Military School vs Boot Camp

When comparing military school vs boot camp style correctional schools it is important to realize military schools are rarely a good fit for teens with behavior issues. Keep reading to compare the differences between military school vs boot camp.

Hollywood likes to portray military school life as some sort of glorified prison in lockdown. It is often the place for teens with behavior and attitude problems, and a place where endless drills, punishment and attempts to break the spirit are made. However, real military school life isn’t actually like that. In fact, most military schools won’t even let in students with behavioral problems. Let's compare military school vs boot camp.

Confusing military school with military style boot camp

The main issue when comparing military school and boot camp is that many have confused military style boot camp with military school, or it is imagined that military school must be like military style boot camp, but with some sort of curriculum. This is not the case. Military style boot camp is a short term (6 to 12 weeks, usually) that is designed as a way to help modify one’s behavior. Military school, on the other hand, is an academic institution, designed to promote education in an environment that espouses military values of discipline, leadership, excellence, and loyalty. It is hard to compare military school versus boot camp when they are really very different.

Many military schools pride themselves on their challenging curriculum. As a result, only dedicated students are admitted into these institutions. Some military schools will allow students with mild authority problems stemming from their boredom with an ordinary curriculum, but students who are violent or have severe behavioral problems are not often admitted to military school life. This is because military schools are meant to be places of excellence, and the distraction of having a very troubled student would detract from the quality of education.

Qualities of military school life

There are some aspects of the military that are included in military school life. Students are expected to adhere to a schedule, keep themselves physically fit and show discipline. They are expected to wear uniforms, address teachers and each other with respect, and required to keep their rooms and other areas neat and clean, these same expectations may be required at a military style boot camp. Some military schools may also require students to take some classes on military history, strategy and tactics, not something you would find at most boot camp programs.

However, there are also a number of other qualities of military school life. Many have sports teams and offer other extracurricular activities, including music, art, clubs, and more. In co-ed schools, there are sometimes dances. In single-gender military schools, students often have dances with other schools, and participate in other joint activities. In comparison boot camps generally don't offer any of these things.

Many military schools require some sort of community involvement, and do service projects. Military schools allow time for extracurricular activities and hobbies, in addition to homework and study. Most students at military schools can also go into the nearby town for amusement, and also to observe their religious practices. A curfew may be in effect, but that doesn’t mean that a military school exists in a state of lockdown. Often, at military boarding schools, students can receive family visitors (although it may be restricted to certain days or weekends), and can send and receive mail. Usually a military boot camp is more of  short-term lockdown type program where teens are not allowed to leave at all.

Applying for military school

One of the reasons that military school appeals to some students is that it offers challenges. There are often advanced courses in a number of subjects. If you want to be in military school, you usually need to show that you are a good student. Additionally, your application materials should also include proof of your leadership desires and abilities. You may have to pass a physical exam, but it is not always necessary. Military school is long term but boot camp is short term.

It is important to note that, while military school life can prepare you for a military career, it does not guarantee one. You still have to go through regular channels to join the military. Additionally, attendance at a military school does not necessarily mean that you will be accepted into one of the military universities. While it can help, it is not a guarantee. You will have to perform well, and show your excellence in order to be accepted.

In the end, military school life can be a good fit for some teenagers. It is not for everyone, though, so it is important to consider your options before agreeing to it. If you are looking more for behavior modification and an alternative to military school read our article about boot camps.

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