Benedictine’s military leadership program is woven into every aspect of Cadets day-to-day lives. From morning formation on the parade deck to the athletic playing fields, Cadets are provided the tools to be successful leaders in the greater community and in their personal lives.
Our military structure defines roles and responsibilities, provides leadership opportunities, and encourages good decision-making by Cadets. The military model also provides a clear set of rewards for exceptional performance and consequences when standards are not met. The military model is an effective way to provide a clear path to success. A Cadet can reach their full potential by developing their leadership skills, meeting and exceeding standards, and being challenged to do their best both in and outside the classroom.
But, make no mistake: Benedictine College Preparatory is not a reform school. It is not a place to send a child who requires constant oversight. Our military system provides multiple avenues for boys to feel ownership and accountability. It is a place for those who want to take advantage of all that Benedictine has to offer and develop into the best possible version of themselves. Since 1911, our military has worked in conjunction with our faith component, strong academic focus, and all-male structure to produce some of Richmond's finest leaders, as well as some whose impact is more globally felt.
Paramount to your son's development as a leader is the exposure he will have to strong positive role models. Benedictine prides itself on the plethora of strong, faith-filled personnel on its faculty and staff.
The Formation of a Leader
The Corps of Cadets is supervised by the military department, but it is led on a day-to-day basis by the Cadets themselves.
There are over 80 leadership opportunities within the Corps of Cadets. They range from Squad Leader (the lowest) up to Battalion Commander (the highest). Throughout their time at Benedictine, cadets are afforded the opportunity to test their leadership skills and gain more responsibility and authority within the Corps of Cadets.
Highlights: Orientation, Cadet of the Month/Quarter/Year Rank Range: Private to Private First Class Leadership Opportunities: Each Cadet may join the drill team or honor platoon or serve as guidon bearer. Brief Description: During a Cadet’s first year, he'll spend most of his time adjusting to the Benedictine way. Our orientation program is inculcated into newly enrolled students to familiarize them with our school’s unique culture and to begin the process of building camaraderie among their class. What You'll Learn: In addition to becoming acquainted with the Benedictine culture, each Cadet will learn basic military formation facts, how to march, and how to wear each uniform properly.
Highlights: Individual Drill, Earning Rank Rank Range: Private to Staff Sergeant Leadership Opportunities: Each Cadet may have the opportunity to serve as a squad leader or guidon bearer. Brief Description: During sophomore year, a Cadet will start building leadership skills and experience. He may even find himself in a leadership position, such as squad leader or guidon bearer. What You'll Learn: Cadets will begin to learn how to lead in a small unit setting.
Highlights: Orientation for First Sergeants and Above, First Year of Platoon or Company Leadership Opportunities, Platoon Drill Rank Range: Private to Sergeant Major Brief Description: During junior year, Cadets are focused on learning from the senior class and preparing to lead the school. In addition, a number of noncommissioned officer positions are available for the junior class. What You'll Learn: Cadets will build on their leadership skills and refine them further in a small unit setting.
Highlights: Conducting Orientation for Freshmen and Leadership Camp for Junior Leaders Rank Range: Private to Lieutenant Colonel (Battalion Commander) Brief Description: Seniors oversee all officer positions, and we call them “Sponsoring Officers.” Sponsoring Officers provide input on the direction of the Corps during their senior year, execute all day-to-day operations of the Corps, and plan events to include ceremonies, drills, and parades. What You'll Learn: Senior Cadets will expand upon their leadership skills by learning how to manage large groups. It is the responsibility of the senior class to set an example for their peers and younger Cadets.
Bo Dortch '22
All of the leadership opportunities we have as Cadets are what I like most about Benedictine.