Front & Center News from Fork Union Military Academy–August 28, 2020

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Stories in this issue:

  • Fishing Tournament
  • Activities Update from Amy Reese
  • Remembering Face Masks
  • Interact Club earns a Rotary Presidential Citation
  • Blue Devils Scale Modelers' Club gets building this year
  • A Reminder on SAT/ACT Testing
  • Woodworking and Chess Clubs are underway with COL Nothnagle
  • Taking Care of our Cadets’ Emotional Health
  • Parent FAQ for Boarding and Day Students
  • Do you want to be a part of our Cadet Corps?

Fishing Tournament

by COL Chris Nothnagle

Saturday, August 22nd, a bunch of cadets descended to Pruitt Lake to try their luck to win a pizza. The rules were the cadet who caught the longest fish between 1400 and 1600 hours would win a pizza. We brought out a number of rods if cadets didn't have one as well as those who brought their own. They used worms, lures, and cut bait to try and nail a decent size fish.

Unfortunately the sun came out after a nice cloudy morning and the fish closed the door saying its MOVIE time. The total number of fish caught was about 10 and the largest, a fat sunfish, was caught by Cadet Mark Griggs, a new student in C-Co. He was happy and continued to fish after the tournament was over and caught one additional fish. We enjoyed soft drinks from a cooler and everyone seemed to have a good time.

It was a great way to start the fishing club. We hope to try it again and catch bigger fish.

Cadets enjoyed the opportunity to get outside in the fresh air, keep some social distance, and catch some fish!

Activities Update from Amy Reese

Weekend Activities - AUGUST 28-30, 2020

Throughout the weekend, cadets can enjoy all OUTDOOR activities on campus—basketball courts, tennis courts, walking trails, athletic fields, and disc golf, to name a few.

If you are looking for an INDOOR activity, or a SPECIAL GROUP activity, then consider the following offerings:




  • ART ROOM OPEN – ART ROOM (located beside the Barber Shop) – 1200-1600
  • LIBRARY OPEN – 1200-1700 (Math & Science tutoring also available with COL Macek)


  • INDOOR POOL OPEN – ESTES ATHLETIC CENTER -- 1530-1700 (Advance Signup Required)
  • PAPA JOHN’S PIZZA DELIVERY — OUTSIDE SOCIAL CENTER — 1600 (Place order with Mrs. Reese or MAJ Leydig by Saturday)


Open for video games, recreational table games, arcade games, a game of chess and casual cadet gatherings. The Moon Snack Bar will be open for cadets to grab popcorn, nachos, snacks and beverages. OUTSIDE WINDOW is available—you do not have to enter building in order to get a snack.

  • OPEN FRIDAY: 1900-2115
  • OPEN SATURDAY: 1300-1700 and 1900-2115 (closed during Dinner)
  • OPEN SUNDAY: 1300-1700


  • Friday and Saturday - 1930 (Feature)—Rampage (Dwayne Johnson)
  • Saturday and Sunday - 1400 (Matinee)—Dr. Dolittle

Remembering Face Masks

By Howard Hodges, FUMA Alumnus, Class of 1965

When I saw this Instagram photo of cadets during their first week at my military prep school, Fork Union Military Academy (VA), I thought to myself, I can't imagine what this would be like.

Then I immediately flashed back and said to myself: I actually do!

We wore masks in Army Basic Training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, in February 1970 and even had green Army "sneeze blankets" folded on the bed frame near our heads. There was an Upper Respiratory Infection going around. Mask wearing was mandatory.

During training, I visited an Army buddy in the infirmary and got an Upper Respiratory Infection from him. When I got out of the infirmary, I looked him up to give him a hard time...only to find out he went AWOL (to avoid Vietnam).

The two photos below are from our Basic Training "yearbook." I'm the one on the far right front wearing that thick cloth mask around my neck, since we were allowed to lower them or put them in our pockets during daily Physical Training. The other photo speaks for itself.

Howard Hodges (at right) with his mask lowered for physical training.
Howard Hodges remembers doing drill in face masks during his Basic Training in 1970.

So 1918 was not the only time that the Army had to wear face masks. My experience catching that Upper Respiratory Infection from just one short infirmary visit makes my taking mask wearing and social distancing seriously from that "combat" (lol) experience.

Howard Hodges, attended FUMA from 1960-64 as a member of the Class of 1965

Interact Club earns a Rotary Presidential Citation

Fork Union Military Academy has a very active Interact Club, a youth program sponsored by the Rotary Club of Fluvanna County and supervised by our teacher, CSM Catherine Garcia.

Rudy Garcia, the Past President of the Rotary Club in Fluvanna County and the D7600 District Grants Chair, presented a Rotary Presidential Citation to the Fork Union Military Academy Interact Club this past week in recognition of all their work and community service in the 2019-2020 academic year.

Blue Devils Scale Modelers' Club gets building this year

Cadets interested in building scale models joined with club sponsor, MAJ David Wallace, to begin this year's Blue Devils Scale Modelers' Club. MAJ Wallace reports that the club will be working in partnership with a modelers' club in Richmond and is grateful for generous individuals who have been donating materials to the club for cadets to enjoy this year.

A Reminder on SAT/ACT Testing

By Rhonda White, Test Director & Coordination of Counseling Services

This is a reminder to all cadets and parents that Fork Union Military Academy will be offering the SAT and ACT tests in September and October.

  • The SAT test will be given on September 26th and October 3rd.
  • The ACT test will be given on September 12th and October 24th.

Be mindful of the registration deadlines for the October test dates, and that our capacity level is low due to COVID-19 and the social distancing measures that have been put in place, so please register as soon as possible. Cadets will not be allowed to leave campus to take the SAT or ACT test at other locations.

  • The registration deadline for the September test dates has already passed.
  • The deadline to register for the October 3rd SAT test is September 4th.
  • The deadline to register for the October 24th ACT test is September 17th.

All the information for registering is on our website under the Academics > College Counseling & Scheduling menu item.

Woodworking, Fishing, and Chess Clubs are underway with COL Nothnagle

COL Nothnagle is legendary not only as a mathematics teacher, but as one of the most prolific sponsors of clubs that are popular with a wide variety of cadets. So far this year, he has helped cadets with a fishing tournament and held additional Fishing Club events. He has cadets actively working in his Woodworking Club, and competing in Chess Club. He expects to start up the Table Tennis Club this weekend.

Colonel Coggins helps celebrate our August Birthdays


Social Distancing!


Taking Care of our Cadets’ Emotional Health

The Academy places high value on the academic, spiritual, and physical fitness of our cadets. Through a challenging academic program, we strive to help them build academic skills necessary for success beyond FUMA. Instruction and training in the Christian faith help to promote our cadets’ spiritual development. Through athletic participation and physical training (PT), cadets learn the importance of taking care of their physical health. In the same vein, we strive to place equal emphasis on helping our cadets take care of their emotional well-being.

Our faculty and staff have been receiving training in Youth Mental Health First Aid from instructor COL Steve Macek, the Academy's Chief of Staff. COL Macek has already led two classes for teachers and staff members in August. Since introducing this program to Fork Union Military Academy five years ago, many of the Academy’s faculty and staff have been trained as Youth Mental Health First Aiders.

COL Steve Macek leads a recent 8-hour training session on Youth Mental Health First Aid.

COL Macek has received special training as an instructor in this program, which was created in Australia in 2001 by Betty Kitchner and Anthony Jorm, both renowned mental health experts. This eight-hour course is now taught around the world, providing people the skills to help youth who are experiencing mental health problems.

From its website: “Just as CPR helps you assist an individual having a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid helps you assist someone experiencing a mental health or substance use-related crisis. In the Mental Health First Aid course, you learn risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns, strategies for how to help someone in both crisis and non-crisis situations, and where to turn for help.”

Information about this program can be found here: https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org.

Parent FAQ for Boarding and Day Students

Parents, you have questions, we have answers!

Have you checked out our new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) pages for Boarding Students and Day Students?

You can find both of them in the Parents section of our website:


If you don't find answers to the questions you have, please let us know! Just email your question to Dan Thompson at dan@fuma.org and we will get your questions (and our answers) added to the FAQ.

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.

Battalion Staff - 1908
Created By
Daniel Thompson


Photos by: Kate Pendergrass, Kelly Shuman