Naval War College
686 Cushing Road
Established in 1884, the U.S. Naval War College is the oldest institution of its kind in the world. More than 50,000 students have graduated since its first class of nine students in 1885, and about 300 of today’s active-duty admirals and generals and senior executive service leaders are alumni.
Navy Department General Order No. 325, dated Oct. 6, 1884, stated in part, “A college is hereby established for an advanced course of professional study for naval officers.” In a matter of months after the order was released, NWC’s founding president, Commodore Stephen B. Luce, welcomed the first class of nine students.
From this humble beginning the college has grown and transformed into the nation’s premier professional military education institution, now educating more than 40,000 students annually with resident and nonresident curricula tailored to the educational needs of Sailors from the ranks of E-1 to O-8.
As a fully accredited graduate institution, students completing the rigorous College of Naval Warfare and College of Naval Command and Staff resident curricula earn a Master of Arts degree and joint professional military education credit. Reflecting the college’s Navywide reach, fleet seminar students enrolled in a network of 20 satellite campuses across the country can earn the Master of Arts degree as well. The college also has a robust international engagement mission with approximately 100 international officers graduating yearly.
The college’s professional military education programs prepare leaders for the challenges of operational and strategic level leadership as decision-makers and problem-solvers over the remainder of their careers. Approximately 400 students graduate from the maritime staff operators course and nearly 80 U.S. and international flag and general officers graduate from the flag course each year.
Just as NWC’s educational programs have expanded in depth and reach, so have the research and analysis efforts conducted by NWC’s Center for Naval Warfare Studies. Through war games, conferences, workshops and publications, NWC’s research arm provides direct curriculum support to educational programs and focused, task-driven analysis for fleet customers and government agencies across the national security spectrum.
The main priority of the college will always be to educate and develop future leaders through the development of strategic perspective, critical thinking, and enhancing the capability to advise senior leaders and policy-makers.
Our other missions in support of educating and developing future leaders include helping to define the future Navy and its roles and missions, supporting combat readiness, strengthening global maritime partnerships, promoting ethics and leadership throughout the force, contributing knowledge to shape effective decisions through Maritime History Center expertise, and providing expertise and advice to the international legal community through the Stockton Center for the Study of International Law.
To accomplish all these missions, the college must preserve a current and relevant curriculum, a world-class faculty and staff, and the best and brightest joint student body educated both during their time at the college and through a robust alumni program of lifelong learning afterward.
The college has often been called the Navy’s “home of thought,” and as such, it constitutes a unique national asset unmatched anywhere else in the world. Through education, research, gaming and training, the college helps shape and support the intellectual leaders of tomorrow’s Navy and her joint and combined service partners.