Have you ever wondered what it is like to attend a military school? Do you want to know how it can shape your character, leadership, and academic skills? If so, you might be interested in hearing about my experience at Valley Forge Military Academy (VFMA), one of the country’s most prestigious and respected military schools.
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History of Valley Forge Military Academy
Valley Forge Military Academy was founded in 1928 by Lieutenant General Milton G. Baker, a veteran of World War I and a former Pennsylvania National Guard officer. Valley Forge Military Academy and College (VFMAC) is a private boarding school (grades 7–12) and military junior college in Wayne, Pennsylvania. He envisioned a school that would combine the best elements of the American and British military traditions and provide a rigorous academic curriculum and a strong moral foundation for young men. He named the school after the historic site of Valley Forge, where George Washington and his troops endured a harsh winter during the American Revolution. He also adopted the motto “Courage, Honor, Conquer” to inspire the cadets to overcome any challenges they might face.
The school has grown and evolved, adding new facilities, programs, and student opportunities. It has also welcomed students from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and countries, making it a truly international institution. Today, VFMA comprises a middle school (grades 7-8), a high school (grades 9-12), and a postgraduate year for those who want to prepare for college or the military. It is also affiliated with Valley Forge Military College (VFMC), the only private military junior college in the United States, which offers associate degrees and transfer programs to four-year colleges.
Admission Process – How to Join Valley Forge Military Academy
Suppose you are interested in applying to Valley Forge Military Academy. In that case, you must complete an online application form, submit your transcripts and test scores, provide letters of recommendation, and write an essay about why you want to attend the school. You will also need to schedule an interview with an admission counselor in person or via video call. The admission process is competitive and selective, so you must demonstrate your academic potential, leadership qualities, and personal motivation.
Tuition Costs of VFMA
The tuition fee for VFMA is $39,304 per year for boarding students and $22,304 per year for day students. There are also additional fees for uniforms, books, and activities. However, the school offers financial aid and scholarships to qualified students who need assistance. You can find more information about the tuition and fees on the school’s website.
Current Rankings of the School
Valley Forge Military Academy is widely recognized as one of the top military schools in the nation. It has been ranked as the #1 Best All-Boys High School in Pennsylvania by Niche, a website that reviews and ranks schools based on academic performance, student feedback, and other factors. It has also been ranked as the #2 Best Boarding High School in Pennsylvania by Niche, as well as the #3 Best Private High School in Delaware County by Niche.
Accreditation of VFMA
Additionally, VFMA has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA), an organization that evaluates and certifies educational institutions based on their quality and standards. It has also been designated by the Governor and Legislature as the Military College of Pennsylvania™, a title that reflects its excellence and reputation.
Academic Programs Offered at Valley Forge Military Academy
The Military Academy offers a challenging and comprehensive academic program that prepares its students for college and beyond. The curriculum is based on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), which are a set of learning goals that define what students should know and be able to do at each grade level. The courses are taught by highly qualified and experienced faculty members who use innovative teaching methods and technology to enhance learning.
The school offers various levels of courses, including honors, advanced placement (AP), dual enrollment (DE), and international baccalaureate (IB) courses. These courses allow students to earn college credits while still in high school, giving them an edge in their college applications and careers. The school also offers electives in various subjects, such as foreign languages, arts, music, computer science, engineering, business, and leadership.
The school has a strong emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education, as it believes that these fields are essential for the future of society. The school has a state-of-the-art STEM Center that features laboratories, classrooms, equipment, and software for scientific research and experimentation. The school also participates in various STEM competitions and events, such as robotics tournaments, science fairs, math contests, and engineering challenges.
The school also has a robust academic support system that helps students achieve their academic goals. The school offers tutoring services, study skills workshops, counseling services, learning centers, library resources, online platforms, and peer mentoring programs. The school also monitors student progress through regular assessments, report cards, parent-teacher conferences, and academic awards.
VFMA is not just a school, but also a military institution that instills discipline, respect, and honor in its students. The school follows a military style of education, which means that students are organized into a Corps of Cadets, wear uniforms, follow a daily schedule, and adhere to rules and regulations. The school also provides military training and education, which includes drills and ceremonies, physical fitness, marksmanship, leadership development, and military history and science.
The school has a unique military tradition that combines the American and British military cultures. The school is the only American military organization that maintains British rank, drill, customs, and ceremonies. The school also has a close relationship with the British monarchy, as it has received several visits and honors from members of the royal family over the years.
The school has a proud history of producing leaders in the military and other fields. The school has graduated many distinguished alumni who have served in the armed forces, such as General H.R. McMaster, a former National Security Advisor to President Donald Trump, and Colonel Wesley Fox, a Medal of Honor recipient for his actions in the Vietnam War. The school also has alumni who have excelled in other professions, such as politics, business, sports, entertainment, and education.
Extra-Curricular Activities at Valley Forge Military Academy
VFMA is not all work and no play. The school also offers a variety of extra-curricular activities that allow students to explore their interests, talents, and passions outside the classroom. The school has over 40 clubs and organizations that cover various topics and themes, such as academic clubs, service clubs, cultural clubs, hobby clubs, and special interest clubs. Some examples of these clubs are chess club, debate club, model United Nations club, drama club, photography club, and aviation club.
The school also has a vibrant athletic program that promotes physical health, teamwork, and sportsmanship. The school offers 17 varsity sports teams that compete in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA), as well as several junior varsity and intramural sports teams. Some examples of these sports are football, basketball, soccer, baseball, wrestling, lacrosse, golf, and tennis.
The school also has a unique equestrian program that teaches students how to ride and care for horses. The school has a mounted battalion (squadron), which consists of a cavalry troop and an artillery battery. The cavalry troop performs mounted drills and ceremonies on horseback, while the artillery battery operates replica cannons from the American Civil War era. The equestrian program also offers recreational riding lessons and competitive riding events for students who want to learn more about horses.
Notable Alumni of Valley Forge Military Academy
Valley Forge Military Academy has produced many notable alumni who have made significant contributions to society in various fields. Here are some examples of these alumni:
- General H.R. McMaster: A retired U.S. Army officer who served as the 26th National Security Advisor to President Donald Trump from 2017 to 2018. He is also an author and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.
- Colonel Wesley Fox: A retired U.S. Marine Corps officer who received the Medal of Honor for his actions in the Vietnam War. He is also an author and a lecturer on leadership and military ethics.
- J.D. Salinger: A famous American writer who is best known for his novel The Catcher in the Rye. He attended VFMA for one year in 1934 before transferring to another school.
- Larry Fitzgerald: A professional American football player who plays as a wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals in the National Football League (NFL). He attended VFMA for his postgraduate year in 2001 before enrolling at the University of Pittsburgh.
- Norman Lear: A legendary American television producer who created many popular sitcoms in the 1970s and 1980s, such as All in the Family, The Jeffersons, Good Times, and Maude. He attended VFMA for two years from 1939 to 1941 before joining the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II.
- J.B. Smoove: A famous American comedian who is best known for his role as Leon Black on the HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm. He attended VFMA for his postgraduate year in 1983 before pursuing his comedy career.
These are just some of the many alumni who have graduated from VFMA and achieved success in their respective fields. You can find more information about the alumni on the school’s website.
In conclusion, VFMA is an amazing school that offers a unique and rewarding educational experience for young men who want to develop their personal strength, academic excellence, leadership skills, and moral values. It is a school that challenges its students to grow intellectually, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, and also prepares its students for college and life.