Major Roderick C “Wiley Coyote” Martin

Major Martin was a senior ROTC instructor at Kemper Military School in the early 1970’s. He was extremely familiar with combat after multiple tours of duty in Viet Nam.  On his last tour of duty there he was assigned as an advisor to a South Vietnamese regular army force. Martin loved the US Army and in particular the Rangers of which he was a member.

Major Martin inspired his students and, on more than one occasion he would stop his instruction to provide heartfelt and well thought lectures on life.  One such lecture formed part of the foundation upon which Echo Company is built and is parodied below:

“You cannot love bricks and mortar, cement and glass. No matter how hard you try it will never love you back. In the end, this place which you profess to love so much is simply a pile of bricks. I know this sounds like blasphemy to some of you but it is truth.  In the years to come you will recall the friends you made here and lessons which you learn here. Learn from the lessons of failure, that’s why it is called a ‘school’, a place of learning and growth.

Your presence here is not simply to propagate an institution but to learn and take from this place, then go forth and apply those lessons.  If you drive forward always looking back then you will have an accident. Don’t worry about what happens to this place – Kemper. If the school closes it was meant to be and that should serve as a lesson to you all.

If you truly love this place then be the very best you can be applying the lessons and living the examples which you have been given. Study, be truthful, work hard and never give up at what you pursue. If you do these things then Kemper will live within each of you and you will have gotten far more than your money’s worth in terms of any tuition you or your parents might have paid.”