Front & Center News from Fork Union Military Academy–August 14, 2020

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Stories in this issue:

  • We're Open for Classroom Learning!
  • Keeping an Eye on Our Campus
  • Cadet Leadership Training
  • Keeping an Eye on Our Campus
  • Social Center
  • Activities Update from Amy Reese
  • Get to Know Our Commandant's Department
  • Do you want to be a part of our Cadet Corps?

We're Open for Classroom Learning!

Social distancing. Face masks. Hand washing.

We are open for in-person classroom learning in this challenging COVID-19 pandemic time. Our faculty and our cadets are following a strict set of guidelines that we have created in consultation with health professionals from the Thomas Jefferson District of the Virginia Department of Health, with the advice of our Academy Physician and our registered nurses in our Infirmary, and in reviewing guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

You can learn more about the steps we have taken to prepare for the opening of our 2020-2021 school year on our website at https://www.forkunion.com/ready.

Keeping an Eye on Our Campus

You can keep an eye on weather conditions on campus at any time with the Skyline Network weathercam we have mounted high atop Hatcher Hall for use by our local television stations. You can see the view looking almost due west from the top of our central administration building at https://www.cbs19news.com/weather/skyline.

Cadet Leadership Training

Written By Cadet Drew Leydig / Edited By Cadet Khang Le

Cadet Leadership Training marks the start of a new year at Fork Union Military Academy. It is important that cadet leaders, such as myself and my other 66 brothers who attended, learn valuable skills and leadership traits and principles so we can teach over 150 new cadets that are planned to arrive on Monday. Even though the coronavirus is interrupting the plans of many schools and businesses, we are lucky enough to be able to come to leadership and work hard.

There is a key difference in this year's training in comparison with last year's: participation in Cadet Leadership Training alone does not mean guaranteed ranks on the graduation day of training. Those who are invited will have to take tests that were not administered last year as part of the training. Therefore, cadets would have to give extra attention to presentations on leadership qualities and FUMA history while sitting in the chapel and dining hall. Not only that, but physical development is also an extremely important aspect of Cadet Leadership Training to help us become determined and compassionate leaders who are ready to take on whatever task is thrown at them, such as waking up at 0530 every day for PT. For me, the Leadership Reaction Course at Fort Pickett on the last day is the most exhausting event; yet, it is also my most favorite part of the week because the course aims to strengthen bonds between the cadets, develops endurance as well as critical thinking skills, and boosts their courage as the cadets lay themselves on the lines (literally). Cadet Gregory Hyson was put in a team with people he had not known before. As he reflects on his experiences, he states that though physical attributes matter, teamwork is the most important thing at Fort Pickett, and everyone can contribute towards the common goal in many ways. It was also very interesting for Hyson to discover similarities between them, and that is how he learned that as a leader we must know our peers very well in order to lead them effectively.

To conduct Cadet Leadership Training while still maintaining Covid-19 prevention measures (masks were always on and social distancing was enforced as much as possible) did pose an extra challenge for the training. Nevertheless, the FUMA brotherhood persevered through the rigorous training and coronavirus restrictions. Bonds that were built during Cadet Leadership Training are going to last for a long time, and allows us to lead, teach, counsel, and continue to strive for greatness every day. As cadet Khang Le said, Cadet Leadership Training is never meant to be easy, but a test to ensure that cadet leaders are qualified physically and mentally to lead the Corps of Cadets.

Social Center

The Social Center was a popular destination for cadets in 2019-2020, and is sure to be again this year.

Our Social Center on campus in Vaughan Hall offers cadets a place to relax and enjoy their free time. Facilities include:

  • a 26-seat movie theater (with scheduled showings of Aquaman this weekend!)
  • 5 private PS4 and Nintendo Switch game rooms with a Middle School Only room and a Senior/PG Only room
  • a private room for chess, board games, and playing music
  • Pool, Ping Pong, Foosball, Air Hockey, and arcade games
  • Concessions including nachos, hot dogs, popcorn, candy & snacks, sodas, Gatorate, and Starbucks Frappucino

Activities Update from Amy Reese

Amy Reese has a calendar full of special activities planned for cadets throughout the coming year. If you have any questions about cadet activities or any suggestions or comments, you may contact Amy Reese at reesea@fuma.org or by phone at 434.842.4233.

Weekend Activities—AUGUST 14-16, 2020

The Activities Schedule this weekend is a little different because of our Saturday Class day. On Friday, cadets will be busy preparing for Saturday class with CQ, or evening study hall, so the Social Center will be closed and there are no special activities planned for Friday.

Being that this is their first weekend on campus, their free time will be spent exploring the campus, hanging out with new friends, and relaxing.

On Saturday evening and most of the day on Sunday, the Social Center in Vaughn Hall will be open for video games, recreational table games, arcade games, a game of chess and casual cadet gatherings. Movies will be shown in the theater on Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon.

The Moon Snack Bar, located in the Social Center, will be open for cadets to grab popcorn, nachos, snacks and beverages.

Cadets may also utilize the recreational spaces inside the Estes Athletic Center for basketball, weight room, cardio room, wallyball and racquetball. The outdoor basketball and tennis courts are also available for cadet fun.



DOG DAYS OF AUGUST on the grass area outside of the Social Center from 3:00-4:00 pm

Missing your pets? Come meet our Faculty and Staff’s canine companions.

Get to Know Our Commandant's Department

The Commandant's Department at Fork Union Military Academy is the office that oversees most of the residential life aspects of a cadet's experience.


The Commandant of the Corps of Cadets is LTC Tony Moss, US Army (Ret.). He can be reached by email at mosst@fuma.org or by phone at 434-842-4239.

Deputy Commandant

The Deputy Commandant is GySgt Charlie Coulter, USMC (Ret.). He can be reached by email at coulterc@fuma.org or by phone at 434-842-4234.

Command Sergeant Major

Our Command Sergeant Major is CSM Glenn Sidwell, US Army (Ret.). He can be reached by email at sidwellg@fuma.org or by phone at 434-842-4235.


Our Chaplain is James Benson. He can be reached by email at bensonj@fuma.org or by phone at 434-842-4213.

Activities Coordinator

Our Activities Coordinator is Amy Reese. She can be reached by email at reesea@fuma.org or by phone at 434-842-4233

Tactical Officers (TAC)

Parents wanting to communicate with someone about how their son is doing adjusting to life in the barracks, or in terms of his conduct within the Cadet Corps will find that the primary Tactical Officer (or TAC) in charge of the son's company is likely to be a very important person to contact in the event any questions or concerns come up.

Alpha Company

Alpha Company's TAC Officer is Gary Leydig. He can be reached by email at leydigg@fuma.org or by phone at 434-842-4381.

Bravo Company

Bravo Company's TAC Officer is Mike Sidwell. He can be reached by email at sidwellm@fuma.org or by phone at 434-842-4237.

Charlie Company

Charlie Company's TAC Officer is Michael Ocker. He can be reached by email at ockerm@fuma.org or by phone at 434-842-4229.

Delta Company

Delta Company's TAC Officer is Frank Arritt. He can be reached by email at arrittfl@fuma.org or by phone at 434-842-4284.

Additional TAC Officers

John Warren is the TAC Officer for our Battalion Staff and Evening TAC. He can be reached by email at warrenj@fuma.org or by phone at 434-842-4256.

DeMarcus Roberson is an Evening TAC. He can be reached by email at robersond@fuma.org or by phone at our Guard Desk number, 434-842-4232.

Phillip Merling is a Weekend TAC. He can be reached by email at merlingp@fuma.org or by phone at our Guard Desk number, 434-842-4232.

Shane Sidwell is a Night TAC. He can be reached by email at sidwells@fuma.org or by phone at our Guard Desk number, 434-842-4232.

For a full listing of the Commandant's Department staff, you may visit our online staff directory at https://www.forkunion.com/directory/staff or click the button below:

Do you want to be a part of our Cadet Corps?

Are you a young man in the 7th to 12th grade? Do you want to be a man known for integrity, respect for yourself and others, faith, character, and discipline?

Do you want to learn more about how a top military school for boys can help you succeed? Are you interested in attending one of the USA's top college prep boarding schools? Does a good Christian school environment sound like what you are looking for? Do you think a great private school would suit you better than public school?

We encourage you to fill out an application for enrollment and join our cadets here at Fork Union Military Academy.

Created By
Daniel Thompson


Photos by: Kate Pendergrass, Kelly Shuman