131104-N-ZZ999-040 NEWPORT, R.I. (Nov. 4, 2013) U.S. Naval War College students engage in discussion during a seminar session at the college’s two-week joint military operations capstone event. The goal of Capstone is to synthesize joint military operations course material through practical application in a joint, interagency and combined planning venue. The scenario for this trimester centered on a fictional tasking using real-world strategic landscapes and issues in the near future in Southeast Asia. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Ohl/Released)
By Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Ohl, U.S. Naval War College Public Affairs
Nov. 20, 2013
NEWPORT, R.I. – Two-hundred seventeen students completed the joint military operations (JMO) department capstone synthesis event at the U.S. Naval War College (NWC), Nov. 15.
Students included officers from the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, as well as senior government officials from the College of Naval Warfare (CNW) and 45 international naval officers from the Naval Command College (NCC).
The capstone is a two-week comprehensive event of the JMO trimester. The goal of the capstone is to synthesize JMO course material through practical application in a joint, interagency and combined planning venue.
“The capstone event provided a great opportunity to apply critical thought toward a very important region of the world, the Asia Pacific,” said Army Col. Mike Wawrzyniak, a student in his last trimester at the NWC.
Students considered how the U.S. Pacific Command, in cooperation with other U.S. instruments of national power, should engage with Vietnam, to enhance partnerships in the Pacific theater.
“As we become more senior officers, we will be expected to address problems and situations that are complex and well beyond purely military solutions,” said Wawrzyniak. “This exercise was a valuable opportunity to improve leadership skills in a diverse joint planning group, which is very likely to be the type of group we will work with in the future.”
Focusing on joint warfighting at the theater-strategic and operational levels of war, one of the primary objectives of the course is to prepare future military and civilian leaders for high-level policy, command and staff positions requiring joint planning expertise and joint warfighting skills.
“We are able to develop future leaders who are able to synthesize problem-solving concepts … to address ill-structured problems in volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environments,” said professor Mark Seaman, coordinator of the JMO senior capstone exercise.
Earlier in the trimester, students built upon foundations established in operational art, problem solving, design,
adaptive planning and the joint operation planning process (JOPP).
“The exercise was also a chance to use the Design Methodology, which is still fairly new to the military, and explore the benefits of this framework against a complex problem,” said Wawrzyniak.
Design recognizes that a commander is often in a better position than his superiors to understand the full scope of a complex operational problem.
The exercise culminated with Operational Concept Briefs presented to senior planners.
“These leaders are better prepared with the necessary skills needed to sustain innovative and agile organizations in a joint environment,” said Seaman.
The JMO trimester is part of a 10-month resident program that educates and develops leaders. Students earn joint professional military education credit, as well as a master’s degree in national security and strategic studies.