The rebellious Prince Harry (search) is not bucking one family tradition — he began a military career Sunday at an elite British academy.

Prince Charles' (search) youngest son enrolled at the prestigious Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in Surrey, southern England, for a 44-week officer training course.

"I am really excited. I want to get on with it and do the best job I can do," the 20-year-old prince said in a statement.

Prince Charles accompanied Harry to Sandhurst, chatting with army officials before giving him a playful punch in the arm as a farewell gesture.

The prince and 270 other new recruits joining Sandhurst (search) will face a grueling schedule over the next few weeks. Harry, who will be called Officer Cadet Wales, will not be allowed to leave the academy, wear civilian clothing or drink alcohol, and will live in modest quarters with a single bed, sink and wardrobe.

Harry is third in line to the British throne behind his father and elder brother William.

Military service runs in the family. Charles trained to be a pilot with the Royal Air Force, earning his wings in 1971, and also signed up to the Royal Navy. At one time he commanded the minesweeper HMS Bronington.

Harry's grandfather, Prince Philip, joined the Royal Navy in 1939 and commanded the frigate HMS Magpie. His naval career ended in 1952, when his wife became Queen Elizabeth II on the death of her father.

Harry's uncle, Prince Andrew, spent 22 years in the Navy and served as a helicopter pilot in the Falklands war against Argentina.

Another uncle, Prince Edward, joined the Royal Marines but quickly dropped out.