One of America’s Most Distinguished Military Academies


Established in 1884 in Staunton, VA, by Captain William H. Kable, Staunton Military Academy (SMA) served the young men of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the world for nearly 100 years. From its humble beginning with 75 cadets, enrollment grew to almost 700 in the early 1960s. The military protest culture of Vietnam and the severe recession in the early 1970s undermined enrollment and SMA like many others closed its doors in 1976 after educating more than 21,000 cadets.

Senator Barry Goldwater, President Ricardo Martinelli-49th president of Panama, William H. Blount-captain of industry and U.S. Postmaster General, and Brigadier General Frank Gailer-Vice Commander for 3rd Air Force Europe are a sampling of individuals influenced by SMA. The concepts of Truth, Duty, and Honor were not only a way of life during cadetship, but became an integral part of their character after graduation. As prominent leaders, these individuals, in addition to countless other public servants, athletes, military and corporate leaders, artists, and musicians, have made an impact both in the U.S. and around the globe.


With the cancelling of our annual SMA All-Class Reunion for a second year in a row, we are experiencing a noticeable decline in donations.  Typically leading up to, during, and shortly after our reunions, the Foundation receives a great many donations for our various initiatives.  This year we are projecting an estimated shortfall of up to $20,000, which impacts the seven VWIL and up to 12 SMA Legacy Scholarship programs. Please consider a donation to help the Foundation fulfill funding these two scholarship funds. When making your tax-deductible donation, please indicate on your check the scholarship fund you are supporting (e.g., VWIL or SMA or both). For any questions or more information please contact Peter Birckhead, Treasurer and Chairman, Legacy Fund at or 713-819-1980. Thank you.

Dedicated to preserving the traditions and memories of those individuals who made up the Staunton Military Academy