Welcome to all the Cadets who attended FMA

 Florida Military Academy was located in St. Petersberg Fl.  It spanned the years from 1908 to 1951. The campus is now the home of Stetson College of Law.  Thanks to Stetson for making it still look as it did when we were Cadets. Only a few things were changed to modernize the buildings.  Until 2008 reunions took place every year.  We were all 18 again for 3 days and reminded of the time on the bullring,  the girls we knew.  Football practice in August, the sore muscles, other cadets arriving and A first game in  September.  I hope these pages take you back to those days and friends. We all look different now, certainly not as fast as we were.  When we get together, write, or call the sounds of reveille, mess call and others can be heard.

Click painting to enlarge to full size
click back to return

The Alma Mater

In the land of palms and sunshine,
Reared against the sky, Proudly stands our Alma Mater
As the years roll by.


“Foward” ever be thy watchword
Conquer and prevail
Hail to thee our Alma Mater,
F.M.A.,  all hail

Cherished by her sons forever,
Memories sweet shall throng,
Round our glorius Alma Mater
As we sing this song.


Note:  At the bottom of each page is a place for your
comments, suggestions etc, this replaces the
guest book.

29 Responses to Welcome to all the Cadets who attended FMA

  1. Jack Tucker says:

    Merry Christmas to all cadets and Families!
    Hope you are well.

  2. J.Moore says:

    Way back in 1979 while digging in my backyard in Bradenton Florida, I happened to dig up four FMA hat badges that were presumably buried with the hats for the minute remnants of a canvas material lay behind the screw and knob attatchment. They struck me as being old and were dated 1908, which I now know was your beginning year. My research told me of the Clarks who lived in my old house in and around 1945. Ralph was the father of two boys, Elliot and Donald both with Army and Navy careers. I know it’s a long shot but is there any information that can settle this 33 year old mystery? Was Ralph, Elliot or Donald Clark of Bradenton enrolled at any time during the 1930 or 40s? I would love to put a name to these badges and be able to complete the story. Thanks to any who can help…….J.Moore

    • Jack Tucker says:

      Jack Clark attended FMA in 1941 and 1943. He was from Florida, but not sure if he was from Bradenton. Carl Boraiko was from Bradenton and attended FMA in 1943. Bradenton was a small town in those years and if any of the Clarks attended FMA, Carl likely would know of them. Could be an interesting story! Jack Tucker

  3. Ed W. Netscher '48 says:

    There may be other meetings elsewhere but on the first Friday in January there is a luncheon of former cadets in the Tampabay area. If you are able to be in that area at that time you are invited to attend.

    Contact Ed at: 18421 Gunn Highway Odessa, FL 33556

  4. bob says:

    Florida Military Academy

    Show Details

    I am very happy to discover this online museum of Florida Military Academy from a computer search for information on this unusual institution where I happened to spend nearly two years from fall, 1947 to spring, 1949. At the time I was age 7 and 8. I entered the academy as a second grader and was immediately skipped to third grade.

    I finished my first year (my full year) at FMA, then started fourth grade in public school on the Gulf Beaches, but ended the year back at the academy. That was it for us in Florida. The next year, fifth grade, was spent at P.S. 86 in Bronx, New York, my native city.

    I do not see much info on your website on the FMA elementary, but would be sincerely interested in any information that exists, such as from old yearbooks,related to it. In particular, I have vivid memories of two instructors, Lt. Casale (a woman who was a sort of house mother, if I recall correctly) and a Major Rogers, and would be interested in seeing any information related to them.

    I am interested to see yearbook photos of the young cadets in third and fourth grades. The only names I remember are Michael Griggs, William Warnstedt (who became a roommate in my last few months there), and Manuel Brana, who I’m afraid led a group in rather brutal bullying of me that led to my actually running away (AWOL) from the academy with Warnstedt, hiding in the bushes during evening roll call and then hiking the several miles up the beaches to astonish my mother at home. She, working at Bay Pines VA hospital, and having no day care back then for either myself or my brother Eric, age 5, who was also an FMA cadet, the youngest in the corps by far and possibly ever, she returned us to school, eliciting a promise that I would receive a change of rooms and roommates, and the assurance of Major Rogers that he would look out for me. Though Warnstedt was a year older and a grade higher, if I’m not mistaken, we wound up rooming together for the rest of the year.

    These are not the kind of pleasant memories that make for a nice website like you’ve

    created, so are not intended for publication. But they’ll explain why I am very interested in information that would help piece together my bits of memory of my

    days at the school.

    My mother was a divorcee from New York City who bravely left her married life behind to start anew on the Gulf of Mexico, only to discover after one year with her two young children in day-care (brother Eric) and St. Petersburg public school (Gulfport, myself) that it would have to be a boarding school, or nothing. In those post-World War II days it seemed like a wonderful opportunity to don the military uniform and “fight” for one’s country, even if just in an elementary classroom. Many maturing experiences were gained that seem unique to me in retrospect. The formality and grandeur of marching and handling of toy rifles, hymns sung in chapel, marching in the Festival of States Parade, of going downtown to see Gene Autry and Durango Kid movies (and of having to miss them to walk bullring), and of peeping out the dorm windows to watch the glamorous couples promenading to the sound of big band music at the upper class proms . . . I’m afraid those are the ONLY memories I have of the school, other than of Lt. Casale’s abounding warmth and kindness (and singing of the song “Put My Little Shoes Away” as a sort of lullaby with lights out to put myself and roommate(s) to sleep).

    Your website has brought these recollections back afresh. If there’s more to be had re: lower classmens life from yearbooks or etc., I would be grateful to know about it.

    Thank you and, once again, in confidence, please . . .

    Geoff Berne

    Hamilton, Ohio

    Reply to:

    Reply to geoffberne


  5. Melanie says:

    Bob, I’ve looked over this site very carefully several times, and very much enjoyed reading through all the memories shared by your members. I must congratulate you for all this excellent work. Although I’ve never met any of them, you are performing a very valuable and important service to those good people, and without a doubt they appreciate it. Well done, Bob. You should be very proud.
    Melanie Birnbom

  6. bob cooley jr says:

    great page my dad was in the class of 32 to 36. my grandfather Author Cooley was in charge of the armory when my dad graduated as cadet captain . i have all the dugout year books from 32 to 36. i would like to share them with anybody that is still here. my father left on august 24th 2010 ,2 days from his 91 birthday. i could listen to him tell tales from his time at F.M.A. to all the families of cadets it was a great era.

    • Jack Tucker says:

      Good to hear from you Bob Cooley, Jr. I know all Cadets remmember Capt. Cooley well, not only from the armory; he was Commandant of Cadets in ’42.
      Capt. Cooley was a favorite among all the guys. We should also mention two other favorites, two wonderful ladies, our mothers away from home; Dawn Casler, Sec. to Col. Mendels and Academy Nurse Lucille Barret, RN. Mrs.
      Casler was Faculty Adviser to the cadets on the Dugout, the Bomb staff and
      the Quill and Scroll Soc. It could not have been done without her. Our other mother was Nurse Barrett. She made us ‘Gold Bricks’ recover quickly! Both of these ladies had famous Cadet sons; Bill Casler and Larry Barrret. Hi Guys!
      Special thanks to Bob Levin for this great site and keeping it going. It keeps us conected and bings back memories of some of the best times of our life.
      Thanks Bob, we appreciate you.
      Jack Tucker, ’44.

  7. Jerry Nord says:

    Not very active on the internet, but still playing tennis @83. Regards to all. Class of ’48

  8. Alton Plyler says:

    We are looking for photos or anything on my father. He attending the academy some where between 1940 to 1950. He was on the football team. His name is Aaron Wesley Plyler, DOB 10/1/26. Can you help our family out?

    • Jack Tucker says:

      RE: Cadet Arthur W. Plyler

      Arthur W. Plyler attended FMA for the school year 1944. He was a junior
      and was assigned to the band. Although the first names do not match, the
      DOB, 1926 would place him as a junior or a senior in 1944. (looks like a
      Hitchcock mystery). Hope this has not complicated your search. Regards,
      Jack Tucker ’44

    • David E says:

      Hi Alton..For whatever the reason it occured to me..I hit on FMA yesterday..found the alumni site and here I am.I was a cadet from +/- 1943-44-1947..I have a football program dated Sept 26,1947 FMA VS W. Tampa Bous Club.Your dad’s name isn’t on it..I can scan/send if you like and you can share it’s pages with whom ever else your in touch with. The back of the program has pictures of cadets in what they called the “F Club”.

  9. Paul Poppenhager says:

    Cadet from 46/51.Made a man out of me however PLEBE year was not fun! Many hours on the BULL ring with the M1.Wouldn’t trade my 6yrs there for anything !!!

    Met my life long friend (Dick Carnell) there in 46.

    Great job Bob

  10. Lawrence Barrett '46 says:

    Bob, I cannot praise you enough for all the time you have spent on this “Hall of Remembrance”. It is truly a mark of the devotion and loyalty you have espoused over the years for FMA. You have brought many of our alumni members together again through the sharing of memories in your beautifully crafted Website!
    Your efforts are greatly appreciated. Larry Barrett ’46

    • Hello Mr. Barrett and a wonderful New Year to you! We’re preparing to send you news of the Florida Military Academy Scholarship student recipient for 2013 and unfortunately, the address I have for you was returned last year. May we still send you updates and if so, may we trouble you for your mailing address? My phone number is 727-562-7818 if you would like to call or email is lweaver@law.stetson.edu. What a wonderful website!

  11. Dr. Donald H. Polk says:

    Freshman a FMA 1945 – am now 82 and live in Palm City Fla 34990

    Some friends I remember were Alde and Chris Gers golf pros from Oaklahoma
    Sheffield – Tiny Fry and Punchy Hoffman a one armed football player

    That’s all folks — God Bless America and all the ships at sea – Don

  12. PAT LALLY "49" says:

    GREAT JOB hope to hear from more cadets and famlies..thankx pat lally,Capt Staff.1949.

  13. Jack Tucker says:

    Memorial Day 2011
    Memorial Day 2011
    Taps has sounded its’ final tribute to many of our fallen buddies and for the many we did not know. We are greatful for their service and their sacrifice. We will not forget! We salute the men and women who serve today. We are greatful for their service.
    We are greatful for this great nation and the freedom we all share.
    God Bless all FMA Cadets and their famlies. God Bless America. Jack Tucker ’44

  14. bob says:

    Jack Tucker class of ’44

    Thank you for the new address. I have a computer problem so am taking it for a tune up this morning.
    Hope to be back in business Monday. Will check out the website then.
    I just retired last year, ( at 84 it’s about time ). Have not had much time to get on line, but plan to stay
    in touch with you and all the guys.

    Thank you Bob for keeping the ‘flame going.’ I know it is a great deal of work. Sorry I didn’t get to know
    you at FMA, but I was class of ’44.

    Have a great weekend!

    Jack Tucker

  15. Tony Ortner says:

    Thanks for the new web site—nifty. Somebody must have excess energy.

  16. Bob Reid says:

    Thanks Bob for all of your work. It looks great.
    Bob Reid

  17. Lloyd Williams '48 says:

    Still at it.

  18. Robert Geltman says:

    This is one good looking page. Better than the guest book.


  19. Lon Grider says:

    Glad to see web site again. Hello to Jack Sudduth my room mate.

  20. Harold Krevitz says:


  21. Ray Christian says:

    Also Bob, please send me the password for viewing other parts of the site.

  22. Ray Christian says:

    Hi Bob,
    Really nice job on the site!
    The memories included will be cherished forever. I commend you for taking the time to prepare it. If I can find more pictures I will send them on to you.
    Thank you Bob for all your work.
    Ray Christian

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