NEWPORT, R.I. (NNS) -- More than 200 students assigned to U.S. Naval War College (NWC) participated in an intense, two-week long Capstone exercise which culminated experience gained throughout the Joint Military Operations (JMO) course.
The JMO course, one of three core courses required by students in NWC's Graduate Degree Program, prepares future military and civilian leaders for high-level policy, command, and staff positions in various operational environments by building strategic and cultural perspective.
Participating students included officers from various U.S. military branches and civilians from numerous U.S. government agencies, as well as, international officers from over 60 countries.
"Since its establishment in 1884, the Naval War College has consistently focused on the capabilities necessary for students to become effective leaders," said Rear Adm. Jeffrey A. Harley, NWC's president. "With the on-going expansion of our invaluable warfighting curriculum, including the JMO Capstone event, we're able to further develop and enhance our students' critical thinking skills that will be necessary to meet future challenges, in the United States and around the world."
During this year's Capstone event, students were separated into nine teams, with each working to address a challenging scenario in which they must establish sea control in a contested region of the South China Sea. Each team member was given a role in the operation, for example, an intelligence officer or a logistics officer, and they used a military planning process to form and carry out an action plan.
"We are not just preparing the students for their next jobs, we are preparing them for their entire careers," said Capt. Edmund Hernandez, chairman, NWC's JMO Department. "Some of them will become flag officers and having this experience to look back on may help inform the decisions they make in the future."
At the end of the exercise, the students gathered to receive feedback from NWC staff and professors about their performance in the war game.
"In the next 10 years, I expect to be in a joint environment; now, I have a foundation of how various branches' capabilities can be integrated across the board," said Capt. Theresa Fouda a NWC student.
On average, over 600 resident students and 1,000 distance learning students graduate from NWC each year. Students earn Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) credit and either a diploma or a master's degree in National Security and Strategic Studies or Defense and Strategic Studies. 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, generals and senior executive service leaders are alumni.
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