Military academy brings attention to old Bourbon County campus

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For years, the Millersburg Military Institute sat vacant. That is, until the U.S. Army Cadet Corps. found the campus online.

"The U.S. Army Cadet Corps. found the campus, actually on eBay three years ago," said Colonel Joseph Land.

The once renowned academy, that stood for more than a century, was far from being grand when Colonel Joseph Land first got there.

"There was beef stew still on the stove, that was two-and-a-half years old, and there were still uniforms in the lockers" described Col. Land, "essentially they just closed the doors and it sat vacant for three years."

The Colonel and the Army Cadet Corps. had a simple goal, to open a school on the campus in five years. Next year, their vision will become reality.

"In August of 2012, we are opening Forest Hill Military Academy," stated Col. Land.

At the focus of this new academy, will still be the development of young cadets in grades six through twelve. Colonel Land emphasizes these will be good students who want to be in the school, and not a place for delinquent students.

The return of the military tradition to Millersburg brings a lot of excitement, and some cadets say they are looking forward to 2012.

"I'm actually very excited about the academy, I hope it gets here sooner," said Cadet Sgt. Adam Clifford, from Harrison County, who knows first hand what this type of education can change in a person's life.

"I no longer sit for 12 hours at a computer, playing video games," started Cadet Sgt. Clifford, "I stopped complaining and just do what I'm told."

These cadets also know these lessons are more challenging and rewarding when they learn them in the field, rather than behind a desk. As Cadet Sgt. Clifford pointed out, "instead of sitting behind desks, we're sitting on helmets."

"It's not whether you can't or you can do, it's whether you try and push yourself to the limit," said Cadet Corporal Nina Garrido, "you feel more confident in yourself."

Cadet Cpl. Garrido added that she finds this type of education more rewarding because she and her team must solve problems for themselves rather than rely on a teacher for the answers.

However, this school isn't all about military tactics.

"We're really going to heavily focus on making good utilization of technology and make sure the quality of the education is top notch," explained Col. Land.

Colonel Land says he hopes to one day offer Junior College credit for the cadets. He adds that this is the only military academy of its kind in a five state area.

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