International Fellows Program
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The International Fellows Program at the US Army War College

United States Army War College (USAWC):



The U.S. Army War College was established by General Order 155 on 27 November 1901. Our founding father was Secretary of War Elihu Root, one of the great visionaries of the era. As he laid the cornerstone for the War College building at Washington Barracks (now Fort McNair) on 21 February 1903, Secretary Root made the following statement about why the College was founded: “Not to promote war, but to preserve peace by intelligent and adequate preparation to repel aggression. . . .” It endures today as the U.S. Army War College motto. At the same time, he charged the College: “To study and confer on the great problems of national defense, or military science, and of responsible command.”

Although we may use different words today, the challenges of national defense, military science, and responsible command remain the basic focus of our educational pursuits at the U.S. Army War College. Secretary Root’s charge calls for two imperatives: study and confer. In your course of instruction, you will study the issues of senior leadership development, and you will confer over strategic and operational problems.

Elihu Root

Founder of U.S. Army War College

The first students at the War College assembled in 1904. In 1940, the operations of the College were temporarily suspended. In 1946, the buildings and properties in Washington, DC, previously used by the Army War College, were turned over to the National War College and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. The Army War College was established in 1950 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, as a temporary location. The College moved on 1 July 1951 to its present location at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania.


To prepare selected military, civilian, and international leaders for responsibilities of strategic leadership; educate current and future leaders on the development and employment of landpower in a joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational environment; conduct research and publish on national security and military strategy; and engage in activities in support of the Army’s strategic communication efforts.


The resident student body is composed of approximately 340 students. Army officers predominate, but there are representatives from the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Department of State, and other governmental agencies. The military students are colonels or lieutenant colonels having 15 to 23 years’ service.

Learning at the U.S. Army War College is attained by a rigorous program of thinking, reading, study, and research; by attendance at lectures; participation in discussions; and by the preparation of written studies and oral presentations. Toward that end, the academic environment is designed so that you, the student, are the key. The academic program is designed to place the maximum share of responsibility for learning on you in an atmosphere of professional military scholarship and camaraderie. Your status as a “fellow” as opposed to a “student” emphasizes individual initiative as an essential part of the program.

You and your family will have an opportunity for renewal and growth through a variety of programs. You will be encouraged to grow through participation in a wide variety of programs. It seeks as well to positively influence your physical and emotional well-being, your family relationships, and your relationships with peers in the military, defense, and foreign service. Overall, the USAWC program will provide you with a broader, more sophisticated professional perspective to enable you to meet the full range of responsibilities and challenges you will encounter as a senior leader.


The curriculum is designed to be provocative and focuses on the characteristics of performance expected of the professional at the very senior levels. Your studies will focus on higher levels of national policy and strategy. You will study joint planning and applications of power from military assistance programs through military operations in the conduct of general warfare. You will analyze the relationship between military force and national political objectives. From a global perspective, you will study relationships among modern nations and seek to understand the place of the military in US national strategy. You will develop the theoretical, conceptual, and intellectual perspective to address the volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous environment to which you will return.

To accomplish this senior leader development mission, the War College curriculum focuses on enhancing student knowledge and abilities in the following general subject areas:

• Strategic Thinking

• Theory of War and Strategy

• Strategic Leadership

• National Security Policy and Strategy

• Implementing National Military Strategy

• Joint Processes and Landpower Development (Unified Command Field Study for International Fellows)

The student seminar group is the fundamental learning vehicle of the College and the principal forum for exchanging ideas and addressing problems. These small 17-person groups work under the direction of a team of faculty instructors who serve as both a source of knowledge and discussion facilitators.


Organizational elements shown in the diagram below carry out the College’s missions and functions.


Root Hall

Root Hall


These pages, links and information are provided to assist you in your integration and attendance at the USAWC. If you need information or would like to make a comment, please contact the International Fellows Office or via commercial telephone (717) 245-4830.

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