Advanced Strategist Program

Recognizing a need for officers skilled in the practice of formulating, developing, and executing strategy at various leadership levels in order to fill key billets in Navy, Joint, and high-level political staffs, NWC designed the Advanced Strategist Program to produce such a cadre of officers educated in the study and application of Naval Strategy.
U.S. Naval War College main building

General Information

Eligibility

Resident students of the College of Naval Warfare and College of Naval Command and Staff. Naval officers are selected and assigned to the program prior to arrival in Newport, RI.

Location & Duration

The 13-month curriculum for resident students is divided into trimesters of three to four months and a 10-week summer practicum and taught at the Naval War College in Newport, RI.

Learning Format

Core Courses and electives are primarily conducted in seminar format but include capstone exercises, wargame participation, and comprehensive writing assignments.

Outcome

Successful students are awarded the M.A. degree in National Security and Strategic Studies and JPME Phase II certification. Additionally, upon successful completion of ASP, U.S. naval officers will earn the Naval Strategist Subspecialty Code, (SSC) 2300P. Sister services may apply for a few additional joint academic slots for this program. Upon successful completion of ASP, U.S. Air Force officers will earn Advanced Study Group (ASG) credit, and U.S. Army officers will earn the 6z Army Strategist skill identifier (SI).

Program Structure

Fall Trimester

Theater Security Decision Making (TSDM) - 11 weeks

Required | Core Course
The Theater Security Decision Making (TSDM) course educates intermediate military officers and U.S. government civilians in the College of Naval Command and Staff and Naval Staff College on effective decision making and leadership on security issues, focusing primarily at the theater strategic level.

Area of Study (AoS) 23 Elective - 10 weeks

Required | Elective
An elective on International Security will examine these national security issues and include sessions on deterrence, the assurance of allies, compellable and coercive diplomacy. A second elective on “Economics and Strategy” will examine the costs of war, financial crises, fiscal crunches, the economic instrument of power. A third elective on “Seapower, Past and Present” will delve further into exponents of naval power and then examine the uses of maritime assets to accomplish national goals.

Winter Trimester

Strategy and Warfare (S&W) - 11 weeks

Required | Core Course
The Strategy and War Course examines how the overall strategic environment shapes operational choices and outcomes. In turn, the course also examines the strategic effects of operations, exploring how battlefield outcomes can change the strategic environment.

AoS 23 Elective - 10 weeks

Required | Elective
An elective on International Security will examine these national security issues and include sessions on deterrence, the assurance of allies, compellable and coercive diplomacy. A second elective on “Economics and Strategy” will examine the costs of war, financial crises, fiscal crunches, the economic instrument of power. A third elective on “Seapower, Past and Present” will delve further into exponents of naval power and then examine the uses of maritime assets to accomplish national goals.

Spring Trimester

Joint Maritime Operations (JMO) - 17 weeks

Required | Core Course
The Joint Maritime Operations Intermediate Level is designed to prepare mid-career U.S. and international military officers and civilians to expand critical and creative thinking and develop problem solving skills as they pertain to decision making and leadership in the maritime domain. Once grounded in operational art, students learn to balance the ways, means, ends, and risks to achieve theater-strategic, and operational objectives.

AoS 23 Elective - 10 weeks

Required | Elective
An elective on International Security will examine these national security issues and include sessions on deterrence, the assurance of allies, compellable and coercive diplomacy. A second elective on “Economics and Strategy” will examine the costs of war, financial crises, fiscal crunches, the economic instrument of power. A third elective on “Seapower, Past and Present” will delve further into exponents of naval power and then examine the uses of maritime assets to accomplish national goals.

Any Trimester

Master’s Thesis

Required
Throughout the 13-month program, students will work on a 45 page academic master’s degree level thesis, which will be coordinated during the Practicum across the academic curriculum, and will be guided by a thesis committee of a principle academic PhD advisor, along with a military faculty member, and the ASP director.

Summer Practicum

Summer Program - 10 weeks

Required | Capstone
A summer program will offer students the opportunity to apply their academic and practitioner knowledge working with such groups as the Office of Net Assessment in Newport on strategic project initiatives of interest to the U.S. Navy. Each summer program will be tailored to available opportunities and student interest and could include travel opportunities.

Incoming Students

Contact Information

Executive Director, Advanced Strategist Program

More Information

Beyond our core curriculum and robust electives program we offer a variety of related academic opportunities to enhance your educational experience.

Naval War College main building
College of Naval Command & Staff Curriculum

Core Teaching

The Naval War College has three core teaching departments: Strategy and Policy, National Security Affairs, and Joint Military Operations, each with separate faculty. Each department teaches one intermediate level course (ILC) and one senior level course (SLC).

See Core Curriculum