Marion Military Institute
MottoTruth, Honor, Service
TypePublic military junior college
Established1842; 182 years ago (1842)
Parent institution
Alabama Community College System
Academic affiliations
PresidentColonel David J. Mollahan, USMC (Ret.)
CommandantColonel Edwin W. Passmore, USA (Ret.)
Academic staff
20 Full-time & 5 Part-time[1]
Location, ,
United States

32°37′25″N 87°19′16″W / 32.6237°N 87.3211°W / 32.6237; -87.3211
CampusRural,160 acres (0.65 km2)
ColorsOrange and black
Sporting affiliations

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 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 Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges 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]


Believed to be J.T. Murfee (middle of the back row) with cadets of B company

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 by Park Place.[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.

In 2011, an MMI counselor Reginald Marable filed a lawsuit against the school after not being retained. Marable claimed he was harassed and fired for bringing up allegations that the school was discriminating against black students, including the idea that race mixing was forbidden.[19] The United States District Court Southern District of Alabama ruled in the school's favor.[20] In 2014, the plaintiff lost again on appeal, the court noting that racial animus was not a sufficient reason for ruling in the plaintiff's favor.[21]

Cadet structure

MMI Chapel
President's House, Marion Institute, built 1912
The HQ of the Corps of Cadets after Alumni Weekend parade 2016
Senior cadets help juniors prepare for their LDAC in 2013.

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 insignia Class B, C and ACU rank insignia Cadet rank Position
Lieutenant Colonel Battalion Commander
Major Battalion XO, S3
Honor Council Chair
Captain Company Commanders
Battalion S1, S2, S4, S5
First Lieutenant Company XO
Battalion Chaplain
Organizational Commanders (White Knight, Swamp Fox, and Honor Guard, HQ Staff Assistant)
Second Lieutenant Platoon Leader
Command Sergeant Major Battalion Sergeant Major
First Sergeant Company First Sergeant
Sergeant First Class Platoon Sergeant
N/A Staff Sergeant Squad Leader
Assistant S5
N/A Sergeant Team Leader
N/A Corporal Team Leader
N/A Private First Class
N/A Private
N/A N/A Private New Recruits


MMI football team, the state champion of 1912

Marion Military Institute athletics is nicknamed "Tigers".[22] 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.[22] Currently, MMI has varsity teams for baseball, men's basketball, softball, tennis, cross country, and golf.[22] 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 Basketball Championships in 2015–2016 season.[23][24] 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.[25] 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.[26] In 2013, the school hired former MLB player Matt Downs as the head coach of the baseball team.[27] In 2016, Christopher Lawrence, former personal trainer of Javier Arenas and Kirani James, became the Marion's cross country coach.[28]

Marion Military Institute also had a football team, which captured the state championship in 1912.[29] 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.[30] 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.[31]

List of presidents

Alabama Military Hall of Honor

16 individuals have been president of Marion Military Institute:[32]

No. Portrait Name Term Notes
1 J.T. Murfee 1887–1906 Former lieutenant colonel, CSA[33]
First captain and standing 1st in VMI Class of 1853[34][33]
2 H.O. Murfee 1906–1919
3 W.L. Murfee 1919–1944
4 J.T. Murfee II 1944–1953
5 Linton H. Baer 1953–1954
6 Robert Calhoun Provine 1954–1958
7 Cato D. Glover 1958–1959 Admiral, USN (Ret.)
8 Paul B. Robinson 1959–1973
9 Draper Kauffman 1974–1976 Rear admiral, USN (Ret.)
10 Thomas H. Barfield 1976–1983 Major general, USA (Ret.)
Class of 1935[8]
11 Clyde W. Spence 1983–1990 Major general, USA (Ret.)
Class of 1946[8]
12 Joseph L. Fant III 1990–1994 Major general, USA (Ret.)
Class of 1947[8]
13 Wayne T. Adams 1994–1998 Brigadier general, USMC (Ret.)
Class of 1960[8]
vacancy 1998–2000
14 Robert F. Foley 2000–2004 Lieutenant general, USA (Ret.)
Medal of Honor recipient
15 James H. Benson 2004–2009 Colonel, USMC (Ret.)
16 David J. Mollahan 2009–present Colonel, USMC (Ret.)

Notable alumni

Early Commissioning Program

Service Academy Program


See also


  1. ^ a b "College Navigator - Marion Military Institute".
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "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. ^ a b c d e "Marion Military Institute Generals and Admirals" (PDF). Marion Military Institute. Retrieved 2017-09-10.[dead link]
  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. ^ a b 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. ^ a b 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. ^ a b c d e f g h 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. ^ Court House News Staff. "Employment". Court House News. Retrieved 1 October 2021.
  20. ^ "11-563 - Marable v. Marion Military Institute, et al". United States Government Publishing Office (GPO). Retrieved 1 October 2021.
  21. ^ "Marable v. Marion Military Inst". Case Text. Retrieved 1 October 2021.
  22. ^ a b c MMI Tigers. "MMI Tigers". Marion Military Institute. Retrieved 2017-06-13.
  23. ^ "Marion Military Institute & Wallace State's men's programs set for nationally-ranked showdown on Thursday". ACCC. 2016-02-10. Retrieved 2017-09-11.
  24. ^ "Shelton State women and Marion Military men capture ACCC Basketball Championships". ACCC. 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2017-09-11.
  25. ^ MMI Tigers (2016-04-20). "Historic Runs Ends at National Tournament". Marion Military Institute. Retrieved 2017-06-13.
  26. ^ "Marion Military Institute Tigers Claim Men's Tennis Championship". ACCC. 2016-02-10. Retrieved 2017-09-11.
  27. ^ MMI Tigers (2013-11-07). "MMI Tigers". Marion Military Institute. Retrieved 2017-09-11.
  28. ^ "Christopher Lawrence Hired to Lead New Cross Country Programs at MMI". NJCAA. 2016-08-17. Retrieved 2017-09-11.
  29. ^ "Football team at Marion Military Institute in Marion, Alabama, the state champions of 1912". Alabama Department of Archives and History. Retrieved 2017-09-11.
  30. ^ Samford University (2013). 《Samford University Fact Book 2013-2014》 (PDF). Samford University. p. 97. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2017-06-09.
  31. ^ University of Alabama. "1922 Season" (PDF). University of Alabama. Retrieved 2017-06-09.
  32. ^ Marion Military Institute (2011). 《Marion Military Institute Fact Book 2010–2011》 (PDF). Marion Military Institute. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-06-09.
  33. ^ a b VMI Archive (2017). "Historical Rosters Database: James Thomas Murfee". Virginia Military Institute. Retrieved 2017-07-13.
  34. ^ Virginia (1854). 《Annual Reports of Officers, Boards and Institutions of the Commonwealth of Virginia ...》. Superintendent of Public Printing. p. 61.
  35. ^ "Bennett welcomed as the Army's 61st Adjutant General". U.S. Army. Retrieved 2017-12-17.
  36. ^ "Two alumni speak to class of 2015 graduates". Marion Military Institute. Retrieved 2017-09-10.
  37. ^ "Fort Hood commander loses post, denied transfer after incidents at Army base". NBC News. 2020-09-02. Retrieved 2021-01-10.
  38. ^ "New York Army National Guard leader to get promotion". John Cropley. The Daily Gazette. 2017-08-09. Retrieved 2017-08-10.
  39. ^ Lombard, Charles F. (June 1978). "Be Thou at Peace: Halley Grey Maddox". Assembly. West Point, NY: Association of Graduates of the United States Military Academy. pp. 130–131 – via Google Books.
  40. ^ Sternberg, Ben; Straus, Jack M. (January 1991). "Death Notice, Robert Howard York". Assembly. West Point, NY: Association of Graduates, United States Military Academy. pp. 157–159 – via Google Books.