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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.