The missions of U.S. Naval War College (NWC) have been expanded and updated to reflect the school’s current functions and to better serve the Fleet, the Department of Defense and nation.
The primary mission of NWC “will always be to educate and develop future leaders through the development of strategic perspective, critical thinking, and enhancing the capability to advise senior leaders and policy-makers,” according to the school’s website.
Three additional missions have been added to the existing four missions, which remain unchanged.
The additions were made to reflect the emphasis Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. John Richardson is placing on leader development in his document, “A Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority.”
“We have certainly expanded as a college over the years, not in people but in reach,” said NWC Vice President Capt. Tamara Graham. “Our four missions were at the heart of the work the college did. Now as we continue to do more and more, we want to make sure we are codifying the work that we are doing.”
In addition to the main focus to educate and develop future leaders, the supporting missions are as follows:
– Helping to define the future Navy and its roles and missions.
– Supporting combat readiness.
– Strengthening global maritime partnerships.
– Promoting ethics and leadership throughout the force.
– Contributing knowledge to shape effective decisions through the Maritime History Center.
– Providing expertise and advice to the international legal community through the Stockton Center for the Study of International Law.
The school has seen substantial expansion in recent years and the new missions are a better indicator of what is accomplished at the college.
“We probably have about 60 percent mission growth in the last 10 years, so we want to make sure our baseline reflects that,” said Graham. “We are the ‘Navy’s home of thought,’ that hasn’t changed. What has changed is what the Navy should be thinking about.”
Another reason for the update was to align with the CNO’s design published in January 2016.
“In part, the change was required to better meet the requirements of the CNO’s design. The directive in the design to Strengthen our Navy Team for the Future, in what are referred to as the gold lines of effort is also part of the basis for the change,” said Graham.
Specifically, Graham said the new mission of breaking out leadership and ethics was needed in a changing environment.
“We recognized in recent years that this mission needs to be a focal point. This is one arena that we must come at directly, as we continue to work at developing leaders of character and competence. Ethics is an important element of that,” she said.
The final two new missions on history and law reflect efforts the college has been doing, but were not recognized previously.
“It is important that we know history and learn lessons from it,” said Graham. “The Maritime History Center, our faculty, our museum, and all our other resources keep us aware of that history.
“Also, the Stockton Center for the Study of International Law has global impact and reach. As a Navy, we have always operated in the global commons and that commons has expanded into domains such as space and cyber. We also now have new access to global spaces we haven’t had access to before. All these changes have important legal aspects and the Stockton Center is a leading the way on defining these issues.”
NWC’s missions can be found at https://www.usnwc.edu/coremissions.
NWC is an upper-level professional military education institution that includes a one-year resident program that graduates 600 resident students a year, and a multifaceted distance education program that graduates more than 1,000 students per year. Students earn Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) credit and either a diploma or a master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies or Defense and Strategic Studies. Established in 1884, U.S. Naval War College is the oldest institution of its kind in the world. More than 50,000 students have graduated since its first class of nine students in 1885 and about 300 of today’s active duty admirals, generals and senior executive service leaders are alumni.
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