Missouri Military Academy recognizes veterans

Missouri Military Academy recognizes veterans
MMA President Brigadier General Richard V. Geraci, USA (Ret) and Commandant Colonel Rick Grabowski, USMC (Ret) salute the corps while members of MMA’s faculty and staff watch. The review was closed to the public, in keeping with the current closed campus policy to help mitigate COVID risk. [Photos by Jessica Ekern]

At Missouri Military Academy military reviews are reserved for special moments of the MMA experience. On Veterans Day, reviews also have a dual purpose, in this case honoring those who served in America’s military.

It’s an impressive display. On this occasion, however, the event was closed to the public. The audience was limited to the academy’s faculty and staff, who were socially distanced.

Still, the event followed the required protocols. A review consists of four stages: a formation of troops, inspection, presentation and honors, and a march in review.

In the formation of troops, MMA’s battalion staff, who are cadet leaders, and band lead MMA’s four companies – Band, Bravo, Charlie and Delta – onto Colonels Field.

The second stage – inspection – will see staff officers “trooping the line.”

Stage three brings presentation and honors, in which awards and recognitions are bestowed upon deserving individuals and the national anthem is played. In stage four, the Corps of Cadets pass in review in tribute to the honorees.

Use of reviews can be traced to the Middle Ages when rulers would demonstrate the strength of their armies by holding elaborate military events. At the beginning of the 17th Century, armies throughout the world began adopting the regimental system. In this, regiments were assigned a specific color or number for identification and position on the battlefield.

In the American Army, reviews were initiated during the Revolutionary War by George Washington’s drill master Baron Friedrich Von Steuben, whose guidance forms the backbone of the drill and ceremonies of the US Army to this day.

The presence of the band represents the significant role that the drum, fife and other musical instruments have played throughout military history for signaling in camp or on the battlefield.

The colors at the center of the formation represents their presence at the forefront of the unit during the heat of battle. In battle, the color or flag party marched at the front and center of its unit as a point for the unit to organize itself around.

By leading the unit in battle, the colors became prime targets because victories were expressed in terms of the number of enemy colors captured; so, the color party bore the brunt of the battle and suffered heavy casualties.

Today, the Color Guard posts at the center of the formation as a reminder of its historic significance.

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