Commandant of Cadet's 2022 Welcome

Dear PMA Cadet Parent/Guardian,

My name is Fred Dohnke, and I am the new Commandant of Cadets at PMA.  I am very excited to join the PMA team for the Spring 2022 semester and look forward to meeting you all in person.  Most of all, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to teach, mentor, and positively influence your cadet for the upcoming session.

      I can’t wait to get to know the cadets and share what’s in store for the coming year.  I’m a Porterville native, a member of the PHS class of 1994, PC class of 1997, and Fresno State class of 2000.  From there, I joined the USAF and went on to become a pilot, flying for most of my 21 years of service.  Yes, I’ve been to the two places you’re likely thinking of and I am very happy to be coming home.  I’m also an FAA-certified flight instructor and commercial pilot.  Along the way, I earned my Master’s Degree in Aeronautical Science and got to travel the globe prior to retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel from Edwards AFB, CA.   That brought me to PMA and this upcoming semester.

    We are proud to have our first PMA class of Seniors in 2022!  It’s going to be a fun-filled, yet challenging year, packed with lots of learning and new adventures.  Along with our demanding “A to G” aligned academic curriculum, we have 38 school-associated programs for cadets to participate in.  The first day of school in 2022 will also see the cadets organized into 3 companies; Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie.  The companies will compete for 18 separate streamers, ranging from academics and attendance to physical fitness and GPA.  Our goal is for your cadet’s contribution to directly impact the performance of his/her assigned company, motivate them to stay engaged, and provide them leadership opportunities throughout the term.  Your cadet will also be asked to identify their “top 3” programs and will be tasked to pursue those interests for the remainder of the term.  There is no max limit on program participation as long as cadets maintain good academic standing.  Sometime after the first week of school, please ask them what they have selected and why.  If you would like to volunteer to support a program in any function, we would love to have you.  We’ve also created the 2022 Commandant’s Reading List, an optional book club for students interested in exploring challenging leadership topics.  The reading list  can be viewed online at

The PMA staff is excited to welcome your cadet to the first day of the new term. I look forward to hearing from you and kick-starting your cadet’s 2022 in the most excellent way.


                                                                FREDERICK W. DOHNKE, Lt Col, USAF (ret)

                                                                Commandant of Cadets

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