- 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 Huntsman academies and the Kingdoms they correspond to are:
- Vale - Beacon Academy
- Mistral - Haven Academy
- Vacuo - Shade Academy
- Atlas (formerly Mantle) - Atlas Academy (formerly Alsius)
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.
Upon graduation, Huntsmen receive a license they can access through their scrolls. This license includes their photo, name, Huntsman ID number, their emblem, the Kingdom that issued the license, the Huntsman academy attended and any restrictions the Huntsman may have.
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.
This separation of Huntsmen and Kingdom allegiance was intended as a measure to ensure peace. However, the Kingdom of Atlas does not appear to uphold this distinction. Not only does Atlas Academy exist as the same entity as the Kingdom of Atlas' government, but students are heavily pressured into enlisting in the military's Special Operatives unit, which has drawn significant criticism. Winter Schnee is one notable example of a "Specialist" in the Atlesian military.
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. 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)
- Escort - Helping civilians move through Grimm infested areas
Notable Huntsmen and Huntresses
Beacon Academy staff
- Glynda Goodwitch - Staff member 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 - 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 professor at Beacon Academy.
- Bartholomew Oobleck - History teacher at Beacon Academy.
- James Ironwood - Headmaster of Atlas Academy and a general in the Atlesian military. He holds two seats on the Atlas Council and is a member of Ozpin's Group.
- Winter Schnee - Specialist in the Atlesian military and an Atlas Academy graduate.
- Leonardo Lionheart † - Headmaster of Haven Academy.
- 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.
- Taiyang Xiao Long - Ruby and Yang's father. He is a teacher at Signal Academy.
- Raven Branwen - Yang's mother and Taiyang's first significant other. She disappeared shortly after Yang's birth to lead the Branwen Tribe.
- 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.
- Carmine Esclados - A veteran Huntress.
- 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.
- 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.