The Army War College offers two equivalent programs, the 10-month resident program and the two-year distance education program. The curriculum prepares selected military, civilian, and international leaders for the responsibilities of strategic leadership and educates them on the development and employment of land power. When they graduate, our students will be prepared for leadership positions in the national strategic or theater strategic environment, or as advisors to the senior leadership of the Armed Forces, the Department of Defense, other government agencies, or in foreign militaries.

The U.S. Army War College is a graduate school, granting the Master of Strategic Studies degree, as well as Military Education Level-1 (MEL-1) credit.

Seminar experience

The seminar experience is at the heart of the Army War College education. Each of 20 seminars represents the joint, interagency, intergovernmental and multinational environment in which they will serve upon graduation. The seminar cross-section of US officers from all military Services, representatives of multiple federal agencies and officers from other nations create an environment for exchange of insights and perspectives.

The USAWC academic program is structured into six core courses, enriched by exercises, case studies and guest lecturers, to help add perspective to the issues discussed in seminar.

USAWC learning
The Commandant's Lecture Series features prominent speakers who address the critical theme, "Ethics in Strategic Military Leadership : Theory and Practice". Although ethics is already a strong element in the U.S. Army War College curriculum, the Global War on Terrorism and Operation Iraqi Freedom have raised questions about whether the core values and principles of the U.S. military are relevant to persistent conflict against shadowy terrorists and insurgents. Guest speakers in AY 2008 - Ambassador Robert Galluci, academic experts Dr. Martin Cook and Dr. Albert Pierce, to date -- help explore these topics: professional military standards for the long war; Reinforcing key warrior virtues and values; Advice and dissent in regards to civilian authorities.

Strategic Thinking introduces students to the concepts and doctrine necessary about to begin to be able to apply strategic thinking process in joint, interagency, intergovernmental and multinational environments.

Theory of War and Strategy examines a wide range of theories of war strategy with emphasis on the strategic level, placing an emphasis on a theoretical approach to war and strategy. The guest speakers included Gen. George W. Casey Jr., Army Chief of Staff.

Strategic Leadership develops understanding of the skills and attributes of adaptable and flexible leadership. This course culminates with the Anton Myrer Leader Day in which the senior leaders of the Army staff offer leadership insights and experiences with students.

"With our Army engaged in two conflicts, it's imperative that we have the right personnel, equipment and strategies, but we also have a responsibility to our men and women serving. We have to balance our needs operationally with that of our families," said Gen. Peter Chiarelli, Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, during this year's Army Leader Day.

Other guest speakers during the course includedErik Peterson, senior vice president, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Dr. Don M. Snider, Professor of Political Science. Department of Social Sciences, U.S. Military Academy, and Robert Gallucci, Dean of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service.

National Security Policy and Strategy examines all the elements that underpin national security policy and strategy, the global strategic environment, national security policy and strategy formulation, the instruments of national power and the processes employed by the United States Government to integrate and synchronize those instruments in the pursuit of national security objectives.

The capstone event for the course is a four-day visit to New York City providing the student body with access to leaders engaged in applying the lessons of the course to includes representatives from the NYC leadership, Columbia University, NYPD, United Nations and other institutes and agencies.

"The NYC Trip offers students the opportunity to tie together three key courses of the core curriculum, Strategic Thinking, Strategic Leadership, and National Security Policy and Strategy," said Dr. Bill Johnsen, USAWC Dean of Academics. "It offers students and faculty the opportunity to see in practice the theory and concepts that they have discussed in the seminar room for the past three-plus months."

Guest lecturers included Bob Woodward, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and Dr. Martin Cook from the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Theater Strategy and Campaigning focuses on theater strategic warfare and the Combatant Commands. The students apply strategic leader skills to evaluate near and long-term plans and programs. Both conventional and irregular warfare challenges the students to balance resources and adjust their strategies. The course included guest lecturers AMB Johnnie Carson, National Intel Officer for Africa , National Intelligence Council and Mr. Louis Mazel, Director Office of African Regional and Security Affairs, Department of State.

Joint Processes and Landpower Development provides students an understanding of how strategic guidance is used to develop trained and ready combat forces. It discusses the systems and processes used by the military, DoD and Joint Staff and challenges them to assess current systems and consider improvements.

Electives give students additional areas of professional focus. Each student will study regional security as well and elective classes. Additionally students complete five electives, giving them a total of 37 credit hours for the program. The courses are designed to prepare the students for their future roles as our nation's strategic leaders.

Strategy Research Project requires students to select a research topic that willanswer a question of strategic importance. With faculty mentorship the projects are made available to assorted agencies and publics concerned with strategic issues, national security and international affairs.

Joint Processes and Landpower Development provides the students the tools necessary to understand how strategic guidance is used to develop trained and ready combat forces for the Combatant Commanders. It addresses the systems and processes used by Defense, Military Departments, and the Joint Staff in terms of the underlying purposes for the systems and processes and the specifics of how they operate today. It includes the ability to assess current systems and make improvements.

Strategic Decision Making Exercise serves as the capstone exercise for Army War College students. The six-day interactive strategic level political-military exercise is set 15 years in the future, which gives students the opportunity to integrate and apply the knowledge they've acquired during the academic year to a "real-life" situation. Students are challenged to take the knowledge they arrived with, the knowledge they acquired during the Army War College core courses and apply it and make decisions focused at the strategic level.

National Security Seminar welcomes 160 civilian participants into student seminars for the capstone event of the academic year as part of the strategic outreach program. Guests are invited to participate in open and honest discussion with students about the national security issues facing the nation. These discussions provided a mixture of opinions and gave the topics new dimension for faculty and students.

Distance Education Program

Since its inception in 1970, the Distance Education Program of the Army War College has been a senior level college accredited program. It is the only Senior Service College Distance Education course from any service that has been so recognized by U.S. Army Personnel Command.

Online class work and forums are supplemented by two, two-week resident courses.

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