Fork Union Military Academy has selected Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC, to serve as its 11th President. COL Coggins will succeed Rear Admiral J. Scott Burhoe, USCG (Ret.), who is retiring on July 1, 2018 after seven years as President.
"The Board of Trustees is extraordinarily grateful to Rear Admiral Burhoe for his leadership," said Board of Trustees Chair Paige Lester Pruett. "He has provided a solid foundation and strong vision for Fork Union Military Academy that Colonel Coggins will build upon and carry forward."
"I can think of no better calling than as the servant leader of a private military academy with Baptist affilation in my home state of Virginia," COL Coggins stated. "I have great respect for the value tradition plays," COL Coggins added, "while recognizing the necessity for the transformation required in meeting the needs of education in the 21st Century in a multicultural educational environment. My experience is that a disciplined, efficient, and proud military structure helps instill school pride and discipline. I am blessed and excited as I transition after my service to our great nation. It is with the same energy, integrity, and enthusiasm for people that I anticipate my next chapter of service."
COL Coggins has served as a senior leader in the US Marine Corps for thirty years, having been active in Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, and Iraqi Freedom, as well as participating in the NATO Training Mission to Iraq. His command assignments have included platoon commander in the 2nd Marine Division, Company Commander in the 1st and 3rd Marine Division, and Battalion Commander in the 3rd Marine Division. He has most recently served as the Commanding Officer and Professor of Naval Science of the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps at Virginia Military Institute.
While attending the University of Tennessee, where he earned a B.S. in Education, COL Coggins was an NCAA Division 1 swimmer and student assistant swim coach. He earned a Masters in Military Studies at Marine Corps University.
"The Search Committee conducted an extensive search for the 11th President of Fork Union Military Academy," explained RADM Frank Rennie, USN (Ret.), the Chairman of the President Search Committee. "Colonel Coggins brings many exceptional attributes to the job, including a stellar and diverse thirty-year career in the Marine Corps, a solid background as the Professor of Naval Science at Virginia Military Institute, and a unique calling to serve the cadets and staff at Fork Union Military Academy. Our committee is certain that Colonel Coggins is the right person to lead the Academy into the future."