In 2001, a group of corps fans decided that Arizona needed a drum and bugle corps, giving birth to what was to eventually be named The Academy. For its first three seasons, the corps had less than sixty members. In 2005, a guard was added and the corps grew to 130 members. This growth resulted in the corps’ first national tour in 2006, where the group won the Drum Corps International Division II Championship. In 2007, the corps moved to Division I status, taking the next big step in its rapid competitive development.