The commandant and rector of the Royal Military Academy formally opens the academic year during a military ceremony at the Cinquantenaire park, close to the RMA. High-ranking military authorities attend, as often do members of the royal family and the minister of Defence. The ceremony often boasts more than 1.000 spectators.
On this occasion, the incoming bachelor promotions, upon completion of their basic military training, are traditionally welcomed, as well as the incoming students of the Defence College.
Furthermore, at this ceremony, which takes place at dusk, the King's Sword is presented to the student who obtained the best results upon completion of the bachelor years. Typically, the programme is as follows:
- Entrance of the troops
- Welcome of the VIPs and review of the troops
- Entrance of the incoming promotions
- Address by the commandant of the RMA
- Commitment by the speakers for the incoming promotions
- Presentation of the promotion pennants
- Presentation of the RMA flag to the incoming promotions
- Presentation of the King's Sword
- Musical intermezzo
- Parade and national anthems
- Reception at the RMA