Looking for an impactful military school to help motivate your boy to become more responsible and self-disciplined? If you are doing an internet search using the phrase “seeking a military school near me” or “military schools for boys,” you will quickly see that Army and Navy Academy is the only nondenominational military school on the west coast geared for boys in grades 7-12.

There is only one other all-boys private military school in Southern California and it is located in Orange County. St. Catherine’s Academy in Anaheim is for grades 4-8th, and it follows a Catholic tradition. Given the school’s elementary and middle school focus, students may attend through 8th grade, then apply to Army and Navy Academy for high school. Similar to the Army and Navy in Carlsbad (San Diego County, CA), an education at  St. Catherine’s Academy includes: rigorous academics, character development, leadership training, and co-curricular activities. .  

Now, let’s turn to how a military school can make a real impact and difference in terms of motivation, structure, and self-discipline for boys. 

Military School in San Diego Moves Boys Towards Manhood 

Given the fact that many families might be unfamiliar with military schools, let’s provide a bit of background. First, there’s a reason why military schools have had a long history in the U.S. and why there is a long line of famous government officials,  diplomats, officers, attorneys, businessmen and even creative types like famous actors and writers who have attended military schools.  

Find out what makes every private school unique and why some military schools stand out. For instance, a top military school like Army and Navy Academy in San Diego is known for their robust University of California curriculum, alongside character development, stellar leadership training, career-oriented electives, and championship athletics. A focus on interactive learning makes lessons come alive and gets boys excited about learning both in and outside the classroom.  The boy-centered approach offers a wide variety of clubs, CIF sanctioned sports, local and international trips, and educational weekend activities. 

Military Bases in San Diego Offer Boys Unique Opportunities 

If you live locally in San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, or even the San Francisco Bay Area,  you probably know about the long military presence in San Diego county. 

To mention a few facilities, Coronado is home to the Naval Base Headquarters. In Oceanside, “Camp Pendleton is one of the Department of Defense’s busiest installations and offers a broad spectrum of training facilities for many active and reserve Marine, Army and Navy units, as well as national, state and local agencies.” In San Diego, the well known Miramar Air Show takes place at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.

Attending a military school in San Diego has some additional benefits due to the strong regional support of military service and close proximity to local military bases and installation facilities. Army and Navy Academy uses military facilities for the fast, fun, and challenging. Officer Candidate Course (OCC) and other leadership training activities. 

By attending a military school in San Diego, boys find a place where they can thrive in a structured environment and gain real-world skills. 

Here are some positive impacts the best military high schools have on boys. 

15 Impacts Top Military Schools Make on Boys

  1. Provide Structure and a Daily Schedule 
  2. Motivation to Achieve at Full Potential 
  3. Self-Discipline and Perseverance to Achieve Goals
  4. Responsibility and Accountability for Oneself 
  5. Grit and Tenacity to Hit the End Goal 
  6. Maturity and Personal Development 
  7. Time Management and Organization 
  8. Goal Setting and Prioritization  
  9. Decision-Making Based on Strong Values 
  10. Leadership Training to Learn Professional Skills
  11. Exposure to Mentorship and Guidance 
  12. Growth Mindset and Mental Fitness to Persevere
  13. Life Habits for Mental and Physical Fitness 
  14. Good Etiquette and Manners 
  15. Development of Confidence and Self-Esteem 


Top Questions and Answers About Military Schools 


Civilian Families 

  • Why do teens go to military boarding schools? The best private military high schools prepare students for college and life. Teens often need and crave more structure, motivation, and self-discipline to set and achieve personal goals. Boys often report their grades and life habits improve; they feel more purposeful and they make friends for life. They grow, develop, and thrive through interactive and practical real-world learning in all aspects of academics, athletics, and campus life. 
  • Do military schools offer middle school or just high school only? Many private military schools offer both middle school and high school. Some even offer a postgraduate year as well like Missouri Military Academy. Also, rather unique, New Mexico Military Institute offers both a high school and college degree programs.
  • Are military schools only for military families? Military schools welcome families from all professions and walks of life. Military school parents come from diverse backgrounds including: business, doctors, lawyers, judges, educators, diplomats, film directors, computer scientists, engineers, aviators, and many other professions. Families choose military schools to provide more structure and guidance to their sons during adolescence and there is no requirement to have a military history of service within your family. 
  • Do military schools help students going through difficult situations? Yes, sometimes teens go to military schools during times of crisis or change. Families may have medical issues, a death in the family, grandparents or relatives are raising the kids, and other extenuating circumstances. In addition, due to a rise in both parents working outside the home, a boarding school can help parents struggling to keep up with the supervision, support, time management, and even relieve parents from daily shuttles to extracurriculars. 
  • Do military schools push teens to enlist in the military? Army and Navy Academy does not push boys to enlist. While some graduates attend ROTC universities or gain admission to the highly selective military service academies, most graduates attend public and private universities. 
  • Can you go to a military school without residing on campus? Yes, most private military high schools offer both boarding and day options. At Army and Navy Academy, the day program attracts local students from Carlsbad, Oceanside, Encinitas, Cardiff, Leucadia, Rancho Santa Fe, Del Mar, La Jolla, San Diego, San Clemente, Dana Point, and other cities within commuting distance.  
  • Are military schools all-boys or coeducational? Some private military schools are coed, but there are all-boys military schools with a single-gender focus including: 
    • Army and Navy Academy, CA (Non-Denominational) 
    • Fork Union Military Academy, VA (Baptist) 
    • Hargrave Military Academy, VA  (Baptist) 
    • Marine Military Academy, TX (Non-denominational)
    • Missouri Military Academy, MO (Non-denominational)
    • Riverside Military Academy, GA (Non-denominational)
    • Robert Land Academy, Canada (Non-denominational) 
    • St. Catherine’s Academy, CA (K-8th, Catholic) 
    • What are the best private military high schools in the United States? Check out the differences and rankings between schools. College prep military academies like Army and Navy Academy, Culver Academies, and St. John’s Northwestern are some of the stand-outs. They are frequently listed or ranked as the best military schools and/or boarding schools on sites such as: Boarding School Review, Private School Review, Niche, and Great Schools. 
    • What is the difference between a military school and a military academy? The term “military school” is often used to designate secondary schools to avoid confusion with West Point and the other service academies (USNA, USMMA, USAFA, USCGA). However, most military high schools do use “academy” vs. “school” in their brand names. 
    • Do military schools allow international students to attend? Yes, most military schools in the United States welcome international students from around the globe. Some private military boarding schools even offer English as a Second Language (ESL) or English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programs to help international students improve their English proficiency while attending middle school and high school. 
  • What is the difference between boarding schools and military schools? Private military schools are boarding schools, so they offer many of the same benefits and programs as traditional boarding schools. They tend to be more structured and also provide leadership training, character development, and other specialized programs. 


Military Families: 

  • Are military schools good for kids from military families? Military schools can be a great fit for families. Many Generals, Admirals, Colonels, and other high ranking officials specifically choose to send their teen to a military school for the prestige, pedigree and training they will acquire. 
  • Are some military families’ kids having issues in public schools? According to an article by Gretal Kovach in the San Diego Union Tribune, “children from military families are more likely to be bullied, get in fights, carry weapons and use alcohol or drugs than their civilian peers, according to a large study of California secondary school students.” 
  • Is San Diego more friendly to military families? The community has a long history of being supportive of military service in general. “When compared with the rest of the state, where military families are more dispersed and perhaps lacking support, families in the San Diego area may be weathering these stressors more successfully,” said Kathrine Sullivan at USC, lead author” of a special report in the San Diego Union Tribune. 
  • Are there any special scholarships for military families? Yes, check military school websites. For instance, at Army and Navy Academy, they offer a special scholarship through NewDay USA for Gold Star families and other financial assistance programs. Unlike charter and public schools, private military boarding schools (even nonprofits) do charge tuition to cover their overhead and operational expenses. 
  • Can you use the GI Bill (Post 9-11) towards tuition at a private school? According to the Veteran Affairs website, you may qualify as noted – “If you’re eligible for 100% of Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, we’ll cover the full cost of your tuition and fees: $25,162.14.”


College and Career Preparation

  • Are military schools college preparatory? Most U.S. military schools are strong prep schools for both college and life. For example, Army and Navy Academy is WASC accredited and follows the rigorous University of California standards in their curriculum. This offers a pathway to top public and private universities, alongside options within the U.C. system.  
  • Where do graduates of military schools attend college? Check school websites for their college matriculation as lists may vary. For instance, Army and Navy Academy boasts a strong matriculation record including: The Ivy League, high selective service academies, and top public and private colleges and universities. .  
  • What kinds of careers do military school graduates pursue? It is not uncommon for graduates of the Army and Navy Academy to pursue careers in areas such as: business, hotel management, marketing, entrepreneurship, law, medicine, government, military, diplomacy, cyber security, computer science, engineering, and aviation. 
  • Does it help to attend a military school if you want to become a diplomat or politician? Yes, there is a long history of diplomats and politicians who have attended military schools. In fact, diplomats actually receive an educational stipend and often prefer stateside boarding schools to the Defense Department schools, according to an article by the Washington Post. This is why many diplomatic families choose a military boarding school in the U.S. 
  • Does it help to go to a military school if you want to get into The Ivy League to top universities? Yes, it could even set you apart. Top universities are seeking students with strong values, solid goals, and tenacity. Army and Navy Academy has a long history of graduates attending Cornell, Columbia, Johns Hopkins, MIT, Georgetown, Stanford, USC, Occidental, Claremont, Boston College, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Texas A & M, University of Arizona, University of Washington, University of Oregon, UCLA, UCSB, UCSD, UCI, UC Berkeley, and many others.   
  • Does it help to go to a military school if you want to gain admission to a service academy like West Point or Annapolis? Yes, most military schools have top officers and those holding doctorate degrees who can provide recommendations. In addition, faculty and counselors who can advise on how to get a competitive edge.  Since 1910, Army and Navy Academy has had graduates attend USMA, USNA, USAFA, USCGA, USMMA. 
  • Does it help to go to a military school if you want to become a pilot? If you attend a military school with an aviation program, it can be a real plus and provide a jumpstart on this career in high demand.  Army and Navy Academy has a comprehensive Warrior Aviation Program with four-year track, as well as related clubs and activities.  A growing number of graduates are expected to become pilots and may have even enrolled at Army and Navy Academy to participate in the Warrior Aviation Program. Recently Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has also been a very popular college choice for graduates, but there are many other choices as well. 


Find the Right Military School for Your Teen

As you research private schools near you, make a point to check out boarding schools, in particular, military schools. Teens gain the benefit of college preparation, life and professional skills, learning how to live independently, and becoming responsible and goal-oriented. 

Check out resources to ensure you select an accredited school that is well-suited to your teen. Reliable national resources include: AMCSUS, Boarding School Review, Private School Review, Niche, and Great Schools. 

Interested in exploring? To begin the journey with Army and Navy Academy in Carlsbad (San Diego County, CA), feel free to reach out to the Admission Office at 888.762.2338 or request info now.