NEWPORT, R.I. - The Naval War College's College of Naval Warfare (CNW) graduated 43 officers on Feb. 26.
Phased in during the academic year's third trimester, the students had joined the college in February of 2009 for a year-long academic program. The senior-level students took graduate courses from NWC's three academic departments: Joint Military Operations, Strategy and Policy, and National Security Decision
Making. Their studies were also complemented by an electives program that provided opportunities to explore subjects not included in the core curriculum or to investigate in greater detail specific elements of the core curriculum.
During the ceremony, Cmdr. Glen Leverette was recognized as the class honor graduate.
“This student excelled in nontraditional ways by quietly weaving himself into the fabric of the entire student body, including both the senior and junior classes, becoming the unofficial go to guy and mentor for the students,” said Capt. Sharon Campbell, Dean of Students. “Daily he exhibited nothing but professionalism and leadership, always setting the proper example for his classmates to follow.”
Marine student, Col. Karsten Heckl, introduced British Royal Navy Cmdr. Neil Thompson who was chosen by the graduating class of two civilians, three Marines, and 38 Navy students to be their commencement speaker. Thompson, currently a Joint Military Operations Department military faculty member and a graduate of NWC’s international program, spoke about achievement.
“Your level of achievement is due to the commitment of both yourselves, the great faculty here – of which I am just a passing member - and your nation’s complete commitment to the education you have received,” Thompson said. “The commitment of a profession to an education such as you have received should not be thought of lightly.”
Thompson also took the opportunity to comment on the importance of friendship, especially with the international naval officers who attend NWC.
“All of you have been thrust and re-thrust together from various walks of our esteemed profession, and it would be pretty strange for any of you to walk away from this year not having forged lifelong friendships,” Thompson said. “You never know when the international relationships you have cultivated here will come in vitally useful for your country and her interests - you owe it to both yourself and your country to maintain them.”
Thompson has been in the United States for three years and will be returning to the United Kingdom in June for pre-operational training prior to a tour in Afghanistan, and he remarked how he already knows that he will be serving alongside at least two of the day’s graduates.
“You must cherish and nourish the relationships you have,” said Thompson, who remarked that he has gained an enormous respect for the U.S. and its military services and is proud that his country calls the U.S. a friend.
The College of Naval Warfare (CNW) is a senior-level professional military education program which meets both the Navy senior-level and the statutory requirements for Joint Professional Military Education Phase II, designed to produce broadly educated strategic leaders who possess a strategic perspective, underpinned by strategic analytical frameworks. Graduates are also awarded a Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies. They are prepared to use disciplined, strategic-minded critical thinking with challenges in multi-service, multi-agency, and multinational environments. Graduates will also be able strategic planners and joint warfighters who are effective maritime advocates.
NWC has been educating leaders for 125 years and graduates approximately 600 resident students annually. The College is accredited by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the New England Association of Colleges and Schools.
by Emily Nason, NWC Public Affairs