This week, Fork Union Military Academy President Col. David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.), recognized two outstanding cadets, Ethan Schroyer and Jackson Pretus, for their compassion and support in helping Afghan refugees who are resettling in Virginia. As a token of gratitude and to further enhance their cultural learning, Col. Coggins presented traditional clothing and items to both cadets. Cadet Ethan Schroyer of North East, Maryland, a junior who has attended the Academy since the 9th grade, received traditional Bedouin clothing and tribal gifts. Cadet Jackson Pretus of Charlottesville, Virginia, a senior in his fourth year at Fork Union, was presented with traditional Pashtu attire and a Bokara rug.
"This presentation is not only about expressing our appreciation for their work but also further enhancing their cultural learning," Col. Coggins said. "These items serve as a tangible link to the cultures that our cadets are actively engaging with." These traditional items and tribal gifts, according to Col. Coggins, carry deep cultural significance. They reflect the richness and diversity of Bedouin and Pashtu cultures, offering cadets a chance to deepen their understanding and respect for these traditional societies.
Cadet Schroyer, who studied Arabic in Jordan last summer while living with a host family as part of a State Department summer scholar program, has been selected to serve as the Battalion Commander of the Corps of Cadets for the 2023-2024 school year-the highest-ranking cadet on campus-and a distinguished position awarded after a very competitive selection process. Cadet Jackson Pretus will attend William & Mary this fall in a special international degree program in partnership with the University of Saint Andrews in Scotland.
Both Schroyer and Pretus are winners of the prestigious Trustee Scholarship, a full scholarship awarded annually to the most outstanding applicant at Fork Union Military Academy. The scholarship covers full tuition and uniform benefits for each year the winning cadet is in attendance.
"The Academy is proud of the exemplary work done by our cadets," Coggins stated. "Our aim is not only to cultivate leaders but also individuals who can respect others and appreciate cultural differences, values that Cadets Schroyer and Pretus have shown through their actions. Their dedication and compassion reflect the values instilled in the cadets at Fork Union Military Academy and serve as an inspiration to their peers and the community at large."