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Naval War College

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Title: Naval War College  
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Subject: Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, Newport, Rhode Island, Stephen Luce, List of colleges and universities in Rhode Island, Alan Shepard
Collection: Buildings and Structures in Newport, Rhode Island, Education in Newport County, Rhode Island, Educational Institutions Established in 1884, Historic Districts in Newport County, Rhode Island, Maritime Colleges in the United States, Military Education and Training in the United States, Military Facilities on the National Register of Historic Places in Rhode Island, National Historic Landmarks in Rhode Island, Naval War College, New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Public Universities and Colleges in Rhode Island, Staff Colleges, United States Navy Organization
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Naval War College

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.
Naval War College is located in Rhode Island
Location Newport, Rhode Island
Area 4 acres (1.6 ha)
Built 1884
Architect Mason,George C., & Sons
Architectural style Other
NRHP Reference # 66000876[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP October 15, 1966
Designated NHLD January 29, 1964[2]

The Naval War College (NWC or NAVWARCOL) is the staff college and "Home of Thought" for the United States Navy in Newport, Rhode Island. 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 P. Gardner Howe, III, a 1984 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. He previously commanded Naval Special Warfare Unit Three in Bahrain, Naval Special Warfare Group Three in San Diego, and Special Operations Command, Pacific in Hawaii. He is the first Navy SEAL officer to serve as president on the Naval War College.[3]


  • History 1
  • Academic Programs 2
    • College of Naval Command and Staff 2.1
    • Maritime Advanced Warfighting School (MAWS) 2.2
    • College of Naval Warfare 2.3
  • Accreditation and Degrees 3
  • Publications 4
  • e-Resources: References and Research 5
  • Buildings and structures 6
  • Partnership with Brown University 7
  • Notable U.S. graduates 8
    • U.S. Navy 8.1
    • U.S Coast Guard 8.2
    • U.S. Marine Corps 8.3
    • U.S. Army 8.4
    • U.S. Air Force 8.5
    • U.S. Foreign Service 8.6
    • U.S. Civil Service 8.7
  • Notable international graduates 9
  • See also 10
  • References 11
  • External links 12


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.[4] 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.

Assistant Secretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt on the steps of the Naval War College with faculty and students.

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 joint professional military education (JPME) 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.

Academic Programs

College of Naval Command and Staff

The College of Naval Command and Staff is a multidisciplinary program designed for U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard officers in the grade of lieutenant commander, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, and U.S. Air Force officers in the grade of major, and civilians of equivalent seniority from various federal agencies. This intermediate level service college course provides an initial opportunity for joint professional military education wherein students prepare for increased responsibilities as commanders / lieutenant colonels, and as junior captains / colonels.[5]

College of Naval Command and Staff students pursue studies in each of the Naval War College's three core subject areas in the following order of presentation: Strategy and War, National Security Decision Making, and Joint Maritime Operations. While this basic curriculum is essentially the same as that of the more senior students enrolled in the College of Naval Warfare, individual courses are tailored to the experience level and career needs of the College of Naval Command and Staff's mid-grade officers. Each student in the College of Naval Command and Staff is also required to enroll in one Elective Program course of his or her choice per trimester. A limited number of students may, with selection committee approval, forego up to one trimester of the core curriculum to participate in the Center for Naval Warfare Studies' Advanced Research Program.[5]

Maritime Advanced Warfighting School (MAWS)

Originally established in 1998 as the Naval Operational Planner Course, the Maritime Advanced Warfighting School (MAWS) is a 13-month program that educates U.S. officers of all services to:

  • Be operational planners and ultimately, operational leaders
  • Understand and apply maritime power effectively
  • Form and lead Operational Planning Teams (OPTs)
  • Think creatively and critically by developing solutions to complex, chaotic security problems

MAWS integrates the College of Naval Command and Staff core curriculum with specialized education and hands-on, real-world projects in the operational planning domain. MAWS is the U.S. Navy’s peer school to the Army's School of Advanced Military Studies, the Marine Corps' School of Advanced Warfighting, the Air Force's School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, and the Joint Advanced Warfighting School.

College of Naval Warfare

The College of Naval Warfare is a multidisciplinary program designed for U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard officers in the grades of commander or captain U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force officers in the grades of lieutenant colonel or colonel, and civilians of equivalent seniority from various federal agencies. This senior level professional military education program provides students with executive-level preparation for higher responsibilities as senior captains / colonels and as junior flag officers / general officers.[6]

College of Naval Warfare students pursue studies in each of the Naval War College's three core subject areas in the following order of presentation: National Security Decision Making, Strategy and Policy, and Joint Military Operations. During the first two of these trimesters, College of Naval Warfare students will be joined in lectures and in seminars by international students of the Naval Command College. Each College of Naval Warfare student is also required to enroll in one Elective Program course of his or her choice per trimester. A limited number of students in each class may, with selection committee approval, forego up to one trimester of the core curriculum to participate in the Center for Naval Warfare Studies' Advanced Research Program.[6]

Accreditation and Degrees

The Naval War College has been accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges since 1984.[7] 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.[8] Naval War College students are also permitted to transfer up to 18 credits to the Graduate Program in International Relations at Salve Regina University. The arrangement allows Naval War College students to complete a Master of Arts degree in International Relations from Salve Regina University by taking six additional courses.


The Naval War College Press has published the scholarly quarterly journal the Naval War College Review since 1948.[9] 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,[10] as well hosting additional support for staff, students, and faculty.,[11]

Buildings and structures

Picture taken of the early Naval War College from the east passage of Narragansett Bay

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, Luce Hall was 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. This original pair of buildings was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[2][12] Luce Hall was again listed on the National Register in 1972.[1]

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.

Partnership with Brown University

On June 6, 2014, NWC and Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies signed a Research and Education Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the two institutions. The agreement promotes collaborative research and teaching between NWC and Brown, serves as an opportunity to establish and conduct programs to improve education in science-related fields to meet long-term national defense needs, and establishes cooperative education programs for undergraduate education at Brown and postgraduate education at both Brown and NWC.[13]

Notable U.S. graduates

U.S. Navy

U.S Coast Guard

U.S. Marine Corps

U.S. Army

U.S. Air Force

U.S. Foreign Service

U.S. Civil Service

Notable international graduates

See also


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places.  
  2. ^ a b "Original U.S. Naval War College". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2014-11-05. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "U.S. Naval War College: History". U.S. Naval War College. Retrieved 2011-05-23. 
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^ a b
  7. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". U.S. Naval War College. Retrieved 2013-08-14. 
  8. ^ "History". U.S. Naval War College. Retrieved 2013-08-14. 
  9. ^ "Overview of the Naval War College PRess". U.S. Naval War College. Retrieved 2011-05-23. 
  10. ^ "Research Guides of the Naval War College". U.S. Naval War College. Retrieved 2013-08-12. 
  11. ^ "Ask a Naval War College Librarian". U.S. Naval War College. Retrieved 2013-08-12. 
  12. ^ "NRHP nomination for Original US Naval War College" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 2014-11-05. 
  13. ^,-Brown-University-Partner-for-Re.aspx
  14. ^ "SAF Leadership". MINDEF. Retrieved 10 August 2014. 
  15. ^ Admiral DK Joshi takes over as new Navy Chief. Retrieved on 2013-07-23.
  16. ^ "Admiral Radhakrishna Hariram Tahiliani, PVSM, AVSM". Information Resource Facilitation Centre, Indian Navy. Retrieved 2011-10-18. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ a b Navy Chief attends 19th Sea Power symposium at Newport -USA. (2010-12-30). Retrieved on 2013-07-23.

External links

  • Naval War College homepage
  • List of Presidents of the Naval War College from 1884 to the Present
  • Works by Naval War College at Project Gutenberg
  • Works by or about Naval War College at Internet Archive
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