At Fork Union Military Academy, our cadets are expected to tuck in their shirts, to say “Yes, sir” and “No, ma’am”, to stand when a lady enters, and to open doors for others. Our cadets learn to look others in the eye, address others with respect, and speak with confidence. Our cadets are taught to “sweep in the corners”—that is, they are expected to pay attention to detail, to be accountable for their actions, and to set high standards for themselves and others.
Our cadets are bound together by bonds of understanding and friendship that are built on things that are real, strong, and true. Our cadets simply call it a brotherhood.
Cadets typically share a rather Spartan room where they study, relax, and sleep. For many, this is the first time they have been away from home for an extended period or had to share a bedroom. Our regular operations of class, physical activities, military training, and study establish a routine that varies little from day to day.
Cadets are responsible for cleaning their room, shining their shoes, and taking care of their clothes and personal belongings. In this lifestyle, our cadets learn self-discipline, organization, and responsibility.
Every cadet participates in military drill training that helps them learn teamwork and cooperation. Great emphasis is placed on visibly rewarding personal accomplishments. However, clear punishments, usually in the form of demerits and loss of privileges, follow if cadets fail to do what is expected of them. Cadets who receive demerits are required to perform Extra Duty (ED), which usually means marching during what would otherwise be their free time.