Naval War College
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U.S. Naval War College
The Naval War College. The original Newport Asylum building can be seen on the far right, now housing the Naval War College Museum. The larger building on the left is Luce Hall.
|Location||Newport, Rhode Island|
|Architect||Mason,George C., & Sons|
|Governing body||DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY|
|NRHP Reference #||66000876|
|Added to NRHP||October 15, 1966|
|Designated NHLD||January 29, 1964|
The Naval War College (NWC or NAVWARCOL) is the staff college and "Home of Thought" for the United States Navy. The NWC educates and develops leaders, supports defining the future Navy and associated roles and missions, supports combat readiness, and strengthens global maritime partnerships. The current president is Rear Admiral Walter E. "Ted" Carter, a 1981 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. He commanded USS Camden (AOE-2) from May 2003 to October 2004, USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) from August 2006 to July 2009, and Carrier Strike Group 12 (CSG-12) (USS Enterprise) from October 2011 to April 2013.
- 1 History
- 2 Curricula
- 3 Accreditation and Degrees
- 4 Publications
- 5 e-Resources: References and Research
- 6 Buildings and structures
- 7 Notable U.S. graduates
- 8 Notable international graduates
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
The college was established on October 6, 1884; its first president, Commodore Stephen B. Luce, was given the old building of the Newport Asylum for the Poor to house it on Coasters Harbor Island in Narragansett Bay. Among the first four faculty members were Tasker H. Bliss, a future Army Chief of Staff, James R. Soley, the first civilian faculty member and a future Assistant Secretary of the Navy, and, most famously, Captain (later, Rear Admiral) Alfred Thayer Mahan, who soon became renowned for the scope of his strategic thinking and influence on naval leaders worldwide.
The College engaged in wargaming various scenarios from 1887 on, and in time became a laboratory for the development of war plans. Nearly all of the U.S. naval operations of the twentieth century were originally designed and gamed at the NWC.
More than 50,000 students have graduated since its first class of 9 students in 1885 and about 300 of today’s active-duty admirals and generals and senior executive service leaders are alumni. The college’s professional military education (PME) programs prepare leaders for the challenges of operational and strategic leadership over the remainder of their careers as decision makers and problem solvers. More than 1,900 students have graduated from the Maritime Staff Operators Course, 200 from the Executive Level OLW Course, and more than 450 U.S. and international flag and general officers from the flag course. Just as its educational programs have expanded in depth and reach, so have the research and analysis efforts conducted by our Center for Naval Warfare Studies. Through war games, conferences, workshops, and publications, our research arm provides direct curriculum support to our educational programs and focused, task-driven analysis for fleet customers and government agencies across the national security spectrum.
Its principal courses of study are developed by the Strategy and Policy, National Security Affairs, and Joint Military Operations academic departments. Students from all branches of the military, as well as civilian government employees, work towards a Master of Arts.
The College offers a wide variety of challenging academic programs, each designed to focus on specific areas of study or directed at specific levels of seniority. The Joint Force Maritime Component Commander Course (JFMCC) prepares flag officers for duties as maritime component commanders by developing perspectives necessary to articulate effectively the role of the Maritime Component in the design and execution of campaign plans and theater-security efforts.
Seminar forums led by our nation’s senior joint leadership and facilitated by senior mentors and assigned NWC faculty facilitate discussion for attendees from all services. Sessions address the practical challenges of operational-level leadership and ensure the flag and general officers gain a high degree of confidence with the concepts, systems, languages, and processes required to employ naval forces effectively in a multiservice, multiagency, and multinational environment. The Combined Force Maritime Component Commander Course (CFMCC) additionally improves the effectiveness of senior leaders who routinely function together at the operational level by incorporating flag-level peers from partner nations into the student body. Normally, CFMCC courses are conducted with a regional focus in order to develop and deepen relationships based on trust and confidence, to serve as a forum to evolve combined maritime command and control concepts and mechanisms, and to advance the understanding of those security issues facing participating nations.
College of Naval Warfare
The College of Naval Warfare (CNW) is a ten-month-long senior-level PME program with JPME Phase II designed to produce broadly educated leaders who possess a strategic perspective, underpinned by strategic analytical frameworks. Graduates are able to apply disciplined, strategic-minded, critical thinking to challenges in the multiservice, multiagency, and multinational environments. Graduates are also capable strategic planners and joint war-fighters who are effective maritime advocates. All of the College’s PME curricula are based on tailored versions of the three basic curricula taught by three academic departments: National Security Affairs (NSA), Strategy and Policy (S&P) and Joint Military Operations (JMO).
The purpose of the National Security Decision Making (NSDM) and Theater Security Decision Making (TSDM) courses are to educate military officers and U.S. government civilians in effective decision-making and leadership on security issues, particularly those involving force selection and planning challenges, within national and theater resource constraints. Selection of concepts and materials is predicated on the belief that an effective commander or officer serving on a staff does not apply discrete disciplines, but rather is required to synthesize many disciplines relevant to different situations. Moreover, the appropriate point of view is an integrative one that seeks a balanced use of reasoning based on both an academic and a professional foundation. For this reason, this course employs a multidiscipline approach, synthesizing selected concepts from economics, political science, strategy, leadership, psychology, management, anthropology, and other related disciplines.
The Strategy and Policy courses are designed to teach each student to think strategically. Further, the courses stated objective is to sharpen students’ abilities to assess how alternative operational courses of action best serve to achieve overall national objectives. To achieve this, the Strategy and Policy curriculum draws on a number of disciplines, including history, economics, political science, international relations, and geography. Additionally, a multifaceted faculty composed of both accomplished academicians and military officers not only is employed in teaching the curriculum but is also actively engaged in curriculum development and refinement, strategy research, and writing on relevant topics. The curriculum itself makes use of a number of case studies which are distinctive in a few respects. First, the leading strategic thinkers and case studies examine diverse types of wars, featuring a variety of operations and different keys to success. This course shows how success in one type of war may be followed by failure in another. An important aspect of leadership is the ability to adapt to different types of wars. Second, this course analyzes the strategic successes and failures of leading great powers and non-state actors beyond the duration of military operations. Finally, this course gives special attention to maritime powers and their leaders.
The Joint Military Operations and Joint Maritime Operations courses are in depth study of joint operations at the operational level of war throughout the range of military operations. JMO prepares students for the operational arena by emphasizing joint capabilities planning and joint force application to achieve military objectives. It examines joint operations from the standpoint of the Joint Task Force (JTF) commander with a maritime emphasis. It further develops joint attitudes and perspectives, exposing officers to, and increasing their understanding of, service cultures while concentrating on joint staff operations.
The course focuses on enhancing the capability of officers to think and make proper decisions within the operational level of war, from the operational-strategic level through the operational-tactical level, throughout the range of military operations. Students are challenged as they apply resources to meet goals and objectives derived from U.S. national and theater military strategy. The JMO course not only serves to expand student familiarity with operational art, service capabilities, and joint doctrine, it also exposes them to a range of methods and disciplines required to employ the military instrument of power and interagency capabilities to achieve a joint force commander’s (JFC) operational-level objectives. Examples of these include operational art, threat and risk assessment, the military planning process, analysis of service and joint doctrine, and the JTF staff environment.
Naval Command College
In the Naval Command College (NCC) senior international officers pursue eleven months of in residence graduate-level study on the College’s Newport campus. Each year, the Chief of Naval Operations personally invites his counterparts in selected countries to nominate students to attend NCC. Begun in 1956, NCC’s vision is to foster knowledge, friendship, and cooperation among navies from around the world. In so doing, NCC not only educates these officers in planning, decision making, strategic analysis, and naval and joint military operations but greatly strengthens understanding and builds trust and confidence between American and international officers.
College of Naval Command and Staff
The College of Naval Command and Staff (CNC&S) is a ten-month intermediate-level PME program with JPME Phase I designed to produce leaders who are skilled in war-fighting, the joint planning processes, concepts, systems, and jargon, and are capable of applying operational art in maritime, multiservice, multiagency, and multinational environments. Graduates can apply disciplined, critical thinking from an operational perspective to the challenges associated with elements of the international security environment including the ongoing Global War on Terror, irregular warfare, Homeland Security and Defense, stability operations, humanitarian operations, and major wars, home and abroad. Graduates will be capable of excelling in command and operational-level staff billets on a numbered fleet, fleet, joint, interagency, or multinational staff.
Naval Staff College
Established in 1972, and modeled after the success of the NCC program, the Naval Staff College (NSC) follows the practices of the NCC in developing its student body. This course educates officers in planning, decision making, and strategic analysis as well as strengthens the association and understanding between American and foreign officers. The six-month course was offered twice annually until academic year 2004–2005, when an NSC ten-month course started. The ten-month NSC course was initiated in 2004 to improve the acculturation of the CNC&S U.S. students and to contribute to the expansion of the CNO’s Maritime Security Cooperation efforts. To provide maximum flexibility to other international navies, a tailored six-month version is still offered once each year starting in January. Since its inception in 1972 to 2009, NSC has graduated 1,862 officers from 125 nations. To date 285 alumni have been promoted to flag officer. Of those, 101 have been, or are now, heads of their services. NSC alumni who have retired and continued public service include ambassadors, cabinet and congressional level members, other government officials and one head of state.
Maritime Advanced War-fighting School
The Maritime Advanced Warfighting School (MAWS) (formerly the Navy Operational Planners Course) is a CNO-directed, thirteen month course designed to develop operational-level leaders with depth in operational-level planning. The course prepares intermediate-level U.S. Navy and other-service officers for assignment to operational planner billets on the staffs of the numbered fleet, naval component fleet, and unified (geographic and functional) commanders. It is a peer to the advanced war-fighting schools of the other services: Army’s School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS Fort Leavenworth), Marine Corps’s School of Advanced Warfighting (SAW Quantico), and Air Force’s School of Advanced Air and Space Studies (SAASS Maxwell AFB). The CNO originally approved this program in 1999. Today, each class of about thirty students (about 22 from the Navy and 8 from the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard) begins in August, taking the core intermediate-level CNC&S course and three tailored electives. The MAWS students and faculty also participate in the annual Theater Contingency War Game hosted by SAASS and attended by students from SAMS and SAW. Selection for the MAWS Program is made from the incoming intermediate level students each August. The academic demands of the MAWS elective exceed the normal requirements for the Electives Program. The students assigned to the two MAWS seminars take a tailored Joint Maritime Operations Course in the spring trimester because some of their previous elective work has included elements of the core JMO academic program. After completing the intermediate-level academic program, the MAWS students remain in Newport conducting a contemporary, real-world crisis scenario exercise and conduct crisis action planning and execution as part of a two-week game. Based on their game experience, they devote the remaining ten weeks to deliberate planning by writing a formal, maritime component commander concept plan (CONPLAN), which results in the development/refinement of a real-world, operational plan. Navy graduates proceed to either planner billets on operational staffs, or warfare community assignments followed by operational planner tours. Other-service graduates receive planner and community assignments as determined by their parent services.
The Electives Program
An extensive Electives Program expands both the breadth and depth of the College’s educational 22 offerings by providing opportunities to explore subjects not included in the core curriculum or to investigate in greater detail specific elements of that curriculum. The elective courses are offered in nineteen distinct Areas of Study (AOS). The Electives Program offers fourteen areas of individual study ranging from five regional area studies to leadership and ethics, Joint Warfare Analysis for the Commander and enterprise strategic planning to operational law, insurgency and terrorism or information operations, command and control and battle-space awareness, and strategy, operations, and military history. There are also five Areas of Study designed for group study. Normally, interested students apply and then are selected to participate in one of these programs. This year’s programs include the Halsey Groups, the Mahan Scholars, the Stockdale Group, the Joint Land Aerospace Sea Simulation (JLASS), and MAWS. Students must choose an elective AOS and then take courses from that track; for most of the concentrations, Navy students earn an additional qualification designator (AQD) permanently identifying the key skills and competencies developed over the course of study and required by the Navy. These elective courses occupy approximately twenty percent of the students’ total academic effort, meeting for three hours per week for ten weeks. All U.S. students must take one elective each trimester. The regional studies programs conducted a colloquium, about twenty additional hours of study, discussion, and mentoring conducted by internationally recognized experts acting as NWC adjunct professors. Each academic year, the Electives Program offers approximately sixty courses, individually designed and conducted by their instructors. About thirty are offered each trimester. By offering the faculty and staff the opportunity to teach in their areas of strongest expertise, the program expands the academic dimensions of the institution, and enriches and diversifies the total educational experience. The Electives Program intentionally mixes students from the intermediate and senior colleges to bring another dimension to student diversity.
The Electives Program continues to be one of the most popular elements of the curriculum. This is not surprising, since faculty teach what interests them most and in the manner they wish, and grading is on a pass/fail basis. The program offers a healthy degree of flexibility and variety in an otherwise structured curriculum. Over the last several academic years, in addition to the administrative recognition of teaching excellence, the College has rewarded that excellence with financial incentive awards to both civilian and military professors. The elective course listing has evolved over the last decade. Previously, the civilian and military chair program provided a superb source for expertise and elective courses. As funding and external support for these chairs has waned, the College has had difficulty filling them, and as a result faculty expertise for certain specialized elective courses has eroded. The College has clearly identified this problem to its major claimant and resource sponsor, but additional resources have not been received. The College has asked the Naval War College Foundation (NWCF) to advise its members of this difficulty and solicit sponsors for funded chairs. NWCF also has offered to provide more funded electives. In an effort to broaden student exposure to the research faculty and encourage student research, research faculty members in the Center for Naval Warfare Studies periodically offer and teach electives.
Also over the last several academic years, independent research opportunities provided by the Directed Research Electives Program have been given additional emphasis. Certain Special Research Programs have used the Electives Program to tailor course offerings so as to prepare selected students for concerted efforts in support of the College’s research responsibilities. Joint Land Aerospace Sea Simulation Program The Joint Land Aerospace Sea Simulation Program (JLASS) is a campaign planning elective concentration available to CNW students, which links six peer Senior Level Colleges (SLCs). This elective concentration begins with an Asia-Pacific Regional Study during the fall trimester. Follow-on elective courses leverage concepts introduced in the core Joint Military Operations course and are based on JPME Phase II learning areas. JLASS involves distributive planning with other SLCs and culminates in a futuristic, two-sided ccmputer supported war game played at the Air Force Wargaming Institute (AFWI), Maxwell AFB, Alabama. The six SLCs play appropriate U.S. and combined Blue forces. Students are thrust into the roles of theater supported and supporting commanders in a multiple contingency scenario in the Asia-Pacific. Students analyze, plan, and issue orders according to the Joint Operations Planning and Execution System (JOPES) in the context of Joint Crisis Action Planning. The exercise phase consists of a five-day war game in which the students execute their campaign plan developed during the distributed planning and employ joint forces at the strategic and operational levels to support the theaterlevel strategies.
College of Distance Education
From its humble beginnings in 1914, the College of Distance Education (CDE) today offers thousands of officer, enlisted, and civilian students the opportunity to complete PME/ JPME courses critical to their career development. Because the College’s nonresident student population is diverse, dispersed, and deployable, CDE offers six delivery methodologies ranging from self-paced online courses, suitable for students who are deployed both in remote locations and afloat, to asynchronous Web-enabled courses for students stationed away from major naval bases, to more traditional “bricks and mortar” classroom seminar programs in fleet concentration areas such as Norfolk, San Diego, and Washington, DC, among others.
The Fleet Seminar Program
The nonresident seminar program first initiated (1972) by Admiral Turner in Washington, DC thrived and has since evolved into the nationwide Fleet Seminar Program (FSP) now offering evening seminars throughout the U.S. The FSP is the delivery method that most closely matches the resident classroom experience. It is offered on an academic year basis, commencing in early September and ending in mid-May. The present course offerings, “Strategy and War (S&W),” “National Security Decision Making (NSDM),” and “Joint Maritime Operations (JMO),” reflect the basic Turner model, although all courses are not offered at all locations each year. As is true of all CDE’s nonresident courses, FSP courses, in keeping with CJCS mandate, are “derived from and closely parallel . . . [the] curriculum of the respective resident institution.” Enrollment is open to eligible active and reserve officers in the Sea Services (Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard) in the grade of O-3 and above. Active and reserve officers in the other military Services must be in the grade of O-4 and above to be eligible. Civilians in the grade of GS-11, and equivalent, or above are eligible and, through CNO agreement, selected staff members in the federal Executive, Legislative, and Judiciary branches are also eligible. All seminars are led by an exceptionally qualified and experienced adjunct faculty. In fact, the majority of adjunct faculty members have taught in, or are graduates of, the resident program in Newport. Many have served on the faculty for more than a decade, as well as on the faculties of other universities around the country. In Academic Year (AY) 2009–10, 1,200 students were enrolled in fifty-six seminars at twenty locations around the country.
The Naval War College at the Naval Postgraduate School
Another highly successful venture was the establishment in 1999 of a partnership with the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in Monterey to provide courses leading to JPME Phase I certification for officers assigned there. In the beginning, all Department of the Navy (DON) students were required to take “Strategy and Policy: The American Experience.” The other two courses, NSDM and JMO, were offered in nighttime seminar classes or through Independent Directed Study. The Monterey program has evolved, and today teaches the current version for all three core courses of the College, which is being fully embedded into officers’ NPS core curricula, to eligible NPS students. Of note, as with the earlier “Strategy and Policy: The American Experience” course, the current S&W course satisfies the Secretary of the Navy Maritime Strategy requirement for all DON students. CDE employs eighteen full-time NWC faculty members who are assigned to Monterey. For AY 2009–10, up to 390 students will be enrolled each quarter in the NWC at NPS program. There were a combined total of over 300 NWC Command and Staff diplomas awarded last academic year.
The Web-enabled Program
In 2001 the College began offering its core curriculum through asynchronous Web-enabled courses, an effort which has proven highly successful. In 2002 the College was recognized by the Association for Educational Communications and Technology with its prestigious Crystal Award for the most innovative Distance Learning project in the world. Eligibility requirements for the Web-enabled Program are the same as those of the FSP, and quotas are offered to eligible students located throughout the world. As is true for all variants of CDE’s curricula, the program is closely aligned with the College of Naval Command and Staff curriculum and the Fleet Seminar Program. This diploma program is designed to be completed in about 18 months. Successful completion of the three core courses results in the awarding of a CDE Command and Staff diploma and JPME Phase I credit. For AY 2009–10, about 1,100 students are enrolled in the program. In addition to the core courses, a series of elective courses are delivered by Web-enabled means. While elective courses have long been taught by CDE, a fundamental sea change occurred on 1 Sept 2006 when it was mandated that nonresident students comply with the College’s “Area of Study (AOS)” program. Under this system, students are required to concentrate their elective work in one of a number of approved areas, similar to minors at a civilian college. Today CDE teaches seven online electives that help fulfill student elective requirements, in keeping with CNO’s Additional Qualification Designator (AQD) requirement for the AOS program.
The CD-ROM Program
For 95 years, the Naval War College employed a paper-based methodology to deliver PME via correspondence courses to officers where they lived and worked. In 2003, due to OPNAV tasking to provide greater access and opportunity to PME/JPME for Unrestricted Line (URL) Navy officers whose duties and/or locations precluded them from joining with peer groups for study in the College’s other programs, the College realized a new direction was needed. NWC’s President directed development of a correspondence course that would better leverage technology to mitigate the limitations described above to the maximum extent possible. In response, CDE embarked on a new educational venture, developing the CD-ROMbased correspondence course that was first deployed in April 2004. The program is offered to active and reserve Navy officers in the grades of O-3 to O-6, and DON civilians in the grade of GS-11 or above located throughout the world. It is designed to be completed in 12 months, and is accredited for award of a CDE Command and Staff diploma and JPME Phase I credit.
The Graduate Degree Program
After three years of self-study, in the fall of 2001 the College launched the Nonresident Graduate Degree Program (GDP). This program was a response to the CNO’s “Vision Statement for Navy Education” which emphasized education as “crucially important” and called upon the Navy’s senior leadership to make education a priority in the development of the officer corps. Establishment of the GDP created a unique opportunity for nonresident officers and senior federal employees to attain JPME and simultaneously to earn the College’s Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies. Entry into the GDP is an entirely separate admissions process that mirrors those of other graduate academic institutions. The core program rests upon completion of the three courses of the FSP, which provides twenty-one graduate semester hours. Students must then complete an additional nine graduate semester hours of elective courses that have been screened and approved by the College.
Accreditation and Degrees
The Naval War College has been accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges since 1984. Several years later the Naval War College earned the authority to award to students in some of its programs a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies. Prior to that time, however, some Naval War College students undertook additional studies at Salve Regina University and were awarded degrees by that institution.
The Naval War College Press has published the scholarly quarterly journal the Naval War College Review since 1948. It also publishes the "Newport Papers," as well as an historical monograph series, Newport Papers, and occasional books.
e-Resources: References and Research
The Henry E. Eccles Library, housed in Hewitt Hall, has created a collection of research guides covering a wide range of topics of interest for those studying international relations, foreign area studies, contemporary and historical military items of note, security studies, reference and research topics, and the like, as well hosting additional support for staff, students, and faculty.,
Buildings and structures
Over the years, the Naval War College has expanded greatly. The original building, the former Newport Asylum for the Poor, now serves as home to the Naval War College Museum. In 1892, the structure now known as Luce Hall opened as the college's new home, at a cost of $100,000. At the time, the building housed lecture rooms and a library. Wings at either end provided two sets of quarters, occupied by the president of the College and members of the faculty. When the Naval War College was enlarged in 1932, this original building was renamed Luce Hall in honor of the institution's founder and first Superintendent (later President), Stephen B. Luce. The building was entered onto the National Register of Historic Places on September 22, 1972.
Mahan Hall, named for Rear Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan (NWC President from 1886–1889 and 1892–1893), was completed and opened in 1904, and encompasses the historic Mahan Rotunda and Reading Room, as well as student study areas. The Mahan Rotunda also serves as an impromptu museum of gifts and artifacts donated by graduating international students over the years.
Pringle Hall (named for Vice Admiral Joel R. P. Pringle, NWC President from 1927–1930) was opened in 1934, and was the principal site for war gaming from the time of its completion in 1934 until the Naval Electronic Warfare Simulator was built in Sims Hall in 1957. The exterior facing of the building is pink Milford granite, similar in appearance to the ashlar granite of Luce Hall, to which it is connected by two enclosed bridges. Pringle Hall contains a 432-seat auditorium, the Quinn Lecture Room, the Naval Staff College, the Graphic Arts Studio, the Photography Branch, and the Naval War College Press.
In 1947, the NWC acquired an existing barracks building and converted it to a secondary war gaming facility, naming it Sims Hall after former War College President Admiral William Sowden Sims (NWC President from Feb. to Apr. 1917 and again from 1919–1922). In 1957 Sims Hall became the primary center for the Naval War College's wargaming department, serving as such until 1999.
The 1970s saw the War College's most active expansion, with the opening of three separate buildings. In 1972, Spruance Hall, named for former NWC President Admiral Raymond A. Spruance (March 1946 - July 1948), was completed, housing faculty offices and an 1,100 seat auditorium.
In 1974, Conolly Hall was opened and named in honor of Admiral Richard L. Conolly, Naval War College President 1950–1953. It houses the NWC Quarterdeck, Administrative and faculty offices, numerous class and conference rooms, and two underground parking garages.
1976 saw the opening of Hewitt Hall, one of two Naval War College buildings not named for a War College president, this time taking its name from Admiral Henry Kent Hewitt, an advisor to the NWC during his tenure as Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe, following World War II. Hewitt Hall is home to the Henry E. Eccles Library, the Trident Café, the bookstore and barbershop, and student study areas and lounge.
In 1999, the state-of-the-art McCarty Little Hall opened, replacing Sims Hall as the War College's primary wargaming facility. The other building named for a non-president is named after Captain William McCarty Little, an influential leader and key figure in refining the techniques of war gaming. This high-tech facility is used primarily by the Center for Naval Warfare Studies to conduct war games and major conferences, and for research and analysis. The building features the technology necessary to support a variety of multi-media needs essential during multiple and simultaneous war games.
Notable U.S. graduates
- Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King, Chief of Naval Operations, 1942–45
- Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, Chief of Naval Operations, 1945–47
- Fleet Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr., World War II decorated officer
- Admiral William Fallon, Commander, U.S. Central Command, 2007–2008
- Admiral George McMillin, 38th and final Naval Governor of Guam, one of the first WWII POWs at First Battle of Guam 1940-1941
- Admiral Kent Hewitt, World War II decorated officer
- Admiral Thomas H. Moorer, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1970–74
- Admiral Raymond Spruance, World War II decorated officer
- Admiral James G. Stavridis, Commander in Chief, Supreme Allied Commander Europe, 2009-
- Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, 19th Chief of Naval Operations, 1970–74
- Admiral Jeremy Michael Boorda, 25th Chief of Naval Operations, 1994–96
- Rear-Admiral Alan Shepard, USN First American in Space 1961; Fifth Man on the Moon 1971
U.S Coast Guard
- Admiral Robert E. Kramek, USCG, Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, 1990–1994
- Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr., USCG, Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, 2010-
U.S. Marine Corps
- General Walter Boomer, USMC, Assistant Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps, 1992–1994
- General Michael Hagee, USMC, Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps, 2003–2006
- General James E. Cartwright, USMC, Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, 2007–2011
- General John Shalikashvili, USA, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1993–97
- General Raymond T. Odierno, USA, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, 2011–
- General Stanley McChrystal, USA, Commander, International Security Assistance Force/United States Forces Afghanistan, 2009-2010
- Lieutenant Colonel James L. Walker, USA, Senior Army Instructor AHS, Decatur, Alabama, 1995–present
U.S. Air Force
- General Charles A. Gabriel, USAF, Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force, 1982–86
- General John W. Corley, USAF, Commander, Air Combat Command, 2007-
- General John A. Gordon, USAF, Deputy Director, Central Intelligence Agency, 1997–2000
- General Richard E. Hawley, USAF, Commander, Air Combat Command, 1996–1999
- General Jerome F. O'Malley, USAF, Commander, US Air Forces Europe, 1990–1994
- General Robert C. Oaks, USAF, Commander, Tactical Air Command, 1984–1985
- General Bruce Carlson, USAF, Commander, Air Force Materiel Command, 2005–2008
- General Robert C. Kehler, USAF, Commander, Air Force Space Command, 2007-
U.S. Foreign Service
- Ambassador Christopher R. Hill, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq and former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
U.S. Civil Service
- Frank Jimenez, former General Counsel, U.S. Department of the Navy, 2006–2009
- Hugo Teufel III, 2nd Chief Privacy Officer, Department of Homeland Security in the Government of the United States, 2006–2009
Notable international graduates
- Admiral Panagiotis Chinofotis, Chief of the Hellenic National Defense General Staff, 2005 - .
- Admiral Arun Prakash, Chief of the Naval Staff, Indian Navy, and Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee, India, 2004–2006.
- Admiral Radhakrishna Hariram Tahiliani, Chief of the Naval Staff, Indian Navy, 1984–1987.
- Admiral Nirmal Kumar Verma, Chief of the Naval Staff, Indian Navy, 2009–2012.
- Vice Admiral Tomás Gomez Arroyo Spanish Navy, 1972-1973.
- Vice Admiral Mateo M Mayuga AFP Flag Officer In Command, Philippine Navy 09 Dec 10 - 09 Dec 07
- Vice Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe, Commander, Sri Lankan Navy, 2009–present.
- Vice Admiral Russ Shalders, Chief of Navy, Australia, 2005-2008.
- Vice Admiral Ko Tun-hwa former Vice Minister of Defense, Republic of China and is currently the National Policy Advisor to the President of the Republic of China (Taiwan).
- Vice Admiral Zahir Uddin Ahmed, Chief of Naval Staff, Bangladesh Navy, 2009–2013
- Vice Admiral Mohammed Farid Habib, Chief of Naval Staff, Bangladesh Navy, 2013-current
- General Håkan Syrén, Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces, 2003–2009; Chairman, European Union Military Committee, 2009 - .
- President Émile Lahoud, 15th President of Lebanon from November 1998 to November 2007.
- Admiral Devendra Kumar Joshi, Chief of the Naval Staff, Indian Navy, 2012–Present.
- Commodore Mark Mellett, Flag Officer Commanding, Naval Services of Ireland, 2010–Present.
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