Military Junior Colleges: An Overview

If you want to become an Officer in the Army National Guard or Army Reserves, but aren’t interested in West Point, OCS or the traditional commissioning route, you should consider attending one of our nation’s five military junior colleges.  The five military junior colleges in the United States are Wentworth Military Academy, Valley Forge Military Academy, New Mexico Military Institute, Marion Military Institute, and Georgia Military College.  These institutes serve as high schools and junior colleges (in some cases), and let cadets get commissioned in just two years (in most cases).

In the paragraphs below, I will educate you about these five military junior colleges.

  1. Wentworth Military Academy: This school was founded in 1880 and has approximately 1,500 students.  It is located in Lexington, Missouri.  It is a high school and military junior college.  Initially an all male college, females were allowed to participate in 1993.  They offer a 2 year commissioning program, a 4-year commissioning program and a Falcon Scholarship (partnership with the Air Force Academy).
  2. Valley Forge Military Academy: This is a boarding school and military junior college in Wayne, Pennsylvania.  This school hosts about 600 cadets.  It dates back to 1928 and has a very proud history.  The school first accepted female students in 2006.
  3. New Mexico Military Institute: This is a co-ed institute that offers grades 9 through 14.  The school is a high school and military junior college.  It was founded in 1891.  It is a state supported educational institution located in Roswell, New Mexico.  The school commissions 30 to 40 cadets each year and sends another 75 to 125 students to the major military academies.
  4. Marion Military Institute: This is the official state military college of Alabama.  It was founded in 1842 and assumed its current name in 1887. It is a military preparatory high school and junior college.
  5. Georgia Military College: This is a military junior college, high school and middle school in Milledgeville, Georgia.  It host students in sixth through twelfth grade, in addition to the college students.  In all, there are about 5,000 students and 150 faculty members.

If any of these schools interest you, you should do your research and visit each school’s website to learn more.  Make a list of questions and find the answers.  It might be in your best interest to interview some former graduates and students too just to get an inside perspective.

Attending a military junior college is not for everyone.  It can be expensive and the experience is much different than the traditional college route.  But I must admit that these institutions do produce many fine Army Officers and military leaders.  In addition, the schools offer intense academics, a focus on physical fitness, structure, routine, and lots of discipline.  Some students thrive in this type of environment while others hate it.  Ultimately, you must decide what is best for you.

What are your thoughts about the military junior colleges?  If you attended one of these colleges, I would love to hear from you.  What was your experience like? When did you attend?  Which school did you attend?  Leave a comment below to share your story with the rest of our community. We value your input.


chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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