Military academies are educational institutions that prepare students for service in the officer corps of the army, navy, air force, or coast guard. University-level military academies award bachelor’s degree level of qualification to graduates. Just as with acclaimed universities, military academies have varying admissions requirements which can greatly impact potential job opportunities.
The term “military academy” does not necessarily mean an institution run by the armed forces to train its own military officers. Here in the United States it can also mean public or private middle school, high school, or college-level institutions that instruct its students in military-style education, discipline and tradition. At the same time, it does impart a wealth of knowledge that one can find very beneficial for pursuing a career in the military and/or certain components of the government as well.
Courses Offered at Military Academies
There are a variety of different military academies in the United States, which means courses vary among those schools. These varying disciplines will help prepare individuals for many exciting careers and employers are often very impressed with those whose academic career has been shaped at military academies. Employers are well aware of the rigorous standards often associated with attending these academies and it acts as an important metric for gauging skills such as problem solving, teamwork, communication, and much more. Typically though these programs involve academics, physical challenges, and military discipline. Bachelor’s degrees are offered at colleges and universities in a variety of majors and minors. Major studies usually fall in the following categories:
- Social Sciences
- Business Administration
Top Universities with Military Programs
- United States Military Academy, West Point: This program has specific military related degrees in defense and strategic studies, leader development science, military history, and military science. West Point is one of the most renowned military academies and has a background that showcases its impressive pedigree. It also offers training in:
- Basic Officer Leadership
- Cadet Summer Training
- Joint Professional
- Military Education
- Parachute Training
- Infantry Tactics
- Cavalry and Scouting
- Combat Weapons Training
- Law Enforcement Tactics
- Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP)
- Basic Sail Training
- Leadership Education and Development
- Land Navigation
- First Aid
- Nuclear and Biological and Chemical Warfare Defense
- Weapons Training Military
- Undergraduate Flight Training
- Cadet Professional Military Education
- Combat Survival Training
- Parachute Training
- Soaring Training
- Leadership Training
- Leadership Development
- Cadet Aviation Training
- Navy Dive School
- Damage Control School
- Law Enforcement Training
- Coastal Sailing
Why Attend a Military Academy
Military academies are typically prestigious institutions and are quite selective. Thousands of applications are received each year. However, it’s important to know that students are obligated to serve a minimum amount of time on active duty service. The point of a military academy is to prepare students for service while earning a bachelor’s degree. That said, training is rigorous and academics are taking seriously. You’ll be required to complete all military training in addition to all coursework. But graduates are distinguished and with the right credentials, leadership positions are in your future. Military academies offer a wide array of majors for students to choose from. From computer science to foreign language, your options are similar to that of a traditional college or university. You can also pursue a business degree or study engineering. Each school is different however, so make sure to ask an admissions representative for a full list of majors.
Here’s also a list of important skills that will be learned by the time one graduates from a military academy:
- Discipline – Students learn how to carry themselves in a manner that has widespread application in the world. It’s through the lens of this skill that the world is seen and problems confronted.
- Work Ethic – Military academies teach students how to thrive in the real world by not granting them any favors and teaching them how much effort it takes to truly accomplish something.
- Independence – Almost always students at military academies will be boarding, meaning living on the school grounds, so it quickly teaches students how to survive on their own and not depend on others.
- Communication Skills – When you’re boarding with a plethora of students who also are trying to figure out how to become stronger individuals while going through rigorous academics, it’s important to understand what is needed to articulate how one feels while also maintaining a tact to approach issues sensitively.
- Teamwork – Similarly to communication skills, it’s crucial to know how to function as a unit in pressing situations and understand concepts like utilitarianism, or better for everyone over the individual.
You don’t have to pay tuition to attend a military academy. All fees are covered by the U.S. Army. Tuition, room and board, and other expenses are not the responsibility of the student. That said, students are expected to follow the rules and follow a strict honor code. Military academies take their mission very seriously and students who do not meet specific requirements or want to service in the U.S. Army, are not good candidates for military training. At the same time, these academies are seasoned in reforming even the must reluctant student into a leader.
Perfect Long-Term Investment
Students enroll in military academies for all sorts of reasons and while it’s hard to say why exactly each student decides to attend, be it their on their own accord or a move from their parents, it ultimately proves to be an investment that shapes each individual’s future for the better. All of these institutions are well-equipped to ensure that students bloom into successful young adults, even if it doesn’t result in a career in the military.