Uniforms at NYMA

Many people feel strongly about the NYMA uniform and uniforms in general. Recently, some people have been asking about our continued use of a formal uniform on campus. Some are asking if our cadets should wear uniforms at all. Others are asking more subtle questions like if the officers’ braid should be gold or silver. NYMA is recreated periodically by its own community; it is, at its core, a democracy regulated by its members. For the administration here at NYMA, these types of discussions represent a healthy school.

Some of these uniform questions are more about personal aesthetics while others deal with the heart of our existence as a military school. Everyone knows military schools require uniforms and that this is part of the pageantry of the military. People also know that many non-military schools around the globe also require uniforms of various types and that each school’s uniform is in a way a communication of school values. I feel these points alone are not enough to answer the question of whether or not we should change the uniform. The current uniform is expensive and our financial budget is limited.

To help answer questions like this, I tend to revert to the essential “Six C’s” that we promote at NYMA. For example:

Does a uniform provide a cadet confidence in their physical appearance?

Does the uniform improve their sense of craft – their attention to detail and communal respect?

Does a uniform enhance the sense of team and improve the overall level of cooperation?

For these types of Six C questions about the value of a uniform, I think the answer is a resounding yes. Therefore, in response to the question “Should NYMA have a complex formal uniform?”, we should continue the tradition.

Unfortunately, this does not resolve the issue of what the uniform should look like or when it should be worn. For example, our sportswear uniforms change on a regular basis and we recently started a contest with a design school in Italy looking for new ideas in this regard. How the PT uniforms and sportswear evolve is not really an issue I hear about much on campus. In this particular area we usually try to improve quality, style, and popularity…hopefully all at a better price as well!

Some members of the campus don’t like the formality of the uniform and this tension between formality and individual expression has always been there; it’s not anything new. These people usually value personal expression and creativity. Are we not humans who innately express ourselves through our personal appearance? This year the Commandant openly listened to this opinion and decided that on open weekends the wearing of uniforms will be optional.

Still others on campus are seeking to create a more informal cadet uniform for everyday use without making significant changes to the Class A or B uniforms. They would just desire a reduction in their weekly use and instead students would wear something like a public school uniform (khakis and a sports shirt) on most days.  The argument there is that it’s a cheaper uniform and provides the potential for a more colorful campus. The criticism though is that it represents a drastic departure from NYMA tradition.

It has always been said that the formality of the uniform reminds cadets of the privilege of joining our century-old tradition. The uniform prompts us to remain respectful of our peers, our leaders, and the NYMA staff. I personally would like to hear from the NYMA community on this issue. What do you think? Please take a moment and let me know at jgastel@nyma.org.


Jonathan Gastel

Assistant Superintendent, New York Military Academy

Is Your Child Awake in Class?

We have been restoring our cadets sleep/wake cycle which is essential for learning. To do this, we ensure adequate exercise each day, we turn off internet access after lights out, and require students to live without their electronics until they are promoted. We have a strict schedule and require cadets to wake-up by 6:30 am.

One area where we have not always been successful is in limiting cell phone usage at night. Our Cadet Manual specifically prohibits the use of cell phones during nighttime hours and we do restrict access when possible. Parents can help! Major cell phone carriers now allow you to control your child’s access to data at night from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am.  Please help your child get a good night’s sleep. Thanks!

Cadet Beller On-Air

Cadet Captain Amanda Beller was interviewed on the radio twice this past Thursday morning along with our Admissions Director, John Dolan.

Cadet Beller spoke about her experiences as a female student at the academy (where she is the third highest-ranked cadet) and her future goals of Navy ROTC and Aerospace Engineering. She said that you have to set the bar high if you want to achieve big goals (she is in the process of being accepted to Princeton).

Both of Captain Beller’s interviews with Fox Radio can be seen on our Facebook page:


AMCSUS Drill Meet

Last weekend our Drill Team traveled to Pennsylvania to participate in the Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States Annual Drill Meet. AMCSUS schools from all over the country compete in this elite meet.

The AMCSUS Drill Meet is different from others in that instead of all the schools traveling to one central location to compete, recordings are made at each school and the event is judged weeks later by representatives of the AMCSUS Senior Military Colleges.

For the first time in the event’s history, two schools came together to practice and sharpen their skills before competing against each other. Carson Long Military Academy integrated our cadets into their corps for the weekend and drill teams from both schools worked together to prepare and help each other.

After each team was recorded, both teams joined together for a knock-out drill. Knock-out is when a drill leader issues commands and anyone with even a slight infraction (too slow, fingers not placed properly, etc.) is “knocked out” until the most drilled cadet remains. NYMA cadets made up three of the last four left standing, but sadly first place went to CLMA.

After such a long day of travel and work, all the cadets spent time relaxing together and swapping stories about their respective schools over pizza.

For more pictures of the event please visit:

Facebook Album: AMCSUS Drill Meet

Winter Programs at NYMA

Come to NYMA for winter break! Students can arrange to visit NYMA for special programs during winter recess. The programs incorporate classes in the morning and special activities in afternoon and evening.


-International Two-Week Program: January 28th – February 9th

-Mid-winter Recess: February 17th – 24th

To inquire or apply, please contact: admissions@nyma.org

Making NYMA Proud at Pace

Our New York Military Academy Color Guard consisting of Kobe Parker, Timothy DelUniversita, and Jake Debree presented the Colors yesterday at a Pace University basketball game. They were accompanied by Veronica Walker and Gianna Whritenour who did an outstanding job singing our National Anthem. Great job cadets…you made NYMA very proud!

To view the video, please visit:

Facebook Video: NYMA Color Guard @ Pace University


New Makerspace: Donations Needed

A Makerspace is a collaborative workspace inside a school, library, or separate public/private facility for making, learning, exploring, and sharing that uses anything from high-tech to no-tech tools. A Makerspace doesn’t need to include machines; if you have cardboard, Legos, and art supplies you’re in business. It’s more of the maker mindset of creating something out of nothing and exploring your own interests that’s at the core of a Makerspace. These spaces are also helping to prepare those who need critical 21st century skills in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). They provide hands-on learning, help with critical thinking skills, and even boost self-confidence. (makerspace.com)

Every Wednesday afternoon a group of our students will be gathering to create in our new Makerspace and we need your help to get it started! Please check out our Makerspace wish list of basic supplies below and consider donating tools or items you are no longer using (usable condition only please). Monetary donations for more specialized items would also be appreciated. To make a donation, please contact Liz Harrell at lharrell@nyma.org or 845-534-3710 x4864. Thank you!

Item       Quantity Requested

Hammers            1

Nails (not used)  many

Screwdriver – small flat head          1

Screwdriver – large flat head          1

Screwdriver- small phillips head    1

Screwdriver – large phillips head    1

Miter box             1

Power drill with bits           1

Hot glue gun       1

Hot glue sticks    1 pack

Elmers glue         2

Elmers glue sticks            5

Insulated wire for circuit building

Screws – all sizes              many

Plastic shoe box with lid (storage) 20

Popsicle sticks    1 box

Small wood blocks/pieces              many

Wood glue           1

Stapler and staples           1

Tape measure – retractable            1

Worx zip snip cutting tool               1

Heavy duty scissors         2

Masking tape      2 rolls

Duct tape            5 rolls

Work gloves (Small, medium, large)            5 pairs

Wire stripping tool             2

AA Battery holders for circuit building          5

9V Battery holders for circuit building

RBG LED’s (loose)           2 packs

Alligator clips for circuit building     20

Cardboard tubes 30

Cardstock            1 pack

Safety glasses/goggles     5

Soldering iron     1

Lead free solder  2

Mechanical pencils           12

Copper tape (for circuits)  1 roll

Metal shears       1

Dust masks         5

First aid kit          1

Fire extinguisher 1

Large plastic tote/box for storage   5

Paper towels       several rolls

Sharpies              5

Lighter   1

Dremel with router attachment       1

Pool noodles       5

The New NYMA.org is Here!

Welcome to the brand-new website of the New York Military Academy. NYMA faculty and staff were hard at work all summer to coordinate and create this new and improved site. We hope you enjoy using it!