The History of NMS
THE NIGERIAN MILITARY SCHOOL was established on 20 May 1954 with an initial intake of thirty Boys known as the “First Platoon”. At inception, the school was named Boys Company of Nigeria and the First Platoon was divided into 4 Houses, namely Exam, Inglis, Fairbanks and Swynuerton. However, its history can be traced to 1951 when the idea of establishing “Boys Company” along the same pattern of the Boys Wing of British Army was conceived for each of the four British West African colonies namely the Gambia, Gold Coast (Ghana), Nigeria and Sierra Leone. The aim was to inculcate and encourage family tradition in the force, hence the bulk of the pioneer set were sons and wards of serving military personnel.
In May 1954, the Boys Company was established as a full-pledged training institution under the regimentation and administration of the defunct Nigerian Regimental Training Company (NRTC) now Depot NA under the Command of Captain WU Bassey, the first Nigerian commissioned military officer. Two years later, the students’ population rose to 200.
By 1957, the aim of the School was redefined with focus on the training of middle cadre skilled manpower to replace the departing British colonies NCOs. With this redefinition of aim, the curriculum of the School was reviewed with more emphasis on academics. A year later, ten Boys from the school sat for the overseas Armed Forces General Certificate Examination and the School changed to school certificate status.
IN THE YEAR 1960, the name “Boys Company” was changed to Nigerian Military School (NMS) and the names of the houses were changed to prominent Nigerian cities viz Kaduna, Lagos, Ibadan and Enugu. To boost academic excellence, Major PJ Wakeman, a graduate was appointed from the British Army Education’ Corps as Commanding Officer in 1962. The School therefore, commenced five years training programme as a Secondary School. In 1965, the first set of Boys wrote the WAEC Examination in which they performed creditably well. Since then, the School’s performance in examinations has always been excellent.
WITH THE introduction of the new National Policy on Education, NMS now runs six years training programme broken into Junior and Senior Secondary classes of three years duration each. All the subjects required by this policy are being taught at the School by able and qualified officers, senior non-commissioned officers, Ministry of Defence staff, temporary staff and youth corps members.
The School also conducts leadership training programme to inculcate confidence and the desired leadership traits on to the Boys. To enhance its status, a Governing Board headed by the Chief of Administration (Army), was constituted to oversee the running of the School.
THE SCHOOL from its establishment to date has produced numerous senior military officers and senior staff in both government and private sectors. Its contributions to economic and socio-political development in Nigeria are in no way measurable.
The Nigerian Military School Zaria as a symbol of identification has a distinct logo upon which there are 3 stars on green background which apart from signifying light, each of them stands for discipline, knowledge and patriotism. Beneath them is an eagle, which is noted for its gracefulness, strength and very good eyesight. In its determined efforts to train these children both in leadership and academics, the Nigerian Military School has a motivating and inspirational motto of “Discipline, Knowledge and Patriotism.”
Currently, there are seven training companies, each with its distinct colour and Officer Commanding as follows: