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Leadership Education

The San Antonio Academy Military Leadership Program is a required extracurricular activity for students in 3rd - 8th grade, and provides students with opportunities to acquire leadership skills, learn the principles of teamwork, and develop the esprit de corps that comes from working together to achieve common goals.

The program is designed to enhance the school’s rigorous educational program with a focus on developing young leaders of character committed to the school’s motto: Be honest. Be kind. Be the best you can be.

SAA's Military Leadership Program promotes a variety of life skills: planning, following directions, working as a team, setting goals, and overcoming obstacles. Through this unique and tradition-rich program, SAA boys have learned to become responsible, self-confident young men.

For program details, please see the Military Program Guide.

Military Leadership Program FAQs

Military Program Guide

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Military Program Traditions

Alamo Honor Guard
Alamo Honor Guard

San Antonio Academy's participation in the citywide Fiesta parades can be traced back to the mid-1930s. As the only school in the city to participate, The Academy's Honor Guard plays a significant role during the Battle of The Flowers parade by placing floral wreaths on the sacred ground in front of the Alamo. The wreaths symbolize the soldiers who were killed during the Battle of the The Alamo.

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Military Program Inspections

An exercise steeped in Academy history dating back to the school's origin in 1886, Academy students are expected to meet uniform, hair, and grooming standards each school day. Individual scores for inspections and daily wear are reflected in the company’s overall inspection score with the lead company recognized at the end of the year. Inspections are also a great place to spot our boys helping each other and making sure they all look their very best.

battalion commander
Battalion Leadership Induction Ceremony

Starting in the 7th grade and into their 8th-grade year, boys are considered for positions that include Commanders, Executive Officers, Platoon Leaders, Battalion Staff, First Sergeants, Squad Leaders, and Guideon Bearers. Duties vary by position but range from being responsible for all Battalion activities in the highest-ranking position of Battalion Commander to positions throughout each of the six companies to ensure they run well.

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Joining Oath
Joining Oath

Held on Alumni Day, new cadets, backed by alumni, take an oath to do their best and begin their journey towards excellence. At the end of their journey, as 8th graders, they will then be asked at their final formation if they are prepared to depart the cadet ranks. At that time they will re-cross the “Blue Line”, symbolically having completed and excelled at the most challenging leader development, and educational experience there is for an elementary and middle school boy.

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Leadership Retreats
Leadership Retreats

Leadership retreats are conducted throughout the school year for 5th – 8th grades. They provide an opportunity for the boys to gain confidence and for the class to build the team and foster esprit de corps while learning new leadership skills. 5th graders attend a day retreat while 6th – 8th grades attend an overnight retreat. 

Company Challenge
Company Challenge

 Students participate in the Company Challenge both individually and as a company team. Individual challenges are conducted during P.E. Team challenges are conducted three times a year, as a mini field day, in the build up to Field Day. Scores from each, individual and team, are reflected in the company’s overall challenge score.

Commencement Blue Line Ceremony
Commencement Blue Line Ceremony

As 8th graders, the boys are asked at their final formation during Commencement if they are prepared to depart the Cadet ranks. At that time, they re-cross the “Blue Line,” symbolically having completed and excelled at the most challenging leadership development and educational experience there is for an elementary and middle school boy.

Meet the Commandant

The San Antonio Academy Military Leadership Program is guided by Col. (Ret.) Steve Marshall.

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col. steve marshall


At the heart of everything we do, the focus is to develop character and the moral-ethical attributes essential to good leadership, all of which is woven into every aspect of The Academy experience."