RMA Sandhurst

Officer Training

Serve to lead

At the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, you will conduct training designed to make you an effective leader of soldiers. Military training is infantry-based so that everyone, no matter what their eventual regiment or corps, will have mastered the core essentials before they go on to more specialised training after Sandhurst. There are several courses that the Academy runs, these are listed below.

Regular Officer

Training at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst lasts for 44 weeks, broken down into three 14-week terms. Between each term, there are adventurous training exercises and 2-3 weeks of leave.

Term One focuses on basic military skills, fitness and decision making.
Term two continues the development of leadership skills and has a major academic component. Officer cadets select their future corps or regiment at this stage.
Term Three puts the Officer Cadet's new skills into practice on complex and demanding training exercises in the UK and overseas.

The Commissioning Course is accredited by various academic and professional institutions.

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Reserve Officer

The course (Commissioning Course Short) takes eight weeks to complete and is based directly on the Regular Commissioning Course. It is split equally into four modules. It is an intense, challenging course designed to teach the fundamentals of soldiering and develop Officer Cadets as leaders.

Someone who holds an Army Reserve commission will have learned a wide range of valuable leadership and managerial skills that can also be used in the civilian workplace. For that reason, many employers actively support employees who wish to become Army Reserve Officers.

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Professionally Qualified Officers

The Professionally Qualified Officer (PQO) course at Sandhurst is for new British Army Officers who hold professional qualifications, such as doctors, vets, lawyers, dentists, nurses, physiotherapists and chaplains. The course is designed to familiarise PQOs with military life and to prepare them for operational deployment.

The course (Commissioning Course Short) takes eight weeks to complete and is based directly on the Regular Commissioning Course. The focus is on officership, command and leadership, and the syllabus includes field training, physical training, weapons training and, of course, drill. When not out in the field PQOs will find themselves in the classroom, learning, for example, about global security, aspects of leadership psychology and the history of warfare.

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Highlights from the courses

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Ex Dynamic Victory

The final exercise of the Regular Commissioning Course, this two-week exercise puts all the military training Officer Cadets have learnt to the test. At the end of the exercise, if they have passed, Officer Cadets can wear their regimental head-dress for the first time. 

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All courses seek to produce Officers with the fundamentals of soldiering. You'll learn everything from how to fire and keep your rifle serviceable to how to set up and camouflage shelters.

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International training

With an illustrious history stretching back more than 200 years, it has moulded generals, heads of state and captains of industry – many of whom are drawn from foreign militaries.

The academy continues to be a global centre of excellence for leadership to this day.

Officer Cadets also have the opportunity to train with other nations, such as training exercises in Oman and exchanges with the United States' Westpoint Academy.


Sovereign's Parade

The Sovereign's Parade at the end of each term marks the passing out from Sandhurst of Officer Cadets who have completed the Commissioning Course and is the result of many hours of hard work. It is the grandest day in the Sandhurst calendar as friends, family and VIPs gather before Old College Square to watch the cadets take part in their final parade.

During the ceremony, the Sword of Honour, the Overseas Sword and the Queen's Medal are awarded by the Sovereign's Representative to the top Officer Cadets. The parade traditionally ends with the Adjutant riding his horse up the steps of Old College as he follows the graduating Officer Cadets through the Grand Entrance.