Cadet Life

Join the Military? In High School?

HargraveAs crazy as it might sound today, young men can be trained for success. Over 100 years ago, that was the goal when Hargrave was founded by a Baptist minister and local Chatham business man. Their vision, coupled with the military model, laid the foundation for a school that remains successful in its mission as it soldiers through the years.

Initially, Hargrave’s structure focuses on teaching accountability and self-discipline. At home, parents generally want their sons to do their homework and keep their rooms clean. In a military environment, Cadets participate in Study Hall and have room inspections. Mastery of the basics provides the first steps up on the ladder of success.

With patience, understanding and a little tough love, most young men discover more to life than struggling, or sometimes fighting, with those who care about them. This success can be trained. It is not magic.

"Most students are surprised to learn that military life at Hargrave is not what they expected."

Most students are surprised to learn that military life at Hargrave is not what they expected. The initial fear of the unknown can be great with new Cadets, but every Cadet has been there. The anxiety of a different type of school culture plus the adventure of being away from home can be overwhelming at first. This is a shared feeling. But, those Cadets also know that the feeling passes once the military system is learned and the student adapts.

Beyond the Basics

Hargrave’s mission is not one of correction, however. It is a mission of building achievement within each young man. Beyond learning the basics, there is a range of opportunity at Hargrave just waiting for young men to discover.

Seldom is there opportunity for a young man to lead five, ten, twenty or more peers while in high school. Young men can reach positions of responsibility and learn leadership skills, which often transfer to college and the world beyond.

Engaging academics in a structured environment is often easier for most, and it helps young men see a brighter future in terms of applying to college. Challenging a young man while his thoughts are big and his future is open is a wonderful thing to do at Hargrave.

Christianity is as challenged today as it has ever been, but following the teachings of the Bible has steered many a successful man to a better life with their wife, children, families and themselves. It remains a great path to success in life, and one available to Hargrave’s Cadets.

Participation in athletics is strongly encouraged at Hargrave. Sports teach teamwork and camaraderie. These are invaluable interpersonal skills for a world absorbed by computers and gadgets. Knowing how to work with others is a critical skill.

The Simple Path?

Hargrave is not the simple path. For faculty, staff and Cadets, a military school environment is hard work. In the classroom, on the parade field and with the teams, the Hargrave family strives for the betterment of each student, and in so doing makes a great school.

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Contact SgtMaj Mike Payne, Commandant, to learn more about Hargrave's Military Life and Cadet leadership programs.

[email protected]