Marion Military Institute
Marion Military Institute, the Military College of Alabama, commonly referred as MMI, sometimes Marion Institute, Marion Military, or simply Marion, founded in 1842, is a state-supported educational institution located in Marion, Alabama. It is the official state military college and the nation's oldest military junior college. Known as the "American Eton", MMI was ranked as the top military junior college and also ranked as the 12th in Nation's best community college by CNN Money. In a recent report by the U.S. Department of Education, Marion Military Institute tops all of the other Alabama Community Colleges, Troy, and UWA by having the highest alumni salary among these schools.
|Motto||Truth, Honor, Service|
Military Junior College
|President||Colonel David J. Mollahan, USMC (Ret.)|
|Commandant||Colonel Edwin W. Passmore, USA (Ret.)|
|Address||1101 Washington Street, Marion, Alabama 36756, United States
|Campus||160 acres (0.65 km2)|
|Colors||Orange and black
|NJCAA Division I – ACCC|
The MMI Chapel, Marion Military Institute
|Architect||Noah K. Davis|
|Architectural style||Greek Revival|
|NRHP reference #||78000508|
|Added to NRHP||September 13, 1978|
President's House, Marion Institute
|Architectural style||Classical Revival|
|NRHP reference #||79000401|
|Added to NRHP||May 14, 1979|
Marion Military Institute is one of only four Military Junior Colleges in the United States which offers various military training programs. These programs include the Army's two-year Early Commissioning Program (ECP), an Army Reserve Officers Training Corps program through which qualified cadets can earn a commission as a Second Lieutenant after only two years of college. MMI's ECP is one of the country's leading U.S. Army commissioning programs. The Service Academy Program (SAP) is a freshman year of academic and physical preparation for students who wish to attend one of the Service Academies in the United States. It is designated, endorsed, and selected by all five Service Academies. MMI also offers Marine Corps Platoon Leaders Course (PLC) and the first two years of Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps. Over the years, MMI has produced more than 200 generals and admirals in the United States Armed Forces.
MMI is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees. It has association memberships in the Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States and the Alabama College Conference. The accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Commission on International and Trans-Regional Accreditation entitles all the services and privileges of regional, national and international professional recognition.
Marion Military Institute is an Alabama Historical Marker. It is the home of two National Register of Historic Places - The MMI Chapel and Lovelace Hall, and the President's House. Alabama Military Hall of Honor (the Old Marion City Hall), created by executive order of Gov. George Wallace in 1975, is also on campus. The MMI Corps of Cadets has become a well known participant at Birmingham Veterans Day Parade, the nation's oldest and largest Veterans Day celebration.
Marion Military Institute traces its origins back to 1842 with the creation of Howard College in Marion, Alabama by the Alabama Baptist Convention. During the American Civil War, South Barracks (later known as Lovelace Hall), built in 1854, and the Chapel, built in 1857, served the Confederacy as Breckenridge Military Hospital from 1863 to 1865. Along with the President's House (built 1912), these buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
In 1887, the decision was made to move Howard College (now Samford University) to Birmingham. The then President of Howard College, Colonel J. T. Murfee, LL.D., and a handful of faculty and students decided to remain in Marion, Alabama and immediately reorganized and founded Marion Military Institute, a military preparatory high school and college. It was modeled after Murfee's alma mater - Virginia Military Institute. Although built as a military college, H. O. Murfee, MMI's second president, believed that Marion was destined to become the "American Eton." Under his leadership, MMI achieved national recognition. President William Howard Taft served as President of the Board of Trustees. Then president of Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson was the guest speaker at the convocation for the class of 1905. However, the plan to pattern the school after Eton College was interrupted by the World War I. The military nature of MMI was again emphasized due to the outbreak of the war. In 1916, United States Army ROTC program was first offered at MMI, when the institute was designated as an "Honor Military School with Distinction" by the United States Department of War.
The U.S. Army Early Commissioning Program was established at MMI in 1968. In 1971, MMI became coeducational. In March 2006, the Alabama state legislature passed a resolution placing MMI under the auspices of the Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education. MMI became "the State Military College of Alabama". As part of the transition to a public institution, Marion phased out its high school program. In May 2009, the last high school class graduated from Marion Military Institute's Preparatory School Program, a program that traced its origins back to 1887.
The Corps of Cadets is organized into a battalion consisting of the Headquarters staff and six companies including Band, A, B, C, D, and E. A cadet lieutenant colonel command and control of headquarters and five companies of cadets as the battalion commander. Each company has a cadet captain commanding, a cadet first lieutenant executive officer, two cadet second lieutenant platoon leaders, a cadet first sergeant, and two cadet sergeant first class platoon sergeants. Each platoon normally has three to four squads and each squad is led by a cadet staff sergeant. Each squad leader has a team leader serving with the rank of cadet sergeant or corporal, depending on experience and ability.
|Class A uniform rank insignia||Class B, C and ACU rank insignia||Cadet rank||Position|
|Lieutenant Colonel||Battalion Commander|
|Major||Battalion XO, S3
Honor Council Chair
Battalion S1, S2, S4, S5
|First Lieutenant||Company XO
Organizational Commanders (White Knight, Swamp Fox, and Honor Guard)
|Second Lieutenant||Platoon Leader
HQ Staff Assistant
|Command Sergeant Major||Battalion Sergeant Major|
|First Sergeant||Company First Sergeant|
|Sergeant First Class||Platoon Sergeant|
|N/A||Staff Sergeant||Squad Leader
|N/A||Private First Class|
Clubs and organizationsEdit
The White Knights were established in 1950. Founded by the Cadet Commander Gene Hyche to promote precision drill, discipline, and to establish a union of brotherhood and trust among its members. The team consists of cadets from across the nation. Try-outs are held at the beginning of each semester and consist of twenty-one days of intense training in military drill techniques. Membership in the White Knights is based on military drill proficiency. Each year the Knights receive invitations to perform throughout the United States. In past years they have performed at such events as the Sugar Bowl, Orange Bowl, Indianapolis 500, and the Air Force Academy Invitational Drill Meet. They also perform in parades such as Mardi Gras in both New Orleans and Mobile, the inauguration of U.S. presidents and state governors, and various Veterans Day and Christmas parades.
Originated at Marion Military Institute in 1963. Named for Francis Marion, who was called The Swamp Fox, due to his daring exploits during the American Revolution. He and his small and poorly equipped force harassed the British loyalists along the Peedee and Santee Rivers. The Swamp Foxes are to be the most physically fit, most disciplined, and the most technically and tactically proficient small unit at all times. The Swamp Foxes of MMI are required to maintain a 2.5 GPA and a 270 on an Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT); the three to four week regimen to join the ranks of the Swamp Foxes borrows skills tests from various infantry schools including Ranger, Expert Infantry Badge, Air Assault, and Airborne. They have their own organizational creed:
I am a fox…A soldier and elite. Committed to defending the United States of America, against all aggressors, both foreign and domestic. I therefore shall endeavor to keep my body physically fit, that I may out- perform my enemy… To keep my mind alert, that I may out-think my enemy… To keep my spirit ready, that I might give my all, including my life, to defeat the enemies of this great nation. And to keep my brotherhood strong, that should one be in need, I will go to his aid, should one be in battle, I will be his support. We shall hold each other up, until the stars shall fall.
MMI's Honor Guard is an organization dedicated to the display and upkeep of the Colors. The daily function of the Honor Guard is to ensure that the National Flag is raised and lowered every day. Color Guard, as a detachment of the Honor Guard, are tasked to perform Chapel Detail when required. On special occasions, such as parades, Color Guard sends a team to perform the detail.
The Normandy Society (military history club) was formed in 1994 by LTC David W. Bauer (Class of 1956) and named to honor those who participated in the 1944 Normandy Invasion. The Normandy Society is open to all cadets, but full membership and election to officers require satisfactory grades and citizenship. Meetings are held in the Baer Memorial Library on Wednesday nights to study military history campaigns and events. Classic war movies, weapons displays, and field trips are used to educate and interest MMI cadets. The cadets in this organization have raised money for worthy projects at MMI through sales of souvenir items and clothing as well as through individual donations. Previously, Normandy Society donated money to replace the wheels of the Reveille Cannon on the Quadrangle. This year they decided to help replace the video and sound system in the chapel, a greatly needed improvement.
Scabbard and BladeEdit
Scabbard and Blade is a national joint service that was started in 1904 and has over 230 companies nationwide. The primary purpose of Scabbard and Blade is to raise the standard of military education in American colleges and universities; to unite in closer relationships their military departments; to encourage and foster the essential qualities of good and efficient officers; and to promote friendship and good fellowship among the cadet officers. The society also disseminates knowledge of military education to the students and people of the country. In general, members acquaint the public with our national defense needs.
There are also other major organizations on campus, such as Ranger Challenge, intramural sports, Honor Council, Scuba Tigers, Band & Chorus, Service Leaders Club, Flying Tigers, Gaelic Club, Drama, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Marion Military Institute athletics is nicknamed "Tigers". It is a member of Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC/Region XXII), which is a part of National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I. Currently, MMI has varsity teams for baseball, men's basketball, softball, tennis, cross country, and golf. The school colors were originally pink and green when established, but they were changed to orange and black following Woodraw Wilson's appearance at the MMI convocation. Marion adopted the tiger as the mascot in tribute to Princeton University.
After 15 consecutive winning games, MMI men's basketball team made history to capture school's first ACCC Basketballl Championships in 2015-2016 season. They also represented Region XXII at the NJCAA Men's National Basketball Championships, but lost to McLennan Community College (70-78) in the first round. Marion Military Institute men's tennis team showed its dominance in the state of Alabama by holding the NJCAA Region XXII Championship five years in a row from 2011 to 2016. In 2013, the school hired former MLB player Matt Downs as the head coach of the baseball team. In 2016, Christopher Lawrence, former personal trainer of Javier Arenas and Kirani James, became the Marion's cross country coach, in which shows MMI's ambition of being more athletically competitive.
Historically, Marion Military Institute also had a football team, which captured the state championship in 1912. On November 28, 1918, MMI earned a 101-0 victory over Howard College Football Team at home. This is MMI Football's largest margin of victory and the second largest margins of defeat in the history of Samford University Football Team. In 1922 season, MMI cadets were defeated 0-110 by the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, Alabama in what still stands as the school record for largest margin of victory and as the Crimson Tide's only 100 point game.
List of PresidentsEdit
16 individuals have served as the president of Marion Military Institute:
|1||J.T. Murfee||1887-1906||Former Lieutenant Colonel, CSA
First Captain and standing 1st in VMI Class of 1853
|4||-||J.T. Murfee, II||1944-1953|
|5||-||Linton H. Baer||1953-1954|
|6||-||Robert Calhoun Provine||1954-1958|
|7||Cato D. Glover||1958-1959||Admiral, USN (Ret.)|
|8||-||Paul B. Robinson||1959-1973|
|9||Draper Kauffman||1974-1976||Rear Admiral, USN (Ret.)|
|10||-||Thomas H. Barfield||1976-1983||Major General, USA (Ret.)
Class of 1935
|11||-||Clyde W. Spencer||1983-1990||Major General, USA (Ret.)
Class of 1946
|12||-||Joseph L. Fant, III||1990-1994||Major General, USA (Ret.)
Class of 1947
|13||Wayne T. Adams||1994-1998||Brigadier General, USMC (Ret.)
Class of 1960
|14||Robert F. Foley||2000-2004||Lieutenant General, USA (Ret.)
Medal of Honor receipiant
|15||-||James H. Benson||2004-2009||Colonel, USMC (Ret.)|
|16||David J. Mollahan||2009–present||Colonel, USMC (Ret.)|
Early Commissioning ProgramEdit
- Robert W. Bennett, U.S. Army Brigadier General, 61st Adjutant General of the Army
- Jeff Brandes, Republican member of the Florida Senate
- Emerson Brooks, actor, NAACP Image Award winner
- Scott L. Efflandt, U.S. Army Brigadier General, Deputy Commandant of United States Army Command and General Staff College
- Clark W. LeMasters, Jr., U.S. Army Major General, Commanding General of the United States Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command
- Terry F. Moorer, United States magistrate judge; nominated to be a District Judge of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama
- Shawn Morelli, Paralympic gold medalist in cycling
- Raymond F. Shields Jr., U.S. Army Major General, commander of New York Army National Guard
Service Academy ProgramEdit
- Paul D. Adams, U.S. Army General
- John Bahnsen, U.S. Army Brigadier General and decorated veteran of the Vietnam War
- José M. Cabanillas, U.S. Navy Rear Admiral
- Robert E. Hogaboom, Chief-of-Staff of United States Marine Corps
- Bruce K. Holloway, USAF General, Vice-Staff of Staff US Air Force, CinC Strategic Air Command
- Harold Houser, U.S. Navy Rear Admiral and the 35th Governor of American Samoa
- Alexander Kreiser, USMC Brigadier General, China Marine, and Naval Aviator
- Merlin O'Neill, 10th Commandant of the Coast Guard
- William W. Outerbridge, U.S. Navy Rear Admiral who fired the first shots in defense of the United States during World War II
- Jacob E. Smart, USAF general
- Thomas Walker, U.S. Navy Vice Admiral, first commanding officer of the USS Constellation (CV-64)
- John Henry Baker, Republican Party leader
- Bernard Ford, former NFL player
- Miller Reese Hutchison, electrical engineer and inventor
- Maston E. O'Neal, Jr., member of the United States House of Representatives
- Eugene Sledge, United States Marine, professor, and author
- Tom Stagg, judge for the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana
- Dwight Stone, former NFL player
- Jonah Todd, MLB player, drafted by Los Angeles Angels in 2017
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