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Culver Military: Educating and training teens for leadership since 1894

Culver Military: Educating and training teens for leadership since 1894

09/20/2010  |  Doug Haberland Communications Office

Steeped in a heritage that dates back 116 years, Culver Military Academy is a progressive college-preparatory boarding school that uses the military model to educate and train high school boys in practical leadership. While maintaining its focus on academic, athletic, and extracurricular excellence, CMA integrates hands-on leadership with every campus endeavor. Like Culver Girls Academy, its female counterpart, CMA empowers its students with unparalleled responsibility and authority to help execute the mission of the school and develop leaders of character. While the similarities with the nation’s service academies are striking, our graduates largely pursue civilian careers.

Culver’s military system prepares boys for success by teaching principles of leadership – integrity, discipline, manners, respect – and the classical virtues of wisdom, courage, moderation, and justice. And it develops the traits and characteristics necessary to become a successful person – self-confidence, discipline, commitment, responsibility, ethical behavior, and hard work. All incoming cadets participate in the New Cadet System, a one-year program designed to develop students into capable members of the Corps of Cadets through a structured regimen of duties and responsibilities.

Located in Culver, Ind., on the state’s second-largest natural lake, Culver Military Academy and Culver Girls Academy comprise Culver Academies. While the leadership opportunities are respective to each school, young men and women share the advantages of a co-educational program in most areas of school life, including academics, athletics, spirituality, and the fine arts.

The Academies have an annual enrollment of about 800 students (450 cadets and 350 girls) representing annually about 40 states and 25 countries.From its inception in 1894, Culver Military Academy has remained committed to the education of the whole person. The traditions and rich history of Culver continue to influence how the leadership system and education in the classical virtues are taught today. When it was first introduced, the leadership system, which was based on a military model, was in place to prepare the young men of Culver to serve their country. While it is still effective in providing skills for those graduates who wish to pursue a career in the military, it more aptly provides essential and valuable leadership lessons for students who will go on to more traditional careers within our increasingly global community. Responsibility, accountability, service and teamwork are all bedrocks of a Culver education that will benefit each graduate in everyday life, no matter what path he/she chooses.

Many leadership positions are available to CMA cadets within the barracks. Each barrack houses a battalion or segment of a battalion, each with its own unique history, identity, and personality. Infantry, Artillery, and Squadron compose the three battalions within CMA, and each battalion is divided into specific units. Company A, B, and C make up the Infantry, and Battery A, B, and C are within the Artillery, while the Squadron is divided up of Troop A, Troop B, and the Band.

All staff members – including several who are retired military – of CMA strive to serve as positive role models for the cadets, choosing to embrace and embody the Culver mission. In the classrooms, on the athletic fields, and in the barracks, the faculty and staff challenge the young men of Culver to be responsible leaders and embrace every opportunity to develop mind, body, and spirit.

In addition to a nationally recognized program in academics and leadership, Culver Academies have developed a number of distinct programs and opportunities that enhance a student’s opportunity to excel at college and in a career. Among these are:

  • The Global Studies Institute provides an unprecedented opportunity to communicate across cultures and oceans with thinkers, scholars, and leaders. The GSI also has an exchange program in China with the Shanghai Foreign Language School.
  • Through the interaction with successful entrepreneurs, field trips, and challenging competitions, students involved with The School for the Entrepreneur gain a deeper understanding of creativity and innovation in the marketplace and an appreciation for the entrepreneurial spirit.
  • Since 1897, Equitation has played an integral role in the Culver program, providing a distinguished tradition through a unique educational opportunity. With more than 90 horses, Culver offers comprehensive instruction in beginning, intermediate, and advanced equitation, as well as in horse training and stable management. Polo, rough riding, and jumping are available in the newly renovated Vaughn Equestrian Center. CMA’s Black Horse Troop has appeared in 15 Presidential Inaugural Parades and the Equestriennes (the CGA equivalent) in six.

Extracurricular opportunities at the Academies include more than 40 clubs and organizations, and more than a dozen instrumental and vocal performance groups. Culver fields 55 interscholastic athletic teams at the freshman, junior varsity, and varsity levels in such sports as lacrosse, hockey, rugby, crew, and sailing; club and leisure-time sports, plus a host of intramurals and other activities.

For more information, contact the Office of Admissions at (574) 842-7100 or [email protected]. The mailing address is 1300 Academy Road #157, Culver, Ind. 46511 or visit the website at

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