FMS Holds Blessing of the Colors

Fishburne Military School Tradition Builds Unity and Cooperation


Waynesboro, VA – Fishburne Military School held its annual Blessing of the Colors ceremony yesterday.  The assembled Corps of Cadets, Faculty, Staff, members of the FMS Family and friends of the school filled Lawton Chapel for what many call the most meaningful and poignant ceremony of the year.

The Master of Ceremonies, Cadet Donald Cravins (Washington, DC), opened the event by addressing the Corps directly. “This Ceremony has particular significance since it marks once again the joining together of a group of fine young men into a unified force for good, under their own personal banner. These flags will be blessed today in your name and on your behalf, in the belief that each of you will do all that is in your power to bring great credit upon them and upon our school, and that you will do nothing knowingly, that will discredit these flags or Fishburne Military School during your residence here, or in the years to come when you join the long gray line of all of those cadets who passed this way before you, and for whom we say all our prayers.”

Opening songs (National Anthem and America the Beautiful) were led by FMS’ SGT Kenneth Glass, accompanied by Mr. Roger Daggy on piano and the Invocation was delivered by Dr. William Kopp, Pastor of Stuarts Draft Baptist Church.

Fishburne Military School (Waynesboro, VA)FMS Superintendent CAPTAIN Mark E. Black, US Navy (Ret.), then introduced the guest speaker, Mr. Ethan Colvin, Youth Pastor at Sherlynd Baptist Church. Colvin urged the Corps of Cadets to consciously strive toward acting thoughtfully rather than emotionally when confronted with difficult decisions in life. “In every decision that you make in life, there is a cost that must be paid … ask yourself ‘is the prize worth the cost or price?'”.

After a brief description of the history of flags (or “colors”) among military organizations, Cadet Cravins then reintroduced Dr. Kopp who proceeded with a brief prayer said over each of the institutional colors (the American flag, the Virginia flag, the FMS flag, the JROTC flag and each company’s individual guidon. “May all who live beneath the colors,” Kopp asked, “of the Fishburne Military School and the JROTC be ever blessed.”

Following Dr. Kopp’s blessings, FMS Battalion Commander, Cadet Joseph Jones (South Fulton, TN) delivered the Seniors’ Prayer; Battalion Sergeant Major, Bryson Overton (Sanford, NC) offered the Juniors’ Prayer; Cadet Darian Belisle (Staunton, VA) gave the Underclassmen’s Prayer; and, Cadet Cravins concluded the student prayers by giving the FMS Cadet Prayer.

As the ceremony drew to a close, Dr. Kopp’s Benediction reminded all in attendance “as you go, may you go under the Colors of our lives and with the blessings of God.”

Fishburne Military School is the oldest and smallest of all military schools for boys in Virginia. Its college-prep curriculum is built on the structure of an Army JROTC program. FMS has been designated as a JROTC Honor Unit with Distinction and may nominate qualified candidates to the United States Service Academies. Fishburne hosts one of only four Summer JROTC programs in the nation that is accredited by US Army Cadet Command.