Military Schools Aren't Just for Boys

I know it's sexist, but when parents hear the term military school, they think boys; who but an ill manned, late blooming, boy could benefit from a secondary military school experience?

Answers boys and girls can both find success in boarding military schools. A military focused on boys and opportunities for boys is an old fashioned notion. Today military life, lessons, and opportunities appeal to both genders.

As of 2011, 203,000 women comprise about 14.5% of the active-duty force of nearly 1.4 million — about 74,000 in the Army, 53,000 in the Navy, 62,000 in the Air Force and 14,000 in the Marine Corps.

These percentages are higher in military boarding schools. Even, if a girl chooses to forgo a military collegiate experience or military service, she will draw upon the lessons and experiences learned in a military boarding high school throughout her adult life.

Randolph-Macon Academy

Randolph-Macon Academy

A coed program, Randolph-Macon Academy features a 34% female student body. All Randoph-Macon students participate in Air Force Junior ROTC. Beyond AFJROTC, Randolph-Macon girls have opportunities to pursue flight instruction, membership in the award winning The Virginia 91st Air Force Junior ROTC Band , and the personal growth that comes from living under R-MA's honor pledge:

"On my honor as a student of Randolph-Macon Academy, I pledge not to lie, cheat, or steal nor tolerate those who do. I will conduct myself in a manner that will bring credit to myself, my family, and to Randolph-Macon Academy."

Of course, R-MA girls also grow through small classes, 16 AP course offerings, athletics and student life requirements such as chapel and community service.

Admiral Farragut Academy

Admiral Farragut Academy

Girls who attend Admiral Farragut Academy have the same opportunities as the boys to gain leadership positions among their peers. And even though they are the minority (67% boys/33% girls), AFA girls learn to shine alongside their male peers. AFA girls grow and work in a setting likely similar to what they will encounter as adults and professionals.

In AFA's military setting, girls shine as leaders based on their qualifacatins and accomplishments- not the clothes they wear or any other superficial measurement. Girls earn respect of their peers through their participation accomplishments and leadership roles. AFA girls learn and grow to become accomplished individuals.

Academically, AFA girls take advantage of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math offerings) in which they digest and think critically about subjects while working alongside their male peers, gaining STEM skills through a hands-on approach like designing a product using CAD or building a robot.

AFA advancement director Alison M. Lescarbeau shared this story:

"I have a daughter who graduated from Farragut in May. She started attending here in the 4th grade. She is very smart but was shy. Farragut was a great community for her to gain the confidence she needed to flourish. She tried new things and gained a tremendous amount of confidence.

As a senior, she was selected by here peers and the staff as the Executive Officer (2 nd in command) in our Battalion Staff in the Naval Jr. ROTC program. In that role, she lived in the dorms for her senior year, helping to run the daily operations of the student body.

She had no desire to pursue a career in the military, however she was admitted to her 1st choice college (Elon University) as one of 1,440 freshmen out of 10,000 applicants. She also received a Fellowship in Leadership (one of five out of 500) in a rigorous selection process. Farragut taught her the values and leadership skills she needed to succeed in college."

Florida Air Academy

Florida Air Academy

Florida Air Academy offers a coed boarding setting for boys and girls in grades 6-12.The school continues as a family operated school in the vision of its founder Jonathan Dwight.

Florida Air admitted girls to the student body for the first time in 2005 and in the ensuing few years girls have had quite an affect on Florida Air.

"The girls have made an excellent contribution to the school and have raised the bar academically. There have been 5 female valedictorians since F.A.A. became co-educational."

"...they have definitely raised the bar academically," Florida Air says of its girls.

Florida Air girls participate and lead in all facets of academy life — whether participating in the school's 12 AP courses, assuming an AFJROTC leadership position, or pushing hard on the playing fields.

For the 2013-14 Academic year, girls hold two of the top five F.A.A. Wing Diamond or school leadership positions. Adalmaryz "Quick" Gomez serves as Command Chief and Maya Burley serves as Director of Operations. Gomez and Burley established themselves and earned their positions through participation and achievement in the F.A.A.'s Leadership School.

"Being co-ed means our students are now more prepared for college and the world beyond, as they will be studying and working with both men and women in those environments."

Massanutten Military Academy

Founded in 1899 by by the Virginia Classis of the Reformed Church, girls have been a part of Massanutten Military Academy since the school's beginning. Massanutten's first graduating class in 1902 was evenly split with three girls and three boys.

Army Junior ROTC provides foundation for Massanutten's military program and structures.

Massanutten describes the girls of Alpha Company as "remarkable."

Through the Corps of Cadets Massanutten girls work toward real life goals, "receiving a formal personal evaluation each semester." Girls, just as their male peers, work to practice and live everyday heroism. Through reflection and mentoring, you will begin identifying areas of strength and those requiring improvement.

Cadet officers and Massanutten adults help teach and guide students through self refelction, self assessment and assuming responsibility for one's progress.

Massanutten academics feature a 10:1 student faculty ratio with AP in U.S. Government & Politics, English Language and Literature, and U.S. History. 85% of MMA graduates enroll in traditional colleges with 10-15% choosing military colleges, US service academies, or enlisting in one of the armed forces.

All Massanutten students participate in the Heroic Imagination Project (HIP)- a curriculum that integrates their core lessons with MMA military traditions. MMA is currently the only boarding school in the world practicing HIP approaches.

Massanutten girls participate and grow from all facets of school and military life- from daily chores, to academic collaboration, to coed team sports.