training of the officers and
enlisted (or drafted) personnel of a nation's military and naval forces. The
goal of such training is to equip members of the services with the basic skills
and discipline needed for appropriate action under the stress of combat.
Qualified personnel may receive more formal education to enable them to advance
of Service Academies
Until the mid-18th century,
military training was restricted to drill and acquiring knowledge of weaponry
and tactics primarily from practical experience in battle. The technological
evolution of warfare, however, led to the establishment of formal military and
naval academies specifically for training professional officers. Prussia
pioneered in this field with the establishment in 1810 of the Kriegsakademie
(War Academy) in Berlin. Today, in Germany, the universities of the Bundeswehr
(German Armed Forces) are primarily technical and scientific in orientation.
In France, a two-track system
evolved. L'École Polytechnique serves as a general technical university for
army, naval, and civil service personnel, whereas L'École Spéciale Militaire,
founded in 1808 by Napoleon, provides two years of initial military training.
Originally located at Saint Cyr, it is now based at Coëtquidan. Advanced
military training is provided by the École Supérieure de Guerre.
In 1947 Great Britain
reconstituted its Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst (1802) by combining with
it an older establishment, founded at Woolwich in 1741. The Imperial Defense
College serves as the school for senior service personnel. The emphasis on
military elitism in the Soviet Union was reflected by the maintenance of 21
strongly research oriented military academies on a level with civilian
In the U.S., the Reserve
Officers Training Corps (ROTC) programs in high schools and colleges prepare
students for commissions in the Army Reserve. The United States Military Academy
is a 4-year engineering college whose graduates are commissioned into the
Regular Army. Corresponding service institutions are the United States Naval
Academy, the United States Air Force Academy, the United States Coast Guard
Academy, and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (see Merchant Marine of the
United States). Officers may pursue advanced studies at the Army Command and
General Staff College (Fort Leavenworth, Kansas), the Army War College
(Carlisle, Pennsylvania), the Naval War College and the College of Naval Command
and Staff (Newport, Rhode Island), the Air War College and the Air Command and
Staff College (Maxwell Field, Alabama), and the Marine Corps Command and Staff
College (Quantico, Virginia) .
In addition, the Armed Forces
Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia, operated by the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
prepares selected officers for coordinated endeavors, and the U.S. Department of
Defense maintains the National Defense University in Washington, D.C. Comprising
the National War College, the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, and the
Department of Defense Computer Institute, the university trains senior officers
and selected civilians in theories and procedures relevant to national security.
Current trends in military
education reflect rapid changes brought about by technological innovation and
are geared to national security requirements. Recent curricular changes at the
service academies have emphasized the humanities and the social and behavioral
sciences in addition to reinforcing the curriculum in physical and applied
sciences. Advanced courses taken at civilian colleges and universities play a
major role in supplementing the educational experience of selected personnel
(primarily officers). Integration of women into the service academies, begun in
1976, reflects the personnel needs of the armed forces and also provides added
service opportunities for women.
Although academy graduates
have a 5- to 6-year service obligation, depending upon the academy and year of
entry, the majority complete between 20 to 30 years of service. Many, on
fulfilling their mandatory obligations or on retiring from the services, embark
on civilian careers in management or in professions requiring the skills
acquired in the services.
Lt. Col. Egon A. Weiss, U.S.A. (Ret.)
Military," Microsoft® Encarta® 96 Encyclopedia. © 1993-1995
Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. © Funk & Wagnalls Corporation.
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