In this section, find: The Academic Plan, Academic Choices, the Seminar Experience, and introduction to Faculty, Extra-curricular Activities, and Academic Resources.
The academic curriculum offered by the School of Strategic Landpower includes both required core courses and elective studies and educational enrichment programs that will enable you to craft your own student experience. With your faculty advisor, you’ll develop an Individual Learning Plan that establishes personal goals and a plan to complete them this year.
In addition to your professional education, the Army War College year provides opportunity to think about, change, and/or improve many aspects of your life. The wide range of activities – personal, professional, family, spiritual, and more – are presented with the expectation that each student will determine how to make the best use of time for a healthy, happy, productive academic year.
All students complete the core course foundation of about six months (accelerated for Carlisle Scholars so as to divert more time to research and publication). Building upon that foundation, each student chooses during February registration his or her own set of electives, pursuing professional development and personal interest.
The elective roster of ay2016 will change to some extent in 2017, but suggests the scope of elective choices offered typically March thru May.
Special electives/ programs take the place of some or all electives. The following programs package learning and experiences for specific student outcomes. The Special Programs Brief will offer details to the full student body on Sept. 7. Students should consider all alternatives, so as to understand the implications of selecting into a specific academic program. For each of these programs, scroll to Academic Resources for additional information and faculty contact.
Below, you'll find an overview of the resident education calendar for ay 2016-17.
For the resident academic year 2017, students will sign in at Carlisle Barracks no earlier than 18 July, no later than 27 July. See the “First 30 Days-Plus” section to ensure your familiarity with the specifics of transition to Carlisle Barracks, to the Army War College, and to your seminar.
Typical class schedule during core courses, prior to Oral Comprehensive Exams, is seminar or lecture, 0830-1130, followed by individual study time. The school anticipates a ratio of 1:2 contact hours: study & preparation.
Fully detailed academic schedules, lessons, reading assignments and requirements are published on USAWC Blackboard. Initial information technology sessions will ensure students’ familiarity with the blackboard space for interactions with faculty instructors, with fellow seminar students, and with the readings (in many cases; some books will be provided during Zero Week at the Root Hall Library: see First 30 Days)
To understand acronyms, scan the key dates discussion, below.
Key dates for planning (subject to minor changes, e.g., *RWR dates may shift)
Zero Week: the academic experience begins
August 9 & 30
Strategy Research Project (SRP) begins with classes/ guidance
Introduction to Strategic Studies Core Course The interdisciplinary ISS course exposes students intellectually to the most demanding context – war – in which they’ll apply their professional skills. Using a case study, the course introduces key themes of the curriculum as an examination of war in all its complexity. The ISS is a platform for role-modeling students’ responsibilities for class preparation, engagement in seminar, and written requirements.
*Reading, Writing, Research (RWR) Day, student-directed
August 23-Sep 19
Theory of War & Strategy Core Course TWS provides a broad theoretical basis in war and strategy, and sets the intellectual framework for all subsequent courses. The course advances understanding of theory and nature of war; relationships between warfare and the complex, interdependent, contemporary strategic environment; strategic theory. TWS introduces the ends-ways-means strategy model.
Sep 22 – Oct 20
Strategic Leadership Core CourseThe SL course addresses the application of strategic thinking skills to assess and creatively address the host of challenges that strategic leaders face, to include scanning the future for trends and issues, managing and changing the organizational culture, leading the profession, establishing a command climate within the senior leader team, and making strategic and ethical decisions.
*RWR Sep 2,14,28
Labor Day observed
Special Programs Brief
Sep 20 & 21
SRP Day / Gettysburg Battlefield Staff Ride
* RWR Oct 7, 26; SRP Oct 18
Columbus Day observed
Oct 21 - Nov 18
National Security Policy & Strategy Core Course NSPS examines key national security issues; national security policy and strategy formulation; instruments of national power; and U.S. government processes for integrating, balancing, and synchronizing the instruments of power in promoting and protecting the national interest.
*RWR Nov 2 & 28; SRP: Nov 16
Veterans Day observed
Nov 21 – Feb 13
Theater Strategy & Campaigning Core Course TSC provides detailed exploration of U.S. military ways and means that connect operational efforts to strategic ends (policy aims). The course examines the implementation of national guidance through the application of joint doctrine, translated into theater strategies and campaign plans to conduct joint, unified, and multinational operations.
Nov 22 @ noon – Nov 27 (classes resume Nov 29 @ 0830)
Dec 1 – Feb 2
Regional Studies Program Students pursue in-depth exploration of how culture can affect policy and strategy formulation, implementation, and outcome -- selecting one of seven Regional Studies Courses that address sub-Saharan Africa, the Americas, East Asia, South Asia, Europe, Eurasia, and the Middle East/ North Africa.
Dec 15 @ noon – Jan 2 (classes resume Jan 3 @ 0830)
*RWR Jan 13; SRP Jan 25
Martin L. King Jr Day observed
*RWR Feb 1 & 17; SRP Feb 8
Feb 14 - Mar 7
Defense Management Core Course DM addresses the systems and processes used by DOD, the military departments and the Joint Staff to develop trained and ready combat forces for Combatant Commanders.
Presidents Birthday observed
SRP Mar 1, 22
Strategic Studies concluding Core Course
Prep Day, Oral Comprehensive Exams
Mar 14 - 24
Oral Comprehensive Exams Each student is scheduled for a structured dialogue with a faculty team (not their own) so as to reflect the student’s ability to address complex topics clearly and succinctly, express multiple perspectives concerning strategic issues within the context of core curriculum topics, and demonstrate personal self-awareness and frames of reference as they apply to strategic issues and topics.
March 14 – Jun 2
Strategic Research Project (SRP) due
* RWR April 4
National Security Staff Ride #2
Jim Thorpe Sports Days
Army Leader Day
* RWR May 26
National Security Staff Ride #3
National Security Seminar
June 9 (Friday)
Graduation @ 0900
When graduates recount the most valuable take-away of the Army War College year, invariably they'll point to relationships. Seminar colleagues form relationships that benefit both professionally and personally. As a member of a U.S. Army War College Class, you'll join a body of students selectively identified for their potential to leadership at the strategic level.
Class composition is expected to be approximately 380 students, including US military officers, US federal agency civilians, and 80 international officers. The center of academic operations will be your seminar – one of 24 seminars for the class of 2017. Seminar composition, combined with the adult learning model is the key to the USAWC educational system: a deliberate effort to create a diverse, representative group of joint, interagency, international professionals. A seminar aggregates more than 300 years of diverse experience and knowledge. Faculty members liberally draw upon this experience in seminar discussions.
Army 10-11 Basic branches, Special branches, National Guard / Army Reserve
Air Force 1-2
Sea Services 1-2 Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard
Civilians 1-2 DOD, DA, State Dept, Homeland Security, USAID, other interagency partners of DOD
Internat’l Fellows 3-4
All students are selected through competitive, centralized selection process; officers chosen for schooling are typically in the top 10 percent of their peer groups. Civilian students are selected through their organization’s chain of command, e.g., DoD civilians must be in the grade of GS14 or higher for resident education.
The Chief of Staff of the Army invites International Fellows from select countries to attend the resident and distance education programs each year. These programs offer an opportunity for senior international officers to participate with U.S. students in seminar and to study, research, and write on subjects of significance to the security interests of their own and allied nations. The International Fellows establish mutual understanding and rapport with student colleagues and enrich the educational environment of the US Army War College. The International Fellows attend a 6-week orientation prior to the start of the academic year, encompassing 2 weeks of administrative and living basics (home, bank account, transportation, driver’s license …) and 4 weeks of the Field Studies Program, required by US Army Regulation to introduce international students to US values and culture, government, public health, education, free speech, civil society groups, etc. through classes, visits, and experiential engagements.
International officers are termed “International Fellows” to reflect their dual role, learning and contributing to others’ learning by representing their countries’ and regional perspectives.
Seminar experiences extend beyond the Root Hall seminar room. Each seminar develops a distinct character that reveals itself in how decision-making, social events, and athletic/fitness pursuits, among other things. The seminar will plan its path for weaving academic life with spouse/ family life, and College and post activities, like the Oktoberfest weekend, charitable actions like the Spouses Club auction, community interaction with the VA or retirement homes at the Winter Holidays, seminar dining plans for the national security staff ride to New York City, among many possibilities.
Seminar team-building begins on day 1, continues as members set the seminar norms, and gets a plus-up through laughter during the ‘boatyard wars’ at the Class Welcome Picnic (think: nearly-impossible task in a laugh-filled setting by the pool and picnic area). Softball will play a key role in team-building. Everyone participates, as player, or coach, or score keeper, or fan. One seminar will win a trophy. All win in terms of family and seminar enjoyment.
Uniform note: Military students will be prepared for the following uniform requirements: Army Service Uniform (ASU)/ Class A; Class B; Army Combat Uniform (ACU/OCP) -- or Service equivalent of each. Military and civilian students will be prepared for ‘Carlisle Standard’ civilian clothing (coat & tie/ business dress) and ‘Carlisle Casual’ civilian clothing (collared shirt & slacks/dress). [See the ‘Before You Go’ section for details] For many class days, military students can choose between Class B or Carlisle Standard.
Each seminar will be guided by a faculty team of 3-4 instructors. Student-Faculty relationships at the Army War College extend far beyond a weekly 'student-time' schedule. They make themselves available; they participate in the whole-of-War College activities and Carlisle Barracks garrison-sponsored events. In fact, faculty members balance their professional responsibilities -- to educate, to research and publish, and to serve -- with their personal commitment to students, student families, and student success.
The faculty team of 3-4 instructors represents the integration of three teaching departments within the School of Strategic Landpower: National Security and Strategy (DNSS); Command, Leadership and Management (DCLM); and Military Strategy, Planning and Operations (DMPSO). One faculty instructor will serve as a faculty advisor for one-on-one counseling and academic mentorship. Faculty advisors will offer guidance to students for the Individual Learning Plan, and suggestions for the right faculty mentor for the student’s Strategy Research Project.
As with the student body, the faculty will be no more than 60 percent Army officers. In fact, the faculty is a diverse combination of Civilian academics; senior military officers typically with experience in large, complex headquarters; and 'hybrid' uniformed professors with doctoral credentials. These "professors of academics" and "professors of practice" create academic challenge and support, with awareness of the professional responsibilities that await the Army War College graduate. See the Faculty Directory to survey faculty expertise.
The Army War College faculty includes the full-time faculty of the School's teaching departments. It includes as well a diverse selection of talented professors, researchers and staff members who offer electives, provide functional expertise for specific lessons, and support student learning in other ways. These instructors are assigned to the Army War College centers and institutes that complement and support the School.
The family section of this welcome site lays out the rich layers of recreational activities and professional development opportunities for spouses, teens, and families.
And … a host of student activities complement the academic experience.
Team sports begin for all student with seminar-based softball: a group-development opportunity built around an all-American favorite. As the year progresses, the Sports Office organizes multiple games and championships for intramural play: basketball, volleyball, flag football. Highlights: the USAWC Army-Navy football game on Indian Field just prior to The Army-Navy Game; and, Jim Thorpe Sports Days to which students from the senior service colleges gather at Carlisle Barracks for 2.5 April days of competition and camaraderie – in the spirit of Olympic athlete Jim Thorpe who played many sports at Carlisle during the Carlisle Indian Industrial School days. USAWC teams form in late Fall for skeet & trap, basketball, tennis, volleyball, golf, bowling, cycling, 1-mile relay races, 5-mile race, and soccer.
Three fitness centers and other fitness options --
Find your way to Outdoor Recreation, ODR, for rentals, group trips and classes FOR: mountain biking, camping equipment rental, banquet rentals and other adventure activities such as: skiing, hiking, and fishing trips. At Leisure Travel, find tickets and suggestions for Carlisle Events Car Shows, Skiing, Hershey Park, and a host of entertainment meccas.
Senior Civilian Advisor Ms Manta Julie.firstname.lastname@example.org
USAF Senior Service Rep COL Scheel email@example.com
USMC Senior Service Rep. COL Frantz 717.245.4862 firstname.lastname@example.org
USN Senior Service Rep. CAPT. Kitzmiller email@example.com
Reserve Officer Senior Service Rep. COL McDonnell firstname.lastname@example.org
National Guard Senior Rep. COL Siegfried Edward.email@example.com