Why Consider A Military School?

Why Consider A Military School?
A military high school might be an option for your son or daughter. We take a look at what these schools offer.

The answer to that question is a firm recommendation: consider all that a military school offers your young person. Yes, these days military schools educate young women and young men. New Mexico Military Institute describes its mission: “To educate, train, and prepare young men and women to be leaders capable of critical thinking and sound analysis, leaders who possess uncompromising character, and leaders able to meet challenging physical demands.”


Just about anything in life worth doing well requires lots of discipline. Discipline takes hard work, persistence, stamina, and time. In an era when instant gratification seems endemic, good old-fashioned discipline lays a solid foundation for success in adult life. Group discipline quickly grows into a pattern of self-discipline. After several years of training, your child will know what she must do to accomplish her objectives. Military schools serve up discipline as regularly as they serve breakfast.

Missouri Military Academy sums it up very well:

“Whether learning in the classroom, completing community service, performing on the athletic field, or interacting socially, we always expected our cadets to do the right thing–acting with respect, responsibility, honor, and generosity. A Missouri Military Academy diploma means a student has gone beyond the mastery of the subjects necessary to succeed in college and possesses the self-discipline and values that will help him succeed in all aspects of life.”

This video offers an overview of the Culver Academies.


Structure goes hand in hand with discipline. Structure and discipline sound rigorous and they are. If your child is accustomed to doing whatever she wants whenever she wants to do it, the structure which a military school offers will take some getting used to. Think of structure as the organization which allows discipline to produce results and you are understanding how military schools work. Understanding how to attain goals and results begins with developing basic skills. If you think that there is perhaps a bit too much rigidity in all of this, just remember that discipline and structure are the frameworks for growth. Your child’s growth.

Read how TMI in San Antonio, Texas, describes its program: “TMI educates students in grades 6-12 and offers a complete college-preparatory program including honors and Advanced Placement courses, as well as a competitive athletic program. Fine Arts electives, a nationally ranked JROTC program, and extra-curricular activities allow students additional opportunities for leadership, club participation, and community service.” TMI’s program is typical of most boarding schools because it offers a well-rounded academic education enriched with athletic and extracurricular activities. TMI also offers JROTC.

Leadership Training

Most military schools offer JROTC programs. Here is how the United States Army JROTC website describes its JROTC program: “The U.S. Army Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) is one of the largest character development and citizenship programs for youth in the world. The National Defense Act of 1916 established organized JROTC programs at public and private educational institutions. In 1964, Congress expanded the program to all military services and changed from active duty to shared support from the services and schools. As congressionally mandated by Title 10 United States Code, Section 2031, each military service must have a JROTC program to “instill in students in United States secondary educational institutions the values of citizenship, service to the United States, and personal responsibility and a sense of accomplishment.” JROTC’s mission, “To Motivate Young People to be Better Citizens”, is the guide post for the program’s success.”

The United States Air Force offers the following description of its JROTC program: “AFJROTC objectives are to educate and train high school cadets in citizenship and life skills; promote community service; instill a sense of responsibility; and develop character, leadership, and self-discipline through education and instruction in air and space fundamentals and the Air Force’s core values of integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do.”

The United States Navy also offers a JROTC program: “The NJROTC accredited curriculum emphasizes citizenship and leadership development, as well as our maritime heritage, the significance of sea power, and naval topics such as the fundamentals of naval operations, seamanship, navigation and meteorology. Classroom instruction is augmented throughout the year by extra-curricular activities of community service, academic, athletic, drill and orienteering competitions, field meets, flights, visits to naval or other activities, marksmanship sports training, and physical fitness training. Electronic classroom equipment, textbooks, uniforms, educational training aids, travel allowance, and a cost-share of instructors’ salaries are provided by the Navy.”

JROTC can also provide a pathway to the various ROTC programs available in many colleges and universities. I remember with great pride how my eldest daughter received her A.B. diploma at Harvard in the morning and her commission upon completion of the ROTC program at MIT in the afternoon.

This video offers an overview of the JROTC program.

Service to country

Military schools provide an excellent introduction to service in our armed forces. However, be aware of a common misconception about military schools; graduating from a military high school does not guarantee matriculation to one of the prestigious service academies. Admission to a service academy requires your congressperson to nominate a candidate. Having said that, if your young person is thinking about a career in one of the armed forces, attending a military high school will give her the information she needs to make that kind of serious decision.


Graduates of the 42 military high schools in the U.S. matriculate to colleges and universities at home and abroad. Academic training and excellent results are the primary objectives of military schools. Always have been. It always will be. Most military schools think of themselves as college preparatory schools. They offer Advanced Placement subjects and SAT preparation. That’s how important the academic portion of military school life is. Strong leaders need solid academic training, too. Military schools do their very best to provide that.

Explore the advantages of a military school education for your child. Call the admissions offices. Ask questions. Then visit a couple of schools. You may discover that a military school is the best option for your child and your requirements for her high school education.

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