Developing the Whole Person

The goal of the Academy Cadet Life Program is to assist the cadet in developing the social and life skills that will help them throughout their lives. Programs focused on character, religious, social, and physical development are provided to ensure that the cadet matures as a whole person. In addition to regular academic schedules, VFMA offers numerous clubs, activities and honor societies providing even more opportunities to develop and pursue personal interests.

Cadet Life

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Character Development Program

At Valley Forge, we are dedicated to the moral and character development of our young cadets. Through our Character Development Program, we seek to educate the cadets to be ethically minded citizen leaders of character.  We strive to teach them to live in today’s changing world while adhering to those changeless values that develop moral strength leading to honorable living.  The tenets of the Honor Code and System are reinforced in training.  The Chain of Command is fully versed in the Honor Code and System and is prepared to teach its subordinates as well as ensure that they adhere to the stated policies of this cadet-owned and cadet-run system.

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.”

Commandant’s Department

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

Cadet Leadership

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.

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.

Honor Code of Conduct

“A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal nor tolerate those who do.”

The Corps is the current guardian of this Honor Code and Honor System of the Corps of Cadets at Valley Forge. This system belongs to the entire Corps, those who have graduated and those in residence. It operates under the authority of the President, Valley Forge Military Academy & College.  Honor Code violations can result in severe punishment to include dismissal, depending on the Cadet Honor Council’s recommendations and the President’s final action.  New Cadets are trained in all aspects of the Honor System.  Valley Forge conducts Honor training for all cadets throughout the academic year and every cadet receives an Honor Manual addressing, in detail, the Honor Code and System.

Plebe System

All entering cadets at Valley Forge Military Academy & College are called “Plebes” until they complete a period of training known as the Plebe System.

This initial phase encompasses incoming cadet reception, processing, training and the first six weeks of school until Recognition Day. It is a period of adjustment during which an entering cadet learns to place the concept of duty above personal desires.  The Plebe System will test your child mentally, physically and morally. It is demanding. But remember, it is a proven system. Thousands of Valley Forge cadets have succeeded.  Most importantly, know that Valley Forge wants your child to succeed. Plebes who fail to meet all requirements will not be recognized and will remain under the Plebe System after Recognition Day.


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

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.

Residence Life

When you live in the Valley Forge community, Residence Life is there to help you make connections with others.

Our dedicated staff, faculty, and ever important TAC team (Teach-Advise-Counsel), is always available to provide you with guidance.  Because we value the development of each person, we help you and your peers with interpersonal communication, life skills and personal growth.  We provide a safe and supportive environment where we promote not only education, but leadership opportunities, and intercultural awareness.

The Academy Corps of Cadets is often described a brotherhood with an unbreakable bond for life.


Younghusband Hall

This is the largest cadet barracks housing 204 beds with a capacity of 230.  Younghusband Hall was constructed in 1957 and named in honor of Captain Leslie Younghusband of Canada, a generous friend of the Academy.  Eight rooms were added on the west end in 1960 and two lounges were added on the east end in 1963 for the use of college cadets.  All toilets, showers and washrooms are located in the basement, labeled first floor.  This is a four story building and has a large weight room over the east end of the building.

Younghusband Hall was modernized in 2008 and in 2012 with fully integrated monitored fire alarm systems and security/video surveillance systems.  This barrack currently houses G, H and I Cadet Company’s Units for the college.  There are vending machines and one large cadet lounge.

Lafayette Hall

This structure was assumed the name of the former Lafayette Hall complex housing the Band, the Officers Mass Reception Room and Mess Room, the natatorium, barber shop, and Guest room – all which were destroyed by a fire during the winter of 1961.  The building stands on the site of the former Cadet hospital and the structure on the west end, which was incorporated into the building, was the Medical Officer’s office, the treatment room, and on the second floor was the nurse’s quarters.  After the cadet hospital moved out, the existing buildings were remodeled and used as cadet barracks.  The original buildings were constructed during WWII as headquarters for the Pennsylvania State Guard.  The buildings were also known as Harvey Hall- I, II and III in memory of Lieutenant William L. Harvey, Class of 1942, who was killed in action WWII.

In 2008, the latrines were modernized on all three floors along with a security/video surveillance system, a fully integrated monitored fire alarm/suppression system and ADA accessible from the first floor.  There is a large weight room on the west side, first floor, along with vending machines.  Lafayette Hall houses 106 cadet beds and one lounge.

Hocker Hall

This building was originally constructed as Madison Hall in 1942, the west addition in 1960 and the east in 1967.  The building was named in honor and in memory of Harold G. Wilson.  This composite structure is the successor of the Cadet Laundry, which was destroyed by fire in 1967, and Madison Hall, built in 1942, which contained the Cadet Store, the Cadet Tailor Shop and the Press Shop on the first floor, along with Cadet Barracks on the second and third floors.  After the fire, a west addition was built on the site of the destroyed cadet laundry.  In this construction, the original Madison Hall was incorporated into the middle of the building.

In 2007, after renovations, Wilson Hall was renamed Hocker Hall with fully integrated fire alarm/suppression systems, a security video/surveillance system and ADA accessible from the first floor.  This is a two story building with central air conditioning, one lounge, one faculty apartment and vending machines.  Wilson Hall houses 109 cadet beds.

Martin Hall

This building was originally constructed in 1946 and named in honor of and in memory of Major General Edward Martin, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  The building occupies the site of the former Class of 1933 Dell, an open air auditorium, and the original tennis courts.

In 2004, Martin Hall was fully renovated and modernized, including the latrines on the bottom floor, with monitored fire alarms/suppression systems, security/video surveillance systems and ADA accessible from the first floor.  This is a two story building with central air conditioning and vending machines.  This building houses 154 cadet beds and has one lounge.

Von Steuben Hall

This is the second smallest barracks housing, and was an original building of the St. Luke’s School.  Von Steuben Hall was originally used as an infirmary with one faculty apartment on the first floor and nurses and bachelor officers’ quarters with a common bathroom on the second floor.  There was a hobby shop, a dark room and a recreation room in the basement, which was installed in 1941 rehabilitation.

Recently, in 2011, Von Steuben Hall was fully renovated and modernized with security/video surveillance systems, fully integrated monitored fire alarm/suppression system, ADA accessible elevator on the first floor and central air conditioning.  This barrack currently houses E-Battery and has 49 cadet beds with one lounge.

Rose Hall

This building is the smallest of all barracks and was constructed in two sections: the first floor in 1962 and the second floor in 1964.  Dyroff Hall II was originally a living quarter for male help.

In 2000, Dyroff Hall II was fully renovated and renamed Rose Hall.  The first floor consists of the Health Center and the second floor is the barracks.  This is a two story building with central air conditioning, security/video surveillance, fully integrated fire alarm/suppression system and ADA first floor accessible.  Rose Hall houses 23 cadet beds.

Department of Student Activities

The Department of Student Activities (DSA) is committed to ensuring that each cadet at Valley Forge has the opportunity to participate in a myriad of extra-curricular activities.

Cadets will have the opportunity to take part in DSA program and event offerings once all daily academic and TAC duties and responsibilities have been fulfilled.

*Cadets wishing to enroll in any Special Activity must register through the Department of Student Activities.  For cadets under the age of 18, parental/guardian permission for participation is required.

*For more information regarding Student Activities, please contact Mrs. Lauren Wochok, Student Activities Director, at 610-989-1262.

DSA Programs, Events and Activities

Cadet Advisory Board (CAB)

The CAB is composed of cadet representatives from each company choosen to represent the interests and ideals of all students at Valley Forge. Chosen representatives will be the voice of the student body to the Department of Student Activities and will participate in the planning and execution of on and off campus events, community service projects, class fundraising efforts and the student club system.

Clubs and Organizations

Clubs and organizations at Valley Forge provide a venue for the special interests of all cadets.  Each year club leaders will have the opportunity to re-register their club or organization with the DSA.  Cadets interested in creating a new club that is not currently offered should obtain a registration packet from the DSA.

SCUBA Diver Certification

Participants in this program will earn PADI Basic Open Water SCUBA Diver Certification.  For those who have previously been certified for Basic Open Water, they may continue their training by participating in Advanced or Rescue Driver Certification.  Certifications are good for a lifetime of underwater exploration world wide.

Red Cross Lifeguard Certification

Those cadets interested in becoming a certified lifeguard through the Red Cross may sign up for this course in the Fall and in the Spring.  A minimum of six cadets are required for program operation.  Participants must be able to pass a rigorous swim test on the first day of class.  Those who complete the course will be lifeguard and CPR/First Aid Certified by the Red Cross.

Ice Hockey

Players on the academy ice hockey team are member of the ICSHL (Inter County Scholastic Hockey League). Players will practice and play games at Center Ice located in Oaks, Pennsylvania.  The season will run from September to February. The participation fee includes professional coaching and instruction, ice time, travel, game jerseys, socks, and membership with USA Hockey. All other equipment must be purchased by the cadet.

Flight Training
Through this program, cadets have the opportunity to earn a private pilots license.  Generally, this is a two year program.  Additional certification/licensure opportunities are available to those cadets who have earned their private license.

The DSA offers an option for cadet participation in Judo.  Currently, cadets have the opportunity to participate year round in our Judo Program and can even compete in tournaments off campus.

Boy Scouts of America (BSA)

Troop 971 at Valley Forge is organized to provide cadets, new to the BSA or those already established, the best opportunity possible to advance in rank within the BSA.  The best way to do this is to get out into the wilderness and get active on campus and in the surrounding community.  Scouts will meet weekly and will be required to have a complete Scout Uniform with Troop 971 numerals and a Scouting Handbook.  Participants are encouraged to bring camping and backpacking equipment from home.  All gear will be inventoried and stored in the Scout Room atop Mellon Hall.

Extra-Curricular Events, Trips and Activities


Mixers will be held throughout the school year in various on campus locations. A DJ will provide state of the art sound, video and light displays, and refreshments will be available throughout the evening. Cadets are encouraged to invite friends and family ages 13 to 18 years of age to attend these informal events. There is no charge for entry into the Mixers. Additionally, we will travel to Girl’s Schools to attend their Mixers when invited.

Boodle Activities Center

Located in Bower Hall on the second floor. The Activities Center will be open on Monday through Friday 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM, Friday night 6:00 to 10:00 PM, Saturday 1:00 to 10:00 PM, and Sunday 1:00 to 6:00 PM. Cadets are welcome to watch television, play video games, watch movies in the 50 seat cadet theater, or play ping-pong, air hockey, foosball or a game of pool. Food vendors come and sell a variety of food alternatives other then the mess hall.

Off Campus Trips

Trips off campus will be organized through the DSA office. Examples of trips include local movie trips, trips to Sky Zone Trampoline Park, Philly Rock Gym, Amusement Park, and Halloween events. Each year we try to add a new trip for the cadets. Every February, we take an annual weekend trip to Vermont to ski, local ski trips are also available. Primarily, these events will take place on weekends following all academic and tactical responsibilities. Cadets may visit the DSA Office for more information. Cadets who are academically or tactically deficient will not be able to participate in any off campus trip.

On-Campus Events and Activities

Throughout the school year, the DSA will organize events and activities on campus. Examples of these events include an annual health fair, intramural basketball, community blood drives, community garden, and holiday events. Cadets are highly encouraged to attend these events. Often these programs will be sponsored by student clubs or by a particular class.


Each year there will be a Ring Dance and a Winter Ball. These events require formal attire (Full Dress/Black Tie/Gown) for all guests in attendance. Cadets are highly encouraged to invite dates. In most cases, leave will be granted following the event.

Federal Work Study Program

The Federal Work Study Program (FWSP) is an on-campus employment program open to qualified College cadets through the Financial Aid Office.  Each year the DSA hires cadets to work/support operations.  For more information visit the DSA Office.

Valley Forge Military Academy and College

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Developing the Whole Person

The Academy Cadet Life Program assists cadets in developing the social and life skills that will help them throughout their lives.  Programs focused on character, religious, social, and physical development are provided to ensure that the cadet matures as a whole person. In addition to regular academic schedules, VFMA offers numerous clubs, activities and honor societies providing even more opportunities to develop and pursue personal interests.