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NSA Program Officer Recognized for Essays

Article by Kate Oliver; Photo courtesy of Cmdr. Garcia

Cmdr. Jorge GarciaUnited States Navy Cmdr. Jorge Garcia, program officer for the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) department of National Security Affairs (NSA) recently won two essay competitions from his alma mater, the Naval War College (NWC) located in Newport, Rhode Island. Garcia, who attended the war college prior to his posting at NPS, submitted two papers he had written while at NWC to the competition.

“Our professors encouraged us to submit our best work; so I did,” said Garcia of his submissions, which were part of his course work for a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies at NWC.

Garcia took first place in the Adm. Richard G. Colbert Memorial Prize for his essay Virtual Nation – The Dawn of a New International Order. The NWC Colbert Memorial Prize is awarded to essayists who address an economic, military, political, strategic or tactical issue that military professionals may face during their careers. In his essay, Garcia discussed how the growth of cyber communities, with their massive membership, unifying ideologies and internal economies, could develop into virtual nations. These nations could potentially exert political leverage and influence world affairs, and even build military capabilities. Garcia recommended governments pay attention to these groups and the messages they communicate to their members as they grow more influential on the world stage. Garcia originally wrote the essay as part of a class on national security and decision making at the war college.

Garcia’s second essay, Corruption in Mexico – An Emergence Approach, won first prize for the NWC J. William Middendorf II Award for Student Research. The Middendorf Award recognizes essayists whose ideas explore strategic or tactical concepts, logistics or readiness. Garcia’s essay, which he wrote for a class on joint military operations at NWC, examines corruption in Mexico. Garcia explored corruption in the context of emergence and complex adaptive systems – concepts taken from systems engineering and the mathematics of chaos. Garcia used this perspective to suggest governments attempt to manage corruption rather than control or eradicate it.

Garcia won $1,000 for each essay, which he used for his and his family to travel back to Rhode Island to accept the award in June.

As program officer for the NSA, Garcia manages the academic programs for the department and oversees the academic and professional development for NSA students. Garcia plans to pursue a doctoral degree while stationed at NPS. 

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