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Academy History

Academy History Graphic


Academy History
For more than a decade after the founding of the Republic of China in 1911, the country was mostly ruled by warlords and at the mercy of the imperialist powers because of lacking a true revolutionary army. During this period the Republic existed in name only. In 1924 Dr. Sun Yat-sen decided to establish a military academy at Whampoa in Guangdong Province, and he appointed Chiang Kai-shek to be superintendent of the Academy. This Academy was to bear the responsibility for training revolutionary cadres and establishing a revolutionary army. On June 16,at the ceremony marking the beginning of classes at the Academy held on June 16th, Dr. Sun Yat-sen proclaimed the school motto of “esprit de corps,” and issued a written exhortations. The text of the exhortation was: "The Three Principles of the People is the doctrine of our Party. We will establish a republic, promote unity, and gather worthy individuals to serve as the vanguard of the People. We will work diligently day and night in obedience to the tenets of our doctrine. We vow to be brave and hard-working. "We shall be loyal trustworthy, of one heart and one mind from the beginning to the end of our undertaking. "Dr. Sun Yat-sen thus revealed his intention to create a never-ending stream of indomitable revolutionary solders, and entrusted the great task of saving China to the academy's instructors and cadets. In 1927 the words of the exhortation were put to music to be the new national anthem.
Although the republic almost collapsed due to financial weakness and warlords' attack during the academy's early years, the instructors and cadets worked hard and displayed great esprit de corps. Following the personal example of Chiang Kai-shek, the Whampoa spirit of "sacrifice, solidarity, and responsibility" was firmly planted. The cadets had to fight and study at the same time, each person had to do the work of many. First they succeeded in consolidating the revolutionary heartland by quelling rebellions in Guangdong province. Afterwards the revolutionary army with the cadets and instructors of Whampoa as its backbone completed the Northern Expedition, routed the communists, and won final victory in the War against Japan.
In response to changing external circumstances, the location of the Whampoa Academy was moved three times. The academy moved first to Nanjing in 1928 following the success of the Northern Expedition, and then to Chengtu in 1937 during the War against Japan. During this war many branch schools and officer-training teams were established in order to bolster the Army's strength. In 1950 the Whampoa Academy was re-established at Fengshan in Taiwan. In order to rebuild the Army to be a modern fighting force, a new university system of education was introduced in 1954 and has been implemented until the present. Although curriculum reform has been instituted several times during this period, and adopted some of the strengths of western military education, the outstanding Whampoa tradition still enables the school to continue to build graduates who are both officers and gentlemen.