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Spotlight

Routine, academics core to daily life of a cadet

Posted April 17, 2018 11:40 a.m. EDT

Cadets at military academies live a very structured life. Every moment of the day from reveille to taps has a set purpose.

This article was written for our sponsor, Hargrave Military Academy.

Cadets at military academies live a very structured life. Every moment of the day from reveille to taps has a set purpose.

Sometimes that structure is more flexible and allows time for some freedom, but often there are very specific activities that must be undertaken at that moment.

Morning routine

Military schools require a very early rise and immediate attention to duties. Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia, for example, has reveille at 6 a.m. with a trumpet call. Reveille, from the French for “wake up,” is a regular staple at military-style schools and the armed forces.

"Consistency in schedule leads to accountability and structure which carries throughout military time, academics, spiritual growth and athletics," said Lt. Col. Nicholas Morris, Hargrave's dean of students.

After reveille and a few minutes for hygiene and getting dressed, Mess I, or breakfast, begins with a prayer at 6:20 a.m. At 7:40 a.m. the cadets assemble for Formation and Inspection, meaning their uniforms are inspected as they stand in formation.

The school day

Once all the morning routines and inspections have been completed, the school day begins with Block I at 7:55 a.m. Block II follows at 9:25 a.m. At 10:45 a.m. there is a 15-minute break before the Block III classes begin at 11:00 a.m.

After morning classes are completed, cadets gather in Mess II Formation at 12:20 p.m. and are then allowed to enter the mess hall for Mess II (lunch) at 12:30 p.m. Lunch is a less structured time, so when students are finished eating they can catch up on chores, study or even socialize.

At 1:45 p.m. cadets return to their studies with Academic Lab I. This time is used to supplement class time with extra hours to encourage academic success. At 2:30 p.m. Academic Lab II begins and goes until 3:30 p.m. when athletic practices start. There are a very broad number of options for cadets to choose from including football, rifle, basketball, swimming, wrestling and even speech and debate.

Evening schedule

When athletics are completed, and the students have washed up, it is time for Mess III Formation at 6:15 p.m. followed by Mess III (dinner) at 6:20 p.m. Dinner is only 40 minutes long, then the cadets are recalled to barracks at 7 p.m.

The evening is mostly dedicated to study halls, with Study Hall I at 7:30, Study Hall II at 8:05 and Study Hall III at 8:50.

"The cadets have their planners examined before study halls to make sure they are using this time in a productive manner," said Jacqueline Scolpini, director of academic learning center at Hargrave. "Study halls are a time a student can use to stay on top of their work how they see fit, but this plan is approved and monitored."

Lights out

At 9:30 p.m. studying ends and the cadets enter a time called Prepare for Taps where they quickly handle hygiene and chores. This period is over within half an hour and Taps, or lights out arrives promptly at 10 p.m.

This article was written for our sponsor, Hargrave Military Academy.