Unit History: Sandhurst Royal Military Academy
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.
The Academy 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 the village of College Town, Sandhurst and partly in the outer region of Camberley town. The nearest railway station is Blackwater, Hampshire.
Sandhurst, unlike some other national military academies such as West Point in the United States, the Pakistan Military Academy, or the National Defence Academy (India), is not a university. Eighty-five percent of entrants are university graduates, but this is not an absolute requirement. 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 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 Militarhogskolan 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.