One of Newport, Rhode Island’s most enduring and prominent landmarks is the U.S. Naval War College (NWC) on Coaster Harbor Island in Narragansett Bay. The Naval War College’s missions today are developing strategic and operational leaders, helping the Chief of Naval Operations define the future Navy, strengthening maritime security cooperation and supporting combat readiness.
Since the first class met October 6, 1884, in an austere loft with nine students, more than 24,000 U.S. military and international officers, as well as hundreds of senior federal service civilian executives, have graduated from NWC.
Throughout its history, the college has held fast to the belief, first articulated by its founding president, Rear Admiral Stephen B. Luce, that ,“The War College is a place of original research on all questions relating to war and to statesmanship connected with war, or the prevention of war.”
Vice Admiral Stansfield Turner, the college’s thirty-seventh president, added focus and specificity to that depiction of the character of the institution when he charged the college to “Always keep in mind the product which this country … needs is military leaders with the capability of solving complex problems and executing their decisions. You must keep your sights set on decision making or problem solving as your objective.”
The intent of Luce and Turner constitute the strategic tradition and purpose of the Naval War College. This strategic tradition has a very practical and steadfast influence in everything that the college does. The college’s Professional Military Education (PME) programs are grounded in this strategic tradition and are intended to prepare leaders for the challenges of operational and/or strategic level leadership over the remainder of their careers as decision makers and problem solvers.