A little-known military school located in the heart-of-Dixie town of Marion, Alabama.
Founded in 1842, MMI trains young men and women (first allowed to attend in the seventies) from grades 8-12, as well as providing a two-year Army commissioning program, and a one-year preparation course for entrance into one of the service academies: West Point, the Air Force Academy, the Naval Academy, or the Coast Guard Academy.
Campus life is very interesting for two reasons: one, a very small student body mix of cadets who want to be there (ROTC cadets) and delinquents who were sent there, lead to microcosms of social worlds, and two, order and discipline is maintained almost soley by the cadet chain of command. Regimes rise and fall over the course of a nine-month term... a time-lapse civilization.
Factions vying for influence and playing behind-the-scenes is not lost on this grand experiment. Among the cadet illuminati: the White Knights (rifle drill team), Swamp Foxes (paramilitary elite, college grades), Rangers (high-school version of the Foxes), Scabbard and Blade (pseudo-military secret society), and the Morgan's Raiders (old-South style fraternity). Legends abound, given the rich and secretive histories of each, along with the intensely sadistic hazing rituals.
All in all, the most mind-altering five years of my life.