military academy

A military academy or service academy (American English) is an educational institution which prepares candidates for service in the officer corps of the Army, the Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard or provides education in a service environment, the exact definition depending on the country concerned.

Three types of academy exists: High school-level institutions awarding academic qualifications, university-level institutions awarding Bachelor's degree level qualification, and those preparing officer cadets for commissioning into the armed services of the state.



Argentine Army

Argentine Navy

Argentine Air Force




Has several military academies, and the biggest is Academia Militar de Agulhas Negras (AMAN) in the municipality of Resende, in state of Rio de Janeiro, in the southeast of that country.


Canada currently has one military-theme private boarding school open for students at the pre-university level, Robert Land Academy (RLA), which is located in West Lincoln, Ontario. Founded in 1977, it is an all-boys' institute whose funding arises solely from tuition fees. The Academy is an institute fully accredited by the province of Ontario, which accepts students from Grade 6 to Grade 12 (the Ontario Academic Credit level).

Canada formerly had three university level service academies, the Canadian Military Colleges. These included the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) in Kingston, Ontario, Royal Roads Military College (RRMC) in Victoria, British Columbia and the Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean (CMR) in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Québec. RMC was founded in 1876, RRMC in 1941 and CMR in 1954. By the 60s all three institutions were providing *military education to officer cadets of all three elements in the Canadian Forces; the navy, army and air force; and RMC received the authority to grant academic degrees in Arts, Science and Engineering.

Graduates of the Colleges are widely acknowledged to have had a disproportionate impact in the Canadian services and society, thanks to the solid foundations provided by their military education. In the modern era, emphasis was placed on a broad based, liberal education including core courses in the humanities, social, pure and applied sciences. Military discipline and training, as well as a focus on physical fitness and fluency in both of Canada's two official languages, English and French, provided cadets with ample challenges and a very fulfilling experience. In 1995 the Department of National Defence was forced to close Royal Roads Military College and Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean due to budget considerations, but Royal Military College of Canada continues to carry the proud tradition educating Canada's future leaders into the twenty-first century. The Royal Roads University reopened as a civilian university. In 2007, the Department of National Defence reopened Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean as a two year college.


Czech Republic

Univerzita obrany



Undergraduate academies :

Postgraduate academies :

  • Institut des hautes études de la défense nationale (Defense Postgraduate Institute)
  • École d'État-major (Staff School)
  • Collège d'enseignement supérieur de l'armée de terre (Army Higher Education College)
  • Collège interarmées de défense (Defense Joint College)

The Ecole Polytechnique, though its students are enlisted in the military, is no longer a military academy, as very few of its graduates remain in the military after graduation.


In Germany there exists a system which clearly differs from the common ones. The only true military academies are in fact the Führungsakademie der Bundeswehr where mainly future staff officers are further trained and the Naval Academy Mürwik. The standard education in military leadership is the task of the Offizierschulen (officer's schools) run by the three branches. The contents differ from branch to branch. In the army all officer's are at least trained to lead a platoon. There they also have to pass an officer exam to become commissioned later on. Moreover there exist so called Waffenschulen like infantry school or artillery school. There the officer's learn to deal with the typical tasks of their respective corps. A specialty of the German concept of officer formation is the academic education. Germany runs two own Universities of the German Federal Armed Forces where almost every future officer has to pass non-military studies and achieve a Bachelor's or Master's degree. During their studies (after at least three years of service) the candidates become commissioned Leutnant (second-lieutenant).


The Hellenic Armed Forces have military academies supervised by each branch of the Armed Forces individually:



Akademi Angkatan Bersenjata Republic Indonesia (Indonesia Military Academy) Founded in Yogyakarta, October 13, 1945 in order of General Staff Chief of Indonesia Army Leut. Gen Urip Sumoharjo with name Militaire Academie (MA) Yogyakarta. Now, Tentara Nasional Indonesia (National Military of Indonesia), placed each academy into:

Indonesian Army

Indonesian Air Force

Indonesian Navy


University level institutions:


Korea, South

The three main military academies:

Other military academies:


Secondary level institutions:

University level institutions:

Specialist Training & Staff institutions:

Reserve Officer Training Units (Malay: Pasukan Latihan Pegawai Simpanan or PALAPES) or ROTU exists only in public universities in Malaysia. This is a tertiary institution based officer commissioning program to equip students as officer cadets with military knowledge and understanding for service as Commissioned Officers in the reserve components of the various branches of the Malaysian Armed Forces.


New Zealand

Tier One - Initial Officer Training

Tier Two - Junior Officer Education

Tier Three - Senior Officer Education


Undergraduate officer training

Postgraduate training


The Pakistan Military Academy is the sole supplier of officers to the Pakistan Army while the Pakistan Air Force Academy supplies officers and fighter pilots to the Pakistan Air Force. The officers for the Pakistan Navy are supplied by the Pakistan Naval Academy.


The Philippine Military Academy (PMA) is the training school for future officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. It was established as an Officer's School of the Philippine Constabulary on February 17, 1905 at Intramuros, Manila, but was relocated on September 1, 1908 in Baguio City.


In Romania there are military academies for every military branch:

There is also a technical military academy:


Military Academy Belgrade



Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has one defense university taking cadets from all three armed services , 3 non-university level Military Academies, one for each armed service providing basic training for officer and a Command and Staff College for senior officers of the three armed services. The General Sir John Kotelawala Defense University, was established in 1980 and is named after Gen. Sri John Kotelawala the 2nd Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.


Officer training

Postgraduate and staff training

Soviet Union


Military Academy Karlberg



United Kingdom

Seconday Schools:

Pre-University level institutions:

  • Welbeck College - Sixth form college for 16 to 18 year olds providing A-Level education in preparation for entry into the British Armed Forces or Ministry of Defence Civil Service as Technical Officers, following undergraduate education.

Officer training

Postgraduate and staff training

*Royal College of Defence Studies
*Joint Services Command and Staff College
*Defence College of Management and Technology
*Armed Forces Chaplaincy Centre
*Advance Research and Assessment Group
*Conflict Studies Reaearch Centre


Paralleling the way the cadet forces work at a pre-university level, at the university level there are the University Royal Naval Units,OTC's and University Air Squadrons.

United States

The United States is almost unique in that the term "military academy" does not necessarily mean an institution run by the armed forces to train its own military officers; it may also mean a middle school, high school or tertiary-level college, whether public or private, which instructs its students in military-style education, discipline and tradition.

Many public high schools offer Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps programs sponsored by the United States Armed Forces.

  • The term military school primarily refers to pre-collegiate (middle and high school) institutions. Military schools were once far more common than they are today; see the extensive list of defunct military academies.
  • The term military academy commonly refers to all pre-collegiate, collegiate, and post-collegiate institutions, yet graduate institutions, catering for officers already in service, are often considered separately and termed staff colleges and Graduate Schools.

Military academies can be either private or have government sponsorship from regional (state) or national government.

The colleges operated by the U.S. Federal Government are referred to as the Federal Service Academies and are:

State-sponsored Military Academy:

In addition, several institutions which were at the time of their founding military colleges, maintain both a corps of cadets and a civilian student body. These include:

Along with Virginia Military Institute, these institutions are known as the Senior Military Colleges.

Five institutions are considered Military Junior Colleges. These five schools participate in the Army's two-year Early Commissioning Program, an Army ROTC program where qualified students can earn a commission as a Second Lieutenant after only two years of college. The five Military Junior Colleges are:

Note: The terms college and university are interchangeable in the below discussion. They are both used to denote an institution of higher learning which a person might attend after attending high school, typically at age 17, 18, or 19.


Military academies are managed by each branch of the Armed Forces and offer five-year University courses. Enrolled students are Officer Candidates and receive a commission as Sub Teniente or Alférez on graduation.

The terms Escuela Militar or Academia Militar are always used to refer to these higher-education institutions:

Military-style high schools in Venezuela are known as Liceos Militares or Liceos Militarizados. These are managed by the Armed Forces or by private groups, with support and personnel from the Armed Forces.

Pre-collegiate institutions

A military school teaches various ages (middle school, high school, or both) in a manner that includes military traditions and training in military subjects. The vast majority are in the United States. Many military schools are also boarding schools, and others are simply magnet schools in a larger school system. Many are privately run institutions, though some are public and are run by either a public school system (such as the Chicago Public Schools), or by a state.

A common misperception results because some states have chosen to house their child criminal populations in higher-security boarding schools that are run in a manner similar to military boarding schools. These are also called reform schools, and are functionally a combination of school and prison. They attempt to emulate the high standards of established military boarding schools in the hope that a strict structured environment can reform these children. This may or may not be true. However, this should not reflect on the long and distinguished history of military schools; their associations are traditionally those of high academic achievement, with solid college preparatory curricula, schooling in the military arts, and considerably esteemed graduates.

Popular culture sometimes shows parents sending or threatening to send unruly children off to military school (or boarding school) to teach them good behavior.

Adult institutions

A college level military academy is an institute of higher learning of things military. It is part of a larger system of military education and training institutions. The primary educational goal at military academies is to provide a high quality education that includes significant coursework and training in the fields of military tactics and military strategy. The amount of non-military coursework varies by both the institution and the country, and the amount of practical military experience gained varies as well.

Military academies may or may not grant university degrees. In the U.S., graduates have a major field of study, earning a Bachelor's degree in that subject just as at other universities. However, in British academies, the graduate does not achieve a university degree, since the whole of the one-year course is dedicated to military training.

There are two types of military academies: national (government-run) and state/private-run.

  • Graduates from national academies are typically commissioned as officers in the country's military. The new officers usually have an obligation to serve for a certain number of years. In some countries (e.g. Britain) all military officers train at the appropriate academy, whereas in others (e.g. the United States) only a percentage do and the service academies are seen as institutions which supply service-specific officers within the forces (about 15 percent of US military officers).
  • State or private-run academy graduates have no requirement to join the military after graduation, although some schools have a high rate of graduate military service. Today, most of these schools have ventured away from their military roots and now enroll both military and civilian students. The only exception in the United States is the Virginia Military Institute which remains all-military.

See also


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