Preparing for Military School?
If you’re looking for an educational opportunity, for yourself or for your child, that will provide adequate preparation for post-education employment as well as instill the values that are essential for success in life, it’s worth considering military school.
Military schools are typically private preparatory schools modeled on the U.S. military colleges, such as West Point (Army) or Annapolis (Navy). For the student who desires the structure inherent in a military prep school, to prepare for a possible military career, this is an excellent choice.
Needless to say, this is also a good choice for the student who needs the structure and discipline not found in normal public or private schools.
In making the determination of whether or not military schooling is the right choice, it helps to know what to expect once enrolled from a military education. Military academies are highly selective. They will only accept students who are motivated to enroll, and who are willing to comply with the strict rules under which they operate. Unlike regular schools, that will often make allowances for those who have problems adhering to rigorous codes of behavior, these schools typically expel those who violate the rules – even in some cases, minor violations.
Core Values Taught
Military schooling is values-based. Understanding the core values that are central to military education gives the potential student a good idea what to expect.
Respect: Students are expected not only to automatically, and without question, show respect to superiors, but to fellow students. Respect for the rights, property, and time of others is essential to success in life as well as academic endeavors.
Discipline: While students in all schools are expected to operate in a disciplined manner, in military schools, this is a given. The emphasis, too, is on self-discipline in addition to learning to discipline others – a key requirement for future leaders.
Accountability: In military schools, as in the military services, one is held accountable for personal actions. Students learn to accept responsibility for their acts, and to hold others accountable.
Solidarity: Military organizations function well when every member of the unit functions as part of a unified community. The grouping of students in platoons and other units during schooling helps to reinforce this sense of belonging to a larger entity, where everyone, in addition to being responsible for himself or herself, is taught to help bring others along to benefit the entire organization.
Leadership: Students in military schools are encouraged – in fact, required – to step up when needed to get the job done. They are taught to assume leadership rather than focus merely on individual achievement.
Excellence is Expected
In a military school, all students are expected to seek opportunities for leadership and excellence in performance. There won’t be the jocks and geeks type of social organization found in non-military schools. Students will be expected to learn self-control, time management, and discipline. Each student, not just the brightest, will be expected to work to achieve high academic marks, improve physical fitness, and exercise leadership. Unlike public school, where a student who manages to achieve passing grades can expect to be left alone, in a military school, every student is expected to be ‘up front’ at several points during the academic period.
There is also a lot of emphasis on moral-ethical training, integrity, and spiritual development, and teamwork. Loners who find it impossible to work well in groups will quickly fall by the wayside.
Contrary to the image of some popular movies, where trouble makers are sent off to military school to be rehabilitated, military schools are not designed to change severely disruptive, unruly, or violent behavior. Only those students who are willing to accept the discipline and structure of military school are accepted, and will benefit from this excellent education. Students unwilling to engage in vigorous physical activity along with academic work aren’t good candidates for this schooling.
The purpose of military schooling is to develop a self-confident leader and an ethically responsible citizen, devoted to continuous self-improvement, not just individually, but as part of a team.