By Rear Adm. Walter E. “Ted” Carter, Jr.
President, Naval War College
As I turnover the reins of the Naval War College to Rear Adm. P. Gardner Howe III and move on to another leadership role in Annapolis, Md., I’m proud of what the faculty and staff of the NWC have accomplished during my tenure here in Newport, R.I.
One of my main goals as president of the NWC was to reconnect the college to the Fleet. I strongly believe that in order to remain relevant, the Fleet needs to have knowledge of and input on what we are teaching, learning and researching. Ideally, I wanted to get the Fleet’s buy in, which is why the NWC continues to refine and enhance its curriculum to keep abreast of the evolving national security environment and fulfill the needs of future naval leaders and the nation’s joint forces.
I think we made great strides during my relatively short tenure. I am honored that our CNO was such a routine participant in lectures, meetings and symposiums in the past year and considers your NWC the premier institution for developing Navy strategists – the future leaders of America’s military who are prepared to meet the challenges of the next decade and beyond. We are expanding our reach to all Navy officer and enlisted ranks, while doing more to serve fleet commanders through tailored special programs. This deliberate method of collegiate rebalancing is an ongoing and faculty-driven process. While the exact nature of the NWC of the future is always evolving, I share current initiatives in detail in a document called Navy Nexus that I co-wrote with Professor John E. Jackson. The article outlines the major initiatives that show great promise.
Here are a few highlights: In November of this year, upon accreditation of the Nimitz Course in National Security and Strategic Studies (formerly the Senior Level Course) and the Spruance Course in Maritime Warfare and Strategic Studies (formerly the Intermediate Level Course), the NWC will present two different Master of Arts degrees, one in National Security and Strategic Studies, as well as JPME Phase II, and one in Defense and Strategic Studies and credit for JPME Phase I.
The NWC, working closely with MCPON, is involved in curriculum development and faculty support for the Navy Senior Enlisted Academy. MCPON has announced plans to require all senior chief petty officers to complete the SEA, doubling its throughput on an annual basis. A ‘blended’ approach, which combines distance-learning courses with a three-week residence period in Newport, will enable 1,200 students to graduate each year. Once a phase-in period is complete, SEA graduation will be mandatory for selection to master chief petty officer.
We transitioned the Command Leadership School to the Naval Leadership and Ethics Center as an Echelon 3 command on May 1, 2013. This new center will encompass all that CLS did for PCO/PXO/CMC and COBs, but will also be responsible for leadership and ethics curriculum development for E-1 to O-6 for all 18 communities in the Navy. Working closely with Naval Education and Training Command and the Center for Personal and Professional Development, the NLEC will perform schoolhouse training and Fleet concentration “train the trainer” programs, as well as Leadership and Ethics assessment across our Navy.
Recognizing that a yearlong “not observed” fitness report is suboptimal for some officers, we recently implemented a change to provide “observed” reports signed by the Naval War College president for all intermediate and senior level in residence Navy students who finish in the top 20 percent of each class.
While it is bittersweet to be moving on after only one year, I know that Rear Adm. Gardner Howe will do all that needs to be done to keep the NWC at the top of its game and attract the best and brightest students and retain the most authoritative and respected faculty.
Editor’s note: Navy Live will stream the NWC’s change of command July 8. Visit http://navylive.dodlive.mil/?p=27269 starting at 8 a.m. (EDT) for the 10 a.m. (EDT) webcast July 8.