The Path to Success.
Early morning calisthenics, the obstacle course, structure and discipline – this is the way of things at Valley Forge. If you’re looking for a shortcut then this isn’t the place, if your child is ready to learn the skills they need for success in life; welcome…
A successful Valley Forge experience relies on a team effort involving the cadet, the faculty and staff, and parents.
Parents, whether you’re considering VFMAC for your child or you’ve already joined the VFMAC family, the information below will help you learn more about the Valley Forge Military Academy and College’s approach to shaping our cadets. You will also find valuable resources that will help you navigate the exciting journey your child is about to undertake. The VFMAC faculty and staff looks forward to working with you to help our cadets achieve greatness.
The Parents Association supports the work of the school by facilitating communication among parents, providing opportunities to be involved at Valley Forge Military Academy & College, organizing fund-raising events, and planning cultural enrichment programs.
All parents and guardians of Valley Forge cadets and students are automatically members of the Parents Association.
We encourage all parents to volunteer. We’re confident that everyone can make a comfortable connection, whether you help decorate for an event on campus, or make a donation to the projects we support at the start of every academic year. The Valley Forge Military Academy & College Parents Association also acts as a liaison with the school administration and works as a support group for new parents. It also sponsors fundraising activities throughout the year.
Once a month, when the Corps of Cadets is in session, the Director of Parent Relations will publish a newsletter with updates that include upcoming events on post, snapshots of what the Corps has been doing in class, on the athletic fields, and in the community, and periodic updates on the Corps Leave weekends or holiday breaks that are upcoming.
Cadet Counseling Center
Parents and Guardians, counselors are available to partner with you…
- We can listen to your concerns. If you are worried about your cadet’s behavior or are concerned about a change in behavior please recommend they contact the Counseling Center.
- We can make suggestions if you need them. If you are not sure about how to approach your cadet we can help you with the wording you might want to consider using.
- We can reach out to your cadet who you believe may be struggling if your cadet has not sought out services on his/her own.
- We can assist with recommendations/referrals for your cadet when they are returning home for the summer is they are in need of ongoing counseling.
To speak with an experienced staff member at the Counseling Center, please contact:
Ms. Kristin Shoemaker, Assistant Director
Phone: (610) 989-1225
Mr. Joe Kelly, Counselor
Phone: (610) 989-1226
Parents, learn more about Valley Forge Military Academy and College’s approach to shaping our cadets below.
All entering cadets at Valley Forge Military Academy & College are called “Plebes” until they complete a period of training known as the Plebe System.
The Plebe System encompasses incoming cadet training until Recognition Day (Joining the ranks of the Corps of Cadets). The Plebe System is developmental, incremental, and progressive in nature and cadets will build on the skills learned during two phases in the fall and one phase at mid-year in order to successfully complete the training. It is a period of adjustment during which a new cadet learns to place the concept of duty and being a member of a cohesive team above personal desires. The Plebe System will test each cadet mentally, physically, and morally in a positive and encouraging environment.
Plebes Communication Commitment
During the six-week indoctrination period know as the Plebe System, Plebes are not authorized leave. They may not possess cell phones, nor use campus telephones. Plebes may use computers for academic purposes during Evening Study Hall, which is conducted Sunday through Thursday from 7:30 to 9:30 PM for all cadets. College cadets have additional designated quiet hour/study hall from 10:00 to 11:00 PM. Plebes are allowed to use a computer for academic purposes outside Evening Study Hall, however, they must obtain permission from their TAC Officer to do so. Computers will not be used for e-mail or instant messaging during the Plebe System. Plebes are encouraged to write letters home and may receive letters from family and friends. Upon earning their Cap Shield, which can be accomplished prior to Recognition Day, Plebes are authorized to make one telephone call to their parents and may then begin using the Boodle Shop (cadet snack bar) during their free time.
Plebe System Goals
The goals of the Plebe System are to:
- Prepare incoming cadets for success in the Five Cornerstones programs – Academic Excellence, Character Development, Personal Motivation, Physical Development, and Leadership – the Five Cornerstones.
- Teach cadets to be loyal and effective followers as part of the leadership development experience.
- Introduce cadets to the daily operations, rules and regulations of Valley Forge–tasks, conditions, standards.
- Instruct and train each New Cadet in the standards and conduct expected of a member of the Valley Forge Corps of Cadets.
- Introduce cadets to the customs and traditions of Valley Forge.
- Instill confidence, teamwork, loyalty, honor, respect, responsibility, selflessness, and self-discipline in a standards based, values focused system.
- Begin to set the foundation for a cadet’s development as a future ethically minded citizen-leader of character.
- Inspire cadets to strive for excellence in all they do.
- Provide a powerful and inspirational leadership experience for the Cadet Chain of Command and all upper-class cadets through positive leading by example.
Plebes Cap Shield
One of a Plebe’s highest priorities during this busy period is to earn the Cap Shield.
To qualify for the Cap Shield and to be eligible for recognition, Plebes must memorize several items verbatim and complete prescribed practical exercises.
The Cap Shield requirements Plebes must memorize are:
|The Mission||The Cadet Prayer||The Cadet Resolution|
|The Honor Pledge||The Anti-Drug Pledge||The Alma Mater|
In addition to the memorization requirements, Plebes must successfully complete the following Cap Shield practical exercises:
- Demonstrate the Position of Attention
- Demonstrate the Hand Salute
- Perform Military Drill
- Identify Rank Insignia of the Army, Cadet Officers, and Noncommissioned Officers
- Answer Questions about the History, Traditions and Distinguished Graduates of VFMA&C
- Identify Key Buildings and Sites on Campus
Commanded by the Commandant of Cadets and organized to supervise the Corps of Cadets as an organization and each cadet as an individual.
Commandant’s Department Contacts By Barracks.
The Commandant of Cadets
The Commandant of Cadets is specifically charged with the reception, equipping, character and general well-being of the Corps and of its discipline, social training, housing, close order drill instruction, ceremonies, internal security and organization.
The Commandant’s Department is assisted by TAC Officers assigned to each company, whose responsibility is the actual operation, training, discipline and overall supervision of the cadets assigned to his organization.
At the heart of the Military Model is the TAC Officer. The TAC Officer is the common thread that can be traced through all the functions, goals and objectives that effect cadets at Valley Forge. TAC Officers are responsible for tying together the Five Cornerstones throughout a cadet’s experience setting the conditions to achieve the ultimate outcome: an ethically-minded, citizen-leader of character. The Unit TAC Officer is akin to a Company Commander in a Military Unit and is responsible for everything his unit does or fails to do; but above all, the TAC is there to Teach, Advise and Council/Coach.
The Valley Forge Military Academy & College Corps of Cadets is considered to be a cadet run Corps, with adult oversight.
The cadet leaders are trained extensively before the arrival of new cadets and returning veteran cadets, to be responsible for the discipline, accountability, training, morale, appearance and general efficiency of the Corps. The conduct of plebe training and the fair treatment of all cadets are their responsibility.
New Cadet Orientation
New Student Orientation is a key component of the First Year Experience at Valley Forge Military College and is a collaborative effort designed to in-process, introduce, and welcome new students and their families to the Valley Forge community.
The ultimate goal of NSO is to facilitate a successful transition to the first year of college, improving academic and tactical success and student retention.
- Introduce and welcome students and their families into the intellectual, tactical, and institutional communities
- Teach cadets to embrace the uniqueness of VFMC
- Foster a better understanding of academic and tactical programs
- Help students and families identify behaviors, resources, and support that lead to success at VFMC
- Create an understanding of what student life has to offer college cadets: student leadership, clubs, band, sports, activities, etc.
- Cultivate a sense of community between new and returning students, faculty, and staff
Character Development Program
The Character Development Program is built upon a foundation of Honor and each month a different Honor Trait is emphasized. Honesty, Trustworthiness, Respect, Service, Courage, Self-Discipline, Responsibility, Caring and Perseverance are examples of monthly virtues. Character Development also occurs in the classroom and in the cadet company. In preparing their course curriculum, instructors integrate character education into their academic disciplines and they lead their classes through a discussion of the Character Education Virtue at least once a month. This “hands on” approach enables cadets to participate in developing their own value system for handling challenging moral situations. The expectation is that the cadet will develop a process of thinking in order to make intelligent and responsible moral decisions. Such active involvement helps the cadets develop a deeper understanding of their moral obligations and encourages them in the words of the Cadet Resolution, to “aspire to a life of honorable service.”
Community service plays an important role in character development. As an expression of civic responsibility, Academy and College cadets are engaged in a variety of projects and activities at schools, nursing homes, churches, food banks and worksites where they can contribute to the betterment of the community.
The Commandant’s Department dedicates time on a regular basis to reinforce an aspect of character development. These lessons, co-taught by a TAC Officer-Cadet Team, range from the way the Honor System works to discussions of recent honor cases and lessons learned, to dealing with diversity and treating all with respect and dignity. Faculty members and other subject matter experts will often add to this vital facet of character development. At Valley Forge, we strive to create a character building environment that integrates Academic, Military, Leadership, Physical and Spiritual activities that best fulfill the development of the whole person and their character.
Religious Life & Fellowship Groups
The Sunday Chapel service is held at 11:00 AM as scheduled. It is singular in its beauty, grandeur and inspiration, and is centrally significant to cadet life. It is a blending of the religious, patriotic and military traditions conceived to motivate, inspire and undergirds our Character Development Program. While Christian in nature and format, the service is nondenominational. Speakers focus on the Honor Trait for that month and refer to them in their sermons. Selected speakers include prominent clergy of various faiths, leaders in civic, educational, corporate and national affairs and our own Staff and Faculty. Their addresses emphasize the Core Virtues of our Character Development Program. Visitors are always welcome at the Sunday morning worship service.
A Priest from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia celebrates Catholic Mass on campus every Sunday afternoon. Arrangements are also made for Catholic, Muslim and Jewish cadets to observe holy days on campus or at an appropriate nearby location. Along with an alternative service during Chapel Service on Sundays, Jewish cadets may attend services on designated Saturday mornings at a local synagogue and Muslim cadets may attend services at a local mosque on designated Friday afternoons.
Fellowship Groupsfor Jewish, Muslim, Protestant, and Catholic cadets are available to further their religious education. Religious instruction is also available for Catholic cadets preparing for the Sacraments.
The entire College Corps is involved in acts of community service ranging from raising money for wounded veterans to reading stories to grade school children. Join us as make make a positive impact on the community and afterwards meet with your fellow students in discussion groups and reflect upon the days events.
The venues where we have provided service are:
- Church of the Saviour-general clean up assistance
- Our Lady of the Assumption-reading to students and monitoring gym classes
- American Legion Hall Radnor-General clean up
- Mt Zion Church-general clean up
- Wayne Senior Center-visiting and general clean up
- Rosemont Presbyterian Village-Visit/ recorded stories / assistance as requested
- Freedom Foundation Valley Forge- General clean up
- Valley Forge National Park- General maintenance
- Wounded Warriors-Collection in Wayne 2 years $4,000.00
Martin Luther King Day of Service
The venues are:
- Church of the Saviour
- Our Lady of the Assumption
- Mt Zion Church
- Rosemont Presbyterian Village
- Lane Montessori School-reading to school children
- Mt. Airy Presbyterian Church- General clean up
- Don Guenella School- Aid as requested
- Elverson Military Academy- Mentor cadets for the day
- African American Museum- Work as guides and gate attendants.