Maritime Advanced Warfighting School

Maritime Advanced Warfighting School (MAWS) is a resident program completed in conjunction with the College of Naval Command and Staff curriculum. This course will develop strategic and operational leaders with the skills required to plan, execute, and assess combined, joint, and naval operations.
Vice Adm. Michael T. Franken, deputy to the commander for military operations, U.S. Africa Command, addresses students, staff and faculty from U.S. Naval War College’s Maritime Advanced Warfighting School in Newport, Rhode Island.

General Information


U.S. Navy intermediate officers (O3-O4) are selected to attend MAWS. U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Air Force officers are selected via consultation with their respective senior service advisors at the U.S. Naval War College (NWC).

Location & Duration

The 13-month curriculum for resident students is divided into three trimesters including a summer practicum, and is taught at NWC in Newport, Rhode Island.

Learning Format

Core Courses are primarily seminar format but include planning exercises, wargame participation, and visits by experts.


Students in this program are awarded additional credit on top of the master’s degree in Defense and Strategic Studies and JPME I credit. U.S. Navy students receive Additional Qualification Designation (JP-1). U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Air Force officers receive Additional Qualification Designation similar to other advanced warfighting schools (SAMS, SAW, SAASS, and JAWS).

Program Structure

Fall Trimester

Theater Security Decision Making

Required | Core Course
The Theater Security Decision Making course educates students on effective decision-making and leadership, focusing primarily at the theater strategic level.

Fundamentals on Operational Art and Doctrine

Required | Elective
Introduction to MAWS and the Navy Planning Process, students will also review Joint and Navy Planning documents, including the Joint Operation Planning & Execution System.

Winter Trimester

Strategy and War

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

The Navy Planning Process and the Joint Force Maritime Component Commander Environment

Required | Elective
Students will have a brief introduction to the Joint Force Maritime Component Commander Environment concept, command and control, and force employment considerations for planners. They will also address the Navy Planning Process with practical exercise through course of action decisions.

Spring Trimester

Operational Planning Considerations for the Joint Force Commander

Required | Elective
Students will be introduced to the Joint Task Force construct and joint force commander planning processes and organization. Guest experts will provide students mini-courses on information operations. Effects-based approach to operations are conducted and students participate in a one-week theater campaign wargame with the other advanced warfighting schools at Maxwell Air Force Base.

Summer Capstone

Leadership in the Profession of Arms

Required | Core Course
This course allows students to recognize their impact on those they lead and enhance their thinking and ethical decision-making for their future leadership roles.

Capstone Planning Project

Required | Capstone
Students are assigned as adjunct planning teams to a numbered fleet N5 (plans) or a standing Joint Force J5 planning staff to develop Joint Strategic Capabilities Plan and combatant commander-directed plans. These plans are typically maritime-focused, and each MAWS team conducts the appropriate planning process to meet the commander’s guidance in development of the specific plan. The process includes regular briefings to the commanders and their staffs.

Incoming Students

Contact Information

Maritime Advanced Warfighting School Leadership

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Next Steps
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Upcoming Events

July 30, 2024
All Events
A regional fiscal year 2020 Chief Petty Officer (CPO) Pinning Ceremony was held Sept. 13, at Kay Hall in Naval Station Newport.
A regional fiscal year 2020 Chief Petty Officer (CPO) Pinning Ceremony was held Sept. 13, at Kay Hall in Naval Station Newport. The ceremony officially recognized the promotion of 17 Newport-based CPOs. (U.S. Navy photo by Jaima Fogg/released)