Military schools may not be the best choice for all. So, why choose military schools? Because military schools offer what some families need. If you know the pros and cons of military schools and what they have to offer then you can choose whether military school is the best option for you or your child.
Military schools can be appropriate choices for a child’s education for several reasons. The choice of a military school over other types of education can rest on the available schools in the area, family traditions, the child’s career aspirations, or simply a good fit between a child’s temperament and a school’s approach, as well as other reasons. Let’s look in a bit more depth at reasons people choose military schools.
First, it’s important to know what a military school is. A military school is a college preparatory school, accredited by the appropriate public or private accreditation agency or agencies, that provides a rigorous academic program in a military-style environment in which students (usually called cadets) wear uniforms, attend JROTC classes, and form part of a hierarchy, with the idea of creating graduates who will be leaders in their chosen careers. In general, military schools send upwards of 90% of their students on to college; some claim acceptance levels at 100%. Often, at least a few students enlist in the military or accepted to one of the Service Academies, but there is no military obligation incurred by choosing to attend.
• Parents of a son might begin their consideration of military schools when they think about single sex education. Many military schools for boys have a long history of teaching boys, as well as well-developed outlets for their physical and competitive maturation.
• Parents looking for a Christian education for their child may consider Christian military schools among the variety of schools that have a faith-based focus. There are military schools that are non-denominational Christian, as well as schools specifically affiliated with Episcopal, Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, and Roman Catholic faiths, for example.
• A family living near a military school that offers a day program—whether public or private—might choose it simply because it offers the finest academic program available or because it offers a particular sport that their child excels in that may not be offered in other schools (military schools often have extensive interscholastic sports programs).
• Parents who come from a family tradition of military school attendance, who work at a military school, or who are or have been in the military may choose a military school for their children to continue the tradition, to share their values and an experience they appreciated with their children, and/or to give their children insight into their career choices and commitments.
• For a child that has leadership potential, works well in a disciplined, group environment, is physically fit and enjoys athletics, and is doing extremely well academically, a military school may seem like a perfect fit for his or her further development.
• For a child who plans to enlist in the military or hopes to attend a Service Academy, the choice of a military school offers the opportunity to gain an idea of the atmosphere and work on the skills, aptitudes, and attitudes that will serve him or her well in the military.