Obtaining an education has long been considered an essential component in attaining personal success. As a result, many endeavor to locate those institutions of higher learning that will fulfill this purpose.
Knowledge, however, is not the only discernible characteristic needed for a productive and successful career. Integrity, discipline, and honor (among others) are also laudable and desired traits that need to be developed. Yet these social qualities are seldom emphasized in traditional academic curriculums.
However, this is not so with schools that features a military tradition as a part of its overall academic offerings. These institutions offer an environment that is completely unique in comparison to traditional schools.
Military colleges place great stress on discipline, teamwork, and goal-oriented achievement in a blend of military structure and competitive academics. The aim: to produce highly capable graduates who are able to assume the reins of leadership in their various occupational pursuits (military or civilian). The following are the top 10 colleges schools.
10. Valley Forge Military Academy And College
Officially designated as the Military College of Pennsylvania, Valley Forge is an interesting institution in that it is both a secondary and post-secondary school. Founded in 1928, the school is located in Wayne, Pennsylvania and offers instruction for young men in grades 7-12 (junior high and high school) as well as a two-year post-secondary offering.
In fact, Valley Forge is one of only five military junior colleges and offers a direct commission into the army after only two years of study (through the army’s Early Commissioning Program). In essence, students at Valley Forge can begin their military indoctrination at a very early age and carry it through college.
The school offers a very intimate atmosphere due to the small number of students (compared with larger institutions) on campus. In total, Valley Forge has about 600 students, with a little over half of these being enrolled in the college.
Like most military schools, students are a part of a corps of cadets and abide by a strict, no-nonsense honor code. It’s interesting to note that the corps of cadets is described as almost completely autonomous. By this, it is meant that the student leaders within the corps are responsible for the day-to-day administration, discipline, training, etc. of the other students.
Cadets are required to live on campus and follow a very structured daily routine: formation, breakfast, cleaning details, academic classes until lunch and then more classes until mid-afternoon.
After classes, students participate in athletics and such, winding down to mandatory study halls from 7:30-9:30 PM. While this is fairly standard for any military school, Valley Forge has some unique characteristics that are wholly their own.
One is that unlike other military schools, Valley Forge follows very distinctive British traditions. In fact, they are the only school in the U.S. that maintains British Drill and military ceremonies. Almost the school’s entire faculty is either active duty or retired military personnel from both the United States military and the British military.
Valley Forge is also one of the few military schools in the nation that maintains a mounted battalion and that caters to all five branches of the U.S. military and all five service academies.
Valley Forge is a bastion of traditions that are both standard and unique, offering a level of education that is not only competitive, but personal and intimate because of its small size.
Alumni: William R. Trefel-chairman of the board, CarMax; Larry Fitzgerald-professional NFL player.
Related article: Top 10 Military Specialty Schools In The United States