Specialized military schools were essentially scaled-down copies of those in the Soviet Union. Three military schools trained officers for the People's Army or provided advanced professional training for mid-career officers. The Skanderbeg Military School was a secondary school that prepared students to enter the United Higher Officers' School. Students at Skanderbeg were generally sons of party, government, and military leaders. The United Higher Officers' School, formerly named for Enver Hoxha, was the oldest military education institution in the country. According to the APL, it began operating before German occupation forces left the country in 1944 and initiated a formal curriculum in 1945. Its graduates received a university degree and became commissioned officers. The Military Academy, once named for Mehmet Shehu, was an advanced institution offering training equivalent to that of command and staff schools or war colleges in Western military establishments. It provided specialized officer courses for pilots and those serving in artillery units or aboard ship.
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