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By Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Ohl
March. 6, 2013

NEWPORT, R.I. – Twenty-eight students from the College of Naval Warfare (CNW) graduated during a ceremony held at the U.S. Naval War College (NWC) March 6. 

Professor John Maurer, the NWC chair of the strategy and policy department, delivered the keynote address. A graduate of both Yale and Tufts University, his department is designed to teach students to think strategically and to prepare for positions of strategic leadership.

Maurer spoke to the graduating class about what it means to be chosen as the faculty guest speaker.

"For a professor, the highest honor is to be recognized and honored by the students," said Maurer. "This day is to salute you and your accomplishments. You are now part of a long tradition of leaders."

Maurer spoke of the transformation the students had experienced throughout the course of their studies and how it would help them as they go on to their next assignments in the future.

“Our goal is to give you the analytical tools to think through and analyze dangerous and complex problems," said Maurer.

"You are all the teachers now. You must go out and educate your subordinates, your peers, and those above you in the decision making process."

Lt. Col. James B. Wellons, the President's Honor Graduate, was the top student in the class. He followed Maurer’s address with a brief reflection on his experiences at the War College.

"Academic stress may not always approach operational stress and magnitude, but this curriculum is more intellectually demanding than most fleet challenges," said Wellons. "It has prepared us well for the hard decisions that loom on the bow."

NWC President Rear Adm. John N. Christenson presented diplomas to the 28 graduates. In keeping with tradition, Christenson gave graduates a final "charge" or challenge as they leave the college for higher leadership assignments.  

"Go out there and make us proud of you," said Christenson. "A year was given to you to read, to study, to think, and now much is expected of you to go out and continue to think critically and to lead."

The March graduating class included 25 U.S. Navy, two U.S. Army, and one U.S. Marine Corps graduates, each earning a Master of Arts degree in national security and strategic studies and receiving joint professional military education credit.

Edited by Dan Marciniak

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