The Military Program at PMC

inspectionThree of the most highly decorated graduates of PMC were Horace Hobbs, Class of 1897, Benjamin Berry, Class of 1902, and Thomas Merendino, Class of 1941. All three were awarded The Distinguished Service Cross Medal and The Silver Star Medal. Merendino was awarded an additional Silver Star Medal. What did these PMC men, along with scores of others, have in common? They all benefitted from the “excellent” military training of PMC.

According to the tradition, Theodore Hyatt found his pupils performing drills with broomsticks in the recreation room in the fall of 1858. He then introduced military training to “develop the muscles, expand the chest, and impart an erect gentlemanly carriage ….” This quickly became the purpose of Pennsylvania Military College and its predecessors, as stated in the annual catalogues:

“… its objectives can be most successfully realized through the military system of organization. Thus, … Cadet students are organized as a Military Corps and … governed by Cadet Officers.” Under this system, all aspects of academic, military and social life are united in a disciplined and integrated whole.”

inspection 2In 1963, the Commandant of Cadets, Major General William Biddle, elaborated on the aims of the military program. He stated that all Cadets were taught the virtues of “honesty, perseverance, alertness, neatness and discipline.” In addition, the shared experiences of Cadets gave them a sense of pride and belonging to a distinguished organization.

The results of this military program have been clear. Since the Civil War, PMC graduates have been both courageous and successful Military and Business leaders as a direct result of the training they received while at PMC.