Main Naval War College building

Our Mission

U.S. Naval War College’s (NWC) mission is to educate and develop future leaders by building strategic and cultural perspective, and enhancing the capability to advise senior leaders and policy-makers.

U.S. Naval War College’s Mission

To accomplish this, the college must preserve a current and relevant curriculum, a world class faculty and staff, and the best and brightest joint student body educated both during their time at the college and through a robust alumni program of lifelong learning afterward.

Helping to define the future Navy and its roles and missions

Naval War College conducts research, analysis, and gaming to support the requirements of the Secretary of the Navy, the CNO, the combatant commanders, the Navy component commanders, the Navy’s numbered fleet commanders, other Navy and Marine Corps commanders, the U.S. intelligence community, and other departments and agencies of the U.S. Government.

Supporting combat readiness

Naval War College conducts operational level of war education, leadership and professional ethics training, education, and assessment activities to support the ability of the Navy’s joint force maritime component commanders and Navy component commanders to function effectively as operational commanders. This effort includes supporting the needs of joint force commanders, Navy component commanders, and the Navy’s numbered fleet commanders for including operational planning, analysis, assessment, and wargaming to respond to emerging operational requirements.

Strengthening global maritime partnerships

Naval War College brings together flag, senior and intermediate level naval leaders from other countries to develop them for high command in their navies; promote an open exchange of views between international security professionals which encourages friendship and cooperation and builds trust and confidence; and study operational planning methods and common maritime security challenges. Naval War College shall develop research and gaming collaboration with its sister institutions in other navies and work to improve the general level of maritime research and analysis.

Promoting ethics and leadership throughout the force

Leader Development rests on the twin prongs of competence and character. Effective Navy leaders work from a foundation of humility, embracing our core values of honor, courage, and commitment. Behaving with integrity, accountability, initiative, and toughness, leaders commit to improving the character of themselves and their teams. As the Chief of Naval Operations' Executive Agent for leadership and ethics, Naval War College helps the Navy to strengthen the ability of its leaders to always behave consistently with our core values, throughout their careers.

Contributing knowledge to shape effective decisions through our John B. Hattendorf Center for Maritime Historical Research expertise

Naval War College holds the unique mission of educating service professionals about concepts of seapower and the military policy of the United States. Since the earliest lectures delivered at Naval War College in the 1880s, Rear Adm. Stephen B. Luce argued that “naval strategy adopts some of its most important measures during peace.” As Luce intended, the Hattendorf Center performs the task of conducting original historical research of interest to contemporary practitioners, strategic thinkers, and the American public to inform the future military policy of the United States into the 21st century and beyond.

Providing expertise and advice to the international legal community through the Stockton Center for the Study of International Law

The center provides original research, analysis, teaching, and engagement with the global international law community; contributes to the education and training of Navy leadership; and supports the conduct of naval, joint, interagency and combined operations in accordance with international law. The center also studies the international law of the sea, the law of armed conflict, aerospace and cyberspace law, international organizations, human rights, and other aspects of law.

Strategic Plan 2017 - 2021

The U.S. Naval War College operates today in keeping with the traditions and vision first established by our founding President, Rear Admiral Stephen B. Luce, USN, who in 1884 founded the U.S. Naval War College to serve as “a place of original research on all questions relating to war and to statesmanship connected with war, or the prevention of war.”

Strategic Plan 2017-2021

Other Offerings at NWC


As the “Navy’s Home of Thought,” U.S. Naval War College produces a variety of news reports, research publications, books, and journals, including the Naval War College Review.

See Our Publications

Research & Wargaming

The Center for Naval Warfare Studies at U.S. Naval War College (NWC) complements our curriculum by serving as a home for original research and innovative thinking.

Research & Wargaming

Academic Departments

U.S. Naval War College’s academic departments support our curriculum by providing core and elective coursework, and through research, gaming, and educational programming opportunities.

Academic Departments

News, Media, & Events

Rhode Island Sound at Cape Cod National Seashore Summer Concert Series

Jul. 24, 2018
6:00 p.m.
Pond Visitor's Center Amphitheater, 50 Nauset Rd., Eastham, MA 02642

The Year of the Gray Wolf: The Rise of Turkey’s New Ultranationalism

Jul. 16, 2018
War On The Rocks
Article Publication