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The obstacle course is tough enough; use the links and information below to find what you need including academic support resources, the student code of conduct, events, activities, and more.
Corps of Cadets
A Cadet-led System Administered Through The Military Model
Steeped in tradition, student life at VFMAC centers on the challenging rigors of life in the Corps of Cadets. The common experience of living closely together in a highly disciplined and challenging environment creates a unit esprit and camaraderie that remains with the student long after graduation from VFMAC.
The Corps of Cadets is fundamentally a cadet-led system administered through the military model. Under the supervision of the Commandant of Cadets and the Company TAC (Teach, Advise, Counsel/Coach) Officers, the cadets are responsible for the administration of the Corps and the implementation of the rules and regulations that govern the cadets’ daily lives. This delegation of authority directly descends from the Commandant and TAC Officers through the Chain of Command. Opportunities to learn and practice leadership are provided through leadership and staff appointments in the Chain of Command. Membership in the famed “Continental Line” is characterized by a commitment to excellence and a daily life that is precise, structured, and demanding. With these appointments into the Chain of Command, cadets gain confidence and are given an increasing amount of responsibility, fostering poise as leaders.
When students enter VFMAC, they must accept the values and standards of “The Forge” as their own if they are to succeed. For the Corps of Cadets these values and standards are reflected in three basic declarations: the Mission Statement, the Cadet Resolution, and the Honor Code.
The Cadet organization is the ideal vehicle by which each student can develop leadership and management skills. Cadet training teaches students to think clearly, to keep their minds alert and active, and to form habits of neatness and correctness. It prepares them for greater responsibilities by teaching respect and obedience to authority and by developing habits of self-discipline.
The goal of the Cadet Life Program is to assist the cadet in developing the social and life skills that will help them throughout their lives. VFMAC offers character, religious, social, and physical programs to assist the cadet’s development as a whole person. In addition to their regular academic schedules, cadets are offered numerous clubs, activities, and honor societies, providing further opportunities to develop and pursue personal interests. Learn more about the expectations VFMAC has for you as cadets below.
Commanded by the Commandant of Cadets and organized to supervise the Corps of Cadets as an organization and each cadet as an individual.
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, Counsel/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 (NSO) is a key component of the First Year Experience at Valley Forge Military Academy& 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 school, 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 VFMAC.
- Foster a better understanding of academic and tactical programs.
- Help students and families identify behaviors, resources, and support that lead to success at VFMAC.
- Create an understanding of what student life has to offer cadets: student leadership, clubs, band, sports, activities, etc.
- Cultivate a sense of community between new and returning students, faculty, and staff.
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 Military Academy & College. This system belongs to the entire Corps, those who have graduated and those in residence. It operates under the authority of the President of 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 Military Academy & College 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.
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.
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.
- 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 Non-commissioned Officers
- Answer Questions about the History, Traditions and Distinguished Graduates of VFMAC
- Identify Key Buildings and Sites on Campus
Plebes Communication Commitment
During the 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.
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.
Title IX Grievance Report List
Note: In the event that an incident has occurred that is in violation of the Title IX policies any faculty member, staff member, or administrator may be notified by the complainant. The VFMC official receiving the complaint will then notify the College Title IX Coordinator, or Deputy Coordinator.
Title IX Coordinator for VFMAC:
LTC Michael Pachella, VFMAC
Title IX Coordinator and Student Services
Title IX Co-Coordinators for VFMAC:
COL Ken Seitz, VFMAC
Deputy Commandant Support, Lee Hall
Mr. Aaron Barkley, MS
Dean of Cadets, Shannon Hall
In addition, VFMAC retains identified staff members, trained in Title IX regulatory guidance, to assist the Title IX coordination team in responding to and administering Title IX complaints.
The Title IX Coordinator(s) core responsibilities include coordinating the institution’s compliance with Title IX, to include oversight of Title IX reports and complaints, and identifying and addressing any patterns or systemic problems revealed by such reports and complaints. This includes, but is not limited to, the coordination of training, education, communications, and administration of grievance procedures for faculty, staff, students, and other members of the campus community.
The Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Coordinators are responsible for Title IX compliance for matters involving students, including training, education, communication, and administration of the grievance procedure for all complaints filed against VFMAC students. If a Title IX complaint is initiated against a VFMAC employee, visitor, or contractor, the Title IX Deputy Coordinator, dual-hatted as the Director of Human Resources, will generally be the individual who will respond to and administer the complaint.