Hargrave Military Academy

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Hargrave Military Academy
Hargrave Military Academy
200 Military Drive


United States
TypeMilitary, private, boarding, college preparatory
Motto Mens sana in corpore sano
(A sound mind in a sound body.)
Founder T. Ryland Sanford & J. Hunt Hargrave
PresidentCol. Michael Allen Brown, USMC
DeanDr. Jimmy Tung, Ph.D.
ChaplainAdam Felty
Grades7-Post Graduate
Color(s)Black and Orange   
Athletics conferenceVirginia Independent Conference
Rivals Fork Union Military Academy Fishburne Military School
AccreditationVirginia Association of Independent Schools and AdvancED
Affiliation Baptist General Association of Virginia
Website www.hargrave.edu
Camden Hall

Hargrave Military Academy (HMA) is a basketball and football factory, private, all-male, reform military boarding school located in the town of Chatham, Virginia. Hargrave is affiliated with the Baptist General Association of Virginia emphasizing Christian values that focuses on a college and military preparatory program. The school serves boys from around the world for grade 7 through post-graduate (PG). Hargrave was named a National School of Character in 2016. [1] Hargrave is accredited by the Virginia Association of Independent Schools and nationally by AdvancEd, and is a member of the Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States and the National Association of Independent Schools. [2] The school's campus is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.



Hargrave Military Academy was founded in 1909 by T. Ryland Sanford and J. Hunt Hargrave as the Chatham Training School (CTS). In 1925, in honor of Hargrave, CTS was renamed to Hargrave Military Academy (HMA). The renaming of the school was part of the school's evolution into a military high school in the early twenties. [3] HMA has been approved for JROTC numerous times since then, but many in the Hargrave community, most notably the Board of Trustees, feared that the addition of that program would put too much emphasis on military studies and reduce the emphasis on academics. [3] HMA has consistently operated independent of JROTC, however, including by utilizing its own uniforms, cadet rank structure, and chain of command.

On February 20, 1950, a fire destroyed Hargrave Hall and Founders Hall. No cadets or faculty were harmed, but Sanford Hall was the only building that remained unscathed. After an assembly before Colonel Camden in the Sanford Hall auditorium, a two-week vacation was declared. This was to allow time for Hargrave staff to work out a way to continue the regular academic schedule. [3]

The first African-American cadets were admitted to Hargrave in summer 1971 after the board of trustees passed a resolution that Hargrave would not consider race, color, or country of origin in its admission or employment policy and Colonel Vernon T. Lankford signed the Civil Rights Agreement. Andrew Ballen became the first black battalion commander in 1991. [4]

With enrollment at 586 for the 1970-1971 academic year, the Hargrave Corps of Cadets was organized into two battalions led by a Corps Commander with the rank of cadet colonel. Since 1971, the HMA Corps of Cadets has remained as a single battalion; its commander is a Cadet Lieutenant Colonel. Female cadets were admitted for the first time in the 1975-1976 year, and Geri Lou Huizinga and Lynn Emerson became the first women to graduate from HMA in 1976. Hargrave made the transition back to an all-male school in the early 2000s; the last female cadets graduated in 2009.

In 1981, the school presented for the first time the General Douglas MacArthur Award; the first cadet to receive it was Henry A. Haymes. That same year, school officials turned down the request to film on campus by the producers of the movie Taps , due to disagreements with film's plot and opposition to the producers’ request to erect a wall around the front of the campus. [5]

A four-week summer program began in 2009. In September, Hargrave celebrated the school's 100th founders day under the leadership of Colonel Wheeler L. Baker.


Hargrave Military Academy is governed by a board trustees. Many members of the board are alumni and community leaders. HMA created a charitable foundation to allow philanthropists an opportunity to make gifts to the school.

Presidents of HMA:

Teachings and curriculum

One of Hargrave Military Academy's four pillars is academic excellence. [6] Both Standard and Advanced High School Diplomas are offered to graduating cadets, as well as dual-enrollment classes through Danville Community College, Liberty University, and Richard Bland College. In addition to the 7–12 grade middle and high school, a one-year postgraduate program is also offered. Eligible students can enroll in a variety of honors and AP classes. Cadets have the opportunity to make academic honor rolls every grading period, consisting of the Dean's List and President's List. Post-Graduate students are eligible for the President's Commendation list.

Hargrave utilizes an "Enhanced Learning Through Technology" program, providing internet access in every room on campus. Cadets have the ability to work on class material, study, and contact their instructors at any time, from any place on campus.

In 2003, and 2011 Hargrave completed two upgrades to the academic space, including four laboratory areas, a new art studio, a college lecture-style learning center called the DLC (distance learning center), a "leadership center" and a greatly expanded video production classroom where cadets produce weekly announcement videos. Also, Hargrave's campus contains a refurbished auditorium. [7]

Cadet technology resources require a personal computer for every student, while Hargrave provides access to Google Drive. An SAT prep program, and a variety of computer-based teaching applications in mathematics, English and psychology are all parts of Hargrave's academic approach.

Hargrave's library contains more than 14,000 reference and book volumes and a computer network. Through the network, Cadets can access 44 reference and research databases online, 19 reference eBooks in the virtual library, access the Atomic Learning Tutor for software programs, and access subject specific learning programs, such as Boxer Math. Hargrave also utilizes Blackboard, a class teaching program. [7]

Colin Powell Center for Leadership & Ethics

Hargrave Military Academy offers a General Colin Powell Center for Leadership & Ethics; that was established to provide Cadets with a challenging, progressive and structured leadership education. Hargrave Cadets are taught to lead in an academic environment and through practical application by applying learned leadership techniques in day-to-day situations. [8]

Cadets are given the opportunity to enroll in a formal Leadership and Ethics Class (a ½ credit class of 18 weeks in length). The curriculum includes an investigation of the foundations of leadership such as Leadership Traits, Leadership Principles, Leadership Styles and Ethical Behavior. During their sophomore year, Cadets begin to assume positions as small unit leaders (squad leaders) which permits practical application of the leadership principles learned in the classroom. Upon completion of this Leadership 1 course, cadets can enroll in Leadership 2, which goes into more detail on the leadership traits, principles, and techniques encouraged by General Colin Powell. [8]

Cadets who complete the requirements of the Colin Powell Leadership Program may apply for the Colin Powell Leadership Medal; an honor only select Cadets achieve. If they are accepted, Cadets will earn the Colin Powell Leadership Medal, and, upon graduation, a Certificate in Leadership Studies along with their Hargrave Military Academy Diploma. [8]

Military structure

According to its website, "Hargrave's military program is designed to present an environment in which a Cadet may gain a sense of humor, commitment, and fidelity. The daily exposure of a military environment assists Cadets in developing self-discipline, character, ethics, team building, and leadership." [9] Military aspects include the wearing of uniforms, a military-style organization of personnel, ranks, and a chain of command. [10] Hargrave issues its own dress uniforms and PTG, but provides cadets with US Army style army combat uniforms.

Corps of Cadets

The Corps of Cadets consists of a battalion divided into four companies: Alpha, Bravo, Delta, and Band. Every six weeks grading period, an "Honor Company" is chosen. The honor company is the company with the best overall academic and military performance. For winning, the eat first at mess, and display a streamer on their guidon.

The rank structure at Hargrave is similar to that of the United States Army, and includes the rank of Basic Cadet.

After attending Non-Commissioned Officers (SNCO) School prior to the beginning of the academic year, cadets can obtain NCO ranks and positions. One cadet is appointed to the rank of Command Sergeant Major, serving on Battalion staff as the highest-ranking NCO.

Insignia TAMU-09-Cadet-CSM.JPG TAMU-11-Cadet-1SG.JPG TAMU-12-Cadet-MSG.JPG TAMU-13-Cadet-SFC.JPG TAMU-14-Cadet-SSG.JPG TAMU-15-Cadet-SGT.JPG TAMU-16-Cadet-CPL.JPG TAMU 17a PFC.svg TAMU-17-Cadet-PFC.JPG No Insignia
Title Sergeant Major First Sergeant Master Sergeant Sergeant First Class Staff Sergeant Sergeant Corporal Private First Class Private Basic Cadet

The week before the start of their senior year, cadets have the option of attending Officer Candidate School (OCS), which allows them to obtain commissioned officer ranks. The OCS Completion Ribbon is awarded to those cadets who finish OCS. A cadet officer can hold many leadership positions ranging from auxiliary to Battalion Commander. The corps is run by the cadet officers and is supervised by the military faculty members. The Battalion Commander is the commanding officer of the corps. The Battalion XO is the second highest position in the Corps of Cadets whose primary job is to manage the Battalion Staff. The Battalion Staff is responsible for all operations throughout the Corps. [10] Blouse rank insignia on HMA dress uniforms is similar to those used at West Point, with large yellow and black edged stripes.

Insignia TAMU-03-Cadet-COL.JPG TAMU-04-Cadet-LTC.JPG TAMU-05-Cadet-MAJ.JPG TAMU-06-Cadet-CPT.JPG TAMU-07-Cadet-1LT.JPG TAMU-08-Cadet-2LT.JPG
Title Colonel Lieutenant Colonel Major Captain First Lieutenant Second Lieutenant


The Bullring

Notable at Hargrave is the notorious Bullring, a square painted on cement in the middle of campus. [11] Cadets who violate any of the rules and regulations may be sent to the Bullring to walk tours. [12] One hour of walking around the Bullring in uniform makes up a single tour. [13] Cadets may also be briefly subject to PT in the bullring for minor infractions.

Honor system

The honor code prohibits non-basketball playing cadets from lying, cheating, or stealing. Any cadet that violates, or is accused of violating, any part of the honor code may be sent to the Honor Council which consists of a panel of cadets that are appointed by school officials, where, if found guilty, may be subject to sanctions based on the severity of the incident.


The Onishi-Davenport Aquatic Center The Onishi-Davenport Aquatic Center Swimpool.jpg
The Onishi-Davenport Aquatic Center


Hargrave fields many varsity athletic teams, including football, basketball, baseball, wrestling, soccer, golf, lacrosse, cross country, track and field, rifle, and swimming. [14]

Post-Graduate Basketball

SEE: Hargrave Military Academy Basketball

The Tigers have won three National Prep Championships since a formal tournament began in the mid 2000’s. The program has produced hundreds of players that went on to play NCAA Division 1 basketball, and 26 that have gone on to play in the NBA. [15] The program has also been a breeding ground for college coaches, as many former head coaches and assistants have ascended through the ranks at the NCAA Division 1 level. The Hargrave Military Academy basketball program was named “Program of the Decade” by RealGM in 2012 after a study showing that Hargrave produced more successful college basketball players than any other prep school or high school in the nation. [16] The program was also featured on a season 2 episode of CNN's Inside Man. [17]

Clubs and organizations

There are many clubs and organizations that cadets can participate in while attending Hargrave, including:

Notable alumni

Politics, military, and business

Literature, television and arts





Notable attendees

Further reading

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  4. Tallent, Mary (2004). Years of Change; Years of Growth: A History of Hargrave Military Academy 1970–2003. Chatam: Hargrave Military Academy. Andrew Ballen of Greensboro, North Carolina, became the first African-American to serve as Corps commander at Hargrave Military Academy.
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  9. www.hargrave.edu FAQ [ dead link ]
  10. 1 2 "Chain of Command: Military and Hargrave." Leadership Presentations. Hargrave Military Academy. Colin Powell Center for Leadership and Ethics, Chatham. 12 March 2015. Lecture.
  11. "Getting used to military school" . Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  12. Hargrave Military Academy Student Planner and Cadet Regulations, 2014–2015, p. 13-15.
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  14. "Hargrave Military Academy – Hargrave Military Academy". hargravesports.com. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  15. Hargrave Military Academy. "Team Alumni" . Retrieved June 3, 2020.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
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  17. "Coaches are watching their every move – CNN Video" . Retrieved 9 November 2018.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
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  19. Jeff Allen bio
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  21. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-16. Retrieved 2015-08-25.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

Coordinates: 36°49′54″N79°24′07″W / 36.83167°N 79.40194°W / 36.83167; -79.40194