While the buildings and grounds of the Staunton Military Academy presented a sense of majesty to the scene and the faculty provided an excellence in education, the Corps of Cadets provided the spirit of SMA. Or, as it may be said formally, the Esprit De Corps. This Esprit De Corps exhibited itself everyday. It was present at athletic events, where the voices of the Corps raised together in rumbling cheers. It showed itself in town, where the manners of the cadets were polite and reflected the attributes of the gentlemen they were being trained to be. It shown forth at the formal retreat parades held every Sunday as the uniforms shined in the sun while the cadets marched in perfect formations with the drum-line beating and flags flying.
The Administration of SMA set out Regulations that governed the lives of Corps of Cadets. The original Regulations consisted of a high level set of rules detailing out how the cadets were to behave and live. But, as the years went by, the regulations became more and more detailed and inclusive of all aspects of the functioning of the Corps.
Click on one of the dates below to open a .pdf copy of the Regulations for that year in a new tab.
Starting with 60 students in 1884, the size of the Corps grew and shrunk over the years. Their numbers followed the economic and social conditions of the country. The smallest Corps totaled 15 cadets in 1900. The largest boasted 665 cadets marching to the drum line in 1967. In 1976, the last year that the Corps marched in Staunton, 172 cadets were marched at the final graduation parade. In total, from 1884 until 1976, over 19,000 cadets wore the uniform of SMA. Almost 7,500 of those cadets graduated and received diplomas.
Click here to display a spreadsheet of the details of the Corps year-by-year from 1884 thru 1976 in a new tab.