The Citadel Academy, founded in 2038, is a specialized school training those who are intent on gaining high-level government postings. It was built on the grounds of the South Dakota School of Mines and technology and was the first college level institution in postwar Dalton. Most students of the Academy plan on being part of the city Patrols or the Perimeter Guard, but others pursue work in city infrastructure, finance, or other departments. As a result, the training offered at the Academy is eclectic and seeks to develop its enrollees in various disciplines.
Education at the Academy is paid for, along with room and board, by the Citadel government. In exchange there is a mandatory five year minimum wage service required after graduation. This is a popular choice for children from poor sectors who are intelligent but do not have the funds to attend one of the specialized Universities. Some children of city officials also choose this option to prove they are capable of following in their parents’ legacy. While education at the Academy is not the only way to get a Citadel posting, nor is it guaranteed to end in one, it is the fastest track to a Citadel position.
All students are known as Cadets, reflecting the Academy’s early focus on training a militia-style military to replace the Air Force and National Guard presence in Dalton, which everyone was aware would age out and could not go un-replaced in the turmoil of the postwar years in Dalton. For some time there were fears that other surviving cities would spread out and attempt to consolidate with or seize territory from Dalton. However, the remote location of the city has kept this an unfounded fear. Eventually the focus on military training changed to accommodate police needs, and then to train all departments’ upcoming leaders.
Cadets are required to wear standard pale blue and grey uniforms and regulation crew cuts their first two years. When they choose their department they are then allowed to change their appearance to suit that department’s standards. Those going into the Patrols will continue to cut their hair short, but other departments have fewer regulations on appearance. All cadets live in dormitory accommodations which are very spare and have strict cleanliness and standardization rules. Cadets are required to keep their rooms clean and neat, and have very few if any personal belongings. Any correspondence with family is monitored after a student protest during the riots of 2072 was found to have been organized through outside contact.
The Academy enrolls its students in four to six year programs, depending on their field of interest. Science-based fields train in six years, while all others complete their education in four years. The first two years are basic general education and introduction to Citadel policies. There is a class each semester training the Cadets in the city regulations, laws, and history. After their third semester, students choose a potential career and take two classes in the next semester from that option. If they pass, and if they find the experience suits them, they continue in that program. If not, they are allowed one more try before they will be graduated with only a general education degree.
Students are offered internship and job opportunities all four years, and taking one in a prospective future field dramatically increases chances of receiving coveted postings. For Patrol Cadets, there are campus guard options. There are also secretarial positions that count as a five hour a week class allowing Cadets to intern with the department they intend to enter. Postings are announced during the end of each semester, with graduates dressing in their best to hear the results. It is the one semi-formal event the Academy holds.