Fishburne Military School Rocketeers Close Best Season Yet

Fishburne Military School Rocket Club Program Continues to Build

Waynesboro, VA — The Fishburne Military School Rocketeers had their final launch of the school year last Saturday after a good year of designing, testing, and launching

Fishburne Military School Rocket Club (Waynesboro, VA)

All hands at work on prepping a rocket with mentor and Valley Aerospace Team President, Chuck Neff, looking on.

rockets. The team executed perfect launches about half the time, which has never been done before with our teams. Unfortunately, the not-so-perfect launches were the ones they declared.

In TARC competition, teams must declare each launch before they qualify the scores; and yes, there is a bit of luck involved in addition to the engineering. Although the Caissons’ reported scores were not the perfect flights, the flight times and altitudes they reported were consistent and respectable. Moreover, this is the first year our boys were able to qualify all three recorded launches without a disqualification.

“Overall, it was a good year and the closest we’ve come yet to nationals,” noted Rocket Club Advisor and Sponsor, CPT Tom Galloway.

This year’s Fishburne Military School Rocketeers consisted of Captain Joseph Montoya (Norfolk, VA), Jack Clegg (Clarks Summit, PA), Benjamin Corsentino (Pfafftown, NC), Michael Diaz (Providence, RI), Thaddeus Mitchell (Abingdon, VA), and Daniel Watson (Chesapeake, VA). All had an integral hand in design and operations at various points during the year but most notable were newcomers Corsentino, Watson, and Diaz. Diaz was one of the most exuberant and talented designers and operations managers the team has had in years.  Watson served as the team’s logistics and record-keeping man while Corsentino was welcomed builder and launcher.

“We would like to send a special shout-out to our team mentor, Mr. Chuck Neff, the respected and fearless president of the Valley Aerospace Team (VAST). Last Saturday, Mr. Neff went above and beyond the call of duty to let us do an exclusive launch from his property since the VAST operations in Monterey were still closed at the time,” Galloway added. “Since the deadline for our qualifications flights was Monday, Mr. Neff took time out of his busy schedule to loan us his time and equipment, and to help us make our final launches. Throughout the season he has provided our team with experienced advice and has proved to be one of the best mentors out there in the world of rocketry.”

Fishburne Military School is the oldest and smallest of all military schools for boys in Virginia. Its college-prep curriculum is built on the structure of an Army JROTC program. FMS has been designated as a JROTC Honor Unit with Distinction and may nominate qualified candidates to the United States Service Academies. Fishburne hosts one of only four Summer JROTC programs in the nation that is accredited by US Army Cadet Command.