Seminar Experience

As a member of the U.S. Army War College Class of 2015, you'll join a body of students selectively identified for their potential to leadership at the strategic level. The class will include as many as 80 International Fellows, Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force officers of active and reserve components, and Civilian national security professionals. No more than 60 percent of the class is Army.

Each student is assigned to one of 24 seminars: cohort groups that will work together to study, analyze case studies, collaborate on experiential learning exercises, and learn from one another. To leverage the power of adult learning from diverse peer backgrounds, the seminar represents the JIIM national security environment -- that is, the joint, interagency, intergovernmental and multinational environment in which graduates will be expected to operate effectively and immediately. Therefore, the typical seminar is a cross-section of Army-Navy-Marine-Air Force-Civilian-International. The seminar may include as many as four International Fellows, and the senior Civilian students will represent any one of the national security agencies, e.g., State, USAID, Defense, Army, Veterans Affairs, etc.

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.

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Mr Ken Looney
D0D Civilian, Class of 2015

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Lt. Col. Liz Smith
U.S. Army, Class of 2015

Job one for each seminar is to set the seminar, moving through the group development process. The faculty team will schedule a seminar ice-breaker, an opportunity to informally meet your seminar colleagues and families during Zero Week before classes begin in earnest. The networking among Families is as potent and beneficial as that among the student population. From ice-breakers on, the faculty team leverages every opportunity to guide the seminar members to create their own seminar protocols and to understand the power of team-building experiences and networking.

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 College and post activities, like the Oktoberfest weekend, charitable actions like the Spouses Club auction, community outreach to 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.

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. And, the faculty will be fully in the mix. 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 three 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). Thoughtful creation of the faculty team sets the seminar on a successful path. The faculty team will be committed to that seminar throughout the core courses; one will serve as a faculty advisor for one-on-one counseling and academic mentorship. Faculty advisor insights will prove helpful when each student creates an Individual Learning Plan

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.

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.