Essentially, the school where a military officer learns his or her trade.
In the American military system, the official service academies provide military training while simultaneously training undergraduates for their Bachelor's Degree. There are six such Federal Service Academies. In addition, there are a number of academies, known as Senior Military Colleges, which are regular universities (one private, five public), as well as Military Junior Colleges (two public, three private). The defining trait of the military academy is that the students are kept in an institution where military standards and discipline are pervasive. For example, many civilian schools host ROTC programs which train officers, but these are not academies because they are not institutional training environments. Dedicated military academies maintain prestigious reputations and have high standards for admission.
A military academy comes in three forms:
- Undergraduate Officer Training: Where students are taught to be officers while simultaneously achieving a Bachelor's Degree.
- Officer Training School: A shorter course intended for Soldiers who already have a Bachelor's Degree. Often used for educated Enlisted Soldiers to advance to the Officer's ranks.
- Staff College: Effectively, military grad school. Where officers are trained in the administrative and policy areas of their profession, for high-level command, perhaps even General rank. Also attracts the more academically minded officers, who may write articles there. These may also be open to civilians (typically career diplomats and defense officials approaching the highest echelons of their fields) and foreign military officers.
This should not be confused with Basic Training or Boot Camp, which is a crash course for turning civilians into enlisted soldiers. Basic Training is aimed at the lowest common denominator and is intended to teach the most basic soldiering skills. Compare with Military School
, which is a military institutional environment for junior high and high school students.
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Anime and Manga
- In Hyakujitsu No Bara, Klaus and Taki meet for the second first-time at the Luckenwalde military academy, which specializes in tank warfare. There is of course a Drill Sergeant Nasty and some other stock figures, though the focus is primarily on the duo.
- Any Ninja Village worth their salt now has a competent Ninja Academy in Naruto. Training as a ninja is voluntary, but it most often starts at a young age (The Rookie Nine enrolled when they were eight years old). Though, there seems to be a lacking of therapists for students who need it, though one (Naruto) is a pariah of the village, and no one would have a problem with the other (Sasuke} trying to take revenge on the person who killed his entire family. Tobirama Senju was the Hokage who founded the first ever Ninja Academy too, which quickly spread to all five nations.
- In Legend of Galactic Heroes, the Free Planets Alliance Officer Academy is one such institution, with prospective students enrolled as officer cadets and receive free undergraduate education, provided that they stay in the military upon graduation.
- In Gunka No Balzer, Baselland's Royal Military Academy takes in teenagers as cadets for three years and graduates them as regular or reserve officers. When an uprising happens the students (rather than the regular army or police) are mustered to quell the insurgents.
- In Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, OZ both develops mobile suit technology, and also trains the larger Alliance Mobile Suit Troops (as well as its own) at its Lake Victory Academy at least until a Gundam burns the academy to the ground.
- The Star Wars Expanded Universe sometimes features military academies, usually those belonging to the Empire. Just how Rebels get trained isn't often shown; most characters we get to know tend to have gone through the Imperial system or sometimes a neutral third-party state's equivalent before lighting out and signing on with the Rebellion, and being La Résistance and therefore somewhat Mildly Military in character -not to mention being chronically short of funds most of the time- the Rebels might not actually have an equivalent.
- Annapolis depicts life in a military academy, although its portrayal is particularly inaccurate.
- An Officer and a Gentleman centers on a cadet at an Officer's Training School. The school in this film is an example of a school that commissions aviators but does not provide undergraduate academics.
- Navy here. OCS for Navy or Marines is not a really a school in any sense. Its much, much more akin to Recruit Training. Navy Officers and Marines don't really get trained, just selected, conditioned and tested. For example, a Marine will not even fire a live round all of OCS.
- Private Benjamin
- In Starship Troopers the protagonist attends an officer commissioning school. This is not a four-year program, because the character is an excellent enlisted soldier attempting to move up in his career.
- In P.C. Hodgell's Chronicles of the Kencyrath series, book 4, To Ride a Rathorn, has heroine Jame enrolled at Tentir, the Kencyr military academy, training to be a randon (the Kencyr word for officer). The two following books follows her further adventures at Tentir.
- Saganami Island, the military academy for the Star Empire of Manticore in Honor Harrington, gets a fair amount of development in terms of its institutional culture. Honor was an instructor there for a few years while on medical leave. It also has the Advanced Tactics Course (affectionately known as The Crusher), that any officer hoping for a line command must pass (It's possible to get a destroyer command without graduating ATC, but nobody gets a bigger hyper-capable command than that without surviving The Crusher), that may be considered a Staff College of sorts. While Honor was teaching basic tactics at Saganami, she was also serving as Commandant of the ATC.
- The Vorkosigan Saga has the Imperial Service Academy, though it's only shown briefly.
- In The Forever War, officers learn to be officers via an Upgrade Artifact that downloads knowledge directly into their brain. It takes two weeks. Plus another four weeks to learn how to walk again.
- In Ender's Game the academies most students move to after graduating Battle School.
- A large number of these show up in BattleTech, including Sandhurst. Any major power has three or four, each of which train elite officers, though usually the one on the Capital world is the most prestigious.
- Frank Merriwell attends Fardale Military Academy in Frank Merriwell's Schooldays, the first of the series, because politics kept him out of West Point. His rival Barton Hughes has also been in more than one Military School (and been kicked out.) Later in the series, Frank and Bart switch to Yale.
- Parodied in Eric, where an Ephebian Ensign Newbie passed the Academy with flying colours in Valadictory Poetry and Military Grammar. As opposed to his sergeant, who hasn't had an education, but simply spent the last forty years fighting people and monsters.
Live Action TV
- The Star Trek universe has Starfleet Academy in San Francisco, which has been the focus of a young adult books series and a Comic Book series.
- JAG: Several of the main characters are graduates of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD.
- In North and South (Trilogy), several of the principle characters such as Orry Main, George Hazard, and Elkanah Bent, all attended West Point. Or, in the case of the last, was thrown out of it.
- In the American version of House of Cards, Frank Underwood's alma mater is "The Sentinel," which is obviously a thinly-veiled version of the Citadel, the military academy of South Carolina. We see it when he goes to the dedication of the library named after him.
- While not all Imperial Guard officers in Warhammer 40,000 attend the Schola Progenium, and not all who attend the Schola go on to military careers, all of the Guard's Stormtroopers and Commissars, and the warrior-nuns of the Adepta Sororitas, are trained there. The Schola is set up specifically to teach the orphaned children of the Emperor's servants, Guardsmen, arbitrators, and the like. Considering the setting, there's no shortage of students. In fact, Schola is usually seen as a goal in itself. After all, it provides food, shelter and, let's be honest, its education is almost as good as it gets.
- Eldar Aspect Shrines also arguably qualify-they are where an Eldar embarks on the path of the Aspect Warrior, and trains in the mentality and combat style of the chosen Aspect.
- The Realm in Exalted has two major academies: The House of Bells, for Dragon-Blooded from noble families, and Pasiap's Stair, for those non-noble Dragon-Blooded who Exalted too late to be adopted into a noble house. The curriculum at Pasiap's Stair is a lot harsher, but its graduates, while fewer in number, tend to go further in their careers.
- Several mentioned in the Wing Commander series, one of which is the core of a mission generator package (Wing Commander Academy, naturally enough). In the cartoon (also called Wing Commander Academy), Blair, Maniac, and some others are finishing up their time at the TCSF Academy, with their cadet cruise being aboard the Tiger's Claw.
- Final Fantasy:
- The Gardens from Final Fantasy VIII, which combine this with Elaborate University High. Oddly, rather than feeding their graduates into a particular nation's military, they seem to act more like regular colleges in that it just prepares you for a job which you then have to go find on your own. Also, all its students are under eighteen, to as young as five.
- The Peristylium from Final Fantasy Type-0 is said to be another military academy in the 'verse of Final Fantasy, but this one looks to be stationary.
- Will/Ed in Advance Wars: Dark Conflict (Days Of Ruin) (damn inconsistent dubs) was attending a military school before the meteor shower and was the only survivor.
- You start out in one of these during the 'Chronicles of the Sword' custom player mode in ''Soul Calibur 3'.
- You're a cadet at one, along with your squad, when you start the first chapter of Final Fantasy Tactics.
- The 15th Hierarchical City of Torifune, also known as the Academy City, is one of these in BlazBlue, with Noel Vermillion, Jin Kisaragi, Tsubaki Yayoi, Makoto Nanaya and Carl Clover all having attended during the backstory.
- The Lanseal Military Academy serves as the main hub for Valkyria Chronicles II.
- In Xenogears, Jugend was the Solaris-based military academy attended by Elly and the Elements (Dominia, Kelvena, Seraphita, and Tolone), in addition to Citan, Sigurd, Jessie, and Ramsus in their youth before becoming the Elements squad preceding the current one.
- In one of the early missions of the Allied campaign of Command & Conquer Red Alert 2, you liberate and then defend the United States Air Force Academy from the Soviets (who have taken the cadets hostage in the Chapel), and then use it as a base to wipe the Soviets out. You can garrison the Academy Chapel, for what it's worth.
- In many 4X games, military academies can be built in your cities (or equivalent), usually providing some type of bonus to troops built in that city later on.
- The Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, which has trained officers for many countries.
- The Staff College at Camberley (now defunct), replaced with several institutes
- The Royal Air Force and Royal Navy get RAFC Cranwell and Britannia Royal Naval College (HMS Dartmouth) respectively.
- The Royal Marines have the Commando Training Centre at Lympstone which trains both enlisted men and officers.
- For the US armed forces:
- United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado. Famous for being the newest major academy, its beautiful chapel, and fantastic cadets' uniforms designed by Cecil B. DeMille.
- United States Coast Guard Academy, New London, Connecticut.
- United States Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, New York: Unlike other academies, Merchant Marine graduates do not join the uniformed services, instead becoming officers in the US Merchant Marine—i.e. commercial ships working (typically) for companies, though some merchant ships are government-owned—that get called into military service on the logistical side during really big wars.
- United States Military Academy, West Point, New York: Most definitely not ever called the United States Army Academy, despite it being exclusively for the training of Army officers. So named because it's by far the oldest of the US military academies, and there was no expectation at its founding that additional ones would later exist.
- United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland: Also trains Marine officers.
- Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland: Trains doctors, nurses and dentists for the Army, Navy and Air Force (the Marine Corps has no medical personnel of its own, relying on the Navy for that), as well as the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.
- No less than seven Staff Colleges across the country. The most prominent (e.g. the Army War College) also admit high-ranking civilian bureaucrats for education in foreign and defense policy.
- There are 6 Senior Military Colleges (SMCs) across the US, approved by Congress. Among them are Texas A&M, Virginia Tech, Virginia Military Institute, Norwich, The Citadel, and North Georgia. Some are strictly military schools, while others allow civilians.
- Texas A&M University is considered a senior military college by the US Armed forces. The reason why it allows civilian students is because every year the Commandant of the Corps of Cadets writes a special exemption for them. (Said exemption originally existed for veterans and National Guard/State Guard troops.) Much the same situation exists at Virginia Tech, North Georgia, and Norwich.
- All full-time undergraduates at The Citadel, except for active-duty military members and a small number of veteransnote , are members of the school's cadet corps. Apart from these veterans, all civilians at The Citadel are in the school's evening program, made up mostly of graduate students, or its online graduate program.
- VMI is the last SMC that does not accept any civilians in any form, and also is the only one that awards only bachelor's degrees. VMI was the last to admit no women until ordered to take female cadets by the Supreme Court.
- Interestingly, under federal law, ROTC students at the SMCs are not required to take a military commission upon graduation, although most do. This differs from ROTC at civilian four-year schools, where students who wish to enter their third year of ROTC must sign a contract binding them to a military commission. It also differs from the service academies, where students sign the same contract as a condition of continuing after their second year.
- Frunze Military Academy for the Soviet / Russian Officers
- Which is kind of a Ph.D course for officers, and, indeed, many of its alumni get a degree in military sciences. Lowest rank for admission is Major. Common officer training schools are much more numerous.
- And there is the Voroshilov General Staff Academy attended by the "best and the brightest" of the Soviet/Russian military. Students are admitted in the ranks of lieutenant colonel, colonel, and one-star general.
- Dzerzhinsky Military Academy of Rocket Forces, now Peter the Great Military Academy of the Strategic Missile Force, for staff officers in the Strategic Rocket Forces.
- There are a ridiculous number of other senior officer academies alone—the USSR had more than any other country, and an even greater number of junior schools. Russia is left with far more than they could realistically need. On the other hand, Soviet Army did need much more officers than it's common, because due to lack of the professional NCO corps, many positions that in other armies would've been filled by NCOs were considered an officer's billet, and on the other side the Soviet standing army was gigantic.
- Undergraduate officer training and officer training school are ususlly the same thing under the Soviet doctrine, called a voyennoe uchilische (military teaching facility). The military academy is another beast of another stripe, attended by senior officers and providing doctorates in military sciences, necessary if you want to be a general. There are also military schools attached to civilian universities, called voyennaya kafedra, a kind of ROTC that train Mildly Military Ensign Newbies that go then straight to reserve; after the fall of the Union, they aren't as numerous and remain only in several universities.
- In France:
- Ecole Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr. Its motto is "Ils s'instruisent pour vaincre": literally "They study to vanquish" or "Training for victory".
- The Ecole Polytechnique in Paris, while it is an university specializing in science and engineering, retains a heavy military character. The students are technically officers, undergo military training, and wear a very sweet 19th century officer uniform (with a bicorn and a sword)
- The Australian Defence Force Academy
- Which is a tri-service academy/university (you get a degree at the end from the University of New South Wales).
- Then you have the Royal Military College, RMC Duntroon, which is the officer academy for the Royal Australian Army
- The Royal Australian Navy sends its new officers to the Royal Australian Naval College, HMAS Creswell
- The Royal Australian Air Force has RAAF East Sale for initial officer training.
- And while technically not officer training schools, there are also the three enlisted schools: ARTC Kapooka (Army Recruit Training Centre); 1RTU, RAAF Wagga (No.1 Recruit Trg. Unit); and RAN RS, HMAS Cerberus (RAN Recruit School).
- The Royal Military College of Canada, in Kingston, ON, trains officers for the whole Canadian Forces. Now there's also the Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean (English: Royal Military Collage Saint-Jean).
- Fun fact: The RMCC's flag was the direct inspiration for the current, iconic Maple Leaf flag of Canada. TOW link
- There were formerly three Canadian Military Colleges: RMC (established 1876), CMR (est 1952), and Royal Roads Military College (est 1940) in British Columbia. Following the general cutbacks that many militaries experienced after the Cold War, RRMC and CMR were changed to civilian colleges in 1995. CMR was resurrected as a military institution (albeit with a much smaller student population than it had once had) in 2007.
- The Maria-Theresien Academy in Austria. Established in 1751 and the oldest military academy in the world.
- The Maanpuolustuskorkeakoulu (National Defence Academy) in Helsinki, Finland, originally established in 1788 and in 1919 in its current form. It is divided in three branches: Maasotakoulu (Land Warfare School) educates Army cadets, Merisotakoulu (Sea Warfare School) the Naval cadets and Ilmasotakoulu the Air Force cadets.
- And, of course, RUK (Reserviupseerikoulu), the Reserve Officers' Academy in Hamina, which trains the selected conscripts to become Second Lieutenants in reserve.