Royal Military Academy Sandhurst

Royal Military Academy Sandhurst

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name=Royal Military Academy Sandhurst

caption=Cap Badge of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
dates=1802 (as Royal Military College)–Present
country=United Kingdom
branch=British Army
command_structure=Army Recruiting and Training Division
role=Officer Training
size=Ten companies
ceremonial_chief= HM The Queen
colonel_of_the_regiment=Major General D J Rutherford-Jones
motto="Serve to Lead"
identification_symbol_label=Arm Badge
The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS), commonly known simply as Sandhurst, is the British Army officer initial training centre. The Academy is the British Army equivalent of the Royal Air Force College Cranwell and the Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth.

The Academy's stated aim is to be "the national centre of excellence for leadership".

All British Army officers, including late entry officers who were previously Warrant Officers, as well as many from elsewhere in the world, are trained at Sandhurst. Nearly 10 percent of British cadets are female and nearly 10 percent of all cadets come from overseas.

The Academy opened in 1947 in the former Royal Military College (RMC) at Sandhurst. It straddles the counties of Berkshire and Surrey, the border marked by a small stream known as the Wish Stream, after which the Academy journal is named. Primarily, the Academy is situated in College Town, a suburb of Sandhurst, and partly in the outer region of Camberley town. The nearest railway station is Blackwater, Hampshire.

The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS) develops leadership in cadets by expanding their character, intellect and professional competences to a level demanded of an Army Officer on first appointment through military training and education. The core objectives reflect the three key elements in the training and education of the young officers: the moral, the intellectual and the physical. It was descended from two older institutions, the Royal Military Academy (RMA) and the Royal Military College (RMC). The Commissioning Course is the first stage of officer training and education. Its main purpose is to develop an officer with the generic leadership qualities to lead soldiers both on and off operations. The course is accredited by various academic and professional institutions. The College's motto is "Serve to lead." Major General D J Rutherford-Jones is the Commandant of Sandhurst. [ ]

Sandhurst, unlike some other national military academies such as West Point in the United States, the Pakistan Military Academy, or the Indian National Defence Academy, is not a university. Eighty-five percent of entrants are university graduates, but this is not an absolute requirement. [ [ RMAS: The Officer Cadet] .] This is illustrated by Prince William and Prince Harry; one a graduate, the other not.


The RMA Sandhurst was formed in 1947 from a merger of the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich (which trained officers for the Royal Artillery and Royal Engineers from 1741 to 1939) and the Royal Military College [ [ Facilities in Sandhurst - 1937] A detailed description by a new recruit.] at Sandhurst. Following the ending of National Service in the UK and the closing of the Mons Officer Training School in Aldershot, the RMAS became the sole establishment for male initial officer training in the British Army.

The Royal Military College opened its doors in 1802, coincidentally the same year as Saint Cyr and West Point. Amongst the current Military Academies, only Militärhögskolan Karlberg in Sweden, founded 1792 and the Dutch Military Academy are older.

The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst Collection contains displays the history of the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, The Royal Military College and the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. The collection includes the Royal Military Academy's gentlemen cadet registers, historic archive, uniforms, paintings, photographs and other artefacts. Visits are by appointment only. [ ]


The Commissioning Course lasts 44 weeks and must be successfully completed by all British regular army officers (with some exceptions) before they receive their commission. It is usually preceded by the Army Officer Selection Board and followed by a further training course specific to the Regiment or Corps the officer will serve in. A shorter commissioning course is run for professionally qualified officers (e.g., doctors, dentists, nurses, lawyers, vets and chaplains). This shorter course, lasting four weeks, is known colloquially as the "Vicars and Tarts" course.

Another short course includes the testing phase of the Territorial Army Officer Commissioning Process which last only three weeks. The TA Commissioning Course (TACC) is available to Officer Cadets after completion of 3 training modules, with Sandhurst seen as Module 4 of the Officers' training and assessment. This prior training typically takes 2 years to complete, although a new course has recently begun to reduce this to several weeks during the Summer. This "fast track" route to a TA commission takes place in August and aims to train officer cadets in all the required skills ready to pass directly into the September commissioning course intake. Upon completion, Officer Cadets become Probationary Second Lieutenants in the TA or Officer Training Corps (OTC). The probationary period ends upon completion of further officer training in areas such as Soldier management and 'special-to-arm' training and must be completed for a TA officer to be deployed on operations.

Sandhurst also runs a variety of other courses for officers, most notably the Late Entry Officer Course (LEOC), and has renowned academic departments staffed by civilian lecturers. The noted academics John Keegan and Richard Holmes were both members of the faculty.

All officer cadets who complete the full Commissioning Course are eligible for a variety of civilian accreditations such as a City and Guilds of London Institute Licentiateship in Leadership and Associate Membership of the Chartered Management Institute.


In overall charge of the RMAS is the Commandant, usually an officer of Major General rank, while the Academy Sergeant Major (AcSM) is the most senior individual warrant officer in the British Army (only Conductors of the Royal Logistic Corps rank higher than the AcSM, but there are several of them at any one time). The main RMAS commissioning courses start in January, May and September of each year. Each new intake numbers approximately 270 cadets, each of whom joins a company. The commissioning course is split up into three terms, each lasting fourteen weeks, and on each course cadets are put into one of three companies. There can be as many as ten companies within the RMAS at any one time, each commanded by a Major and named after a famous battle in which the British Army has fought. The company names vary but are currently :

*Alamein Company
*Burma Company
*Normandy Company
*The Falklands Company
*Imjin Company
*Malaya Company
*Blenheim Company
*Inkerman Company
*Waterloo Company
*Dettingen Company—the Short Courses mentioned above (for Territorial Army and Professionally Qualified Officers) are operated sequentially, and are each known as "Dettingen Company".

Within a company are three platoons each of thirty officer cadets, commanded by a Captain and supported by a Colour Sergeant. Unlike West Point, RMAS entrusts the majority of officer training to SNCOs. Dettingen Company is divided along the same lines as the regular intakes, though smaller courses may consist of only two platoons.

There is also a "rehabilitation" platoon—Lucknow Platoon. It looks after cadets who are injured during training, with a view to preparing them to re-enter the commissioning course or processing those who are medically discharged.

Regular Army

A small number of regular army units are based at the RMAS to provide support for the colleges and their training:
*Gurkha Demonstration Company (Sittang): This is a company-sized unit drawn from all units of the Brigade of Gurkhas, to provide realistic battle training for the cadets.
*44 Support Squadron, Royal Logistic Corps: This is the RMAS's permanently based transport, logistic and signals support unit.
* Until 1984, the RMAS had its own band - The RMAS Band Corps [cite web | author= | title=Memorial Chapel|url=| accessdaymonth=20 Feb | accessyear=2008 ] , the smallest Regiment in the British Army. Music is now provided by a variety of Army bands on rotation.


Each Commissioning Course has awards granted to outstanding cadets.

word of Honour

The Sword of Honour is awarded to the British Army officer cadet considered by the Commandant to be, overall, the best of the course.

Queen's Medal

The Queen's Medal is awarded to the British Army Officer Cadet who achieved the highest scores in military, practical and academic studies.

Overseas Sword

The other two awards being for British Army cadets, the Overseas sword is awarded to one of the many cadets sent by foreign armies. The Overseas Sword goes to the Overseas Cadet considered by the Commandant to be the best of the course. It was previously known as the Overseas Cane.

Duke of Westminster's Sword

The Duke of Westminster's Sword is awarded to the officer cadet considered by the Commandant to be, overall, the best out of the Dettingen Company TA Commissioning Course for Territorial Army Officers.


:"For more information, see the category: ."Sandhurst is prestigious and has had many famous alumni. There are so many famous generals and VC winners that a fair and representative list would be immense. Despite urban myths to the contrary, Idi Amin and Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi did not attend the RMAS [cite web | author= | title=RMAS Archivist|url= | accessdaymonth=20 Nov | accessyear=2007 ] . Note, this list contains a number of 'students' who did not complete the course. Some of the foreign royalty were not, for example, commissioned.



*Leka I of Albania
*Leka II of Albania


*Hassanal Bolkiah, Sultan of Brunei
* Prince Azim, the son of the Sultan of Brunei, quit the Academy after one week in October 2008 [cite web | author= | title=Daily Telegraph|url= | accessdaymonth=06 Oct | accessyear=2008 ] .

United Kingdom

*Prince William of Wales ("William Wales") (Blues and Royals)
*Prince Harry of Wales ("Harry Wales") (Blues and Royals)


*Pavlos, Crown Prince of Greece (Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers and Greys))


*King Abdullah II of Jordan (13th/18th Royal Hussars (Queen Mary's Own))
*Princess Aisha of Jordan
*Princess Iman of Jordan


*His Serene Highness Prince Alois of Liechtenstein (Coldstream Guards)


*Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg
*Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg


*Sultan Qaboos of Oman (The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles))


*Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani

audi Arabia

*HRH Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah
*HRH Prince Khalid Bin Sultan Bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia
*HRH Prince Abdulaziz Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia
*HRH Prince Mishal Bin Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia


*King Alfonso XII of Spain


* King George Tupou V of Tonga


*King Vajiravud of Thailand


*Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan


*Sir Winston Churchill (4th Queen's Own Hussars)
*The Right Honourable Iain Duncan Smith MP (Scots Guards)
*Patrick Mercer OBE MP (Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment (29th/45th Foot))
*Sir Robert Cary, 1st Baronet (4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards)
*Sir Oswald Mosley (16th The Queen's Lancers)
*Lord Carrington (Grenadier Guards)
*Iskander Mirza The First President of Pakistan (The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles))
*William Champ The First Premier of Tasmania
* Seretse Khama Ian Khama President of Botswana.
* Janaka Perera Ceylon Engineers

Authors and poets

*Ian Fleming: did not complete course
*George W. M. Reynolds
*Gerald Brenan
*Keith Douglas (Nottinghamshire (Sherwood Rangers) Yeomanry Regiment)
*John Masters, (4th Prince of Wales's Own Gurkha Rifles)
*Sir Osbert Sitwell: applied twice and failed to get in. [ [ Poet: Sir Osbert Sitwell - All poems of Sir Osbert Sitwell] at]
*Lord Dunsany
*Harry Graham (Coldstream Guards)
*Patrick Leigh Fermor (Irish Guards)


*David Niven (Highland Light Infantry (City of Glasgow Regiment))
*Patrick Cargill (Indian Army)

TV Writers

*David Croft OBE (Royal Artillery)Fact|date=November 2007


*Victor Silvester OBE
*James Blunt (Life Guards)


* Mark Phillips: Olympic gold medal horseman (1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards)
* Chris Moon: Multiple amputee [ [ Chris Moon MBE: Motivational Speaker] (official site).] , completed Marathon des Sables and a campaigner against land mines [cite web | author= Gordon, Bryony | title=The Daily Telegraph - Land mine victim's 1,284-mile trek|url= | accessdaymonth=20 Nov | accessyear=2007 ] (Royal Military Police).
* Jim Fox: Olympic gold medal modern pentathlete
*Will Carling: Captain of England rugby union team (Royal Regiment of Wales) [cite web | author= | title=Biog from Motivational Speakers website|url= | accessdaymonth=20 Nov | accessyear=2007 ]
* Tim Rodber: England rugby international (Green Howards (Alexandra, Princess of Wales's Own Yorkshire Regiment)
* Josh Lewsey: England rugby international (Royal Artillery) [cite web | author= | title=Biog from RFU website|url= | accessdaymonth=20 Nov | accessyear=2007 ]
* Murray Walker: Motor-racing commentator [cite web | author= | title=biog from website|url= | accessdaymonth=20 Nov | accessyear=2007 ] (Royal Scots Greys)
*Devon Harris: Jamaican winter-Olympian


*Chris Bonington (Royal Fusiliers, commissioned into the Royal Tank Regiment)
*Daniel Byles (Royal Army Medical Corps)
*Lawrence "Titus" Oates (6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons)
*Richard Profit (Royal Engineers)
*Francis Younghusband (1st King's Dragoon Guards)
*John Blashford-Snell (Royal Engineers)


*Augustus Pitt Rivers


*Keith Floyd (Royal Tank Regiment)


*Robert Taylor-Hughes: Managing Director, Beiersdorf Middle East [cite web | author= | title=International Speaker Conference, Dubai|url= | accessdaymonth=20 Nov | accessyear=2007 ]
*Greg Leniston: Sales Director, Ice Broadband Dublin
* Paul Brown, CBE: Chief Executive, Commercial Radio Companies Association [cite web | author= | title=International Times Online - Media|url=| accessdaymonth=20 Nov | accessyear=2007 ]
*Arturo Sarmiento, Venezuelan: billionaire [cite web | author= | title=New York Times|url= | accessdaymonth=20 Nov | accessyear=2007 ]
* Hamish Bryce: Chairman, Independent Age; Non-Executive Director, Henderson Strata plc; Chairman: Thorn Lighting Group plc (until 1997) [cite web | author= | title=Independent Age|url= | accessdaymonth=31 Aug | accessyear=2008] (Royal Engineers)


*The Revd Mark Turnham Elvins, OMFCap (Royal Army Chaplains' Department)

Black sheep

*James Hewitt (Life Guards)
*Simon Mann (Scots Guards)
*Katie Hopkins (Adjutant General's Corps) and Paul Callaghan, participants in "The Apprentice".



Further reading

* Mockler-Ferryman, A. F. "Annals of Sandhurst: A Chronicle of the Royal Military College From Its Foundation to the Present". Whitefish, Montana: Kessinger Publishing, 2007 (reprint; original 1900). ISBN 1-4326-6558-8.

External links

* [ Royal Military Academy Sandhurst website]
* [ Army Officer Selection Board website]
* [ A dozen images of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst]

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