Military Leadership Academy: Instilling Respect for Troops

Categories: Highlights

Dozens of motivated highschool students completed the Military Leadership Academy’s 10th session this summer, gaining confidence, valuable leadership training and a greater respect for our armed services.

“I never really understood what it was that they were doing over in Afghanistan and Iraq,” said Cadet Dominic Markham.

“Or what our soldiers were facing; immense heat, carrying a lot on your back along with the threat of someone popping up out of no where and sending you home in a box. I have a much greater understanding of what they are doing and a much greater respect.”

The 14-day Freedom Alliance program is designed to develop and test each high school-aged cadets’ courage and leadership abilities while providing an in-depth and unmatched look into the capabilities of our nation’s military.

In addition to field training in mock villages at Ft. Pickett, where cadets actually sleep in barracks, they also take hands-on and behind the scenes tours of the various military installations in the Virginia area.

Cadets this summer toured the F-22 Raptor, the Marine Corps Martial Arts Center of Excellence, and the Marine Corps Sunset Parade at the Marine Corps War Memorial located in Washington, D.C, to the name a few. These tours allow students the opportunity to interact with servicemembers and understand the different opportunities the military provides and garner a respect and admiration for those who go to work every day to protect our way of life.

Since 2001, the Academy has trained nearly 2,000 young leaders. Those who complete the program leave with vital skills to be stronger leaders, more equipped to serve their communities. Many go on to don a military uniform and protect our way of life.

“The work that we do, honoring our veterans and working for a better tomorrow, none of it would mean a thing if we don’t have faith in the next generation that is going to come behind us,” said Freedom Alliance President Tom Kilgannon.  “That’s what makes this so important.”

“Prior to camp Trey was a little unsure of what to expect,” said the mother of one cadet, Try Johnson. “When I picked him up today, he was confident, happy and encouraged to continue his pursuit of a career in the military. I have never seen my son so proud and excited about anything. His experience has ignited a flame in him that I hope he carries with him for the rest of his life.”

Thank you to Academy Director, Tim Strickler, and to the Cadets and Instructors for making this summer a resounding SUCCESS!

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