Newport, R.I. - The U.S. Naval War College (NWC) hosted their spring graduation in a virtual ceremony honoring 53 students on March 2. The class gathered virtually to hear remarks from Rear Admiral Shoshana Chatfield, U.S. Naval War College president.
“I know that it's been a challenging year for not just our students and graduates, but for our families. I just want to recognize that and tell you how deeply grateful I am that we come to this point together, and we're online together to recognize this particular and significant achievement,” said Chatfield.
“You should be proud of your accomplishments, both individually and as a class,” continued Chatfield. “Whether it was a virtual lecture hall, a virtual research experience, whether it was writing in a unique way and learning iteratively to write more succinctly and more powerfully, you accomplished those steps.”
The keynote address was delivered by Col. Ryan Hill, U.S. Air Force NWC professor at the College of Leadership and Ethics.
“We recognize that it hasn't been easy but just by virtue of being here at this culminating ceremony today, it demonstrates that we have indeed persevered, and I just want to thank you for your role in making that happen,” said Hill. “Leadership is always challenging, but I think that some challenges push us beyond our normal way of thinking.”
Hill went on to describe his thoughts on the greatest leadership challenges facing the graduates today: that ethical beliefs should become foundational to all the decisions that we make, that we are operating in a complex system because we have more open systems interacting on a larger scale with other open systems, that we need to think inclusively and have diverse teams who think differently and challenges ourselves, and that we need to think creativity and reimagine what is possible seeking opportunities.
The graduates for this ceremony included officers from the Navy, Marine Corps and Army.
The two top officers were recognized as NWC’s honor graduates. Lt. Cmdr. Christi E. Morrissey from the College of Naval Command and Staff and Cmdr. Erik L. Halvorson from the College of Naval Warfare received the honors.
NWC features a one-year graduate-level program that graduates approximately 600 in-resident and 1,000 distance-learning students each year. Students earn Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) credit and either a diploma or a master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies or Defense and Strategic Studies. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the courses continue to be offered as an online and hybrid training program.
Established in 1884, NWC is the oldest institution of its kind in the world. More than 50,000 students have graduated since its first class of nine students in 1885, and about 300 of today’s active-duty admirals, generals and senior executive service leaders are alumni. The college graduates officers from the Navy, Marine Corps, Army and Air Force; international officers from our partner nations; and federal service employees.
You can watch the graduation on NWC YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/user/usnavalwarcollege