NEWPORT, R.I. – Seventy-two reserve officers completed a 12-day Strategy and War course at the U.S. Naval War College (NWC) on Sept. 23.
Students from the Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard participated in the intense joint professional military education (JPME) class, aimed at preparing them for various leadership roles.
Offered by the NWC Operational Support Office, College of Distance Education, and the Strategy and Policy Department, the 12-day executive development course employed a multi-discipline approach, synthesizing political science, history and international relations, among others.
The demanding class included pre-course readings and textbooks totaling about 1,400 pages of reading, in addition to 18 hours of seminars and an additional 18 hours of lectures.
The assignments and interdisciplinary approach aim to prepare reservists for intermediate level command and staff positions that may require joint action, a staple of modern warfare and other military operations, with skills in critical thinking and decision-making. Students studied the complex, global, and multi-national interactions focusing on strategic and political interests and goals and the way diplomacy and military force has been and may be used to serve those interests and goals.
Focused on the analytical study of war, class content acquainted officers with the fundamentals of foreign policy through integrated historical and contemporary analysis. Reservists from all walks of life found fresh and unique perspective in the intensive class.
“I think it will absolutely help me,” said Navy reservist Lt. Cmdr. William Ortiz. An engineer in the civilian world, he serves as an information warfare officer at his unit in San Diego. “Information warfare is something that we definitely walk in joint environments. Most of our missions are in conjunction with the Army or civilians, like the NSA [National Security Agency].”
Delving into both ancient and modern theory from Sun Tzu to Sir Julian Corbett, seminars challenged students to analyze decisions in various historical conflicts.
While seminars are largely guided by student discussion, they’re designed to place particular emphasis on exploring dilemmas faced by leaders and examining all the options at their disposal in the fields of policy and strategy.
“I think it was helpful to engage in conversations and discuss topics,” Ortiz said, commenting on the nature of the seminars which are a very popular component of NWC courses. “The faculty posed questions that really made us think and made us discuss our different points of view and defend our points of view.”
By Tyler Will, NWC Public Affairs
Posted by Cmdr. Carla McCarthy