WikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotesBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extension.gifPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifier.pngAnalysisPhoto link.pngImage LinksHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconic

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 Private Military Colleges, which are private institutions. 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.

Examples of Military Academy include:

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.


  • The Star Wars Expanded Universe sometimes features military academies, usually those belonging to the Empire. Just how Rebels get trained isn't often shown.
    • They usually get trained by the Imperial (or local) academies, then defect to/join the Rebellion.

Fan Fic


  • 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.


  • 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 the Honorverse, gets a fair amount of development in terms of its institutional culture. Honor was its Commandant 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, that may be considered a Staff College of sorts.
  • 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.
  • 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.


Tabletop Games

  • While not all Imperial Guard officers in Warhammer 40000 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.

Video Games

  • 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:
  • 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.
  • Noel Vermillion, Jin Kisaragi, Tsubaki Yayoi, Makoto Nanaya and Carl Clover all attended the same military academy a few years before the events of Blaz Blue.
  • 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 and 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.

Real Life

  • 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.
    • United States Military Academy, West Point, New York
    • United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland: Also trains Marine officers.
    • Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland
    • 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 across the US, approved by Congress. Among them are Texas A&M, Virginia Tech, Virginia Military Institute, Norwich, The Citadel, and North Georgia College & State University. 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.)
      • VMI is the last public academy that does not accept any civilians in any form. The Citadel still has all students on campus part of the military environment, but accepts night students. VMI was the last to accept women until ordered to by the Supreme Court
  • 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.
  • St. Cyr in France
  • 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
  • The Maria-Theresien Academy in Austria. Established in 1751 and the oldest military academy in the world.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.