What is Structure?

So there I was (every great narrative has to start this way) thinking of all the hard questions I’ve received as the Commandant of Hargrave Military Academy. “Why did my son do that?”, “Why do I have to study _______ subject?”, “Why did that Cadet say that about me?”, “Why do I have to walk 10 Bull Ring tours?”. Happily, I received the easy question of “what is structure?”

Actually, the answer is not as simple as the question. It is easy to explain the contents of structure; discipline, rank or hierarchy, responsibilities, established expectations, well-communicated goals, awards and rewards, and organization. These elements make up this thing called structure.

Explaining structure is like explaining a chocolate chip cookie to someone who is not familiar. It is sweet, maybe chewy, maybe crunchy, it is golden brown with the dark pieces of edible plant bean called chocolate, and may have tree seeds called nuts. It is made of dough but is neither bread nor roll, nor cake.

Structure is what gives shape to and provides confidence in the world around us. Just as in a house, the walls, floor, and roof are the structure and their soundness gives us confidence in its purpose to shelter and protect us. The Hargrave Military Academy program of discipline, schedules, organization, rank, responsibilities, accountability, and expectations are proven and sound. That consistency and soundness provide shelter and protection for Cadets.

Cadets who embrace the Hargrave structured program find that instead of being confined or restrained, they are liberated to expend their energy learning and maximizing their opportunities in personal growth and across our four pillars of academics, athletics/fitness, spiritual development, and character development.