Sri Lanka Military Academy
|Sri Lanka Military Academy|
Crest of the Sri Lanka Military Academy
|Active||6 February 1950 –Present|
|Branch||Sri Lanka Army|
|Size||More than 600 Officer Cadets|
|Motto||Serve to Lead|
|Commandant||Brigadier PWB Jayasundara, USP, psc, IG|
The Sri Lanka Military Academy (SLMA), commonly known simply as Diyatalawa, is the Sri Lanka Army's officer initial training centre located in the garrison town of Diyatalawa in the central highlands of Sri Lanka.
SLMA is much like Royal Military Academy Sandhurst for it is not a university, unlike some other national military academies such as West Point in the United States, National Defence Academy (India) or the Australian Defence Force Academy. General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University is the university-type defence academy in Sri Lanka, which sends its cadets to SLMA for their final year.
When the Ceylon Army was raised in 1949, the need arose to recruit and train officers and soldiers of the newly formed army. The Army Recruit Training Depot (ARTD) was therefore formed in Diyatalawa on 6 February 1950 for the purpose of training recruits. The first batch of 114 recruits passed out from the ARTD on 2 June 1950. The ARTD was later named as the Army Training Centre (ATC). But facilities did not exist to train officers, and therefore Officer Cadets were sent to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMA) in the United Kingdom. The first batch of ten Officer Cadets were enlisted to the Army on the 10 of October 1949 and were dispatched to RMA Sandhurst.
Subsequently Officer Cadets were trained at the Indian Military Academy and the National Defence Academy (India), and to a lesser extent the Pakistan Military Academy and Bangladesh Military Academy. Overseas training was not sufficient to meet the growing needs. Therefore, arrangements were then made to train Officer Cadets locally. The first intake of Officer Cadets who were earmarked to be trained at the Army Training Centre, Diyatalawa, were enlisted on 16 April 1968. Since then Officer Cadets were locally trained and commissioned. With the expansion and the growing need to train large numbers of recruits, recruit training was assigned to the respective regiments.
In 1988 due to the expansion of the Army and the need for more Young Officers the ATC was given the responsibility of training only Officer Cadets. With this, the Army Training Centre was re-designated as the Sri Lanka Military Academy with effect from 20 August 1992, and since then it has been totally utilized for training of Officer Cadets. At any one time, five to six hundred Officer Cadets are trained at this institution.
In overall command of the SLMA is the Commandant of the Academy, usually an officer of Brigadier rank.
SLMA has several Commissioning Courses each year. Each new intake numbers approximately 150 cadets, each of whom joins a company. The commissioning course is split up into three terms, each lasting fourteen weeks, and on each course cadets are put into one of four companies. There can be as many as several companies within the SLMA at any one time, each commanded by a Major and named after a famous battle in Sri Lankan history.
This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.
The President's and ATC colours presented to the ATC in 1972, were laid to rest with the change of name to Sri Lanka Military Academy. The Colours were renamed as SLMA Colours and presented by Her Excellency Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, the President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, on 21 June 1997, at Diyatalawa.
Upon completion of their training, the SLMA hosts the Commissioning ceremony attended by the Commander of the Army, senior army officers, defence attaches of diplomatic establishments and parents. It starts off with the Passing-Out Parade made up of the graduating intakes of cadets, during which the cadets receive the President’s Commission along with the Sword of Honour and Trophies, awarded to the cadets first in order of merit. This is followed by the Pipping ceremony where parents of new Officers and Lady Officers adorned their uniform and epaulets with the respective insignia. The event is finished with the Commissioning Dinner.
The Sri Lanka Military Academy, Diyatalawa trains Officer Cadets for both Regular and Volunteer Forces of the Sri Lanka Army. It also has undertaken to train an Officer Cadets from the Maldives and Bangladesh since 1992. Apart from that to educate and train mid career Officers in basic command and staff techniques at the level of Grade III/II appointments, (Officers in the ranks of Lieutenant / Captain / Major), SLMA has established the Officers Study Centre (OSC) which conducts the Junior Command Course (JCC) and the Junior Staff Course (JSC).
Cadet training have elevated to the standards of Bachelor's Degrees in Military Studies which will be awarded by the Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka.
There are several intakes for cadet officers annually. These are under the following category.
- Cadet Entry Degree Program -Two and half years (from the Sabaragamuwa University)
- Cadet Entry Diploma Programme- Two years (from the Sabaragamuwa University)
- Short Service Cadets Course - One year
- Volunteer cadets intakes - One year (Officers for the Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force)
- Officer cadets from General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University (final year)
- Direct Entry Stream to the Regular Force - three months (For professionals such as Doctors, IT specialists, Civil Engineers,Accountants etc.)
The Commissioning Course lasts two and half years, during this period, cadets are trained in leadership, tactics, weapons training, military law, military accounting systems and academic studies such as General Science, Management and General Studies. An intensive course in the English language is conducted during the first six months of training to enhance the English knowledge of the Officer Cadets.Completion of a research work is partial fulfillment for the Degree other than the Military and Academic Components.Intakes have been named from 1 and today up to Intake 69 are being trained.
The other main courses carried out at SLMA are;
- Officer Cadet training course.
- Potential unit commanders course.
- Junior Staff course.
- Junior Command course.
List of Commandants of the Academy
- Brigadier (later Lieutenant General) Jagath Jayasuriya (2002-2004)
- Brigadier (later Major General) Percy Fernando (1998-2000)
- Brigadier (later Major General) Mendaka Samarasinghe (2004-2006)
- Brigadier (later Major General) Janaka Walgama (2006-2008)
List of Commandants/Commanding Officers of the ATC
The following officers served as commandants of the college: This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.
- Colonel (later Major General) Devinda Kalupahana (1989-1991)
- Colonel (later Major General) Jayantha de S. Jayaratne (1981-1983)
- Colonel (later Major General) C.H. Fernando (1985-1986)
- Lieutenant Colonel (later General) Denis Perera (1969-1972)
Fox Hill Super Cross
Fox Hill Super Cross is a cross country championship held annually at the Diyatalawa Super cross circuit at Fox Hill which is organized by Sri Lanka Military Academy. It is one of the premier motor racing events in the country.
- General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University
- Naval and Maritime Academy
- Air Force Academy, China Bay
- Sri Lanka Army