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved 2017-08-05.
  10. ^ Marion Military Institute. "Military Path". Marion Military Institute. Retrieved 2017-09-06.
  11. ^ Marion Military Institute. "Army Early Commissioning Program (ECP)". Marion Military Institute. Retrieved 2017-09-10.
  12. ^ Marion Military Institute. "Service Academy Program (SAP)". Marion Military Institute. Archived from the original on 2017-09-06. Retrieved 2017-09-10.
  13. ^ Marion Military Institute. "U.S. Marine Corps PLC Program". Marion Military Institute. Retrieved 2017-09-10.
  14. ^ Marion Military Institute. "Air Force ROTC (AFROTC)". Marion Military Institute. Retrieved 2017-09-10.
  15. ^ a b c d e "Marion Military Institute Generals and Admirals". Marion Military Institute. Retrieved 2017-09-10.[dead link]
  16. ^ "Transcripts". CNN. Retrieved 2017-09-10.
  17. ^ Marion Military Institute. "Accreditation". Marion Military Institute. Retrieved 2017-09-10.
  18. ^ Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States. "Directory of Schools". Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States. Retrieved 2017-09-10.
  19. ^ Alabama Historical Association (1979). "Perry Historical Markers". Alabama Historical Association. Archived from the original on 2017-06-11. Retrieved 2017-06-11.
  20. ^ a b NPS. "Chapel and Lovelace Hall, Marion Military Institute". National Park Service-National Register of Historic Places Collection. Archived from the original on 2017-06-09. Retrieved 2017-06-09.
  21. ^ a b NPS. "President's House, Marion Institute". National Park Service-National Register of Historic Places Collection. Archived from the original on 2017-06-09. Retrieved 2017-06-09.
  22. ^ Marion Military Institute. "Fast Facts". Marion Military Institute. Retrieved 2017-09-10.
  23. ^ Thomas, Grace Powers (1898). Where to educate, 1898-1899. A guide to the best private schools, higher institutions of learning, etc., in the United States. Boston: Brown and Company. p. 3. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
  24. ^ a b c d e f g h Marion Military Institute (2017). 《Marion Military Institute 2017-2018 Cadet Manual》 (PDF). Marion Military Institute. pp. 10, 22–25, 43–47, 126. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2017-09-16.
  25. ^ a b c d Marion Military Institute. "White Knights". Marion Military Institute. Retrieved 2017-09-05.
  26. ^ a b c Marion Military Institute. "Swamp Foxes". Marion Military Institute. Retrieved 2017-09-05.
  27. ^ Marion Military Institute. "Honor Guard". Marion Military Institute. Retrieved 2017-09-10.
  28. ^ Marion Military Institute. "Scabbard & Blade". Marion Military Institute. Retrieved 2017-09-10.
  29. ^ Marion Military Institute. "Clubs and Organizations". Marion Military Institute. Retrieved 2017-09-10.
  30. ^ a b c MMI Tigers. "MMI Tigers". Marion Military Institute. Retrieved 2017-06-13.
  31. ^ "Marion Military Institute & Wallace State's men's programs set for nationally-ranked showdown on Thursday". ACCC. 2016-02-10. Retrieved 2017-09-11.
  32. ^ "Shelton State women and Marion Military men capture ACCC Basketballl Championships". ACCC. 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2017-09-11.
  33. ^ MMI Tigers (2016-04-20). "Historic Runs Ends at National Tournament". Marion Military Institute. Retrieved 2017-06-13.
  34. ^ "Marion Military Institute Tigers Claim Men's Tennis Championship". ACCC. 2016-02-10. Retrieved 2017-09-11.
  35. ^ MMI Tigers (2013-11-07). "MMI Tigers". Marion Military Institute. Retrieved 2017-09-11.
  36. ^ "Christopher Lawrence Hired to Lead New Cross Country Programs at MMI". NJCAA. 2016-08-17. Retrieved 2017-09-11.
  37. ^ "Football team at Marion Military Institute in Marion, Alabama, the state champions of 1912". Alabama Department of Archives and History. Retrieved 2017-09-11.
  38. ^ Samford University (2013). 《Samford University Fact Book 2013-2014》 (PDF). Samford University. p. 97. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2017-06-09.
  39. ^ University of Alabama. "1922 Season" (PDF). University of Alabama. Retrieved 2017-06-09.
  40. ^ Marion Military Institute (2011). 《Marion Military Institute Fact Book 2010-2011》 (PDF). Marion Military Institute. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-06-09.
  41. ^ a b VMI Archive (2017). "Historical Rosters Database: James Thomas Murfee". Virginia Military Institute. Retrieved 2017-07-13.
  42. ^ Virginia (1854). 《Annual Reports of Officers, Boards and Institutions of the Commonwealth of Virginia ...》. Superintendent of Public Printing. p. 61.
  43. ^ "Bennett welcomed as the Army's 61st Adjutant General". U.S. Army. Retrieved 2017-12-17.
  44. ^ "Two alumni speak to class of 2015 graduates". Marion Military Institute. Retrieved 2017-09-10.
  45. ^ "Provost". Army University. Retrieved 2017-09-10.
  46. ^ "Major General Clark W. LeMasters, Jr". U.S. Army. Retrieved 2017-09-10.[dead link]
  47. ^ "New York Army National Guard leader to get promotion". John Cropley. The Daily Gazette. 2017-08-09. Retrieved 2017-08-10.
  48. ^ "Former MMI student-athlete Jonah Todd '16 drafted by Los Angeles Angels". Marion Military Institute. Marion Military Institute. Archived from the original on 2017-08-01. Retrieved 2017-07-31.
  49. ^ "Jonah Todd Stats, Highlights, Bio". MiLB. MiLB. Retrieved 2017-07-31.

External links[edit]