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Chicago Military Academy

Boys & Girls
Age 9-12
Chicago, IL

The Chicago Military Academy is an urban Chicago public school that resides on a national historic landmark in the City of Chicago. The building is a former Armory which was home to the 9th Infantry Battalion in 1915. The armory provided a safe haven for soldiers and was eventually remodeled to become a military academy for Chicago’s youth and a positive influence throughout the community.

The school is also the site of the National African-American Military Museum. Full of a rich history, the school today aims to influence youth to become prosperous and productive citizens.


The Chicago Public Schools (CPS), in conjunction with the Mayor’s Office, Chicago Park District, Illinois National Guard, and Department of Defense, established a plan to renovate the Eighth Regiment Armory building located at 3519 South Giles. The armory, located within the heart of the Chicago’s historic Bronzeville area, is a historical landmark. The Armory was constructed in 1915 to provide refuge for the all black 9th Infantry Battalion, which fought in the Poncho Villa Campaign at the Mexican border. It was later reorganized as the 8th Infantry and was comprised of “all black” officers and soldiers from the State of Illinois.

The Mayor’s Office assembled the “Bronzeville Committee” to develop plans to revitalize the armory and surrounding Bronzeville community to its former stature. Individuals, public, civic, and private organizations joined forces to make the Chicago Military Academy-Bronzeville a reality. Former United States Senator Carol Moseley-Braun (D-Ill.) was instrumental in including $10 million in the $270 billion Defense Appropriation Bill that was approved by the United States Senate to renovate the Bronzeville Armory. It is the first CPS comprehensive military academy for high school students in the city. The Chicago Military Academy will provide another window of opportunity for students of Chicago. The curriculum is designed to build leadership skills and to provide students with exceptional post-secondary qualifications. The Academy will include a mandatory Junior Reserve Officer Training Corp instructional component and a mandatory four-year college preparatory curriculum.

The Chicago Military Academy is intended to serve as the anchor of the Bronzeville revitalization effort. The purpose of the Bronzeville Project is to establish a world-class urban military academy in the historic Eighth Regiment Armory that would serve students from all areas of Chicago.

Students Find A Diverse And Challenging Curriculum

The curriculum at Chicago Military Academy was designed with a goal of building effective leadership skills in students. Students learn lessons in a disciplined and structured environment with the goal of success in mind. Classwork is challenging, but with a student to teacher ratio of about 17:1, students receive individualized instruction and help with course work when it is needed.

This military college preparatory institution offers classes in computer science, foreign languages, fine arts, math, sciences and advanced placement (AP) courses. Students can also take honors classes which help to prepare them for their future career or for future college attendance. Students receive mandatory instruction in the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corp. (JROTC), along with an exemplary four-year curriculum focused on college preparatory coursework.

The Goals Of The Chicago Military Academy

With a school motto of “Pride And Respect,” students are taught the skills they will need to work well in teams, to be good future citizens and to become strong leaders. Lessons are based on the school philosophy, which is to supply an effective structure to help to build integrity and self accountability in students and to help them to reach their educational and personal goals. Students graduate with a wish to be lifelong learners and to reach for their goals in a persistent way.

The school’s vision is to spark a desire for achievement in students by using a military structure which enforces discipline and accountability. Once students receive assignments, they are expected to complete them on time and in a way that indicates a job well done. Courses are not only rigorous, but students find that they are also relevant to the skills that they will need to see success in their future endeavors. Classes in math and science enhance the student’s ability to perform effectively either in future careers or in future college pursuits.

Students Are Set For Success When They Attend CMA

Students find that the Chicago Military Academy is a beacon of safety and protection in a community that faces many challenges due to drugs and gang activity. The military styled methods of learning effectively instill discipline and self-respect so students are less affected by negative outside influences. They receive physical fitness instruction to assure good health, along with a sound and safe environment that promotes learning and always doing one’s best.