"The oldest and most prestigious academy in the Alliance, the Nagelring is the only Alliance training facility to graduate troops for all arms of the LAAF (Lyran Alliance Armed Forces). Once a SDLF (Star League Defense Force) training facility, House Steiner inherited the facility and its instructors after Kerensky's Exodus. Over the centuries, the Academy has grown to include massive exercise areas and live-fire ranges, sprawling across the Bremen continent on Tharkad. The central campus houses the accommodation and education facilities, including research labs and a massive simulator complex. These sit within a beautiful park that belies the Academy's martial role. Over the centuries, the Nagelring has grown to encompass conventional learning as well, teaching physics and chemistry in addition to martial skills. Accordingly the Nagelring has built a strong link with Tharkad University, allowing Cadets to take elective history as well as science courses at the famed Institute. As a result , the Nagelring has developed a reputation as a first-class institute of learning and research in addition to its military role.
The Nagelring is a school of immense history and prestige, with places much sought-after. Many regard the academy as a finishing school for the nobility of the Alliance, and there certainly are major social elements in the curriculum. The best known events are the Ice Balls, a succession of social soirees and dances held around mid-winter which have a prominent role in the Lyran social calendar. Attended by the academy's final year officer cadets, the balls serve as an 'exam' for the etiquette skills that play a prominent role in officer training. More than one officer has found his future career blighted by a poor performance at the balls.
There are clear divisions between the noble and non-noble students at the academy. As an example, the noble students are given greater leeway and liberties than their non-noble counterparts, thanks to their status and 'gifts' given to the school. Nobles also often avoid the hazing that is endemic to the institution, particularly for new entrants by the senior students. This practice, though officially discouraged, is deemed to 'build character' among the new students and is tolerated by the instructors.
The 'us and them' mentality in the school had been suppressed under Archon Melissa and Archon Victor, but has seen a resurgence in recent years. As a consequence, duels within the student body are increasingly common. Instructors have sought, however, to promote competitive sports such as boxing or judo as a less dangerous alternative.
The Nagelring is unusual in that its cadets wear a distinct uniform: gray, with sky-blue trim. The academy's school rag is blue.
Because of its location on the capital world and its position in the military education hierarchy, the Nagelring is singled out for detailed scrutiny by the LIC (Lyran Intelligence Corps). Each member of the staff undergoes a thorough background check before being offered employment, as well as being observed throughout their careers. Potential students are also subject to investigation before being offered a place, though such considerations may be waived in the case of the Alliance's noble families. It is not uncommon for the Archon to award places to Nagelring as rewards to the families of loyal supporters."
SANGLAMORE ON SKYE
History (c. 3061)
"The second most prestigious academy in the Alliance, Sanglamore on Skye was one of only three academies outside the Terran Hegemony built to train SDLF (Star League Defense Force) troops, the others being the Nagelring and Albion on New Avalon. Unlike the other two academies, Sanglamore suffered grievous damage during the Succession Wars and has been forced to replace much of its Star League-era equipment with less sophisticated equivalents.
This caused instructors to modify the curriculum and even abandon some courses, principally the naval training program. This in turn prompted a drift away from classic SDLF training practices. Even so, Sanglamore remains a top-rank academy, producing some of the best Mechwarriors and ground troops in the Inner Sphere. The academy's warrant officer program is the most wide-ranging in the Alliance, exceeding even those offered by the Nagelring. Plans exist to restore the academy's aerospace and naval training facilities, but these have been bogged down in politics and red tape because of secessionist sentiment rife on Skye...
A sense of history and tradition permeates Sanglamore, with each cadet exhorted to live up to the ideals of their forefathers. Learning the history and tradition of the academy dominates the early weeks of each cadet's life at Sanglamore, the pro-Skye bias also serving as a subtle indoctrination to the secessionist cause. Attempts by the DME to ensure neutrality in Sanglamore's teachings have come to naught, but Sanglamore's role in the military education process is too important for the LAAF (Lyran Alliance Armed Forces) to undertake the major purges and screening of staff required to ensure their loyalty to the Alliance. Instead, the government settles for a massive LIC presence to monitor the situation.
Sanglamore places considerable emphasis on self-reliance, encouraging students to think their way through problems and situations rather than blindly following instructions. The results are independent-minded troops, able to adapt to almost any situation and ideally qualified to serve in command positions. Most graduates seek to join the Skye Rangers, though the Skye Jaegers are becoming a popular choice. However, the LAAF has sought to limit the concentration of pro-Skye troops, and as a result most units contain some Sanglamore alumni.
The academy's school rag is dark green.
Officially open to all, Sanglamore operates according to a number of recruitment policies intended to favor candidates born within the historical boundaries of the Federation of Skye. While most are subtle, hidden behind other criteria like the above-average academic and physical requirements, others are more blatant. The best (or worst) example is their 'logistical efficiency' directive, which favors candidates within four jumps of Skye so as not to waste the Alliance's Jumpship resources."
WAR COLLEGE OF TAMAR
History (c. 3025)
"Only recently reopened, the War College graduated its first class of officers in 3028. The original school, another former Star League facility, was brutally razed when House Kurita attacked Tamar in 2915. Most of the students and teachers were killed during their valiant defense of the planet. When the Steiner army finally pushed the Kurita invaders out of Tamar three years later, the reconstruction of the War College was postponed, then forgotten, in the effort to reconstruct the planet. It was only after Tamar historians brought pressure that reconstruction of the academy finally began in 3017. Currently, the academy has facilities only for training Mechwarriors and combat officers."
The War College of Tamar was lost to Clan Wolf c. 3058. The once proud school, which trained 25% of the old LCAF personnel, remains a Clan possession to this day. It is been rumored that Clan Wolf continues to train Mechwarriors at the War College of Tamar.
This College is not open for enrollment to students from the Inner Sphere pos 3058.
FLIGHT ACADEMY OF THORIN
(c. 3025)..."Since its founding in 2832, the Flight Academy has been producing excellent Aerospace Fighter and DropShip pilots. Having seen its share of war damage, the school currently looks like an ugly conglomeration of half-built or half-destroyed buildings sitting on the edge of its spaceport. Though the quality of its instructors is excellent, the facilities can sustain only limited enrollment, and there is not much hope for expansion in the near future. This puts its continued existence in danger. The Flight Academy has become the unofficial way-station for diplomats traveling to and from Commonwealth and Federated Suns."
(c. 3061)...Founded in 2832, the Thorin Flight Academy gained a reputation for producing excellent aerospace pilots and DropShip crews. However, the Academy sustained damage during the Succession Wars, limiting its enrollment. The resulting repairs were deemed prohibitively expensive, and so the school limped on without them. As a result, even when the demand for naval crews increased in the '40s and '50s, there was never any likelihood of upgrading the Thorin facility. Instead, the LAAF chose to build a new facility at Alarion and slowly downgrade Thorin. The last class entered the academy in summer 3060 and will graduate in June 3063. At that point, the remaining equipment will relocate to Alarion, as will most of its instructors. Those choosing to retire from the LAAF have been offered employment with Christofiori Express, a Thorin-based shipping company.
The Thorin Flight Academy is resigned to its fate, leading to a somber and reflective attitude by both students and instructors. When the closure was first announced there were a number of local protests, but Kommandant Spears requested the academy be allowed to close with dignity, to be remembered as part of Thorin's Star League past rather than used as a tool in the brewing divisive conflict. This stance has drawn praise from Colonel Felix Blucher, head of the Arcturan Guard force stationed on Thorin, though it has done little to stem the growing tide of anti-Archon feeling.
Since the outbreak of violence on Solaris, Thorin cadets have been confined to the academy facilities, located on the fringe of Ecol City Spaceport. With political protests and terrorists incidents occurring across the planet, this has proved to be a prudent measure, also sparing the cadets from the Arcturan Guard security operations.
Thorin's school rag is grey shot through with red.
The academy and its support services are undergoing a staged closure and have accepted no new entrants since 3060. However, the training facilities remain intact, pending the graduation of the final class and the arrival of technical crews for relocation to Alarion."
History (c. 3061) "Originally known simply as he Coventry Academy, the Coventry Military Academy has never been a large school. The damage sustained in Clan Jade Falcon's 3058 attack on the industrial world might have been far more injurious, except for the actions of the cadets and instructors alike. When the academy was attacked, they fought a bitter engagement against the invaders in the grounds of the academy itself. The defenders deliberately destroyed several buildings to prevent the structures from falling into Clan hands before they themselves were taken as bondsmen, only to be released when the Falcons withdrew.
To reward the heroism of the cadets and instructors, Archon Katherine ordered that no expense be spared in rebuilding the academy. The rebuilding commenced almost immediately, but still took almost 2 years to be completed. During that time the surviving cadets transferred to the Nagelring or to active service. The classes currently being educated at the academy are taught about the exploits of their predecessors and make use of the new, state-of-the-art training equipment. The first class of the reformed Coventry Academy is scheduled to graduate in the summer of 3063.
Once regarded as a minor Mechwarrior training facility, the valor and self-sacrifice of the cadets in the Coventry Campaign has brought considerable attention to the academy. Recruitment has doubled since classes resumed, and the commander has been forced to turn promising recruits away. The new students promise to be among the best in the Alliance, striving to match the now-legendary exploits of their forebears. This sense of history, accomplishment and determination pervades the academy.
The planetary ruler, Duke Thomas Bradford, is a staunch opponent of Katherine Steiner-Davion. He has worked hard to undermine the Archon's influence in the academy, creating a generation of freethinkers rather than mindless robots. His clashes with General Piper, a staunch Katrinist, have taken an increasingly bitter tone as the Alliance continues its slide into war. Only time will tell whether the cadets choose to side with Katherine or Victor.
Coventry's school rag is brown.
Thanks to considerable investment by the LAAF and close ties to the Coventry Metal Works, the CMA is equipped with the best and most modern equipment of any Alliance academy. Almost a full battalion of BattleMechs stands ready for use by the cadets, ranging from Chameleon trainers to the latest OmniMechs like the FS9-0 Firestarter and the HA1-0 Hauptmann. The prevalence of the latter has meant that CMA is the first Lyran academy to guarantee its graduates are qualified in OmniMech operation."
ROYAL NEW CAPETOWN ACADEMY
History (c. 3061)
"Once regarded as a problem for the DME, the Royal New Capetown Military Academy has become a shining example of reform in the Lyran State. Once the home to deeply rooted racism, Katrina Steiner's efforts to curb the influence of the planet's hate philosophy on the academy have led to a wide-spread reform movement. The movement in turn led to a brief civil war in the early 3030s that toppled the extremist government. Pockets of racism still exist on New Capetown, but today cadets of all creeds and colors are accepted at the RNCMA.
The school teaches all aspects of ground-based warfare, ranging from small arms skills to BattleMech tactics. The RNCMA also teaches an aerospace curriculum, however it is the smallest and least prestigious element of the school and places considerable emphasis on ground support operations. Though its Mechwarrior training program is well-regarded, the academy is best known for its combat engineers and artillery crews, whose skills are much sought-after.
Though much has been done to eliminate the racism once so pervasive to New Capetown, some pockets remain. Occasionally, cadets still find themselves subjected to unpleasant aspects of the planet's history. Despite these rare occurrences, the academy has prospered in the new era, charged with a newfound sense of reconciliation and cooperation. Regrettably, the events of (the) last few years have eroded much of this good will, with political divisiveness between the supporters of Archon Katherine and Prince Victor replacing racism.
The recent appointment of a pro-Katherine Kommandant has brought the academy solidly into the Archon's camp, but an active 'underground' continues to agitate in favor of the deposed prince. Tempers have flared on several occasions over the last year, notably in the months since the clashes on Solaris. Arrests have been widespread, as have expulsions among the student body.
The highly charged atmosphere has seriously affected the training program, and classes are running several weeks behind schedule. Worst affected is the first-year BattleMech program. which has been forced to increase theoretical aspects of the course following numerous acts of sabotage to the college's simulator pods. Fewer senior classes have been affected by the sabotage as rotation through the academy's training battalion has been accelerated.
The RNCMA school rag is gold with a tasseled fringe.
After the Nagelring, the RNCMA has the tightest official screening process in the Alliance. Great care is taken to ensure a balance of cadets at the academy to avoid claims of discrimination, as well as ensuring that the cadets can handle the potential emotional and psychological strains of studying on a world still coming to grips with equality.
Royal New Capetown Training Battalion
Once more renowned for racial bigotry than the skill of its graduates, Royal New Capetown has struggled to reform. As a result, it has become one of the Alliance's most important war colleges and the training battalion plays a vital role. While junior cadets are confined to simulators, upperclassmen usually spend two three-month terms with the battalion, separated by theoretical and simulator work. Unfortunately, political divisiveness has replaced racism, leading to a number of demonstrations and acts of sabotage. The academy's simulator pods have been a prime target, leading to an accelerated battalion rotation, with cadets spending alternate months in the field and in the classroom.
...The RNCT Battalion field two companies of 'Mechs and one each of armor and infantry. An artillery company and a squadron of aerospace fighters provide support, the latter placing considerable emphasis on bombing and ground support operations."
BLACKJACK SCHOOL OF CONFLICT
History (c. 3025)
"The Blackjack School is the Lyran Commonwealth's only privately run military academy. It was founded to tutor those who had failed the entrance exams at the other academies. If a student can afford to enroll in the Blackjack School of Conflict, he will get an education similar to that of the other military schools. In addition to the standard courses, Blackjack also offers unofficial courses that deal with the shadier side of military life. It is said that going to Nagelring will ensure its graduates a glorious warrior's funeral, but going to Blackjack will ensure graduates a long life and the ill-gotten wealth to enjoy it. Despite this, the Commonwealth has made no move to clean up the school, for the simple reason that its graduates are excellent soldiers."
The Blackjack School was lost to the Clans c. 3058. This College is not currently open for enrollment to students from the Inner Sphere post c. 3058.
MILITARY ACADEMY OF SOMERSET
History (c. 3025)
This small university is devoted to to training only Mechwarriors and AeroSpace Fighters.
The Somerset Academy was lost to the Clans c. 3058. This College is not currently open for enrollment to students from the Inner Sphere post c. 3058.
WAR COLLEGE OF BUENA
History (c. 3061)
"Established on 3020, the War College of Buena has become on of the strongest academies in existence. The Federated Commonwealth alliance led to a massive investment in the academy, allowing it to expand its facilities and curriculum. Since then, although still best known as a center for training technicians, its Mechwarrior and aerospace programs have gained considerable respect. Though lacking the history and prestige of the Nagelring or Sanglamore, graduates of Buena have a reputation as practical and dedicated warriors. Buena's graduates rarely rise to high command, but Buena-trained troops and technicians form the backbone of the LAAF due to their high levels of competence.
Practical experience forms a major part of education at the War College of Buena, and each cadet spends six months in the Buena Training Battalion under the command of Kommandant Florence Landers, one of only three such units in the Alliance. This unit stages a number of live-fire exercises on Buena itself as well as anti-pirate missions along the Periphery border.
Buena's technicians are acknowledged as the best produced in the Alliance. Although the academy's only combat programs are for Mechwarriors and aerospace pilots, the technical staff learns to maintain everything from small arms and electrical equipment to massive combat vehicles like the Demolisher tank. Indeed, all technical staff cadets are required to be proficient in multiple technical fields before being allowed to graduate...
Buena is a no-nonsense academy, placing considerable emphasis on practical work and personal development. The courses are mentally, physically and emotionally challenging, pushing the cadets to their limits and beyond to insure they attain their maximum potential. The instructors are harsh and authoritarian, and upperclassmen are encouraged to make life difficult for new recruits. As a result, even with the academy's stringent pre-screening of recruits, the dropout rate in the first few weeks can run as high as thirty percent. Of those that survive the introductory period, almost all graduate at their first attempt.
Buena's school rag is made up of a green and blue checked pattern.
In addition to the standard LAAF tests, the War College of Buena subjects all applicants to a further battery of tests, including hand-eye coordination and teamwork skills. The latter is done in a series of field exercises, giving a group of candidates a number of tasks that can only be completed through cooperation and teamwork.
Buena War College Training Battalion
The Buena War College prides itself on the practical training given to each cadet. In addition to the academy-based instruction, every attendee, irrespective of final assignment as a warrior or technician, spends six months with the War College Training Battalion. They undergo a series of live fire exercises on the Tomasova Martial Range, as well as field deployments in Bolan Province and the Timbuktu Theater. These are often peaceful exercises with local militia but also include anti-pirate operations in the Near Periphery.
As at the academy, both mental and physical personal development is encouraged in the battalion. Discipline is harsh and the instructors push the cadets to the limits of their endurance, forcing them to adapt what they have learned to a practical setting and work as a team or else flush out of the program. The result is self-confident and practical troops considered an asset to any Lyran unit...
...The Buena Battalion comprises three 'Mech companies (36 'Mechs) and an aerospace squadron, almost all of which use advanced technology thanks to the major LAAF investment in the academy. The cadre also has access to a wide range of small arms and several tanks, though these are stored at the academy and used for training technical staff."
PANDORA COLLEGE OF MILITARY SCIENCES
History (c. 3061)
Originally a school for DropShip pilots, the Pandora College of military Sciences has seen major investment over the last three and a half decades, converting it from a specialist school into a full-fledged military university. Aerospace and VTOL training courses began on Pandora just before the Fourth Succession War, followed in the 3030s by courses for Mechwarriors and armor crews. Courses for infantry, combat engineers, and medical personnel were added in 3045, followed in 3054 by a battle-armor elective for the infantry.
Ironically, the DropShip crew and officer training courses, for which Pandora is best known, are no longer taught at the academy. The last DropShip class graduated in 3061, at which point the equipment and most of the instructors transferred to the dedicated naval academy on Alarion. A number of instructors, notably those who had married into the local population, elected to remain on Pandora and transferred to the aerospace program.
The PCMS is very conscious of its role as a 'front-line' academy, of the responsibility for training the next generation of LAAF warriors while being situated above the Tukayyid Truce line, close to the Jade Falcon border. As a result, from the first day practical skills are the main emphasis of the program, with a strenuous basic training program ensuring that after the first few weeks even new recruits can take an active role in any defensive action, albeit as infantry.
Investment in the school has ensured its place on the cutting edge of military education, with the latest equipment and educational techniques in common use. As might be expected, PCMS simulators are state-of-the-art, but the system isn't limited to vehicle crews. Sophisticated facilities allow a full company of infantry to exercise alongside their armored colleagues. Using the same Universal Terrain Generation System (UTGS) as is installed at the Davion Area on Solaris, this complex can simulate a wide variety of environments, ensuring Pandora graduates have experience of fighting in almost all circumstances. Real-world training is not neglected, however. Cadets spend at least one week a month on field exercises, and the graduation exam takes the form of a week-long simulation of Clan Jade Falcon's assault on Pandora in early 3052, which was ultimately halted by the Grey Death Legion. The tactics used by the Legion to repulse the Falcons have become a part of the Pandora strategy and tactics texts.
The PCMS has attempted to maintain its neutrality in the dispute between Archon Katherine and Prince Victor, focusing instead on bolstering the border defenses against the Clans. Pandora graduates tend to be among the pragmatic in the LAAF.
The school rag of the Pandora College of Military Sciences is red, and is frequently referred to as the 'blood band'.
Pandora's role as a regional military and intelligence command center offers many opportunities for cadets to practice their skills. It also results in stringent observation by the LIC. Additionally, PCMS's emphasis on combat-ready cadets means it maintains more rigorous physical education requirements for students than most academies; a physical exam and fitness assessment are required before entry.
Pandora College Training Battalion
The Pandora College Training Battalion began operations in 3032, first training Mechwarriors and armor crews and later expanding to encompass infantry and, in 3054, battle armor troops. Pandora cadets undergo intensive simulator training, and the battalion gives them the opportunity to put their learning to practical use. Unlike other training units, where members are assigned for a tour lasting several months, service in the Pandora cadre is interwoven with theoretical learning and simulator sessions, with cadets spending roughly one week per month in the field with the battalion. Though posing a major administrative and technical challenge, this policy ensures all cadets are familiar with the practical aspects of their learning, rather than having to recall information six months after the fact. It also ensures that should a disaster such as a Clan assault, befall Pandora, every member of the student body can contribute to the defense.
...The Pandora Battalion is well equipped, thanks to major investment by the LAAF. The unit fields a company each of 'Mechs, armor and infantry, supported by an aerospace squadron and a battle-armor platoon. Many of the battalion's exercises are against elements of the elite Third Donegal Guards, who also serve as the opponents in Operation Hawk, the academy's graduation exercise that simulates a Clan invasion of Pandora."