When the Army was raised in 1949, the need arose to recruit and train officers and soldiers of the newly formed army. The Army Recruit Training Depot (ARTD) was therefore formed in Diyatalawa on 6th February 1950 for the purpose of training recruits. The first batch of 114 recruits passed out from the ARTD on 2nd June 1950. The ARTD was later named as the Army Training Centre (ATC). But facilities did not exist to train officers, and therefore Officer Cadets were sent to the Royal Military Academy (RMA), Sandhurst in the United Kingdom . The first batch of Officer Cadets were enlisted to the Army on the 10th of October 1949 and were dispatched to RMA Sandhurst.
Subsequently Officer Cadets were trained at the Indian Military Academy and the Pakistan Military Academy . Overseas training was not sufficient to meet the growing needs. Therefore, arrangements were then made to train Officer Cadets locally. The first intake of Officer Cadets who were earmarked to be trained at the Army Training Centre, Diyatalawa, were enlisted on 16th April 1968. Since then Officer Cadets were locally trained and commissioned. With the expansion and the growing need to train large numbers of recruits, recruit training was assigned to the respective regiments. With this, the Army Training Centre was renamed as the Sri Lanka Military Academy (SLMA), and since then it has been totally utilized for training of Officer Cadets. At any one time, five to six hundred Officer Cadets are trained at this institution. During a period of two years, they are trained in leadership, tactics, weapons training, law, military accounting systems and academic studies. An intensive course in the English language is conducted during the first six months of training to enhance the English knowledge of the Officer Cadets.
The President's and ATC colours presented to the ATC in 1972, were laid to rest with the change of name to Sri Lanka Military Academy . The Colours were renamed as SLMA Colours and presented by Her Excellency Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, the President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, on 21st June 1997, at Diyatalawa. This is a professional Army which is involved in active combat against the world's most ruthless terrorist organization. Therefore it is of utmost importance to train officers and men in various types of specialized combat duties and in administrative and logistic duties. A large number of officers and men are annually sent overseas to receive this type of specialized training. Wherever possible training is conducted locally when infrastructure facilities are available.
Today every arm and service has its own training school to train its personnel in basic duties pertaining to the respective arm or service. Apart from SLMA, the training establishments controlled by the Army Headquarters are the Army Training School in Maduru Oya, Combat Training School in Ampara, Infantry Training School in Minneriya and the Non Commissioned Officers Training School at Kala Oya .
- SLMA - Sri Lanka Military Academy.
- ATS - Army Training School.
- ITC - Infantry Training Centre.
- CTS - Combat Training School.
- APEC - Army Physical Education Centre.
- VFTS - Volunteer Force Training School.
- MSTS - Marksman Sniper Training School.
- NCOTS - Non Commission Officer Training School.
- LTS - Language Training School.
- IPSOT-SL - Institute of Peacekeeping Support Operations Training Sri Lanka.
- ACTC-Armoured Cops Training Centre.
- School of Artillery.
- SLSME – Sri Lanka School of Military Engineering.
- School of Mechanical Engineers.
- School of Signals.
- CRTS-Commando Regiment Training School.
- MIC-Military Intelligence Corps School.
- ESR-Engineer Service School.
- SLASC-Sri lanka Army Service Corps School.
- SLAMC-Sri lanka Army Military School Of Nursing.
- SLAOC-Sri lanka Army Ordnance School.
- SLEME-Sri lanka Electrical And Mechnaical Engineers School.
- SLCMP-Sri lanka Corps of Military Police School.
- SLAGSC-SriLanka Army General Service Corps School