Front & Center News from Fork Union Military Academy–February 13, 2017

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Stories in this issue:

  • Debate team to send fifteen cadets to compete in state tournament
  • Deadline is February 14th for yearbook ads!
  • Orienteering team competes at Pohick Bay Park
  • Cadets help in fight against lymphoma
  • Chili Wars: We have a winner!
  • Eighth Graders visit Washington DC
  • Weekend warriors compete in laser tag
  • Guidance Office schedules next "Let's Talk..." event for this Thursday evening
  • Middle School dance a big success
  • PHOTO ESSAY: Middle School Dance
Headed to class on a chilly morning

Debate team to send fifteen cadets to compete in state tournament

Fifteen cadets from Fork Union Military Academy's debate team have qualified to compete in the Virginia Catholic Forensic League State Tournament to be held on March 11, 2017 at Eastern View High School in Culpeper, Virginia. Students qualify to compete in the state championship by placing high enough individually in a qualifying meet. The top three finishers in each debate category will be eligible to compete in the national tournament.

Deadline is February 14th for yearbook ads!

Tell your cadet how proud they make you by posting a yearbook ad in their honor. Select a favorite photo, choose your layout, and add your own personal message. You can do it all online!

The deadline is tomorrow, February 14th!

Orienteering team competes at Pohick Bay Park

Orienteering is a combination of cross-country and pathfinding, in which competitors use a map and compass to navigate from point to point across unfamiliar and diverse terrain as rapidly as they can, attempting to complete the course in the shortest possible time.

The orienteering course contains a number of "control flags" at sites marked on the course map by a circle showing the general area in which the flag will be found. The course map might also offer descriptions or clues as to where the control flag can be found. The competitor must locate and visit each control flag in order, usually marking his control card with a punch hanging next to the control flag, each punch having a different shape or pattern, to verify that the control flag had been reached. Some courses use electronic devices instead of punch cards.

A typical orienteering control flag

Orienteering competitors use their map and compass to choose their own route from control flag to control flag, and races often use a staggered start so each competitor must navigate individually, choosing his own path through the fields, woods, roadways, hills, water bodies, and other terrain features to reach each control site.

The orienteering team from Fork Union Military Academy competes at matches across the country and has been very competitive on the national level for many years.

This past weekend, Fork Union's orienteering team traveled to Pohick Bay Regional Park along the Potomac River in Fairfax County to compete in an orienteering meet sponsored by the Quantico Orienteering Club. The meet was held at Camp Wilson, a former Boy Scout camp at the northern tip of the park. The team competed in races along several courses, identified by color, including the 2.9 kilometer Yellow course, the Brown course at 3.4 kilometers in length, and the 3.8 kilometer Orange course.

On the Brown course, Zach Williams won 1st place, David Muench took 3rd, and Brennan Stone finished in 7th place. On the Orange course, Josh Henriques finished in 1st place. David MIddleton, competing on the Yellow course in his rookie race, finished in 5th place.

As a team, the varsity finished 3rd behind the teams from Patuxent and Loudon County, and the junior varsity team captured 1st place handily.

Not sure whether that's a science experiment...or CPT Biette's instant coffee?

Cadet help in fight against lymphoma

For the month of February, our cadets at Fork Union Military Academy are coming together in the fight against blood cancers to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, under the supervision of Mrs. Amy Reese, our Activities Coordinator.

I know first hand how this organization helps those in need. My 80-year old father is a lymphoma cancer survivor. The LLS in our area gave my father $5,000 to help with his medical treatments. This came in handy to a retired couple living on a fixed income. —Mrs. Amy Reese

Our school goal is $3,000, which we hope to surpass this year. The fundraiser is set up as a company competition. The company that raises the most money for the month of February will enjoy a two-hour private party in the cadet Social Center with pizza and wings!

Parents, friends, and alumni can donate online using the button below. We would like to give your cadet the credit for the donation, and count it towards his company total -- so please note your cadet's name, along with your donation.

Parents, you are also welcome to send money with your son to give to his TAC Officer, or mail a check to my attention (payable to Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, with your cadet's name in the memo line), to the address below.

Amy Reese, Activities Coordinator

Fork Union Military Academy

PO BOX 278, Fork Union, VA 23055

Thank you for helping us reach our goal to support our mission to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's Disease, and myeloma and to improve the quality of life for cancer patients.

Relaxing between class periods

Chili Wars: We have a winner!

The competition was fierce, hot, and spicy in this year's 2nd Annual Chili Wars. For the past several weeks, chefs from cadet companies competed each Thursday for the right to face off against the winning staff/faculty department cooks. In the end, it came down to the cadets of Echo Company battling against the Athletic Department.

At the conclusion of the first lunch period this past Thursday, Director of Dining Services Larry McIlnay reported that the voting was the closest he had ever seen, with the competitors nearly tied, at 100 to 101 votes. By the end of the second lunch period, the vote remained close, but the winning team had pulled to a lead of 140 votes to 137 votes.

Once all the spoons had dropped and the bowls were empty, it was the Athletic Department with a close but clear victory over Echo Company.

In his concession remarks, MAJ John Justice, the TAC Officer for Echo Company, declared that "Echo will take our loss with our heads held high. No recount here! Congratulations to the Athletic Department."

The Athletic Department would not reveal the secret ingredients used in their special "white chili" recipe, which most voters assumed used chicken as its primary ingredient. The chefs of the Athletic Department refused to confirm or deny even that small fact. But our sharp-eyed photographer was present in the kitchen during the cooking of the winning chili, and even though he was not able to confirm all of the ingredients, his photos help tell at least part of the story...perhaps.

Coach Taddei cooks the mysterious white meat...

Coach Barnette is heard to ask, "Am I supposed to cut the rattles off the tails or leave them on?"

Secret Ingredient #1: The tears of the Athletic Director cutting the onions...

Secret Ingredient #2? Lawn clippings from the very spot in the end zone where tradition says Eddie George dove for his first touchdown...

Secret Ingredient #3: Some powder Miss Shuman spooned in while chanting "Double, double, toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble."

Congratulations to the winning team of chefs and their cauldron of chili that charmed the voters!

Eighth Graders visit Washington DC

A large group of our 8th grade cadets recently traveled to Washington, DC for a walking tour of several notable sites in the Capital City. The group, chaperoned by 8th grade English teacher, MAJ Aaron Butt, and our Guidance Director, COL Rob Feathers, began its tour at the National Museum of Natural History and then stopped at the food court in the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center for lunch. The tour resumed with a visit to the new National Museum of African American History and Culture and then proceeded to a series of outside monuments, beginning with the Washington Monument and followed by the World War II Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Vietnam War Memorial. The group then walked up Pennsylvania Avenue, past the White House, and ended their day of sightseeing at the National Air and Space Museum.

The trip was both educational and fun, and a means for rewarding those 8th graders who have worked to establish a respectable record of achievement as cadets so far this year.

Photos from this event can be found here:

Mrs. Carol Childress, the president's secretary, gets everything organized for an upcoming Board of Trustees meeting

Weekend warriors compete in laser tag

Cadets took a break from studies to turn the Estes Athletic Center into a war zone for some fierce rounds of laser tag this past weekend.

Cadet Zhang (left) and Mrs. Katherine Giszack (3rd from right) gave a campus tour to a prospective student family from Beijing this past week.

Guidance Office schedules next "Let's Talk..." event for this Thursday evening

Chief Patterson leads the singing during a recent chapel service

Middle School dance a big success

The Social Center welcomed an unusual crowd of a type not usually seen on the campus of Fork Union Military Academy in great numbers...


An enthusiastic group of middle school cadets greeted an equally enthusiastic group of young ladies for an evening of music, dancing, refreshments, fun, and the rare moment of excruciating shyness. Vaughan Hall was filled with DJ music (thanks to several upperclassmen donating their services to their younger brethren), adult staff and parent chaperones, and many happy young people (often separating into large groupings of boys looking across the dance floor at large groupings of girls). But before the night was over, all had taken their turns across the dance floor and enjoyed their time together.

Middle School Dance

Created By
Daniel Thompson


Photos by: COL Al Williamson, Kate Pendergrass, RADM Burhoe, & Charles Thomas

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