Oklahoma Military Academy
Ancestry.com has placed three digital copies of the Guidon, the Oklahoma Military Academy yearbook, on its website. The school maintains a strong alumni presence on the Internet as well as a museum at Claremore.
Oklahoma Military Academy was chartered by the Oklahoma legislature in March of 1919. OMA was structured as a six-year program, including a four-year high school and a two-year college program. Initially it was awarded a Junior ROTC program; this was later increased to a senior program. In 1930 OMA received a senior cavalry ROTC program, but after World War II, the horses were replaced by tanks. OMA also had an Aviation Department in cooperation with the Tulsa airport.
The 1933 Guidon shows an enrollment of around 170, with 84 in the junior college. The organizations and activities of the school were in line with its military charter. The most prestigious organization in school was the drill team, a group that participated in parades and festivals throughout the region. Other campus organizations included the Saber Society, the Chevron Society, the Honor Committee, the rifle team, and the Bugle Corps.
1957 was a momentous year in the history of OMA. For the first time evening classes were instituted, and non-cadet students were allowed to enroll, pushing enrollment past 450. However, because OMA was still a junior college, the ROTC program reverted to a junior program. In the 1960’s enrollment continued to rise as female students were admitted—first as day students only and later as regular cadets. But, as a result of the Vietnam War, many people became opposed to any form of military training; enrollment at OMA—as at most military academies—fell. The school was closed in 1971. Rogers State University, a two-year, co-educational community college, inherited the OMA campus. RSU is now a four-year year school.
During its 52 years of service, more than 2,500 OMA graduates served in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam; more than 100 gave their lives.
Bricks and Mortar
OMA inherited the campus of Eastern University Preparatory School. The 1933 Guidon shows a campus of four buildings: Preparatory Hall, the main building of the EUPA became the Administrative Building for OMA. There were two barracks buildings—Maurice Meyer and Baird H. Markham—and the Hospital. By 1939 the OMA Field House had been added. These buildings have since passed on to RSU.
Both Meyer Barracks and Preparatory Hall are on the National Register of Historic Places
Maurice Meyer Barracks in 1978. (<nr_shpo.okstate.edu/nhrpdfs/82003698.pdf>)accessed 1-23-2017
Team name: Cadets or Flying Cadets
Colors: These appear to be some shade of Red and White
The most distinctive sport sponsored by OMA was polo, this coming from OMA’s ROTC cavalry unit. The Cadets were powers in the sport, winning 26 of 27 matches in 1937. A national schedule saw them playing such teams as Stanford, New Mexico Military Academy, Iowa State, and the University of Chicago. Their special rivalries were with Texas A&M, Oklahoma, and the Tulsa Freebooters.
In football, OMA competed in a conference of two-year Oklahoma schools. Using both high school and junior college players, the Cadets also regularly scheduled freshman teams from the larger four- year schools. The 1938 team finished 9-0 with wins over LSU Northeast Center, Northeastern JC (OK), Connor A&M (OK), Eastern Oklahoma, Oklahoma A&M Frosh, Arkansas Frosh, Allen Military (TX), Texas Military, and Chillicothe Business (MO). The Cadets were also unbeaten in 1937.
OMA also fielded strong teams in boxing, baseball, basketball, track and tennis.
The 1970 football team, OMA's last. Image from the Kemper Military School website "One Day in the Fall." (http://www.echocompany.org/one-day-in-the-fall/index.htm) accessed 1-23-2017