MMA set to graduate top cadet officer
WOODSTOCK — A military education has prepared Cadet Lt. Col. Jeffrey Brown, of Nags Head, North Carolina, for anything he might want to do.
“I feel like I’m ahead of most of my peers that I know from back home,” he said this week on the campus of Massanutten Military Academy in Woodstock. “I feel like I can step into just about anyone’s shoes, take a leadership position, take charge.”
Intent on pursuing a career in the U.S. Army after graduating from Campbell University, the 18-year-old said one clear effect the school has had on his education is his “phenomenal” SAT score — 400 points higher than his original score — following one-on-one tutoring with a school counselor.
Hailing from a family of military role models, Brown said he always knew he would want to pursue a similar career path.
His diverse background has made a successful future even likelier.
Born in Japan, Brown lived there for 12 years where his father was stationed with the Navy. Fluent in Japanese, but having lost the accent through accent lessons, he’s also studied Spanish and learned some Chinese from his roommate from China.
Having traveled the East Coast, Brown said he’s looking forward to seeing more of the world — mainly from the safety of dry land. Though his uncle also served in the Navy, Brown said, “I’m more interested in the land than the sea.”
His two older brothers also have careers in the military, while his older sister is in graduate school, still pondering her own course. His younger sister is considering coming to Massanutten.
“She’s very skeptical on the military part, just because it’s pretty intimidating coming to an environment like this,” Brown said. “But once you’re here, … it’s a lot more relaxed.”
“We do have the discipline, you have the schedule every day, you know where you’re supposed to be, when to be there,” he said. “You’re trained. You’re taught everything you need to know.”
“You’re forever learning here,” he said.
Brown was on the football, baseball and cross country teams, but one of his favorite experiences was being a part of the Raiders JROTC, which he said meets weekdays after classes like a varsity sport and focuses on problem solving, physical fitness and leadership skills.
In his junior and senior years, Brown won the prestigious Golden Boot Award, which recognizes outstanding performance and leadership abilities during a three-day fall competition at Robert Land Academy in Ontario, Canada. The competition comprises a 56-mile march along the Bruce Trail that ends at Queenston Heights near Niagara Falls.
Each spring, cadets from Canada’s only non-university military academy visit Massanutten to compete in the Best Raider Competition.
As battalion commander this year, Brown was the highest ranked cadet officer at the school and was in charge of the everyday life of cadets.
“I basically ran the show,” he said.
Contact staff writer Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or email@example.com
• Massanutten Military Academy’s Harrison Courtyard
• 10 a.m. Saturday
• The school will present diplomas to 24 graduates.
• Commencement speaker will be Hubert Horatio “Skip” Humphrey III, Minnesota senator from 1973 to 1983 and Minnesota attorney general from ’83 to ’99. Also former chief of The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Office of Older Americans, he is the son of late Vice President Hubert Humphrey under President Lyndon B. Johnson.
• Alumni representative speaker will be Bryan Segal, a 1990 graduate of Massanutten.
Print This Article