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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

From U.S. Naval War College Public Affairs
Aug. 12, 2013

NEWPORT, R.I. -- The U.S. Naval War College (NWC) will pay tribute to its newest class of 545 resident students from the U.S. armed forces, civilian federal agencies and international militaries in a convocation ceremony scheduled to begin at 10 a.m., Monday, Aug. 19, in Spruance Hall Auditorium.

The convocation formally assembles the college community to start the academic year and includes a faculty procession in academic regalia as well as a historical overview of the college's contributions.

The arrival of NWC's newest students marks a nearly 129-year tradition of educating military and government officials in Newport, R.I. The college's academic mission is to educate and develop leaders and also to strengthen global maritime partnerships.

Only about half of NWC's newest students are naval officers. The other half of the student body comes from the Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Army, in addition to 88 students from 57 international navies and representatives from various government agencies, including the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, Department of State, Department of Homeland Security, Defense Intelligence Agency, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, and Office of Naval Intelligence, among others.

During the ceremony, the college’s 2013 Distinguished Graduate Leadership Award will be presented to Vice Adm. Robert S. Harward, deputy commander, U.S. Central Command. The award is presented to graduates whose career accomplishments clearly serve as an inspiration to NWC students.

Harward qualified as a surface warfare officer aboard the destroyer USS Scott (DDG 995), and then transferred to the Naval Special Warfare community. He was the “Honor Man” of Basic Underwater Demolition (BUD)/Sea, Air, Land (SEAL) class 128, and has served in both East and West coast SEAL teams.

Tours in the Naval Special Warfare community include: commander, SEAL Team Three; Assault Team leader and operations officer at Naval Special Warfare Development Group; SEAL plans officer for Commander, Amphibious Force U.S. 7th Fleet; executive officer, Naval Special Warfare Unit One; aide-de-camp to Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command; Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force (CJSOTF) deputy commander in Bosnia; deputy commander Special Operations Command, Pacific; commander, Naval Special Warfare Group One; and, deputy commanding general, Joint Special Operations Command.

Assignments outside of his community include a tour in the Executive Office of the President at the White House where he served on the National Security Council as the director of Strategy and Policy for the office of Combating Terrorism. His first flag assignment was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff representative to the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), as a member of the Senior Interagency Strategy Team. Additionally, he served as deputy commander, U.S. Joint Forces Command, and most recently he served as commander of Combined Joint Interagency Task Force (CJIATF) 435 from 2009 to 2011 in Afghanistan. Harward has commanded troops in Afghanistan and Iraq over six years since Sept. 11, 2001.

Born in Newport, R.I., Harward grew up in a Navy family and graduated from the Tehran American High School in Iran. After enlisting in the Navy, he was awarded a fleet appointment to the United States Naval Academy where he received his bachelor’s degree in 1979. Harward attended the College of Naval Command and Staff, the Naval Staff College and the Armed Forces Staff College. He holds a master’s degree in International Relations and Strategic Security Affairs, served as a federal executive fellow at RAND, and is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for International Studies, Foreign Policy Program Seminar XXI.

Previous recipients of the award include Admiral James A. Winnefeld, Jr., vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Army General Raymond Odierno; Coast Guard Adm. Robert J. Papp, Jr.; Marine Corps General James E. Cartwright; Admiral James G. Stavridis; and Ambassador Christopher Hill.

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Media interested in covering this ceremony should contact the Naval War College Public Affairs Office at 401-841-2220 or email pao@usnwc.edu no later than noon, Friday, Aug. 16. Media will be met at the Naval Station Newport Pass and ID office parking lot on Training Station Road, with a departure time of 9:30 a.m. in order to proceed to the ceremony location and arrive before the start time. The ceremony is anticipated to last for one hour. Naval War College Public Affairs can provide still imagery of the ceremony to print and web outlets upon request.