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14 September 2003. One of the Eyeball series.
Source of photos and maps: Mapquest (color) and Terraserver (monochrome).

Naval War College:

ON OCTOBER 6, 1884, SECRETARY OF THE NAVY William E. Chandler signed General Order 325, which began by simply stating: “A college is hereby established for an advanced course of professional study for naval officers, to be known as the Naval War College.” The order went on to assign “the principal building on Coaster's Harbor Island, Newport, R.I.”—the Newport Asylum for the Poor, built in 1820—to its use and “Commodore Stephen B. Luce . . . to duty as president of the college.” Such were the humble beginnings of what is now the oldest continuing institution of its kind in the world.


To carry out its dual mission, the Naval War College is organized to pursue and integrate both academic and research endeavors.  Academically, the faculty is divided into three teaching departments—Strategy and Policy, National Security Decision Making, and Joint Military Operations—under the Dean of Academics, who also directs the interdepartmental Electives Program.  Research activities are drawn together in the Center for Naval Warfare Studies.  The student body is subdivided into four resident colleges and one nonresident college:

Core Curriculum

The Naval War College curriculum is based upon three core courses of study: Strategy and Policy, National Security Decision Making, and Joint Military Operations, in addition to which there is a multidisciplinary Electives Program.   Courses in each of these four areas are designed to provide depth and perspective to the study of conflict, its causes and resolution.

Strategy and Policy

The courses offered by the Strategy and Policy Department are designed to teach students to think strategically.  The theory and application of warfare from the time of Athenian sea power through the present are studied, and a set of strategic themes—the most central being the relationship between a nation's policy ends and the way in which its military means are used in pursuit of those ends—are considered.

National Security Decision Making

National Security Decision Making Department courses are uniquely designed for the military and civilian DOD executive considering the economic, political, and military factors common to decision making in the national security arena.  Case studies exploring major contemporary nuclear, conventional, and contingency force-planning issues challenge students to develop personal frameworks for integrating the many oftentimes competing demands involved in planning, choosing, and obtaining future military forces.

Joint Military Operations

Courses offered by the Joint Military Operations Department focus on the planning and conduct of joint and combined military operations in support of national and alliance strategic goals.  Stress is placed on operational and effective planning processes and concepts used in the employment of military forces across the full spectrum of conflict.  The operational level of war is examined through the use of real-world case studies and war gaming.

Naval War College

Carriers docked at the naval station adjoining the Naval War College.

USGS photo 29 Mar 1995

USGS photo 29 Mar 1995

USGS photo 29 Mar 1995