Military Academy of Aphros

Part of the Star League Defense Force's so-called "War Triad" which included the Sandhurst Royal Military College and the War Academy of Mars, the Military Academy of Aphros was one of the premier military academies of the Star League, most notably serving as primary training facility for the SLDF's famous Gunslinger Program.[1] [2]


Originally built on a high plateau and surrounded by wastelands, aside from serving as one of the major centers of the Gunslinger Program, the Military Academy of Aphros served to also train aerospace fighter and DropShip pilots, and beginning in 2740 WarShip crews. During the Star League era the Planning and Strategy Subcommand of the Star League Navy was also headquartered on Venus, collocated with Aphros' main simulators.[1] [2] [3]

During Operation APOTHEOSIS, the Rim Worlds Republic seizure of the Terran system, the Military Academy of Aphros was targeted with nuclear weapons that killed its troops but largely left its military infrastructure intact. Following the destruction of Venus' protective sunshade as a result of Stefan Amaris's foolhardy Operation ICARUS during Operation LIBERATION, and the progressive failure of the atmospheric stabilization stations that maintained the terraformed world's viability, with ComStar focusing on revitalizing Sandhurst as it sole military academy prior to the Clan Invasion the Military Academy of Aphros lay fallow.[4]

Falling under Word of Blake control after Operation ODYSSEUS and their seizure of Terra, the Blakist need for military academies resulted in reopening the Military Academy of Aphros in 3061 in the last remaining domed city on the planet, with the forcible removal of the last remaining civilians on the planet. By that point, the failure of the atmospheric stabilization stations on Venus had rendered the atmosphere uninhabitable, and as a result only AeroSpace pilots and JumpShip, DropShip, and WarShip crews were still being trained there by the Word of Blake.[5]

Despite plans to try and increase its size, the small scale of the domed city means under the Word MAA could only accept one-hundred aerospace pilots and three hundred naval crewmen for each three-year program. Competition for admittance was fierce with only the most promising candidates chosen, the remainder often entering a Free Worlds League Academy prior to returning to the Word upon graduation.[5]

Those who are accepted in the Military Academy of Aphros undergo one year of standard training no matter their field of study, learning basic space navigation and null-g living, along with dealing with hostile atmospheres such as Venus as well as the standard Word of Blake indoctrination course. The second and third year varied depending on their Military Occupational Speciality, with exceedingly strict rules enforced by the faculty, a natural response to the fact even a minor mistake in the Venus atmosphere could easily prove fatal. Graduates were promoted to Acolyte, with aerospace pilots assigned to a Word of Blake Militia unit where ship crews undergoing further advanced training aboard an actual vessel prior to receiving a promotion to Adept once it had been concluded.[5]

By 3085, following the Jihad, the Republic of the Sphere's Armed Forces took over the academy and used it as its primary naval training facility, but in light of the continuing atmospheric problems they began considering moving their naval training programs to Sanglamore.[6]


  1. 1.0 1.1 The Star League, p. 108
  2. 2.0 2.1 Field Manual: SLDF, p.22:"The Star League Defense Force - Military Academy of Aphros"
  3. Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 1, p. 40:"The League's Might - Military Academy of Aphros"
  4. Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 2, pp.63-64:"The Terran System - Killing Aphrodite: Venus"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Field Manual: ComStar, pp. 48-49: "Word of Blake - Military Academy of Aphros (MAA)"
  6. Field Manual: 3085, p. 174