Oct. 05, 2023
We were very pleased to have more than 100 members of our cadet families register for our Parent Association Town Hall: Meet the Commandant online event held this past Monday evening, October 2nd. We were even more happy to have so many of you attend that live event and contribute questions both before and during […]...

We were very pleased to have more than 100 members of our cadet families register for our Parent Association Town Hall: Meet the Commandant online event held this past Monday evening, October 2nd.

We were even more happy to have so many of you attend that live event and contribute questions both before and during the webinar event. In fact, there were so many questions received prior to and during the online event, we weren't able to get to all of them. We have included those unanswered questions, with written responses from our Commandant, below:

View the Recorded Webinar

The webinar was recorded so that those in different time zones around the globe, or who might otherwise be unable to attend the live event, are able to view the webinar on demand.

Simply click the image below or visit this link to watch the video:

Q & A

Below are the questions from parents, with responses from our Commandant, that we were not able to address during the live event:

What is the strategic plan for improving the retention of the cadets?

Studies have shown that improving retention begins with ensuring students integrate socially and academically into an institution. I’m in the process of creating a 1st and 2nd-year initiative, where Cadets who have been here for 3 plus years, have a specific GPA (since attending FUMA), have exemplary conduct, and other criteria, will assist as Transition, Engagement, & Academic Mentoring (TEAM) Leaders, working alongside our staff and faculty members, assisting 1st and 2nd-year Cadets (modeled after Florida State University, who has an excellent retention rate amongst first-generation college students). I am also working with our Alumni Relations team to bring in Alumni to speak to our students, specifically regarding what FUMA did for them and what they got out of being here. We have also brought in more FUMA history lessons, so Cadets can better understand the tradition of which they are now a part.

What watch-standing duties do cadets have?

Cadets Sergeant First Class (SFC) and above will rotate duty in the Commandant’s Department, with a Cadet Private to assist after class days and on the weekends with making announcements, answering phone calls, assisting families, and so on. Each company will also have a private of the day for that specific company to assist with any administrative tasks that need to be accomplished, getting boxed meals for a company member who is at the infirmary, helping clean common areas, and so on.  

Will cell phones ever be allowed?

The no cell phone policy is integral part of Fork Union Military Academy, where Cadets can unplug from a cellular device and focus on themselves and their development. Cadets are required to turn in their cell phone upon arrival and will not get them back until they depart campus on leave. Our cell phone policy is on enclosure 4 (page 82) of our Cadet Regulations (https://www.forkunion.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/cadet-blue-book-july-25-2023.pdf).

Can kids have 8.5 - 9 hours of sleep weekdays? And 10 hours sleep over the weekend?

Cadets are provided 8 hours of sleep on class days, and 9 hours on the weekends. Cadets can get some extra rest/sleep during their free time, given that they have accomplished all of their other requirements (i.e., uniform preparation, company assignments, etc.). For additional information regarding a Cadets daily schedule please reference our website (https://www.forkunion.com/cadet-life/daily-schedule/).

How are Cadets usually organized within Companies and then paired up with a roommate? Is it random? Is it a logistical and planned setup? What scenarios may be appropriate for a parent or a student to bring up concerns with a roommate?

There is a logistical process for company assignments. Our first goal is to ensure that each company has an equal number of students, which then we work to fill Charlie Company, as they have middle school students, and have very specific requirements. With the absence of Band Company, we were able to create two band Platoons; one (varsity/prep) band is in Alpha Company, and the other (junior varsity/junior prep) band is in Charlie Company. The remaining 9th-grade students (based on age) were split between Alpha and Bravo Company’s, as they house primarily the upper school Cadets. Since Alpha and Charlie Company housed band cadets, Bravo Company was subsequently assigned the Battalion Staff Cadets, to ensure each company was as equal as possible to assist with Company Competitions. If a parent or Cadet has any concerns, they need to speak to their Company TAC Officer, as they are the primary contact for company room moves, and they control the room inspections and inventories.

How is the campus Weight Room structured for Cadet use? Is it available to use at specific times? How are the Cadets made aware when the Weight Room is available for them to use?

Estes Athletic Center and weight room is managed by our Athletic Department and Athletic Director. Cadets in sports rotate the use of the weight room, as every sport wants to have access. Additional time for coaches to utilize the weight room is on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, as there is no conduct of close order drill on those days, allowing additional time for coaches to utilize those facilities. We have also incorporated an Estes Faculty/Staff duty on Fridays and Saturday evenings. It is required that a staff/faculty member must be present in the weight room while Cadets have access. Cadets are not authorized to be in the weight room unsupervised.

All schools struggle with their students using items like Vape Pens/e-cigarettes, pornography, alcoholic mouthwash, etc. When these items are brought onto campus, what is protocol for identifying their presence and not only removing but teaching a young man the problem behind these things?

Cadets have their rooms inspected weekly to ensure that all items are arranged and displayed in accordance with our regulations. We have a strict policy regarding contraband and monitor student activities. Without getting into the specifics of our inspection processes, we do our due diligence investigating and conducting routine inspections, as necessary. We have several online awareness courses to address specific concerns, depending on the infraction a student receives that range from 1 hour to 6 plus hours. These courses are are nationally recognized and are conducted at the parent’s expense. Stanford Medicine also has tobacco prevention toolkits and modules specifically for tobacco & nicotine education.

Register for Our Next Webinar!

Make sure to register for our next online event, Parent Association Town Hall: Meet Our 12th President, to be held this coming Monday, October 9th, 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Get to know our incoming head school, Capt. Mark Black, USN (Ret.), and have a chance to learn more about his vision for the future of Fork Union Military Academy. Click the button below to register today!

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