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The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
(RMAS or RMA Sandhurst), commonly known simply as Sandhurst, is one of several military academies of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
and is the British Army's initial officer training centre. It is located in the town of Camberley, near the village of Sandhurst, Berkshire, 34 miles (55 km) southwest of London. The Academy's stated aim is to be "the national centre of excellence for leadership". All British Army
British Army
officers, including late-entry officers who were previously Warrant Officers, as well as other men and women from overseas, are trained at The Academy. Sandhurst is the British Army equivalent of the Britannia Royal Naval College
Britannia Royal Naval College
Dartmouth, Royal Air Force College Cranwell, and the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines.


1 Location 2 History 3 Selection 4 Instructors 5 Courses 6 Organisation

6.1 Regular Army

7 Sovereign's Parade 8 Awards

8.1 Sword of Honour 8.2 Queen's Medal 8.3 Overseas Sword 8.4 Overseas Award 8.5 MacRobert Sword

9 Alumni 10 Chapel 11 Lineage 12 See also 13 References

13.1 Notes 13.2 Bibliography

14 External links

Location[edit] Despite its name, The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
is located in Camberley; the boundaries of the academy straddle the counties of Berkshire
and Surrey. The county border is marked by a small stream known as the Wish Stream, after which the Academy journal is named. The main entrance is located on the east of the Academy, leading to Camberley
town centre. The nearest railway station is Camberley. History[edit]

Royal Military College cricket grounds, Sandhurst, c. 1895

The present Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
was founded in 1947 with the merger of two institutions: the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. The first Military Academy had been established in 1720 at Woolwich, a town later absorbed into south-east London, to train cadets for commissions in the Royal Artillery. Known as the "Shop", this academy moved to a permanent site at Woolwich
Common in 1806 and was granted royal status in 1841. In 1806, the Military Academy took on the training of Royal Engineers
Royal Engineers
officer cadets and, later, Royal Signals cadets.

Old College buildings

In 1799, a school for staff officers was established at High Wycombe, and in 1801 this became the Senior Department of the newly established Royal Military College (RMC),[1] the brainchild of Colonel John Le Marchant.[2] He opened the Junior Department of the College at a large house in West Street in Great Marlow[3] in 1802[4] to train "Gentleman Cadets" for the infantry and cavalry regiments of the British Army
British Army
and of the Presidency armies
Presidency armies
of British India.[1] Coincidentally, 1802 was also the year of foundation of Saint-Cyr in France[5] and of West Point in the United States.[6] In 1812 the Junior Department of the Royal Military College moved from Great Marlow
Great Marlow
into buildings designed by James Wyatt
James Wyatt
at Sandhurst.[7] A few years later, the Junior Department was joined at Sandhurst from High Wycombe
High Wycombe
by the Senior Department, which in 1858 became a separate institution, the Staff College.[1]

A RMAS community open day

On the outbreak of the Second World War, Sandhurst became the home of 161 Infantry Officer Cadet Training Unit (RMC), which moved to Mons Barracks, Aldershot
in 1942; for the rest of the war Sandhurst was used as a Royal Armoured Corps
Officer Cadet Training Unit (OCTU).[8] The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
was formed in 1947 on the site of the former Royal Military College from a merger between it and the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich, which trained officers for the Royal Artillery
Royal Artillery
and Royal Engineers
Royal Engineers
from 1741 to 1939.[9] Following the ending of National Service in the UK and the closing of the Mons Officer Cadet School in Aldershot
(which had trained Short Service Commissioned Officers) in 1972, the RMAS became the sole establishment for male initial officer training in the British Army.[10] In 1984, the Women's Officer Training College Bagshot moved to Sandhurst. In 1992 a new Commissioning Course finally unified the training of male, female and foreign cadets.[1] The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
Collection illustrates the history of the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. The collection includes the Gentlemen Cadet registers, historic archives, uniforms, paintings, photographs, and other artefacts.[11] For the 1948 Summer Olympics
1948 Summer Olympics
in London, the newly created Academy hosted the running leg of the modern pentathlon competition.[12] Contemporary training at Sandhurst was the subject of a three-part television series, first broadcast by BBC television
BBC television
in October 2011, and rebroadcast in April 2012. In 2012 Sandhurst accepted a £15 million donation from the government of United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
for the Zayed Building, an accommodation block, named after the UAE's founding ruler.[13] In 2013 Sandhurst accepted a donation of £3 million from the government of Bahrain
for the refurbishment of Mons Hall, named in honour of the men who fell in the Battle of Mons. It was renamed as King Hamad Hall in honour of the King of Bahrain, which generated some controversy in the United Kingdom.[13][14] In 2015 Sandhurst appointed Lucy Giles as the first female college commander in its history.[15]

The Wellington Room after Arthur Wellesley showing a depiction of the Battle of Waterloo
Battle of Waterloo
and his bust—RMAS Collection

Marlborough Room showing tryptych on leather of the Battle of Blenheim by Horensburg RMAS Collection

Selection[edit] Potential officers are identified by the Army Officer Selection Board (formerly the Regular Commissions Board, or RCB) situated in Westbury in Wiltshire.[16] Nearly 10 percent of British cadets are female and nearly 10 percent of all cadets come from overseas. More than eighty percent of entrants are university graduates, although a degree is not required for admission.[17] Instructors[edit] The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
Instructors' cadre is run once every year. The aim is to select 30 Senior Non-Commissioned Officers (SNCOs) from 60 over the course of 3–4 weeks. Instructors can come from any part of the British Army
British Army
although most are historically from the Infantry. Typically before the 60 candidates arrive on the cadre, they would have had to have passed a 'Divisional pre-selection' course, meaning it would not be unusual for over double the 60 places to be contested. Sergeants and Colour Sergeants (Staff Sergeants from non-Infantry units) attend the Instructors Cadre. The Instructors Cadre is known to be demanding, both physically and mentally, compressing all the prominent physical tests and mental assessments that each officer cadet undertakes over the year course, into 3/4 weeks. This proves and produces the best instructors the British Army has at their disposal. No other instructor posting has a selection to pass in order to be a part of a training team.[18] Courses[edit]

Passing out parade

New colours are presented to RMAS, June 2005. Prince Harry
Prince Harry
(at attention, to left of horse) is on parade.

Sandhurst 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.[19] The course is accredited by various academic and professional institutions.[19] 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 followed by further training courses specific to the Regiment
or Corps
in which the officer will serve. There are two shorter commissioning courses. One is for professionally qualified officers (e.g., doctors, dentists, nurses, lawyers, pharmacists, veterinary surgeons and chaplains).[20] The second short course is the Army Reserve (AR) Commissioning Course (ARCC), which lasts eight weeks. The ARCC consists of four training modules; the first two, Modules A and B, can be completed under the supervision of RMAS with University Officer Training Corps
over a number of weekends, or at RMAS where each module lasts two weeks. The final two modules, modules C and D, of the Officers' training and assessment must be conducted at Sandhurst. This training can all be completed in an eight-week period at RMAS, or over a number of years. Upon completion, Officer Cadets become Second Lieutenants in the AR or Officer Training Corps
(OTC).[21] Each year approximately 140 candidates undertake each of these two short courses.[1] Both courses are accommodated and primarily conducted at Victory College, RMAS. Sandhurst also runs a variety of other courses for officers including the Late Entry Officer Course (LEOC).[22] RMAS has an academic faculty staffed by civilian researchers with expertise in Communication and Applied Behavioural Science, Defence and International Affairs, and War Studies.[23] Unlike some other national military academies such as West Point
West Point
in the United States, the École spéciale militaire de Saint-Cyr
École spéciale militaire de Saint-Cyr
in France, the Pakistan Military Academy
Pakistan Military Academy
in Pakistan
and the Nigerian Defence Academy in Nigeria, Sandhurst is not a university. It only works with the Open University
Open University
to award the Regular Commissioning Course 120 credit points towards a distance learning Honours Degree in International Studies which ultimately requires 360 points. Graduate entrants can gain a Postgraduate Certificate in Leadership and Conflict Studies from the Regular Commissioning Course and then embark on a pathway post-commissioning to complete a full master's degree from a university through further electives and a dissertation.[24] Organisation[edit] In overall command of the RMAS is the Commandant of the Academy, usually an officer of Major General
Major General
rank. The senior warrant officer, the Academy Sergeant Major (AcSM), is one of the most senior warrant officers in the British Army. The commissioning course is split up into three terms, each lasting fourteen weeks (referred to as the Junior, Intermediate and Senior Divisions, identified by differently coloured lanyards). Basic army training is covered in the first five weeks, which, by reputation, are the most gruelling (cadets' families are encouraged to support the cadets' morale by maintaining home contacts). The main RMAS Commissioning Courses start in January, May and September of each year. Each intake numbers approximately 200 cadets, each of whom is assigned to a platoon within one of two companies. Platoons are commanded by captains, with a colour sergeant who takes the main burden of day-to-day training, especially during the first term (unlike West Point, RMAS entrusts the majority of officer training to Senior Non-Commissioned Officers). 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 or campaign in which the British Army
British Army
has fought. The company names change from year to year, and are drawn from the following:

Gaza Company The Marne Company Amiens Company The Somme Company Ypres Company Alamein Company Burma Company Normandy Company The Falklands Company Imjin Company Rhine Company Malaya Company Blenheim Company Waterloo Company Inkerman Company Borneo Company: The newest Company, which formed up for the first time to begin Commissioning Course 153. Gallipoli Company: the only Company named after a British defeat, formed up for the first time to begin the newly revised Commissioning Course 151. Dettingen Company: the Short Courses mentioned above (for Army Reserve and Professionally Qualified Officers) are operated sequentially, and are each known as "Dettingen Company".

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 at the point they left, or processing those who are medically discharged. Cadets who fail to meet the required standard may be "back-termed", that is, "asked" to repeat the previous term and joining a later intake, or to repeat the whole course. Cadets nominate two regiments or corps that they seek to join, although in practice this may be influenced by their instructors, if particular strengths or weaknesses or aptitudes are seen to be important. In the middle term, interviews are held and final selections are made by the recruiting regiments and corps; there is competition for strong cadets by the units and, conversely, by cadets for prestigious or specialised units. Exceptionally, some cadets may have confirmed places in regiments before the formal selections or even before starting at Sandhurst. Regular Army[edit]

Open Day at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst

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 an opposing force in 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,[25] the smallest corps in the British Army. Music is now provided by a variety of Corps
of Army Music bands on rotation.

Sovereign's Parade[edit]

The 149th Sovereign's Parade in front of Old College

The first Sovereign's Parade was performed on 14 July 1948, in front of King George VI. Three Sovereign's Parades are held each year outside the Old College to mark the "passing-out" and the final parade at Sandhurst of the Senior Division. All cadets, except for those who have been back-termed through injury or other reasons, are inspected by the Sovereign (or their representative), participate in the Trooping the Colour
Trooping the Colour
and parade past the Sovereign (or her representative) and guests. Guests consist of invited dignitaries and friends and families of the graduating cadets.[1] During Trooping the Colour, the Colour is escorted by the Sovereign's Platoon, which has been selected on merit from the Senior Division. The Sovereign's Platoon
wears multi-coloured lanyards, using the colours of all three Divisions. At the end of the Parade, the Colours and the Senior Division leave the parade ground via the Grand Steps of the Old College building. They are followed by the College Adjutant, on horseback (the origins of this tradition are unclear).[1] Awards[edit] Each Commissioning Course has awards granted to outstanding cadets. The following awards are presented during the Sovereign's Parade. Others are merely listed in the Parade programme. A system of Cadet Government also recognises merit by the appointment of Senior Under Officers, Junior Under Officers, Cadet Sergeants and Cadet Corporals.[1] Sword of Honour[edit] The Sword of Honour is awarded to the British Army
British Army
Officer Cadet considered by the Commandant to be, overall, the best of the course. The swords were formerly made by Wilkinson Sword
Wilkinson Sword
but after the closure of their sword making division they are now presented by Pooley Sword.[26] Queen's Medal[edit] The Queen's Medal is awarded to the British Army
British Army
Officer Cadet who achieved the highest scores in military, practical and academic studies.[27]

Royal Memorial Chapel south aspect

Overseas Sword[edit] The Overseas Sword is awarded to one of the many cadets from other Commonwealth countries and from foreign armies. The Overseas Sword goes to the Overseas Cadet considered by the Commandant to be the best on each course.[27] Overseas Award[edit] The Overseas Award is the equivalent of the Queen's Medal, and is awarded to the Overseas Officer Cadet who achieved the best overall results in military, academic and practical studies.[27] MacRobert Sword[edit] The MacRobert Sword is awarded to the officer cadet considered by the Commandant to be, overall, the best of the Army Reserve Commissioning Course. This sword is also donated by the MacRobert Trust and produced by Pooley Sword.[28] Alumni[edit] Main article: List of alumni of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst Chapel[edit] There are two Chapels within the Academy, The Roman Catholic Chapel (Christ the King) and The Royal Memorial Chapel, dedicated as Christ Church, which also contains the South Africa Chapel, which was originally the sanctuary of the second Chapel before the it was enlarged. The original chapel was what is now known as the Indian Army Memorial Room. The Royal Engineers
Royal Engineers
designed the original Chapel, which features red brick, terracotta moulding, interlocking pediment copies and corbels in 1879. The Chapel was dedicated by King George VI
King George VI
on 2 May 1937, after architect Captain Arthur C. Martin enlarged the building in a Byzantine style. The Memorial stained glass and Windows in the chapel honour the Brigade of Guards, Rifle Brigade, Royal Fusiliers, and the Hampshire Regiment, among other units. Some memorials, including one honouring alumni of the US Military Academy at West Point, are carved into the black marble flooring.[29] On panels devoted to the particular campaigns in which they lost their lives, are the names of former cadets killed in action. At intervals above the panels are circular tablets to the memory of College Governors. The names of former cadets who have died on active service in the field, or elsewhere are listed in the spaces between the panels. Other tablets on the walls of the porch of the Church were moved there from the old Chapel. At the nave near the chancel steps, old Regimental colours hang from the pillars.[30] The College cemetery has (in 2017) 21 graves and headstones maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.[31]

The dedication to General Carter-Campbell in The Royal Memorial Chapel

Royal Memorial Chapel portico

Entrance to the cemetery

Foreground: some of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission maintained headstones & graves



Royal Military Academy Sandhurst Royal Military Academy Royal Military Academy

East India Company Military Seminary

Royal Military College, Sandhurst

Mons Officer Cadet School

Women's Royal Army Corps

See also[edit]

portal Military history portal United Kingdom
United Kingdom

List of Governors and Commandants of Sandhurst Sandhurst Competition

References[edit] Notes[edit]

^ a b c d e f g h Sovereign's Parade Programme. RMA Sandhurst. April 2012.  ^ Major-General John Gaspard Le Marchant (1766–1812) Archived 23 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Defence Academy ^ Marlow Tour Marlow Society ^ "RMAS: The story of Sandhurst". Archived from the original on 5 May 2012. Retrieved 6 July 2009.  ^ "Ecoles Des Saint-Cyr (in French)". Archived from the original on 18 December 2012. Retrieved 23 March 2015.  ^ Ambrose, Stephen (1966). Duty, Honor, Country. A History of West Point. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0-8018-6293-0. , p.22 ^ Sandhurst – Royal Berkshire
History ^ Training Archived 5 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Army ^ Facilities in Sandhurst – 1937 A detailed description by a new recruit. ^ "Mons Officer Cadet School". Retrieved 6 July 2009.  ^ "RMAS Archive". Retrieved 29 June 2009.  ^ 1948 Summer Olympics
1948 Summer Olympics
official report. p. 47. ^ a b Matthew Teller (26 August 2014). "Sandhurst's sheikhs: Why do so many Gulf royals receive military training in the UK?". BBC. Retrieved 27 August 2014.  ^ Tom Whitehead (17 February 2013). "Row over renaming of Sandhurst hall after Bahrain
donation". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 27 August 2014.  ^ " Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
to get first female college commander". BBC News. 12 December 2015. Retrieved 13 December 2015.  ^ "AOSB Site". Archived from the original on 17 May 2009. Retrieved 29 June 2009.  ^ RMAS: The Officer Cadet. ^ "The Sandhurst Group SNCO Instructors' cadre". Boot Camp Military Fitness Institute. Retrieved 25 August 2017.  ^ a b Commissioning Course Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
Archived 23 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine. ^ PQO Course at army.mod.uk, accessed 1 March 2014 ^ "Choosing a Commission". Archived from the original on 9 November 2009. He is placed on the strength of a AR Unit but completes Modules 1–3 of the AR Commissioning Course (ARCC) with the UOTC and Module 4 at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Commission is confirmed by completing Module 5, a Special
to Arms Course, a minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 2 years commissioned service.  ^ Late Entry Officer Course Royal Military Academy Sandhurst ^ "RMAS site". Archived from the original on 27 December 2009.  ^ "Academic departments". Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Retrieved 23 January 2016.  ^ "Memorial Chapel" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 February 2008. Retrieved 20 February 2008.  ^ "From Tottenham to Sandhurst: The extraordinary moment cadet from a broken home on a tough north London
estate – who only learned to read aged 12 – received the British Army's prestigious sword of honour". Daily Mail. 15 April 2016. Retrieved 9 August 2016.  ^ a b c "178th Sovereign's Parade". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 21 August 2016.  ^ " London
Officer Cadet tops course at RMA Sandhurst". The Reserve Forces' and Cadets' Association for Greater London. Retrieved 9 August 2016.  ^ Royal Memorial Chapel Sandhurst ^ Major Augustus F. Mockler-Ferryman F.R.G.S., F.Z.S. Annals of Sandhurst: a chronicle of the Royal Military College from its foundation to the present day, with a sketch of the history of the Staff College (London: William Heinemann, 1900) ^ "Sandhurst Royal Military Academy Cemetery". Retrieved 19 October 2017. 


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. Thomas, Hugh, 1931– The story of Sandhurst London, Hutchinson 1961 Christchurch the Chapel of The Royal Military College: Enlarged and Beautified to the Glory of God and in memory of The Sandhurst Cadets who have died in the service of their country Gale & Polden Ltd, Aldershot, 1937. Goodley, Heloise An Officer and a Gentlewoman Constable and Robinson, London, 2012

External links[edit]

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Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
Royal Military Academy Sandhurst

Coordinates: 51°20′26″N 0°46′07″W / 51.340532°N 0.7687°W / 51.340532; -0.7687

v t e

Initial officer training establishments of the British Armed Forces

Britannia Royal Naval College Commando Training Centre Royal Marines

Royal Military Academy Sandhurst RAF College Cranwell

v t e

Venues of the 1948 Summer Olympics

Aldershot Arsenal Stadium Bisley National Rifle Association Ranges Champion Hill Craven Cottage Empire Pool Empire Stadium Empress Hall, Earl's Court Finchley Lido Green Pond Road Griffin Park Guinness Sports Club Harringay Arena Henley Royal Regatta Herne Hill Velodrome Lynn Road Lyons' Sports Club Polytechnic Sports Ground Royal Military Academy Selhurst Park Tweseldown Racecourse Torbay Wembley Palace of Engineering White Hart Lane Windsor Great Park

v t e

Olympic venues in modern pentathlon

1912 Barkarby, Djurgårdsbrunnsviken, Kaknäs, Östermalms IP, Stockholm Olympic Stadium 1920 Olympisch Stadion 1924 Fontainebleau, Le Stand de Tir de Versailles, Piscine des Tourelles, Stade de Colombes 1928 Amersfoort, Hilversum, Olympic Sports Park Swim Stadium, Schermzaal, Zeeburg
Shooting Grounds 1932 160th Regiment
State Armory, Los Angeles Police Pistol Range, Riviera Country Club, Sunset Fields Golf Club, Swimming Stadium 1936 Döberitz, Haus des Deutschen Sports, Olympic Swimming Stadium, Ruhleben, Wannsee
Golf Course 1948 Aldershot, Bisley National Rifle Association Ranges, Royal Military Academy 1952 Hämeenlinna 1956 Oaklands Hunt Club, Royal Exhibition Building, Swimming/Diving Stadium, Williamstown 1960 Acqua Santa Golf Club Course, Palazzo dei Congressi, Passo Corese, Stadio Olimpico del Nuoto, Umberto I Shooting Range 1964 Asaka Nezu Park, Asaka Shooting Range, Kemigawa, National Gymnasium, Waseda Memorial Hall 1968 Campo Militar 1, Fernando Montes de Oca Fencing Hall, Francisco Márquez Olympic Pool, Vicente Suárez Shooting Range 1972 Messegelände Fechthalle 2, Olympiastadion, Riding Facility, Riem; Schießanlage, Schwimmhalle 1976 Montreal Botanical Garden, Olympic Equestrian Centre, Bromont; Olympic Pool, Olympic Shooting Range, L'Acadie; Winter Stadium, Université de Montréal 1980 CSKA Football Fieldhouse, Dynamo Shooting Range, Swimming Pool - Olimpisky, Trade Unions' Equestrian Complex 1984 Coto de Caza, Heritage Park Aquatic Center 1988 Jamsil Indoor Swimming Pool, Mongchontoseong, Olympic Fencing Gymnasium, Seoul Equestrian Park, Taenung International Shooting Range 1992 Cross-country course, Mollet del Vallès Shooting Range, Palau de la Metal·lúrgia, Piscines Bernat Picornell, Real Club de Polo de Barcelona 1996 Georgia International Horse Park, Georgia Tech Aquatic Center, Georgia World Congress Center 2000 Sydney Baseball Stadium, Sydney International Aquatic Centre, The Dome and Exhibition Complex 2004 Olympic Modern Pentathlon Centre 2008 Olympic Green Convention Center, Olympic Sports Centre, Ying Tung Natatorium 2012 Aquatics Centre, Greenwich Park, Copper Box, Royal Artillery
Royal Artillery
Barracks 2016 Deodoro Aquatics Centre, Deodoro Stadium, Youth Arena 2020 Musashino Forest Sport Plaza, Tokyo Stadium 2024 Vélodrome de Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Palace of Versailles 2028 VELO Sports Cent