In 1893, the first “Temporary course in naval sciences” for training of line officers was organized in Russe. Insofar as the Maritime School of 1881 was not only the start of the Naval Academy, but also a prototype of the modern Engineering Faculty and most departments in it, it should be emphasized that the Temporary Officer Course of 1893 was a prototype of the modern Navigational Faculty, as well as departments in it such as Naval Tactics Department, Navigation and Fleet And Ports Operation. In fact, the organization of the „Temporary Course” marks the beginning of the historical development of the educational structures training navigational specialists in this country.
The course trained officers, graduates of the Military School in Sofia, to acquire naval qualifications, as well as Bulgarian graduates of foreign naval schools who for some reason did not manage to graduate abroad. The participants in the Temporary Officer Course passed and exam and were awarded the qualifications of naval officers.
At the turn of the new 20th century, the Sub-officer Maritime School made a new step forward. In 1900, it was headed by lieutenant Todor Solarov. It was during his time in office that the institution was moved to Varna and renamed Engineering School to the Fleet. Todor Solarov justified the need for more thorough training of its graduates, as a result of which in 1904, with an act of the National Parliament, it became the first technical secondary school in the country and the duration of training was extended to six years. In 1906 the school issued the first matriculation certificates. In 1910, the first building specially designed and erected for the needs of the Engineering School to His Majesty’s Fleet was built in Varna.
The unit which remained in Russe was renamed Miner and Stoker School (Miner school with stoker training) with duration of training of our years, including practical training, with the first two year of training recognized as compulsory military service for the students. The Miner and Stoker School was temporarily closed down in 1909. In 1912, due to the fleet’s increased need of technical specialists, it was reopened under the name Maritime Special Schools, which in turn were subordinate to the newly formed structure in Varna called Training Unit (later renamed Maritime Training Unit).
The schools were established in 1912. In 1913 they admitted the first class of 34 cadets. Originally, the Maritime Special Schools consisted of three units: mining and electrical engineering, stoker and steersman. During the First World War, the Diver School and Radiotelegraphy School were formed and briefly functioned.
The duration of training in the schools was four years. They can be seen as the prototype of the present-day Postgraduate Studies Department and Professional Sergeant College within the Nikola Vaptsarov Naval Academy.
By 1912, the Training Unit included not only the Special Schools, but also the Engineering School to His Majesty’s Fleet.
In the wars for national unification (1912-1918), graduates of the Training Unit participated in the mine laying and minesweeping operations, the attack against the Ottoman cruiser Hamidiye, the Assault operations in Balchik, Kavarna and Kaliakra, the Engagement of Balchik on 13 December 1916. They had the honor of mastering the new naval equipment: seaplanes and the first Bulgarian submarine. This was the period when French, and then German language studies were introduced and as a result, some of the graduates of the Engineering School to His Majesty’s Fleet were selected to become naval officers and sent for training at the Accademia Navale in Livorno (Italy – 1914), and later at the Marineschule Mürwik (Germany – 1916-1918).
Changes occurred in the Engineering School also. In 1917, after a short training course for a select group of graduates of the naval alma mater, the first officer class graduated. In 1918, the school received the building of the present-day Aquarium in the Sea Garden, where it remained until 1922.
After the wars for national unification, the maritime education system underwent another reorganization.