Roosevelt Military Academy, Aledo, Illinois, was home for over 3000 cadets from 1931 thru 1973. In 1973 the academy closed. A corn field is now where the football and track team practiced; the academic building has been removed; North Barracks and Niles Hall are still standing, but nearly on the verge of collapse.

But the Scarlet and Gray spirit lives on
Cadence Count:  Rough Riders Bold and Strong....Building Men All Lifelong.

2016 RMA All-Class Reunion
Register Now!

The special reunion rate at the Holiday Inn expires
on August 4th, so make your reservations now.

Hi everyone it is time to think about our next reunion which will be the weekend of August 26-28, 2016. We again will be staying at the Holiday Inn. Rock Island, Illinois. They have had a major makeover and the room rates will be the same as they were for the 2014 reunion $89.00 per night. We have decided to make a change for Friday night activities, Friday, August 26, 2016. On the survey that was sent out the majority wanted something different. so we came up with a great idea going to Jumer' s Casino which is a 10 minute drive from the Holiday Inn. There are three ways to get there. The hotel has a shuttle to take you up and back or Jumer's also has a shuttle that will pick you up and take you back or you can drive your own vehicle. We have rented out two rooms for the day from 8:00 am till midnight. This way you can sit and talk with your classmates, gamble and we will have a dinner buffet available. If you do not want to gamble, the two rooms we have rented out will have a cash bar. Also there is on option if you do not want to go lo the casino. we will still have the pizza party at the Holiday Inn like we have had for the last two reunions.

Saturday will be a trip lo Aledo which will start with breakfast at the fire station. Also this is the weekend for Antique days in Aledo. The day will be optional day for what you want to do. A visit to the campus, Visit the memorial. also there will be a new 911 MEMORIAL to see, or visit the Teddy Roosevelt statue, and spend time walking around Aledo. The transportation will be using your own vehicle and if someone needs a ride there will be more than enough vehicles to help out. Al night there will be a cocktail hour followed by a buffet dinner at the Holiday Inn.

Sunday will be a continental breakfast and a business meeting.

Here are all the current details of the weekend and registration information.

 Bob Kramer '65
2016 Reunion Chair

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The RMA Banner Flies High over the "Ponderosa"


The RMA flag presented to webmaster Bob Fritz '65 at the 2014 Reunion in appreciation for his contribution to the Association is shown flying over his house in the Virginia City Highlands, Nevada.  Actually, the house is about a mile across the road that marks the border of the mythical Ponderosa Ranch on the map shown at the beginning of every episode of the old Bonanza TV series.  Bob alternates the RMA flag with several others--US Army, Chicago Bears (during NFL season) and Nevada.

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Class of 1965 Holds 50th Year Reunion

1965 Battalion Commander Bob Brown; his wife, Patti; and Bob Kramer were talking about doing something to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the class graduation.  They arranged a weekend in the Wisconsin Dells area, where the Brown's live, for October 15-16.  Eleven members of the class attended.  Learn more about the reunion and the Class of '65.

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Rough Rider Down -- Colonel David G. Lawson

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Colonel David G. Lawson, USMC (Retired).  Col. Lawson was a great leader and role model for hundreds of RMA cadets.  He was on the RMA faculty and stafff for many years in a number of capacities, culminating as Commandant of Cadets.  For many cadets, visiting Aledo will never be the same without his presence.  Here is Col. Lawson's obituary. You may also leave condolence messages and/or stories about Col. Lawson on his online memorial page.  It would be nice to have a good showing of RMA cadets leaving their respects.

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2016 Reunion Survey Results

Thank you to all who responded to the 2016 reunion planning survey.  The information was compiled and evaluated by the 2016 reunion committee and the Board of Directors and planning is progressing well.  Based upon the feedback, we are planning for the 2016 reunion to be based out of Rock Island on the weekend of August 26-28, 2016.  This is the same weekend as Aledo Antique Days which features family activities whichwere well received in 2014.

Here are the results of the survey:

  • Responses:  25

  • Time of the year:  May:  3, June:  5, July:  5, August:  10, Undecided:  2

  •  Destination:  Aledo:  19, Chicago:  3, Michigan:  1, Florida:  1, Undecided:  1

Interesting comments or requests:  Need activities for Wives, Riverboat cruise is a nice time but the food quality has diminished, A different Friday night activity, Golf, It is all about Camaraderie, It is important to go to Aledo.

Mr. Bob Kramer and Mr. Rick Bogoff, the men who volunteered their experience and service to be the 2016 Reunion Committee are fast at work designing our next great outing based on this insightful information. 

At this time I would like everyone to mark their calendars and plan on joining us for this great reunion.  I will divulge more details in the future as the plans get firmed up as agreements for our planned activities get in place.

Jeff Koppel
Association President


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RMA Polo Shirts are Available Again

At the 2014 Reunion, Association Historian Rick Millikan offered to consolidate orders from the RMA community for RMA Polo Shirts to obtain an attractive price for all.  These durable Silk Touch™ Performance Polos wicks moisture, resists snags and holds onto its color for a professional look that lasts.  Rick needs to order at least six shirts at a time to obtain a price of $14.50 each plus shipping.  (Slightly higher for 2XL and 3XL.)  Here are all of the details.


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RMA Cadets' Academic Records Have a New Home

All academic records from Roosevelt have been turned over to the Mercer County Museum in Aledo for permanent storage.  If you would like a copy of your academic record, please request it in writing over your signature to:

Ms. Veda Meriwether, Museum Curator
Essley- Noble Museum & Mercer County Historical Society
1406 SE 2nd Avenue
Aledo, IL  61231

 Please include your full name at the time of your attendance and the year or years you attended the academy.

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A Message from the Association's New President

To All Members and Friends of the Association:

When I was asked by Mel Bogus to consider running for the Presidency of The RMA Rough Riders Association, I knew two facts for sure:


Succeeding Mel would be a very difficult job for anyone. When I took the podium to speak to our group for the first time on August 24th after the election at the business meeting, I stated that I have really large shoes to fill and that he would be a very tough act to follow.

Mel was fully engaged and a total professional on how he empowered the ranks to do their jobs whether elected, appointed or volunteering. I was invited to sit in and listen to the August 14th conference phone call board meeting to learn how things were conducted and witnessed that he conducted the proceedings in a business-like fashion with an agenda designed to cover the necessary subjects to ensure that the facets of the upcoming reunion were under control as well as the upcoming elections for officers.    Read the entire letter.


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2014 Biennial RMA All-Class Reunion

50 RMA cadets returned to Western Illinois on August 22-24 to enjoy camaraderie and memories from their RMA days.  The high point of the weekend was the unveiling of a statue on the Mercer County courthouse grounds to commemorate the Academy and the 3000+ students who attended from 1931 until 1973.  Below is a picture of the statue.  Click here for a summary of the reunion festivities, along with pictures and videos.
If you took pictures at the reunion, please send them to so they can be posted on the soon-to-be-created 2014 reunion page.  If you would prefer to send a CD, contact the webmaster for a mailing address.


RMA's "Lost Battalion"

Over the years, we have lost contact with a virtual "battalion" of cadets and we would like you to help us locate them.  Mike Vagi '60 has created a list of cadets, faculty and friends with whom we were in contact at one point, but have lost touch with them.  Take a few minutes to review the names of the "Lost Battalion" to see if there is someone you are in contact with or, perhaps, an old classmate that you would be willing to spend a little time trying to locate.

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Armed Forces Memorial - Cadets

Aledo has built with the support of the Rough Rider Association a memorial that honors of all the men and women of Mercer County who have served our Country in the Armed Forces or attended RMA.  There is a designated area to honor and recognize former Roosevelt Military Academy cadets Click here for full details and how you can participate.

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Rough Riders Down....

It is with sad hearts we list cadets, faculty and staff
who have been lost during the past 12 months.

Name    Class Year  

Date of Loss

Cadet Louis A Serafin, Jr 1965 April 4, 2015
Cadet John Camper 1948 April 29, 2015
Cadet Robert Birkholz 1950 July 30, 2015
Cadet John Monahan 1963 July 30, 2015
Cadet Joseph Raimond, Jr 1957 December 29, 2015
Cadet Eric (Rick) Bogoff 1970 January 9, 2016
Cadet Ronald Finzel 1950 January 16, 2016
Cadet Hugh O'Brian (Krampe) 1941 September 5, 2016

  For a full list of Rough Riders who we know have passed, go to TAPS  


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The RMA Roster of Cadets and Faculty/Staff

You can now easily update the RMA Roster with your e-mail and snail-mail address and telephone number.  At the same time you can request a copy of the Roster be sent to you, if you are a member of the RMA Rough Riders Association.

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New cadets in 1965 are accepted into the cadet corps after
marching through the RMA ceremonial gate

See more pictures of Cadet Life.  

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  Send comments and suggestions for the RMA Rough Rider Association Home Page to
Webmaster Bob Fritz '65