Oklahoma Military Academy

 

     The Oklahoma Military Academy is one of the institutions of which the citizens of Claremore are justly proud. It was established in 1919 as a state school and receives support from the Federal Government. It is located in the western suburbs of Claremore, near the historic battleground of Claremore Mound.

     Under the supervision of Col. S. M. Barrett, its president, it has made excellent progress and bids fair to become one of the leading educational institutions of the state. Colonel Barrett's wide acquaintance throughout the state and his standing among the educators have aided materially in giving the academy the prestige which it has so quickly acquired. About three hundred thousand dollars have. already been expended in erecting a modern two-story academic building and barracks, the barracks being dedicated to the memory of Sergt. Maurice Meyers, a member of Company A, Three Hundred and Fifty-seventh Regiment, who was mortally wounded by German shrapnel in the St. Mihiel campaign on the 23d day of September, 1918. His death occurred on the following day, and he was buried in grave No. 290 of the American Cemetery, Sebastopol, Toul. This military academy supplanted the University Preparatory School, which had been established and maintained by the state at this place for several years following statehood.

     Hikes and summer camps make a wholesome diversion in the round of drills and afford recreation as well from studies. A sense of public service is early developed in the cadets. At the time of the Peggs cyclone, Colonel Barrett with ten cadets, took two trucks loaded with tents, cots and provisions and established a relief camp in the center of the devastated town. The story of this trip and the aid and comfort given the storm victims is being handed down as one of the early traditions of the school. The first year the unit was established, the rifle team won first place in the junior gallery competition in the Eighth corps area. Major General Dickman sent a letter to each of the competing teams calling -attention to the fact that the O. M. A. cadets were able to make this remarkable record in spite of the fact that their gallery practice material was not received until too late to permit them to fire the scores within the time limit. For this reason, although the scores were considerably higher than those made by the competing teams, O. M. A. could not be given possession of the trophy. The achievement itself, however, and the writing of the letter of commendation by Major-General Dickman really mean more to the school than to have secured the trophy under conditions less disadvantageous.

     While military training at this institution is a feature, the school further prepares its cadets for college and for life by giving both academic and vocational education. Year by year as the school grows older and its strength increases it is gaining a distinct reputation for its vocational instruction. Particularly is this true as it applies to the department of auto mechanics, a knowledge of which is a big item in war transportation.

     A distinctive feature of the academy is that no tuition is charged a cadet. A boy may receive his academic training which gives him sixteen units of credit for admittance to the state university at Norman, at no greater expense than if he lived at home. Only the actual cost of the buying and preparation of the food is charged each month for board, the bills seldom going higher than $25 per month. Room rent in the barracks amounts to only $1.50 per month, including bedding, light and heat. A canteen on the campus furnishes the cadets opportunity to purchase incidentals and little luxuries.

Rogers County

Source: Muskogee and Northeastern Oklahoma, 1922

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