Military schools for boys may be coeducational public schools with a college-preparatory curriculum and a mandatory Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) component or private military schools that offer boarding facilities, or serve both boarding and day students or is a day school exclusively and accept either boys only or both boys and girls. The JROTC program is allied to different branches of the military at different military schools for boys. So you will find schools with Naval JROTC, Army JROTC, Marine JROTC, and Air Force JROTC.
Both public and private military schools for boys have an admissions process that covers both their academic and disciplinary history. Students at military schools are expected to participate in an academically rigorous curriculum as well as pledge the Cadet Creed, which promises good conduct, exertion of leadership potential, patriotism, and good citizenship. To this end, military schools seek good character and a strong academic record in the students they admit.
Although some graduates of military schools for boys do go on to enlist or to a service academy, most military schools for boys seek primarily to educate their students (called cadets) for entrance into prestigious colleges and universities. One exception to this is the New York Military Academy, which has six “tracks of intention” that students choose depending on their post-graduate goal, one of which is specifically designed to prepare students for a Service Academy acceptance. Nevertheless, attendance at a military school for boys does not in and of itself incur a service commitment of any kind.
The public military schools for boys are accredited by the Department of Education of the state they are in and run by a public school district. The private military schools for boys are accredited by at least one (and sometimes more) approved accreditation organizations. You should never consider enrolling your son in any school that does not have appropriate accreditation, no matter what else it does have, as it may jeopardize both his education and his future.
Public military schools for boys and private military schools for boys that are exclusively day schools only serve students who live in their vicinity, though they draw beyond the immediate neighborhood, and some students may have a commute to get there. This restricts the scope of students who may attend. If you are interested in a public school military school experience for your son but do not live near a public military school, you might consider the JROTC program that is offered as a choice (i.e., is not mandatory) at a local public school.
Our research has turned up 33 accredited military schools for boys, the majority of which accept boarding school students. They are in the states of Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Puerto Rico. There are states that do not have any public or private military schools for boys, and states that have only one private military school for boys.