Newport, R.I. - The U.S. Naval War College (NWC) celebrated its in-residence fall graduation onboard Naval Station Newport, November 15.
Graduates included six students from the College of Naval Warfare’s (CNW) senior-level leadership program and 31 from the College of Naval Command and Staff’s (CNCS) intermediate-level leadership program.
"Continuous learning is a critical strategic enabler to the success of our fighting forces, our interagency and our international partners,” said Dr. Stephen Mariano, NWC provost, while addressing the graduates. “You must continue investing in personal and professional development for yourself and those you lead.”
Cmdr. Joshua Hammond, NWC professor, Strategy and Policy department, selected by students to give the keynote remarks, described the ability to think critically as the most important takeaway of an NWC education.
“War gaming sharpens your tools, but thinking sharpens a different set of tools,” said Hammond. “That’s what I and the rest of the faculty are trying to help you do; not just to out-plan, out-policy or out-strategy our enemies, but to outthink them. Because if we can do that then we’ve got a real advantage.”
Capt. Jason J. Sherman, U.S. Navy, from CNW and Maj. Seth E. Reed, U.S. Army, from CNCS were recognized as NWC’s honor graduates, with both receiving the President’s Honor Graduate Award.
The ceremony also included the recognition of students for outstanding academic performance, including three students graduating with highest distinction for ranking among the top 5% of their class and six students graduating with distinction for ranking among the top 15%.
NWC students participate in a one-year graduate-level program that accommodates either in-resident or distance learning status. They earn Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) credits and either a diploma or a master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies or Defense and Strategic Studies. Graduates are comprised of U.S. and international officers in the Navy, Marine Corps, Army, Air Force, Space Force, Coast Guard, and various U.S. civilian government agencies.
Both CNW and CNCS programs advance the core teachings of NWC and prepare students to think critically, strategically, and operationally in military and civilian environments. Each program attracts officers and civilians at varying levels in pursuit of greater responsibility: senior level for CNW and intermediate for CNCS.
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. Since creating a program for international officers in 1956, the college has more than 4,500 international alumni from 137 countries worldwide. Approximately 10 percent of these alumni have become chief of their country’s respective navy.
To access a recorded video of the graduation ceremony, visit NWC’s YouTube channel. Photos are also available on Flicker here.