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NEWPORT, R.I.—The U.S. Naval War College (NWC) held commencement ceremonies for 32 students from the College of Naval Warfare (CNW) on Feb. 28.
Phased in during the academic year’s third trimester last year, 28 of the graduates were Navy officers; two represented the U.S. Marine Corps, with one officer each from the Army and U.S. Army National Guard.
As is the tradition at NWC, the graduating class selected their commencement speaker, Joint Military Operations Professor and retired Marine Col. William Hartig.  In his impromptu style, Hartig stressed the importance of not knowing answers but the art and power of asking questions.
“Questions help define an organization. If you ask a question about why something is done and the reply is: ‘that’s the way we always do it,’ then you do not have an organization of learners,” said Hartig. “Questions are mentoring. They help shape subordinates and you are the educators. “ 
NEWPORT, R.I. - Joint Military Operations Professor and Retired Marine Col. William Hartig delivers graduation remarks to 32 students graduating Feb. 28, from the U.S. Naval War College's College of Naval Warfare.  (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Eric Dietrich)The Honor Graduate and recipient of the President’s Award for overall achievement was Cmdr. Quinn Skinner. Also graduating with highest distinction was Cmdr. Warren Sisson. Graduating with distinction were Cmdr. William Rodgers, Lt. Col. Michael Mooney, Cmdr. Steven Thompson, Cmdr. Steven Antcliff, Cmdr. Scott Briquelet and Lt. Cmdr. Gregory Provencher.
CNW is a ten-month-long senior-level Professional Military Education program.  Graduates earn a Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies, in addition to Joint Professional Military Education phase II credit, a critical milestone in an officer’s professional development. The curriculum is comprised of graduate courses in NWC’s three academic departments: Joint Military Operations, Strategy and Policy and National Security Affairs. Furthermore, an extensive electives program provides students with opportunities to explore subjects not included in the core curriculum or to investigate core curriculum in greater detail.
The U.S. Naval War College started more than 125 years ago as a small institution with mostly summer courses. It has evolved into a one-year, resident program that graduates about 600 students a year, and a robust distance program that graduates about 1,000 students a year.  The College also has a robust international engagement mission with approximately 100 international officers graduating yearly.
In addition to the College's education mission, it is heavily involved in war-gaming and research in an effort to aid the chief of naval operations in defining the path of the future Navy. More recently, the college has developed operational level courses to satisfy fleet requirements, preparing leaders for the challenges of operational and/or strategic level leadership over the remainder of their careers as decision makers and problem solvers.
For more information on the U.S. Naval War College, visit the campus online at:

By James E. Brooks, U.S. Naval War College Public Affairs
Posted by Brie Lyons