Marion Military Institute

Marion Military Institute, the Military College of Alabama, (MMI, sometimes Marion Institute, Marion Military, or simply Marion) is a public military junior college in Marion, Alabama. Founded in 1842, it is the official state military college of Alabama and the nation's oldest military junior college.[2]

Marion Military Institute
MottoTruth, Honor, Service
Military Junior College
PresidentColonel David J. Mollahan, USMC (Ret.)
CommandantColonel Edwin W. Passmore, USA (Ret.)
Location, ,
United States

32.6237°N 87.3211°W / 32.6237; -87.3211
Campus160 acres (0.65 km2)
ColorsOrange and black
Sporting affiliations

Marion Military Institute is one of only four Military Junior Colleges in the United States.[3] These programs include the Army's two-year Early Commissioning Program (ECP), an Army Reserve Officers Training Corps program through which qualified cadets can earn a commission as a Second Lieutenant after only two years of college.[4] MMI's ECP is one of the country's leading U.S. Army commissioning programs.[2] The Service Academy Program (SAP) is a freshman year of academic and physical preparation for students who wish to attend one of the Service Academies in the United States. It is designated, endorsed, and selected by all five Service Academies.[5] MMI also offers Marine Corps Platoon Leaders Course (PLC) and the first two years of Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps.[6][7] Over the years, MMI has produced more than 200 generals and admirals in the United States Armed Forces.[8][9]

MMI is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees.[10] It has association memberships in the Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States and the Alabama College Conference.[11] The accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Commission on International and Trans-Regional Accreditation entitles all the services and privileges of regional, national and international professional recognition.

Marion Military Institute is an Alabama Historical Marker.[12] It is the home of two National Register of Historic Places - The MMI Chapel and Lovelace Hall, and the President's House.[13][14] The Alabama Military Hall of Honor (the Old Marion City Hall), created by executive order of Gov. George Wallace in 1975, is also on campus.[2]


Marion Military Institute traces its origins back to 1842 with the creation of Howard College in Marion, Alabama by the Alabama Baptist Convention.[2] During the American Civil War, South Barracks (later known as Lovelace Hall), built in 1854, and the Chapel, built in 1857, served the Confederacy as Breckenridge Military Hospital from 1863 to 1865.[2] Along with the President's House (built 1912), these buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[13][14]

In 1887, the decision was made to move Howard College (now Samford University) to Birmingham. The then President of Howard College, Colonel J. T. Murfee, LL.D.,[15] and a handful of faculty and students decided to remain in Marion, Alabama and immediately reorganized and founded Marion Military Institute, a military preparatory high school and college.[2] It was modeled after Murfee's alma mater - Virginia Military Institute.[2] Although built as a military college, H. O. Murfee, MMI's second president, believed that Marion was destined to become the "American Eton."[16] Under his leadership, MMI achieved national recognition. President William Howard Taft served as President of the Board of Trustees. Then president of Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson was the guest speaker at the convocation for the class of 1905.[17] However, the plan to pattern the school after Eton College was interrupted by World War I. The military nature of MMI was again emphasized due to the outbreak of the war.[17] In 1916, United States Army ROTC program was first offered at MMI, when the institute was designated as an "Honor Military School with Distinction" by the United States Department of War.[18]

The U.S. Army Early Commissioning Program was established at MMI in 1968.[2] In 1971, MMI became coeducational.[2] In March 2006, the Alabama state legislature passed a resolution placing MMI under the auspices of the Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education. MMI became "the State Military College of Alabama".[2] As part of the transition to a public institution, Marion phased out its high school program. In May 2009, the last high school class graduated from Marion Military Institute's Preparatory School Program, a program that traced its origins back to 1887.

Cadet structure

The Corps of Cadets is organized into a battalion consisting of the Headquarters staff and six companies including Band, A, B, C, D, and E.[17] A cadet lieutenant colonel command and control of headquarters and five companies of cadets as the battalion commander.[17] Each company has a cadet captain commanding, a cadet first lieutenant executive officer, two cadet second lieutenant platoon leaders, a cadet first sergeant, and two cadet sergeant first class platoon sergeants.[17] Each platoon normally has three to four squads and each squad is led by a cadet staff sergeant. Each squad leader has a team leader serving with the rank of cadet sergeant or corporal, depending on experience and ability.[17]

Class A uniform rank insigniaClass B, C and ACU rank insigniaCadet rankPosition
Lieutenant ColonelBattalion Commander
MajorBattalion XO, S3
Honor Council Chair
CaptainCompany Commanders
Battalion S1, S2, S4, S5
First LieutenantCompany XO
Battalion Chaplain
Organizational Commanders (White Knight, Swamp Fox, and Honor Guard)
Second LieutenantPlatoon Leader
HQ Staff Assistant
Command Sergeant MajorBattalion Sergeant Major
First SergeantCompany First Sergeant
Sergeant First ClassPlatoon Sergeant
N/AStaff SergeantSquad Leader
Assistant S5
N/ASergeantTeam Leader
N/ACorporalTeam Leader
N/APrivate First Class
N/AN/APrivateNew Recruits


Marion Military Institute athletics is nicknamed "Tigers".[19] It is a member of Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC/Region XXII), which is a part of National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I.[19] Currently, MMI has varsity teams for baseball, men's basketball, softball, tennis, cross country, and golf.[19] The school colors were originally pink and green when established, but they were changed to orange and black following Woodraw Wilson's appearance at the MMI convocation.[17] Marion adopted the tiger as the mascot in tribute to Princeton University.[17]

After 15 consecutive winning games, MMI men's basketball team made history to capture school's first ACCC Basketballl Championships in 2015-2016 season.[20][21] They also represented Region XXII at the NJCAA Men's National Basketball Championships, but lost to McLennan Community College (70-78) in the first round.[22] Marion Military Institute men's tennis team showed its dominance in the state of Alabama by holding the NJCAA Region XXII Championship five years in a row from 2011 to 2016.[23] In 2013, the school hired former MLB player Matt Downs as the head coach of the baseball team.[24] In 2016, Christopher Lawrence, former personal trainer of Javier Arenas and Kirani James, became the Marion's cross country coach.[25]

Marion Military Institute also had a football team, which captured the state championship in 1912.[26] On November 28, 1918, MMI earned a 101-0 victory over Howard College Football Team at home. This is MMI Football's largest margin of victory and the second largest margins of defeat in the history of Samford University Football Team.[27] In 1922 season, MMI cadets were defeated 0-110 by the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, Alabama in what still stands as the school record for largest margin of victory and as the Crimson Tide's only 100 point game.[28]

List of Presidents

16 individuals have served as the president of Marion Military Institute:[29]

1J.T. Murfee1887-1906Former Lieutenant Colonel, CSA[30]
First Captain and standing 1st in VMI Class of 1853[31][30]
2H.O. Murfee1906-1919
3W.L. Murfee1919-1944
4-J.T. Murfee, II1944-1953
5-Linton H. Baer1953-1954
6-Robert Calhoun Provine1954-1958
7Cato D. Glover1958-1959Admiral, USN (Ret.)
8-Paul B. Robinson1959-1973
9Draper Kauffman1974-1976Rear Admiral, USN (Ret.)
10-Thomas H. Barfield1976-1983Major General, USA (Ret.)
Class of 1935[8]
11-Clyde W. Spencer1983-1990Major General, USA (Ret.)
Class of 1946[8]
12-Joseph L. Fant, III1990-1994Major General, USA (Ret.)
Class of 1947[8]
13Wayne T. Adams1994-1998Brigadier General, USMC (Ret.)
Class of 1960[8]
14Robert F. Foley2000-2004Lieutenant General, USA (Ret.)
Medal of Honor receipiant
15-James H. Benson2004-2009Colonel, USMC (Ret.)
16David J. Mollahan2009–presentColonel, USMC (Ret.)

Notable alumni

Early Commissioning Program

Service Academy Program


See also


  1. Fall 2018. Marion Military Institute (3 October 2018). "2018-19 Fact Book" (PDF). Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  2. "Marion Military Institute". Encyclopedia of Alabama. Encyclopedia of Alabama. Retrieved 2017-08-04.
  3. Marion Military Institute. "Military Path". Marion Military Institute. Retrieved 2017-09-06.
  4. Marion Military Institute. "Army Early Commissioning Program (ECP)". Marion Military Institute. Archived from the original on 2017-09-10. Retrieved 2017-09-10.
  5. Marion Military Institute. "Service Academy Program (SAP)". Marion Military Institute. Archived from the original on 2017-09-06. Retrieved 2017-09-10.
  6. Marion Military Institute. "U.S. Marine Corps PLC Program". Marion Military Institute. Retrieved 2017-09-10.
  7. Marion Military Institute. "Air Force ROTC (AFROTC)". Marion Military Institute. Retrieved 2017-09-10.
  8. "Marion Military Institute Generals and Admirals". Marion Military Institute. Retrieved 2017-09-10.
  9. "Transcripts". CNN. Retrieved 2017-09-10.
  10. Marion Military Institute. "Accreditation". Marion Military Institute. Retrieved 2017-09-10.
  11. Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States. "Directory of Schools". Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States. Retrieved 2017-09-10.
  12. Alabama Historical Association (1979). "Perry Historical Markers". Alabama Historical Association. Archived from the original on 2017-06-11. Retrieved 2017-06-11.
  13. NPS. "Chapel and Lovelace Hall, Marion Military Institute". National Park Service-National Register of Historic Places Collection. Archived from the original on 2017-06-09. Retrieved 2017-06-09.
  14. NPS. "President's House, Marion Institute". National Park Service-National Register of Historic Places Collection. Archived from the original on 2017-06-09. Retrieved 2017-06-09.
  15. Thomas, Grace Powers (1898). Where to educate, 1898-1899. A guide to the best private schools, higher institutions of learning, etc., in the United States. Boston: Brown and Company. p. 3. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
  16. National Magazine, Volume 34. Bostonian publishing Company. 1911. p. 460. Retrieved June 4, 2017.
  17. Marion Military Institute (2017). 《Marion Military Institute 2017-2018 Cadet Manual》 (PDF). Marion Military Institute. pp. 10, 22–25, 43–47, 126. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2017-09-16.
  18. "Marion Military History". Retrieved 2017-09-10.
  19. MMI Tigers. "MMI Tigers". Marion Military Institute. Retrieved 2017-06-13.
  20. "Marion Military Institute & Wallace State's men's programs set for nationally-ranked showdown on Thursday". ACCC. 2016-02-10. Retrieved 2017-09-11.
  21. "Shelton State women and Marion Military men capture ACCC Basketballl Championships". ACCC. 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2017-09-11.
  22. MMI Tigers (2016-04-20). "Historic Runs Ends at National Tournament". Marion Military Institute. Retrieved 2017-06-13.
  23. "Marion Military Institute Tigers Claim Men's Tennis Championship". ACCC. 2016-02-10. Retrieved 2017-09-11.
  24. MMI Tigers (2013-11-07). "MMI Tigers". Marion Military Institute. Retrieved 2017-09-11.
  25. "Christopher Lawrence Hired to Lead New Cross Country Programs at MMI". NJCAA. 2016-08-17. Retrieved 2017-09-11.
  26. "Football team at Marion Military Institute in Marion, Alabama, the state champions of 1912". Alabama Department of Archives and History. Retrieved 2017-09-11.
  27. Samford University (2013). 《Samford University Fact Book 2013-2014》 (PDF). Samford University. p. 97. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2017-06-09.
  28. University of Alabama. "1922 Season" (PDF). University of Alabama. Retrieved 2017-06-09.
  29. Marion Military Institute (2011). 《Marion Military Institute Fact Book 2010-2011》 (PDF). Marion Military Institute. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-06-09.
  30. VMI Archive (2017). "Historical Rosters Database: James Thomas Murfee". Virginia Military Institute. Retrieved 2017-07-13.
  31. Virginia (1854). 《Annual Reports of Officers, Boards and Institutions of the Commonwealth of Virginia ...》. Superintendent of Public Printing. p. 61.
  32. "Bennett welcomed as the Army's 61st Adjutant General". U.S. Army. Retrieved 2017-12-17.
  33. "Two alumni speak to class of 2015 graduates". Marion Military Institute. Retrieved 2017-09-10.
  34. "Efflandt departs Army University, Galloway becomes provost". U.S. Army. 2018-12-07. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  35. "Major General Clark W. LeMasters, Jr". U.S. Army. Retrieved 2017-09-10.
  36. "New York Army National Guard leader to get promotion". John Cropley. The Daily Gazette. 2017-08-09. Retrieved 2017-08-10.
  37. "Former MMI student-athlete Jonah Todd '16 drafted by Los Angeles Angels". Marion Military Institute. Marion Military Institute. Archived from the original on 2017-08-01. Retrieved 2017-07-31.
  38. "Jonah Todd Stats, Highlights, Bio". MiLB. MiLB. Retrieved 2017-07-31.
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