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.

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 will 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

Joint Military Operations (JMO) - 13 weeks

Required | Core Course
The Joint Military Operations (JMO) Senior Level Course (SLC) is an in-depth study of the theater-strategic and operational levels of war across the spectrum of conflict.

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

National Security and Decision Making - 13 weeks

Required | Core Course
The senior-level National Security Decision Making (NSDM) course focuses on strategic level issues, including the effective selection and leadership of military forces in the context of constrained national resources, strategic planning and selection of future military forces and their potential use as an instrument of national power.

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

Strategy and Policy (S&P) - 13 weeks

Required | Core Course
The senior-level S&P course emphasizes grand strategy. It employs distinct case studies to consider the long-term effectiveness of all instruments of national power, the importance of the ability to adapt in strategic leadership, and the strategic success and failure of great and regional powers as well as non-state actors over long periods of time.

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.

U.S. Naval War College’s McCarty-Little Hall
College of Naval Warfare 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