Fork Union Military Academy

Fork Union Military Academy (abbreviated as FUMA) is a private, all-male, college preparatory military boarding school located in Fork Union, Virginia. Founded in 1898, Fork Union is considered one of the premier military boarding academies in the United States.[2][3][4][5][6][7]

Fork Union Military Academy
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Fork Union Military Academy.jpg
Cadets march in formation for the annual Mothers Day Parade at Fork Union Military Academy
4744 James Madison Highway

United States
Coordinates37°45′40.7″N 78°15′37.6″W / 37.761306°N 78.260444°W / 37.761306; -78.260444
MottoBody, Mind, and Spirit
FounderDr. William E. Hatcher
PresidentCol. David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
DeanCOL Mike Goad, FUMA
ChaplainLTC James Benson, FUMA
Teaching staff175
1 year post-graduate program
Campus size1,000 acres (400 ha)[1]
Color(s)    Blue & red
MascotBlue Devils
AccreditationVirginia Association of Independent Schools
NewspaperFront & Center
YearbookThe Skirmisher

Fork Union is a member of the Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States and the National Association of Independent Schools, and is affiliated with the Baptist General Association of Virginia. FUMA's curriculum extends from the 7th to 12th grade and also hosts a one-year postgraduate program.


The old Fork Union Military Academy's barracks in 1899.

Located on a 1,000-acre (400 ha) campus in the rolling hills of central Virginia's Piedmont region, Fork Union Military Academy was initially founded as Fork Union Academy in October 1898 by Dr. William E. Hatcher, a prominent local Baptist minister. The first class had nineteen students.

In 1902, the academy took on a military structure to provide organization, discipline, and physical development for the boys of what was a rapidly growing school. In 1913, the academy became an all-male institution and changed its name to Fork Union Military Academy. That same year, the academy began receiving support from the Baptist General Association of Virginia, which continues to this day.

Military organization is used to structure the daily routine. While the academy currently has no direct relationship with any branch of the military, the school's military system has been in place for more than 100 years.[8]

Some of its buildings are named after benefactors that have helped fund their construction, for example, the Guy E. Beatty Library, the Estes Dining Center, and Jacobson Hall. Other buildings on campus are named in honor or memory of persons who are significant in the school's history, such as such as Hatcher Hall and the Wicker Science Center, both named in memory of past school presidents.[9]

FUMA's crest shows a pair of crossed swords, a book and a star, each representing an aspect of the school motto: body, mind, and spirit.


Hatcher Hall.

The school offers a variety of sports, clubs and organizations for cadet participation during free time in the week and on weekends. Athletics and clubs are a popular diversion from the rigors of cadet life at Fork Union.

Both Standard and Advanced High School Diplomas are offered. Graduating classes have routinely been awarded millions of dollars in scholarships.[10]

One Subject Plan
Fork Union follows a unique curriculum schedule in the upper school (grades 9–12 and postgraduate) known as the One Subject Plan. Cadets at Fork Union take one subject at a time, as opposed to a conventional schedule with six to eight classes per day or a block schedule. They remain with the teacher of that course all day, every day during that period.[11]

Military structureEdit

Fork Union Military Academy provides a structured military environment for its cadets. Military aspects of Fork Union's system include the wearing of uniforms, a military-style organization of personnel, accountability for personal appearance and the state of one's room, ranks, and a chain of command. The rank structure adopted by the Corps of cadets mirrors the US Army's enlisted ranks, with the exclusion of the ranks of PV2 and Specialist. Its officer ranks mirror those of the Army JROTC's rank structure, with the rank of Cadet Colonel rarely being used.

The Upper School consists of cadets from 9th grade through Postgraduate year. The Upper School cadets reside in Jacobson Hall which is home to Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, and Echo Companies. There is also a drill team company, Retan Rifle (which exists for special events only), that performs in parades across Virginia. Members of the Upper School marching band march in parades on campus and around the state along with Retan Rifles and Fork Union's Bagpipe Corps. Cadet Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) live as a part of each company. Each company is subdivided into three platoons, each with its own NCOs and Officers. Platoons are subdivided into Squads led by Cadet Sergeants. Squad and Platoon leaders are accountable to the higher company leadership and to adult members of the Commandant's Department, or Tactical Officers (TACs), who are assigned to each company to supervise the cadet.[12]


Snead Hall.

FUMA's campus is located on a 1,000-acre (400 ha) campus in the hills of the Virginia's Piedmont region. [13]

  • Hatcher Hall – Administrative offices and liberal arts classrooms
  • Wicker Science Building and Moretz Learning Center – Math and Science classrooms and Fork Union's planetarium
  • Vaughan Hall – Social Center / Student Activities[14]
  • Wicker Chapel
  • Veterans Memorial
  • Guy E. Beatty Library
  • Dorothy Estes Dining Hall
  • Thomas Gymnasium
  • Estes Athletic Complex - an 85,000-square-foot (7,900 m2) athletic center
  • Fork Union Aquatic Center
  • Jacobson Hall – The 90,000-square-foot (8,400 m2), 250 room barracks opened for cadets August 20, 2012 and now houses Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Echo, and Delta companies, replacing both Snead and Memorial Halls at a cost of approximately $20 million. Ground was broken October 22, 2010.[15]


Fork Union's track & field program is one of the dominant teams in Virginia.

FUMA's athletic program is most famous for its football team, which has produced 117 NFL players, and for its track & field team, ranked as one of the best in Virginia.[16]

There are only two postgraduate athletic programs at Fork Union. The PG football team is led by head coach John Shuman. The PG basketball program was coached by Fletcher Arritt, the subject of a documentary titled "The Passing Game."[17]

The Prep teams fielding players from grades 9–12 include Football, Basketball, Baseball, Lacrosse, Wrestling, Soccer, Cross Country, Track and Field, Orienteering, Shooting Sports, and Swimming and Diving.

The Fork Union Outdoor Track team won its 20th straight VISAA state championship in 2008.

Many athletes have gone on from the academy to compete in collegiate athletic programs, and pursue careers on professional teams. FUMA alumni have included numerous famous athletes, who have played in the NFL, MLB, and in numerous other leagues and sports.

Student organizationsEdit

There are many different clubs and organizations that cadets can participate in while attending Fork Union.[18] Though new clubs are often started annually by new cadets to meet demand, the more permanent list of clubs includes: National Honor Society, Honor Council, International Club, IDEA Club, Scuba, Math club, Speech and Debate, Robotics, Drama Club, Catholic Cadet Association, Chess Club, Band, Pep Band, Bagpipe Corps, Choir, and Woodworking.

Notable alumniEdit

FUMA alumni include over 117 players in the NFL.





Literature, television and artsEdit

Track and FieldEdit



National Football LeagueEdit

At least 117 players from Fork Union Military Academy have been drafted or signed by NFL teams.[23] At least 12 players from Fork Union Military Academy have been selected in the First Round of the NFL Draft since 1954, 7 players have been selected to one or more Pro Bowl appearances, and at least 12 players have been on teams that competed in Super Bowl games.[23]

The list includes:


  1. ^ a b "At A Glance". Fork Union Military Academy. Sep 1, 2020. Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  2. ^ "Virginia Military Schools Guide". Military Schools Guide. Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  3. ^ "New Jersey eighth grader wins scholarship at historic Fork Union Military Academy". Mar 15, 2016. Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  4. ^ "How to Choose a Top Military Academy in the US - Study International". Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  5. ^ "2021 Fork Union Military Academy Rankings". Niche. Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  6. ^ "2021 Best Boarding High Schools in Virginia". Niche. Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  7. ^ "Fork Union Military Academy". Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  8. ^ "Our History". Retrieved 2012-07-09.
  9. ^ "The Changing Face of the Academy Campus". Retrieved 2021-05-21.
  10. ^ [1] Archived July 20, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "One Subject Plan". Retrieved 2012-07-09.
  12. ^ "Cadet Life". Fork Union Military Academy. Sep 1, 2020. Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  13. ^ "Our Campus". Retrieved 2012-07-09.
  14. ^ "Vaughan Hall". Archived from the original on 2013-12-03. Retrieved 2013-11-26.
  15. ^ "Construction Underway on New Barracks at FUMA". 2010-10-22. Retrieved 2012-07-09.
  16. ^ "FUMA Track Team State Champions Once Again". 2010-05-16. Archived from the original on 2012-03-06. Retrieved 2012-07-09.
  17. ^ "The Passing Game". The Passing Game. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  18. ^ "Cadet Life". Archived from the original on 2012-07-22. Retrieved 2012-07-09.
  19. ^ "Fork Union Photos". Fork Union Photos. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  20. ^ "Khyri Thomas Stats". Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  21. ^ "Shammond Williams Stats". Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  22. ^ "Shammond Williams College Stats". College Basketball at Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  23. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv bw bx by bz ca cb cc cd ce cf cg ch ci cj ck cl cm cn "Fork Union Alumni in the NFL". Fork Union Military Athletics.
  24. ^ a b c d "Inductees The Best of the Best". College Football Hall of Fame.
  25. ^ "2003 Heisman Trophy Voting". College Football at Retrieved May 24, 2021.

External linksEdit