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NEWPORT, R.I. - The U.S. Naval War College held a graduation ceremony today for 32 students completing the fourteenth Maritime Advanced Warfighting School (MAWS).

MAWS provides midgrade military officers with warfare planning techniques, extensive leadership and advanced war-fighting skills that prepare graduates for more challenging assignments in warfighting commands.

According to Captain Pat Molenda, the MAWS Director, specialized education at the Naval War College allows graduates to immediately step into critical warfare operation planner assignments.

“There are approximately 160 such specially-designated billets on operational staffs,” Molenda said. “Today, the Navy’s numbered fleet commanders and other joint warfare commands need experienced officers who are skilled in operational planning. Our graduates are taught how to apply maritime power and resources effectively. These skills are essential in a complex and fast changing environment.  MAWS provides an educational foundation where practical experience will build upon.”

While the graduation class includes 20 Navy officers, a dozen other officers from the other armed services leave with more than a diploma. They return to their respective service branches with a better understanding of what the needs are of the maritime component commander during conflict.
“When I arrived in Newport, I was afraid I couldn’t ‘talk Navy’ and I was missing the chance to network with my peers at the Army’s Intermediate-Level Education (ILE) at Fort Leavenworth,” said Major David Barber. “But this opportunity, the degree and the chance to work with my peers from the other military services more than makes up for that.”   

NEWPORT, R.I. (September 8, 2011) - The 14th Maritime Advanced Warfighting School Class poses with President Naval War College Rear Adm. John Christenson following graduation ceremonies on Thursday morning.  (U.S. Navy photo by ETC (SS) James Clark)This year's graduating class of five Army Soldiers, 20 Navy officers, three Marines, and four Air Force Airmen began their studies August 2010. MAWS is a tailored 17-week trimester of Joint Maritime Operations that follows the Naval Command and Staff resident intermediate curriculum of National Security Decision Making, Strategy and Warfare. The students also completed three MAWS directed electives on Operational Art and Doctrine, Navy Planning Process in the Joint Force Maritime Component Commander (JFMCC) Environment, and Joint Force Commander Planning Considerations.
In a short speech to graduates and their families, U.S. Naval War College President Rear Admiral John Christenson explained the great interest Navy Fleet admirals have in the MAWS program.
“You are in demand and you will be in demand,” said Christenson. 
During the final three months of the program, the students developed and authored formal concept plans in direct support of forward-deployed, naval operational commanders.
Marine Lt. Col. Jason E. Smith was presented the Admiral Charles "Soc" Horatio McMorris Distinguished Graduate Award based upon academic achievement and ranking by students. 
MAWS graduates receive the Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies, the Naval War College diploma, Joint Professional Military Education Phase I certification, and Qualification Designation as operational planners.
For more information on MAWS:

From Naval War College Public Affairs