U.S. Naval War College Celebrates College of Distance Education Graduation

Newport Pell Bridge in the background with cherry blossoms on the U.S. Naval War College campus.
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Newport, R.I. - The U.S. Naval War College (NWC) celebrated NWC’s College of Distance Education (CDE) graduation on June 24 with a virtual ceremony for 612 students.

A total of 134 CDE students received the NWC master's degree, which requires completion of the joint military education coursework and additional electives in an area of study, and 197 students from the Naval Command & Staff Online (NC&S) program graduated with a College of NC&S diploma for completing Intermediate Joint Professional Military Education (JPME-I) requirements.

In addition, 77 students received their master’s degree along with graduation from the Fleet Seminar Program (FSP), and 204 students graduated from the FSP alone, which includes the JPME-I certification.

Each class gathered virtually to hear remarks from Rear Adm. Shoshana Chatfield, U.S. Naval War College president.

“I want to take this time to recognize the incredible amount of effort that you put forth to earn this diploma and certification. You dedicated countless hours in the evenings and weekends to classes through reading, research and writing,” said Chatfield. “The investment that you chose to make in your own education and development to succeed in your profession is admirable. You sacrificed a great deal in your personal lives to take advantage of an opportunity to improve yourselves and organizations.”

Chatfield sent the new graduates off with the charge to use the transformative power of education.

“Your charge now is to commit to the transformative power of education and connect the knowledge you have learned and analyze how we fight, frame problems, develop and assess solutions and build winning teams. This education is just one part of the continuum of learning throughout your career,” said Chatfield. “You must invest your energy in continuing your development and the people you lead. Do not be content to sit comfortably in your area of expertise [but] seek opportunities to collaborate with others whose specialties and viewpoints differ from your own. You will develop innovative ideas because of it, which is the key to our future success.”

The graduates are officers in the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, Army, Air Force and Coast Guard, in addition to civilian employees of the Department of Defense and other federal agencies.

The College of Distance Education recognized two students with the top awards. Lt. Cmdr. Joseph P. Horton, USN, was awarded the McGinnis Family Award for outstanding performance in non-resident education, and Lt. Justin K. Chock, USN, was awarded the Vice Admiral John T. Hayward Award for outstanding performance in correspondence education.

The NC&S online program meets the JPME-1 requirements as well as NWC program core competencies. The online program is designed to engage students in the challenging complexities of the national security and theater security environments to facilitate critical thinking. Graduates of the online program will receive JPME-I certification.

Today, the college offers a graduate degree program (GDP) to students annually. The GDP program provides an opportunity to FSP graduates to earn the NWC Master of Arts degree in defense and strategic studies. In addition to the required FSP core courses, nine semester credit hours of approved electives are required to fulfill the M.A. degree requirements.

The FSP delivers JPME-I to students who cannot attend the NWC resident course. The FSP curriculum expands critical and creative thinking and develops problem-solving skills as they relate to decision-making and leadership in the maritime domain. Students typically take three years to complete all core coursework, which encompasses the following courses: Strategy and War, Theater Security Decision Making and Joint Maritime Operations. The FSP had 64 FSP seminars in 19 locations, and 1,106 students were enrolled in FSP courses throughout the school year.

Established in 1884, U.S. Naval War College is the oldest institution of its kind in the world. More than 75,000 students have graduated since the first class of nine students in 1885, and about 300 of today’s active-duty admirals, generals and senior executive service leaders are alumni.

You can watch the graduations on NWC’s YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/user/usnavalwarcollege.

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Michael Guterl, U.S. Naval War College Public Affairs
July 07, 2021

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