The Escola do Exército was created on 12 January 1837 by marquis Sá da Bandeira, being the most distinguished predecessor of the current Academia Militar. After the Restoration, King João IV created the Lição de Artilharia e Esquadria, in 1641, which can be considered the first school aimed at training higher military personnel. It was followed by the Aula de Fortificação e Arquitectura Militar, the Academia Militar da Corte, the Academia Real de Marinha and the Real Colégio dos Nobres. In 1790, Queen Maria I, created the Academia Real de Fortificação, Artilharia e Desenho, considered as the “first truly scientific school aimed at higher education in subject matters of interest to officers of the Portuguese army”.In 1837, in an atmosphere of great political unrest and instability, marquis Sá da Bandeira (who was a former student of the Academia Real), created the Escola do Exército, as part of a vast and profound reform of the Portuguese Higher Education. The teaching method was compared to the method of the Universidade Portuguesa and its teachers enjoyed the same honours and categories. The Escola do Exército, initially set up in the Real Colégio dos Nobres, was later transferred to another location in Lisbon and took up its current premises at Paço da Rainha (or Bemposta) in 1851.
After having undergone successive restructurings (Escola do Exército 1837-1910, Escola de Guerra 1911–1919, Escola Militar 1919-1938 and again Escola do Exército 1938-1959), the Academia Militar was created on 12 February 1959 with the aim of preparing Army and Air Force officers and, since then, its courses have, “for general purposes, been of the same standing as other higher education courses”. The law creating the Academia Militar refers the 12 of January as the “anniversary of the establishment of the Escola do Exército”, that will celebrate its 175th anniversary in 2012. With headquarters in Lisbon and a detachment in Amadora, it is the Academia Militar’s mission, as a public military university/higher education institution to train the Army’s and the Guarda Nacional Republicana (GNR)’s core staff.The Academia Militar, it provides the future officers with the competences necessary for the missions carried out by the Army and by the GNR, furthering individual development for the performance of command and management duties. In harmony with the Bologna process, the Academia Militar awards its officers a master degree, thus promoting the Escola do Exército, that over the last 175 years has had several of its students occupying high State positions – seven became Presidents of the Portuguese Republic – particularly in operations in the African Campaigns, in World War I, in the Overseas Campaigns and more recently in as varied operational theatres as Bosnia, Kosovo, Angola, Mozambique, Somalia, Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan.
With this philatelic issue, the CTT joins in the celebration of the 175th anniversary of the Escola do Exército, thus acknowledging the Army (Airforce up to 1982 and since 1991 the GNR) officers headquarters’ indispensable contribution to the training of leaders who, with the feather and the sword, so expertly have built and advanced Portugal in the concert of Nations.Technical Details Issue Date: 12.01.2012 Values: 1.00 EUR & 2.50 EUR