Category Archives: Cadet Chat

Diversity at NMMI is Shaping My Future

By Cadet Rafael Valles

College years provide more than just academics, but opportunities for students to have exposure to other backgrounds and cultures. The world is an extremely complex, everchanging place, and entering a diverse and inclusive learning environment is very important for me and other applicants that hope to attend New Mexico Military Institute. I am a Puerto Rican/Mexican-American (tricultural) bringing my social values and diverse ideals. As a Hispanic student, I realize how important diversity is; for example, New Mexico Military Institute’s diverse culture, allows me to create long lasting friendships and insight on the importance of cultural diversity. The Corps of Cadets here at NMMI is no joke as it is  ranked #1 in diversity by Boarding School Review. The characters and personalities I found here are completely different compared to other schools that I have attended. The relationships I have created here are unique, and each person I have met has a special quality about them that has allowed me to acknowledge both their character and culture. I can truly say that while attending a university, diversity plays a huge role in one’s life.

When seeking diversity on campus here at NMMI, I looked at many opportunities to express myself and find a community with others. I felt that the opportunities available to me from the different cultures and backgrounds at NMMI made me realize that different views and ideas can be positive and meaningful in many different ways.

My goal is to become a U.S. Army commissioned officer, because I want to serve my country and become a better leader. Being involved in the Early Commissioning Program (ROTC Program), I experienced diversity in working with ROTC cadets from around the world. Here at NMMI, I noticed that the various leadership styles being used in ROTC has its own repertoire of social values and techniques. I found this to be an impact of my leadership in showing me the assortment of skills used to view and solve objectives differently. Another great honor I gained from diversity is being bilingual and utilizing it in the Admissions Office, recruiting/ assisting future cadets from around the world. Not only that, but being the Regimental S-2 Provost Marshall Officer, interaction among many Spanish speaking cadets gained me more respect, credibility, and authority around the corps. Having all these experiences, coming to understand how the range of students interact in a college creates a specific work culture and environment that follows the ideals of NMMI’s honor code: Duty, Honor, and Achievement.

Diversity has helped to shape my future for an ever changing and dynamic education, and effort invested in my leadership will reflect upon my lifestyle for years to come. NMMI is very diverse across all factors. Passing my wisdom and knowledge to my longtime friends here at NMMI, I will continue to learn and prepare myself and others for the demanding role I hope to soon undertake in my life, and I can only thank NMMI for it.




Some Advice for Close Quarters…


By Cadet Brooke Morgan

When you get to N.M.M.I you have to get used to many things.  Wearing a uniform, getting up early, getting use to people telling you what to do and much more. One of the biggest things that I had to get used to was sharing a room with someone. When I was younger I had to share a room with my sister but that was about ten years ago so I was out of practice.

When I got to N.M.M.I I was praying to have a room to myself but like most of my hopes during R.A.T week it was crushed for the greater good. At first my roommate Maddi and I were happy that we were not weird and annoying but that soon changed. By the end of the week, she was trying to move me out and I was ready to take her key and never let her back in.

Even with our rocky beginning the funny thing is Maddi and I are roommates this year too. We still get on each other’s nerves because we both don’t like to compromise on much of anything– but that being said we also have gotten a good routine down that ensures that we both are mostly happy even if that means that I have to give away some of my comforts and she has to vacuum before Formal Room Inspections or FRIs!

We made it through and learned a lot about being roommates. Some of my R.A.Ts are having the same problems that we had and what I have to tell them include:

You both are going through new experiences take time to get to know each other and be patient with one another, because sometimes you can act differently when you’re your thrown into a lifestyle change like N.M.M.I.

You do not need to be the best of friends with the person you share a shoebox with sometimes the best relationship you can have with your roommate is a working one.

Find a routine that works for you and your new roomie. Maddi and I have routines for everything we do on a daily basis. In the morning when you have to wake up before the sun, I do my hair while she gets ready, and I get ready when she does her hair. When we get ready for any room inspections, I clean sinks and windows as she vacuums and cleans mirrors.

Even if your best friends with your roommate have your own group of friends and activities, so when you need to get away from each other you have a way to.

Don’t leave your roommate hanging when it comes to getting up in the morning and even homework. Most likely you will have the same classes and teachers so work together to get things done. Maddi and learned that the most because even though we weren’t the best of friends we helped each other out when we needed it and it made a huge difference.

Maddi and I had some troubles when we started out and if you told me that we’d fight to room together this year too I would have laughed in your face. We have a good routine down and we work well together. If you have trouble with your roommate just be patient and kill them with kindness because learning to compromise is the biggest thing when it comes to working with your roommate. You walk into a room with someone you’ve never met take the time to get to know them it can work out for the best in the long run.


NMMI cadets promote cancer awareness at October athletic events

Members of the Lady Colt volleyball team demonstrate the Memorial Ribbon Board and how it will start to look after being decorated by the various colors of string used to represent different types of cancer.

NMMI Sports Press

October is breast cancer awareness month, and at stadiums and gyms across the country, athletes and their fans rally for the cause. But cades at the New Mexico Military Institute will be going one step further.

“A couple of us got together and said we wanted to do more than just wear pink or wear T-shirts that say ‘Dig Pink.’ We wanted to do something that actually helped the cause,” said Colt football coach Randy Montoya. “It’s a cause that is dear to my heart (he lost his mother to ovarian cancer), and a lot of other people here at NMMI, with loved ones who had battled against cancer. So we’re recognizing all cancers, not just breast cancer.”

From Oct. 5-14, the NMMI cadets, athletes, faculty and staff will be raising awareness as well as money for cancer cures across the board with the “Cadets for a Cure” campaign.

“We’re going to try to do what we can as far as getting the word out and trying to help our local cancer fund,” Montoya said.

All the money raised will go to the Chaves County Cancer Fund.

Foxtrot’s First Sergeant Gavin Maloney – also the senior quarterback for the Colt football team – had this to say about the fundraising part of the campaign: “My family has been through several battles with cancer – my grandma and my great aunt. The money that we raise, it all goes towards helping to find a cure. That’s why we’re doing this.”

And while cancer is serious business, a lot of the activities planned during NMMI’s Cancer Awareness Week will be fun. Each event will include an informational booth plus extras specific to that sport.

The week begins on Thursday, Oct. 5 with JV and varsity games between the Lady Colts and local rival Gateway Christian. The JV match will start at 5:30 PM in the Cahoon Armory gym, with the varsity match after, around 6:30 PM. Admission to the matches will be free, but several fans who donate to the cause will get a chance to win a gift card or other prizes by serving a ball to a specific spot on the court.

On Friday, Oct. 6 at 7:00 PM, the Colt football team will host Ruidoso in both teams’ District 4-4A opener. Activities include a half-time balloon sendoff, where, for 50 cents each, people can buy a balloon in a color representing a specific cancer — there are 30 different colors — then launch it skyward during a mass ascension; a chance to win a gift card by making a 25-yard field goal; and before and after the game, NMMI faculty and staff will be manning both a dunk tank and pie-throwing booth. Participants will get three balls for $1 at the dunk tank, and a pie tin filled with whipped cream for $2.

The Lady Bronco volleyball team will have their night Oct. 11 vs. Clarendon College. This WJCAC conference match is slated to begin at 7:00 PM and will again give fans a chance to win a gift card by showcasing their serving skills.

Cancer Awareness Week activities will conclude with the Bronco football game vs. conference foe Blinn College on Saturday, Oct. 14. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:00 PM with similar activities – minus the balloon sendoff – as at the Colt football game.

Also, at every event, a giant ribbon will be displayed where loved ones can honor someone who’s fought cancer by tying a colored string around a series of pegs or posting a picture.

Cadets will also be selling “Cure” bracelets in black and red for $1 each, and T-shirts in black or tan for $10 each. And, on Oct. 6, 9 and 13, cadets on campus will look a little different as they’ll be encouraged to wear their “Cadets for a Cure” T-shirts.

“We’re just excited about this,” Montoya said. “It’s the first year we tried doing something like this in the fall. The Corps will do the cancer march in the spring, but we wanted an event that would link up with the overall theme in October.”

The idea germinated last spring, and after getting approval from athletic director Jose Barron, was spearheaded by numerous cadets working closely with Athletic Department staff such as Montoya, Colt volleyball coach Stephanie Schooley, Katie Dollahon (who servers as assistant coach for several high school sports), assistant AD and Colt basketball coach Sean Schooley, and Bronco volleyball head coach Shelby Forchtner.

Both Montoya and Barron are hoping this will become an annual event.

“We just wanted to make this something we could do to bring more awareness, because obviously more people are affected by cancer each and every year. The more word we can get out, the more people we can support and that’s what it’s all about,” said Montoya.

Barron applauded both the efforts of the cadets and his athletic staff, and praised the ‘activeness’ of this year’s campaign.

“In previous seasons our teams have been passive participants, wearing pink items to support cancer awareness,” said Barron. “This campaign, in contrast, provides a call to action, with several activities planned to promote cancer awareness and aid in fundraising for a great local cause.”

NMMI’s second highest-ranking cadet, Regimental Executive Officer Katianne Flury, summed up the ‘Cadets For A Cure’ campaign perfectly: “As cadets we are from all over the world but we are all still affected by cancer in some way. It’s great that even though we come from different continents, we can still come together to support cancer victims and their families.”

The NMMI Corps of Cadets encourages everyone in the community to attend one or more of the planned athletic events, join in on the activities, and help honor those who have fought against cancer.

Mad Roomie Respect

By Cadet Abigail Valadez

At 0530 two alarms go off at the exact same time, the first is a generic ringing noise meant to be so awful even the heaviest sleepers would be forced to shut it off, and the second is Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood”.  At 0532 two individuals almost simultaneously snooze these alarms, roll over, and go back to sleep. This is the start of every single awesome day with my roomie, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

For the past two years I have been “Roommate-less in Roswell,” which sounds great until you realize that it’s a lonely life and scary movies are a million times worse to watch when you have to go sleep in a room all by yourself right after. So, yes it was nice but sometimes you don’t realize what you’re missing out on until you have it.  When a girl who I had known only through small talk knocked on my door spring semester of last year, I never even thought that by opening it, I was letting in a new best friend for life.

Now this best friend is my roommate, and there is no one who I would rather have to spend most of my time with.  Some of the amazing things she does include but are not limited to: buying cookies and letting me eat half of them; using a flash light when she wakes up before me to get around the room even though I have told her multiple times that I don’t mind the light; patiently listening to my issues; and leaving cute little notes on my stuff randomly.  She studies with me when we feel like studying and spends hours talking about pretty much anything with me when we just aren’t in the productive sort of mood.

Having a good roommate is such an important part of an enjoyable NMMI experience.  After all, you must be able to live with this person after meeting them for the first time ever—I mean sometimes I can’t even bear to live with my own siblings, much less a stranger.  Luckily for me, this year that piece has fit in beyond perfectly; yes maybe she has ruined any appreciation I have ever had for the song “Bad Blood” by Taylor Swift, but I feel like that is reasonable price to pay for her being the absolute best roomie ever.

SnapChat picture of my roomie and me before the fourteen-mile half marathon we ran together.

Outstanding performance over Fall Family Weekend earns Corps of Cadets a free rev

Below is an email excerpt from NMMI Commandant Jonathan Graff, sent out to NMMI faculty, staff and the Corps of Cadets:

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This last weekend represented a significant milestone for this year’s Recruits. Not only was this Fall Family Weekend, but it was also the time for Recruits to transition to New Cadet status. This year 455 cadets started the semester as Recruits at Training (RATs). Of this number, 431 were able to meet the rigorous challenge of becoming a member of the Corps of Cadets. We are all very proud of their accomplishment.

Throughout the past seven weeks, the Cadet leadership has been responsible for training and ensuring that each Recruit knows, understands, and meets the standards required to be a member of the Corps of Cadets. These standards are:

– Live by the Honor Code and demonstrate high ethical and moral standards.
– Demonstrate self-control, self-discipline, and respect for authority.
– Demonstrate military bearing and social etiquette.
– Accept responsibility and accountability for your own actions.
– Show consideration for others and respect for diversity.
– Learn the Institute’s customs, traditions, and regulations.
– Demonstrate attention to detail and the ability to organize and use one’s time effectively and efficiently.
– Complete the physical fitness test, set goals for physical readiness development and demonstrate a commitment to living a healthy lifestyle.
– Demonstrate the ability to be a good follower, a good team member, and establish goals for leadership and character development.
– Avoid high risk behavior.
– Demonstrate a strong work ethic, and the desire to learn and achieve academic excellence.
– Live by the NMMI core values of Duty, Honor, and Achievement.

The Cadet Chain of Command has recommended to the Regimental Commander that each Recruit be elevated to the status of New Cadet. New Cadet privileges include:

– Wearing of the black New Cadet boards with the NMMI crest
– Wearing of earned awards on the B w/Brass and Class A uniforms
– Use of the game room on weekends

General Permit for New Cadets on following weekends is contingent on the conduct and performance of RAT duties through the following weeks. General Permit for New Cadets will be based on recommendation from the Cadet chain of command. New Cadets are expected to work together as a class to achieve and maintain high standards.

Presentation of the New Cadet Boards signifies official acceptance of Recruits into the Corps of Cadets. Congratulations, New Cadets!

On that note, the Corps performed outstandingly across the board over this weekend. Rooms and uniforms were excellent during the formal inspections. The “Best Squad” competition was performed to JROTC Drill Competition standard, and even had to be cut short as rigorous standards pushed the competition up into parade prep time. The Corps went straight from the squad competition to the parade field with barely a break, and despite the heat, only three cadets fell out. This parade was one of the best any of us have seen, even though it was the first parade of the year. Your hard work has paid off.

Parents, visitors and alumni who spoke with the staff this weekend were thrilled with the growth and positive experiences their cadets were having. One distinguished alumnus stated that the standards and performance of the Corps were outstanding and very much the same as what he experienced as a Cadet at NMMI. That is quite a compliment to you all.

In recognition of this outstanding performance, I am granting the Corps a Free Rev on Wednesday, 27 September.

I am very proud of the conduct of the Corps over the weekend and especially of the leaders who helped to achieve this standard. You are making some amazing things happen!

Keep leading by example,
LTC Graff

Jonathan K. Graff, Jr.
Lieutenant Colonel, US Army, (Ret)
Commandant of Cadets / Dean of Students
New Mexico Military Institute