Four Star General Mark Milley Pays a Visit to PMA!

Samuel Ferguson

On Friday, February 17, 2017, Mayor Rahm Emanuel as well as the Chief of Staff of the United States Army, Four-Star General Mark A. Milley, visited Phoenix Military Academy. A funder of our academy, he was able to see first hand how his grants were impacting and shaping our school, taking a tour of PMA’s hallways and being briefed by the students of the STEM and Prepster programs here at Phoenix.

For the last few years, General Milley has provided millions of dollars in an effort to support Phoenix’s JROTC program as well as help improve the infrastructure of the academy.

“The STEM and Prepster program is funded through a grant from the Department  of Defense in which General Milley is the head of. Furthermore, he came to see how we were using the grant as well as how the programs are progressing and what impact they have on the cadets,” said Ms. Tristano.

Ms.Tristano, also known as Ms. T, is the coordinator of both the STEM and Prepster programs. She played a tremendous role in the days before  General Milley’s visit as she chose a group of cadets from each program to brief the General on how their participation in the program provided them with endless opportunities and how it ultimately shaped their lives for the better.

“In order to prepare the cadets for the panel, I made them write down key points that they could elaborate on about their experience in the program and how they’ve grown from their involvement in the program. Also, I encouraged them to stay after school and write a brief biography about themselves for General Milley to read,” said Tristano.

One of the cadets she thoroughly prepared was sophomore Destiny Ortega who played an important role in the functioning of the student panel.

“Some of the prepsters and I met everyday after school and we discussed topics we felt were important to talk to the General about such as our trip to the United States Military Academy at West Point and visiting the University of Illinois at Chicago and Northern Illinois University for STEM and leadership seminars,” said Ortega.

Alongside with Ortega was junior Jorge Martinez who served as the Cohort One STEM Representative during the panel.

“As one of the key leaders of the panel, I elaborated on why I chose to be a participant in the STEM program and how the classes I take during my STEM sessions have impacted my classroom learning,” said Martinez.

General Milley seemed to be extremely impressed with the responses of the STEM and Prepster cadets who participated in the panel. As a matter of fact, he became so deeply intrigued with the cadets and the student body atmosphere of PMA that he went into the lunchroom, accompanied by Mayor Emanuel, and surprised all of the cadets, sharing words of encouragement and thanking them for making Phoenix Military Academy the Level 1 Plus academy it is.