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NEWPORT, R.I. -  Thirty-three College of Naval Warfare (CNW) graduates received their master of arts degree during commencement exercises at the U.S. Naval War College (NWC), Nov. 16.

Professor John Maurer, Chairman of NWC's Strategy and Policy Department, delivered the graduation address.  In it, he told graduates the heavy coursework is a necessary part of developing future leaders here.

"At times, you must have felt like we were overloading you," said Maurer.  "I have read the course critiques so I know about how many of you feel about the workload.  And, you would have been correct because we did aim to overload you because the world outside the walls of the College is unforgiving to those who do not and cannot rise to the challenge of seeking out information of value in the making of decisions."

The senior-level curriculum at NWC prepares students to broaden their perspectives and prepare themselves to assume key positions of command and staff and to build an intellectual foundation for future assignments as flag and general officers. The 33 graduates were phased in during last academic year's second trimester.  

They completed graduate courses in NWC's three academic departments: Joint Military Operations, Strategy and Policy, and National Security Affairs.  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.

Navy Capt. Jeff Simpson said his year in Newport was truly valuable.

"I learned to think in a bigger picture," said Simpson.  "Many of us came from ships, squadrons, submarines where we only saw things from the tactical level.  Here, we looked at issues from various perspectives broadening our views on military issues.  This new perspective will help me make better recommendations to senior leaders."

During commencement exercises, NWC President Rear Adm. John N. Christensen told students they receive two great gifts when they study here:  "a library of great books and the time to read them."  Simpson also found class seminars rewarding.

"All my seminars were great.  It was the collective experience of the faculty, officers from all the military services and some senior federal civilians breaking down issues and case studies," said Simpson.  "You learned to see things from so many perspectives, and that was important to me."

The President's Honor Graduate Award was presented to Navy Capt. Erik Wright.  Wright, along with Cmdr. Justin Shineman graduated with highest distinction honors.

The graduates earned Joint Professional Military Education phase II credit, a critical milestone in an officer's professional development, in addition to a Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies.

NWC has been educating leaders for more than 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 James E. Brooks, Naval War College Public Affairs
Posted by Cmdr. Carla McCarthy