- For the World of Remnant episode of the same name, see Huntsmen (WoR episode).
Following the Great War's conclusion on the island of Vytal, the occupation of Huntsman was created alongside the Huntsman academies. These academies were charged to train the elite warriors whose role was to safeguard mankind's future.
Those who wish to become Huntsmen or Huntresses often first attend primary combat schools like Sanctum Academy (of Mistral) or Signal Academy (located in Patch), which are designed to show new students the fundamentals of combat, weapon crafting and the applications of Dust and Aura in the battlefield. However, those who have honed their skills on their own can skip this step and apply directly, one example being Blake Belladonna.
Potential applicants must then pass a rigorous entrance exam, and those that pass can attend Huntsman Academies, whose sole purpose is to train the next generation of Huntsmen and Huntresses who will in turn live and die to defend the four Kingdoms and the lifestyles they have become accustomed to.
The Primary Combat schools and the Kingdoms they correspond to are:
- Vale - Signal Academy (Patch), Pharos Academy (Vale)
- Mistral - Sanctum Academy (Argus), Unnamed Kuchinashi Academy (Kuchinashi)
- Vacuo - Oscuro Academy (Coquina)
The four main Huntsman Academies and the Kingdoms they correspond to are:
- Vale - Beacon Academy
- Mistral - Haven Academy
- Vacuo - Shade Academy
- Atlas - Atlas Academy (Formerly Alsius) (Destroyed)
Trainees are generally admitted at age 17 and complete a four-year course before graduating, however, some students, such as Ruby Rose, have been admitted at ages as young as 15.
Trainees are grouped into Teams of four, with the intention of fostering empathy and teamwork, as well as lasting bonds, between team members – qualities considered of great importance for future Huntsmen and Huntresses. These teams may stay intact after graduation, but teams are also known to disband as their members pursue solo careers.
The course at Beacon Academy includes history lessons and studies of the Grimm. The more active component includes field trips to potentially dangerous locations, sparring matches with other students, as well as an opportunity to participate in the Vytal Festival Tournament and spar with students from other academies. Students also go on actual missions commensurate to their skill level as part of their training; first-years are accompanied by a professional Huntsman, whilst second years and above may go on high-risk missions alone.
While some enter the Academies to become Huntsmen, many people enter them for ulterior motives. One example would be Qrow and Raven Branwen who both originally entered Beacon Academy so they could learn how to kill Huntsmen since they were the only other threat to their tribe other than the Grimm.
Upon acceptance into one of the academies, prospective students are granted a student Huntsman License they can access through their scrolls. Upon graduation, this student license is updated to a full professional Huntsmen License.
Both student and professional licenses contain the same information. Their only difference is that a student license is labeled as a "Student License", while pro licenses bear either "Huntsman License" or "Huntress Licence" depending on the gender of the Huntsman.
A Huntsman License includes the Huntsman's:
- Full name, in print and as a bar code
- Fifteen Digit Huntsman ID number
- Kingdom which issued the license
- Huntsman academy attended
- Any restrictions the Huntsman may have.
Some especially gifted Huntsmen can acquire their licenses by taking a licensing exam, forgoing the need to attend the academies.
After graduation, the founders of the academies intended that the allegiance of a Huntsman or Huntress would not be tied to a specific Kingdom. With their Huntsmen licenses, graduates are granted the freedom to choose whom they work for as well as the nature of their work. Huntsmen find employment through the use of mission boards. This approach is not without problems, however, as Huntsmen are known to be employed for disreputable purposes on occasion. One example would be Team SMMK who were hired by the Wave crime syndicate, as well as Bertilak Celadon who was originally a Huntsmen hired by The Crown.
This separation of Huntsmen and Kingdom allegiance was intended as a measure to ensure peace. However, the Kingdom of Atlas did not appear to uphold this distinction. Not only did Atlas Academy exist as the same entity as the government, but students were heavily pressured into enlisting in the military's Special Operatives Unit, which drew significant criticism. Winter Schnee was one notable example of a "Specialist" in the military. The Ace Operatives were a team of Special Operatives that intentionally didn't follow the Color Naming Rule and had five people instead of four due to Ironwood not caring about Ozpin's rules and prioritizing efficiency instead.
Mission boards detail the type of mission, a short description of the task, where the task is needed and how soon the mission will start. Mission boards also detail a mission's status after someone accepts it. In RWBY: The Grimm Campaign, it is revealed that the mission board system is flawed; while the intent is to have it so that the board updates at real-time. However, multiple Huntsmen can accept the mission at the same time, making it so that they both need to complete the objective and split the reward.
Generally, rewards scale to the difficulty of the particular objective, especially with bounty missions on the Grimm. However, in some cases, as seen with Centinels, Huntsmen may avoid bounty missions on specific Grimm, and as a result making their rewards be disproportionately large compared to the difficulty ranking.
There are many different types of missions for Huntsmen and Huntresses to undertake. The currently known types of missions available to Huntsmen and Huntresses include:
- Search and Rescue - Finding missing person(s) or recovering missing supplies
- Search and Destroy - Clearing out Grimm when their infestations grow too large
- Perimeter Defense - Fortifying walls and defenses to keep Grimm out of the kingdom and city limits
- Village Security - Helping a village (not established as one of four kingdoms) fight off Grimm
- Bounty - Capturing wanted criminal(s) and Grimm
- Escort - Helping civilians move through Grimm infested areas
The Huntsman Kingdom Accord is an act that protects the Huntsmen of Mistral with some legal support.
Notable Huntsmen and Huntresses
- Ruby Rose - The leader of Team RWBY and a Silver-Eyed Warrior. Former Beacon student.
- Weiss Schnee - Daughter of Jacques Schnee, Ex-heiress of Schnee Dust Company and former Beacon student.
- Blake Belladonna - A Faunus, Daughter of Menagerie Chieftain Ghira Belladonna, and Ex-White Fang member who defected after the organization became more extremist. Former Beacon student.
- Yang Xiao Long - Daughter of notorious bandit Raven Branwen and Ruby's older sister who lost her right arm at the fall of Beacon. Former Beacon student.
- Jaune Arc - The leader of Team JNR. Unlike the other students, he did not undergo any combat school or training prior to Beacon and entered the school using false documents. Former Beacon student.
- Nora Valkyrie - A homeless orphan rescued by Ren during a massacre at Kuroyuri. Former Beacon student.
- Lie Ren - A survivor of a massacre by a Nuckelavee Grimm at Kuroyuri that took the lives of his family. Former Beacon student.
- Summer Rose † - Ruby's birth mother, Yang's stepmother and Taiyang's second significant other. She went missing in action during a mission and is presumed dead by her family after she encountered Salem in the past. Beacon Academy graduate.
- Taiyang Xiao Long - Ruby and Yang's father. He is a teacher at Signal Academy. Beacon Academy graduate.
- Raven Branwen - Yang's mother and Taiyang's first significant other. A former member of Ozpin's Group, she disappeared shortly after Yang's birth to lead the Branwen Tribe. Beacon Academy graduate.
- Qrow Branwen - Yang's maternal uncle and Ruby's honorary uncle. He was a teacher at Signal Academy, and a member of Ozpin's Group. Beacon Academy graduate.
- Glynda Goodwitch - Staff member and current Headmistress of Beacon Academy; she is the first known Huntress to make an appearance in the series. She is also a member of Ozpin's Group.
- Ozpin † - Former Headmaster of Beacon Academy. He is the leader of Ozpin's Group.
- Peter Port - Huntsman and a long-time associate of Professor Ozpin. He was the Grimm Studies and Military Strategy professor at Beacon Academy.
- Bartholomew Oobleck - History and Legends of Remnant teacher at Beacon Academy.
- Harold Mulberry - Weapons Crafting and Upkeep teacher at Beacon Academy.
- Thumbelina Peach - Plant Science teacher at Beacon Academy.
- Ann Greene - Stealth and Security teacher at Beacon Academy.
- James Ironwood † - Former Headmaster of Atlas Academy and former general of the Atlesian Military. Held two seats on the Atlas Council and a former member of Ozpin's Group. Later died during the Fall of Atlas.
- Winter Schnee - Former Specialist in the Atlesian Military, an Atlas Academy graduate, and former leader of the Ace Operatives after Clover Ebi's death.
- Clover Ebi † - Former Specialist in the Atlesian military, an Atlas Academy graduate, and former leader of the Ace-Ops. Killed by Tyrian Callows who framed Qrow Branwen for his death.
- Elm Ederne - Former Specialist in the Atlesian military, an Atlas Academy graduate, and former member of the Ace-Ops.
- Harriet Bree - Former Specialist in the Atlesian military, an Atlas Academy graduate, and former member of the Ace-Ops.
- Marrow Amin - Former Specialist in the Atlesian military, an Atlas Academy graduate, and former member of the Ace-Ops.
- Vine Zeki † - Former Specialist in the Atlesian military, an Atlas Academy graduate, and former member of the Ace-Ops. Sacrificed his life to save his friends from a bomb meant to destroy Mantle.
- Robyn Hill - a former Mantle politician, Atlas Academy graduate, and the leader of the Happy Huntresses.
- Fiona Thyme - a member of the Happy Huntresses.
- May Marigold - a member of the Happy Huntresses.
- Joanna Greenleaf - a member of the Happy Huntresses.
- Multiple Huntsmen - Many Huntsmen working in Atlas.
- Rhodes † - a Huntsman who trained Cinder Fall when she worked at the Glass Unicorn. Killed by Cinder while attempting to arrest her for murder.
- Leonardo Lionheart † - Former Headmaster of Haven Academy and a former member of Ozpin's Group. Later killed by Salem during the Battle of Haven.
- Pyke Rite - a "professional" Huntsman and recent graduate of Haven Academy.
- Arrastra Skye - a serval Faunus Huntress originally from Haven Academy.
- Asher Mora - a graduate of Shade Academy now operating in Mistral and an old acquaintance of the current leader of "The Hearth", Abigail Pyre.
- Fenix Nemean - a graduate of Shade Academy now operating in Mistral.
- Multiple Mistral Huntsmen † - Nearly every Huntsman and Huntress working in Mistral was killed off by Hazel Rainart and Tyrian Callows when Leonardo Lionheart leaked their identities to Salem.
- F. Pickerel † - Huntsman responsible for the incarceration of Tyrian Callows.
- Dee † - Huntsman formerly working on the Argus Limited that was killed during a Grimm attack.
- Dudley - Huntsman working on the Argus Limited.
- Opal - A famous now-retired Huntress in circles with The Grimm Reaper and owner of The Skillful in Kuchinashi.
- Team SMMK - A team of Huntsmen centered in Kuchinashi, consisting of: Sil, Marton, Mina Lavender, and Khaki. They work for the Wave crime syndicate.
- Alabaster - A former Huntsmen who now works as the current sheriff of the Kuchinashi city guard.
- The Taskmaster - A former Huntsmen that had his license revoked after multiple dealings in crime. Works as an info broker in Kuchinashi where multiple people owe him favors.
- Takaya - The headmaster of the huntsmen school in Kuchinashi and leader of the resistance against the wave crime syndicate.
- Maria Calavera - A former Silver-Eyed Warrior who was a legend in her day under the alias, the Grimm Reaper. She lost her eyes in a fight against Tock, and had spent decades in hiding since.
- Theodore - Headmaster of Shade Academy and a member of Ozpin's Group.
- Xanthe Rumpole - History professor at Shade Academy and a member of Ozpin's Group.
- Rowena Sunnybrook - Weapons teacher at Shade Academy.
- Edward Caspian - An elderly veteran Huntsman.
- Carmine Esclados - A rogue veteran Huntress and Shade Academy graduate.
- Rosa Schwein - a dropout student from Shade Academy turned criminal.
- Gillian Asturias - a dropout student from Shade Academy turned criminal.
- Jax Asturias - an expelled student from Shade Academy turned criminal.
- Argento Pocoron - a dropout student from Shade Academy turned criminal.
- Umber Gorgoneion - a dropout student from Shade Academy turned criminal.
- Bertilak Celadon - A rogue veteran Huntsman and Shade Academy graduate.
- Green - A Huntsman formerly placed under mind control by The Crown now operating as usual.
- Huntsmen and Huntresses are a form of celebrities in Remnant. This is evident when Ruby asks for Glynda's autograph, when Jaune refers to his family as famous heroes and the RWBY: World of Remnant episode "Aura" explains that they are widely regarded as the world's greatest warriors. Even Huntsmen and Huntresses in training, like Coco Adel and the members of Team SSSN, are known to have dedicated fans among the spectators of the Vytal Festival.
- The first three digits in Team RWBY's Huntress License ID numbers (636) likely allude to Rooster Teeth's address when they created "RWBY".
- Huntsmen is the general collective term for the profession, with Huntresses reserved only for women.
- The term 'hunter' is often misattributed as an abbreviation for Huntsman but is a separate job title referring to those that hunt wild animals for food, such as Li Ren.