In the Naval Command College (NCC), senior international officers pursue eleven months of graduate-level study in residence. Annually, the U.S. Navy Chief of Naval Operations personally invites his counterparts in selected countries to nominate students for the NCC.
Begun in 1956, NCC’s vision is to foster knowledge, friendship, and cooperation among navies from around the world. In so doing, NCC not only educates these officers in planning, decision making, strategic analysis, and naval and joint military operations but greatly strengthens understanding and builds trust and confidence between American and international officers.
The NCC program has five major pillars: orientation, the core curriculum, electives, the Field Studies Program (DOC)
, and the cultural exchange.
International students are fully integrated with their U.S. counterparts in the College of Naval Warfare
(CNW). Although international students do not receive formal grades or a master’s degree, they participate fully in all three core courses in the CNW program. They must complete all class and seminar exercises and writing assignments, and they receive written feedback from the faculty. NCC students are encouraged to enroll in electives.
The Field Studies Program consists of a series of visits and single-day field trips designed to meet the requirements of the Navy’s International Program Office, the Joint Security Assistance Training (JSAT) Manual and DoD Field Studies Program Guidance in DoDI 5410.17 of 15 September 2006. This program gives the international officer a balanced understanding of the United States and an increased awareness of the basic issues of internationally recognized human rights. The travel includes exposure to American government institutions, judicial system, human rights, political processes, civil-military relations, the role of the free press and communications media, the diversity of American society and life, the free enterprise system and our free market system across the U.S.
From 1956 to the present day, NCC has graduated 1,805 officers from ninety-one nations. Over 50 percent of NCC alumni have reached flag rank, and 209 have been or now are the chiefs of their respective navies. Currently, there are 14 NCC alumni who are serving today as Chiefs of their service. Additionally, NCC alumni include two seated Ministers of Defense, three chiefs of defense (equivalent to the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff), and numerous ambassadors, cabinet and congressional level members, other high government officials, and two heads of state.
The outcome is an active cadre of NCC alumni, who as senior leaders and decision makers use their understanding and personal relationships to build trust and confidence that enhances cooperation, increases access, improves interoperability, and positively influences strategic decision making throughout the world.
The presence of the international officers in CNW seminars contributes to the education of the senior U.S. students. Daily contact with peers with differing backgrounds, experiences, and outlooks broadens the strategic perspectives of American students and provides insights into the complex nature of multinational operations and the challenges of fostering friends and nurturing allies abroad.
This program directly contributes to the College’s task to contribute to maritime security cooperation.