Between 1496 BC and 1861 AD (a period of some 3,357 years), there were 227 years of peace and 3,230 years in which wars were fought; a ration of 13 years in war for each year of peace. The number of wars in progress in any one year averaged about 12 in the 19th century and rose to about 40 in the second third of the 20th century. Despite the year of "peace breaking out" of 1989, the 1990 Gulf crisis demonstrated that it would be most precipitate to believe that soon we will escape the seeming certainty that members of our societies will be required to sally forth and defend our lives and property with their skills, knowledge and ultimately their lives. We have a serious need to know how the young men and women who will lead these actions in our defence are prepared of this task. Not only does society have a need to know, it has a right and an obligation to understand and scrutinise the processes by which a lay person, in most cases, is transformed into a professional military officer and leader. For indeed, as in the past, and as surely in the future, it will be the sons and daughters of society who will be placed under the command and direction of such people in what portend to be;This book seeks to explain how regular officers for the contemporary British Army, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and Royal Marines are recruited, selected, educated and trained for membership of the British military profession. At its heart is a description and analysis of the four officer entry institutions: the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, the Britannia Royal Naval College, Cranwell and the Commando Training Centre, Royal Marines Lympstone, as they existed at the time of writing. The book not only examines how the modern military office is created, socialized and prepared for operational and peacetime service. It addresses the enduring dilemmas of what quality of military officer is needed to meet the challenges which modern military service poses, how best to prepare young people to meet those challenges and whether the methods chosen are effective. It identifies where the required levels of effectiveness have been undermined by inconsistencies, parsimony and change, and how these might be overcome.