The Helmut Schmidt University is one of two universities of the Bundeswehr. Its formal foundation in 1972 as “College of the Federal Armed Forces Hamburg” goes back to the initiative of the then Defense Minister Helmut Schmidt, whose name she received in 2003. One year later, in October 1973, the first 300 officers and officers began their studies, which is why we accept this year as the date of foundation. For what would a university be without students?
A science degree with a universally recognized degree as an integral part of officer training has been introduced to fulfill several objectives. Firstly, it was intended to put the officer’s qualifications on a scientific footing in the face of ever more complex demands in his professional fields. On the other hand, an educated officer fulfills the concept of “Innere Führung” and the mission statement of the “citizen in uniform”: a soldier who thinks and acts responsibly for himself and for others. At the same time, academic education should increase the attractiveness of the officer’s profession by preparing the time soldiers for their civilian careers after their 13 years of service.
Why were these goals not achieved with the help of public universities? On the other hand, it was said that not enough places could be provided for the Bundeswehr and that none of the universities was able to guarantee the realization of a shortened study period. In addition, such an extraordinary combination of different faculties at one university could be united: Humanities, engineering, economics and social sciences can be found under the roof of a single university again.