Alumni gifts swords to Fishburne cadet leaders

Alumni gifts swords to Fishburne cadet leaders


The high cost of swords. It’s not an issue for 99 percent of teens, but $385 for a new sword can be costly for a young man in a leadership role at a military school. Alumni at Fishburne Military School took note of this, and in 2009 instituted a program to provide loaner swords to cadets in need of a hand up.

Marshall Martin, FMS ’69, took the effort to the next level, leading an effort by the Class of 1969 to purchase four swords and gift them to cadets, and pledging to purchase one new sword each year to help cadets who would not otherwise be able to purchase, use and keep their sword.

Two swords were presented to cadet leaders on Wednesday – to Russell Holland-Simpson, a senior from Baltimore, Md., and Sebastian Lind, a senior from Uppsala, Sweden.

“This means a lot to me. It’s a real honor,” said Holland-Simpson, who enrolled at Fishburne in March and indicated immediately that he wanted to be a cadet leader.

“I told them I wanted to be the next (battalion commander). As a rat, I know that’s hard to accomplish first coming here, but I wanted to step up and be a leader,” Holland-Simpson said.

To Lind, who has been on campus for three years, “the fact alumni have helped me out is very meaningful to me.”

“I respect that a lot. They’re very good guys,” Lind said. “When I get out of here, I’m going to be alumni, too, and I’m going to help out the cadets, too, when I come back here.”

That’s a lesson that Lt. Col. Robert Hunt, the senior army instructor at FMS, hopes to get across to his cadets.

“The cadets see that part of the alumni want to still be in touch with the current corps, and for them it’s a good symbol to let them know that they still care in what the cadets do and want the cadets to be able to perform at the level they performed,” Hunt said.

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