The Naval War College (NWC) Monterey program for Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) celebrated its 74th graduating class during a ceremony in Herrmann Hall, March 22. Since September of 1999, the NWC has partnered with NPS to provide nearly 5,000 officers with a rigorous educational program designed to make them more effective in joint assignments, and in working with other services.
Fred Drake, Chairman of the NWC Monterey program, presided over the ceremony that included a total of 74 U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Army officers earning their NWC Command and Staff diplomas with JPME phase I certification.
“You all have just completed a major milestone in your career and this achievement deserves recognition, but before we proceed any further I would like to acknowledge the faculty and staff for all of their hard work that makes this program possible,” said Drake, who then turned over the podium to the event’s guest speaker, President of the Naval War College Rear Adm. Jeffrey Harley.
“This graduation will no doubt serve as the foundation for your continued life-long learning and your service in national and international affairs,” said Harley. “Completing this curriculum while also studying very technical subjects here at the Naval Postgraduate School inspires admiration and awe. I trust that your studies have given you a deeper consideration of strategy and policy, one that has enabled you to become critical thinking professionals, better prepared to meet contemporary challenges on the world stage.
“I also would like to salute each and every one of the NWC faculty that serve here for their contributions to our great nation, our great Navy, NPS and to your NWC, you are truly a gift,” Harley added.
Headquartered in Newport, R.I., the NWC’s mission is to educate and develop future leaders by building strategic and cultural perspective, and enhancing the capability to advise senior leaders and policy-makers.
“I believe the world is more often than not an unpredictable and dangerous place,” said Harley. “Complicated by exponential changes in technology, a confused media, a death in expertise and a return of a world marked with global competition. We now must think more critically to help access and clarify the seemingly impossible to provide a light forward for others.
“As your course of studies in Monterey continue, or as you celebrate your graduation here shortly, you will further define the stature of our great nation, and also keep the torch of freedom burning,” Harley concluded.
Following the presentation of diplomas to the course graduates, Harley surprised all in attendance by presenting an honorary Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies to NPS President retired Vice. Adm. Ronald A. Route, who is well versed in NWC programs having served as its 50th President from July 2003 to August 2004.
“I can tell you that you all are in the right place at the right time,” said Route. “To be able to be here at NPS while taking part in this program is truly a remarkable opportunity and experience. I would like to thank Professor Drake and his faculty for all they do, and Admiral Harley for presenting me with this great honor.”
The JPME program is a two-part collection of learning objectives designed to fulfill the requirements for an officer to earn a Joint Specialty Officer (JSO) designation.