Vice Adm. David Kriete, Deputy Commander, United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), addressed Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) students, faculty and staff about USSTRATCOM’s strategic deterrence mission, and their latest endeavors to advance that mission through education, during the latest Secretary of the Navy Guest Lecture (SGL).
Kriete has almost half a decade of service at USSTRATCOM, and played an integral role in the two most recent Nuclear Posture Reviews, determining the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. policy and strategy.
“Strategic deterrence is the number one mission of USSTRATCOM, however, today’s security threats are multi-domain, multi-regional and multi-adversary,” said Kriete. “This is an extremely complex environment that militaries around the world have to navigate, and we have to partner with other nations and with other U.S. government departments if we are going to be successful.”
Before taking to the podium during his first NPS visit, Kriete toured several laboratories learning about the unique research conducted by faculty and students in the areas of Undersea Warfare (USW), satellite design, rocketry payload systems, and space tracking abilities.
Kriete also spent time with NPS’ USW students, as well as the Chair of the USW department retired Rear Adm. Jerry Ellis. Ellis, who invited Kriete to do the SGL and has a long running connection with him that goes back to when Kriete was a young lieutenant. Ellis thought it would be very important for Kriete to engage with these students about the USSTRATCOM mission, he said.
“The real value of the Naval Postgraduate School is that you’re developing ideas here that you will bring back to the fleet or community you work in,” continued Kriete. “One of the favorite parts of my job at USSTRATCOM is engaging with the young professionals who are going to lead our nuclear enterprise well into the future.”
Kriete expressed that the education of all military officers is a force multiplier for both USSTRATCOM and the joint force.
“One of our biggest success stories of late at USSTRATCOM is the establishment of what we call the Deterrence and Assurance Academic Alliance,” said Kriete. “The alliance today consists of over 40 prestigious universities and institutions, including NPS, that are all working together to advance deterrence far beyond the old Cold War narrative.”
“By promoting collaboration between both the academic and military communities, the alliance encourages the development of security professionals that can meet our future security needs for research, analytics, policy and decision-making,” continued Kriete. “We use all those things at USSTRATCOM every single day.”
At the conclusion of his SGL, Kriete made it clear when he addressed the entire campus that he loved the enthusiasm, passion and perspectives demonstrated by the university’s students, and expressed a level of envy that he had not had the opportunity to attend NPS as a student.
“You students are truly the envy of many,” said Kriete. “Not only do you get to study full time at one of the most prestigious institutions in the world, but most importantly you’re studying in first-class facilities alongside the best instructors and staff that exists anywhere in the country.”