Vision and Strategic Framework

Strategic Framework - 01 - Banner Title
Strategic Framework
For Decisive Maritime Advantage
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Nested Applications
Strategic Framework - 02 - Introduction



Our nation is engaged in a long-term strategic competition that threatens our security and way of life. China and Russia challenge our advantage by aggressively building military power, adapting existing technology for military purposes, and developing military capability from emerging technology.  The National Security Strategy and Tri-Service Maritime Strategy set a clear strategic direction by operating forward alongside our allies and partners, providing stability, deterring aggression, and preserving freedom of the seas.  

Our nation’s strategic guidance is clear: we must do more.

  • Cognitive Readiness: Maintaining our intellectual and technological edge is fundamental to our decisive advantage at sea. As part of the Naval Education Enterprise (NEE), NPS provides defense-focused, naval-unique graduate and advanced education and conducts defense-relevant research that contributes to problem-solving and increased capabilities across the naval services. Expert faculty, experienced in defense and security related issues, develop and enhance the cognitive readiness of our operationally experienced warrior scholar students through interdisciplinary graduate education and fundamental research in support of advanced knowledge and skills.
  • Intellectual Leadership: To prevail in strategic competition, we must quickly develop and adopt new technologies, as well as the competencies and strategic thinkers need to deter, fight and win. As part of the Naval Research & Development Establishment (NR&DE), NPS research complements and contributes to the efforts of federal and Department of Defense laboratories and the Department of the Navy’s warfare centers to translate research into technologies and effective operational systems that improve warfighting capabilities. NPS education develops leaders with the intellectual competencies to think critically and deliver warfighting decision advantage in competition and conflict against 21st-century peer adversaries – this is intellectual leadership.

Strategic Framework - Side President Message
NPS President Ann Rondeau speaking

Message from the President:

We are in long-term strategic competition, and U.S. maritime dominance is at risk. The Naval Postgraduate School is also in a state of strategic competition. In an era of increasing resource pressure, we must respond by advancing our education and research to ensure operational and strategic relevance. We are at a strategic inflection point-one that demands we renew our commitment to expand the intellectual ability of naval leaders, develop relevant naval capabilities and innovative solutions to complex warfighting challenges, and strengthen our institution to enable these critical outcomes...

Strategic Framework - 04 - Imperative

The Imperative

Our nation is engaged in a long-term strategic competition that threatens our security and way of life. China and Russia challenge our advantage by aggressively building military power, adapting existing technology for military purposes, and developing military capability from emerging technology. The National Security Strategy and Tri-Service Maritime Strategy set a clear strategic direction for our Navy and Marine Corps as part of the Joint Force to preserve peace and prepare for contingency, crisis, and conflict by operating forward alongside our allies and partners, providing stability, deterring aggression, and preserving freedom of the seas. Achieving overmatch in a technologically dense conflict against near-peer competitors demands a dominant naval force that can outthink and outfight the adversary...

Strategic Framework - Priorities

Enduring Strategic Priorities

This Strategic Framework represents a positive departure from previous strategic plans by providing focus and alignment while remaining agile in today’s dynamic environment. The Framework centers on four interconnected Strategic Priorities in Education, Research, Innovation, and Institution to ensure a comprehensive approach to advancing the institution while providing an outcomes-based approach to our mission of graduate education that emphasizes ingenuity, intellectual application, and military professionalism in the art and science of warfighting while deepening technical expertise in specialized skills and competencies...


Strategic Framework - 18 - Objectives

Framework Objectives

Further guiding execution of the Strategic Priorities are the following set of near- to long-term Objectives.  These Framework Objectives are interdependent and provide insight to leaders coordinating transformation initiatives about the priority, requirements and timeline for supporting initiatives...

Matrix showing objectives and sub-priorities
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Strategic Framework - 04 - Initial Actions


Initial Actions

Near-term actions in support the Framework Objectives will build on transformation actions to date. The seven areas below will strengthen the foundation for continuous improvement NPS is the fusion of defense-focused graduate. These initial actions are part of the ways and means to achieve the ends:

  • Advance Curricula Reform
    Continue transition to defense-focused, naval-relevant education program areas consolidating and aligning in-resident curricula, certificates, and short course offerings; extend the NPS campus through strategic leadership of distance learning and pilot hybrid instruction in a fleet concentration area...

  • Advance Relevant Research
    Accelerate implementation of the Office of Research and Innovation; establish institutional support framework to enhance capabilities supporting institution priorities; initiate and foster formalized organization-to-organization relationships across the Naval Research and Development Establishment...

  • Foster a Culture of Innovation
    Expand education of innovation process and practice across program areas; pilot innovation capstone projects enabling DOD’s efforts to ensure that relevant solutions, valuable technology, and associated capabilities are fielded more quickly...

  • Invest in People
    Develop an inclusive whole-of-institution civilian talent acquisition and development strategy; align recruitment, advancement, compensation, and incentives to enable institution strategic objectives...

  • Strengthen Fiscal Accountability
    Continue responsible financial planning and resource management across the institution; refine institutional processes to develop an annual Program Objective Memorandum (POM) submission describing funding requirements to support the Department of the Navy’s graduate education needs...

  • Modernize NPS Facilities
    Continue academic and laboratory facility modernization; expand classified education and research capability and capacity; advance planning, design, and analysis for the Naval Innovation Center, an interdisciplinary, state-of-the-art Navy and Marine Corps resource tailored for technology innovation and experimentation in support of current and emerging capability requirements...

  • Improve Organizational Responsiveness
    Integrate the Navy’s “Get Real, Get Better” approaches to assess, understand, and improve organizational performance; collect and analyze institutional data to access performance against key metrics...

Strategic Framework - Side Mission

Our Mission

To provide defense-focused graduate education, including classified studies and interdisciplinary research, to advance the operational effectiveness, technological leadership, and warfighting advantage of the Naval service.

Strategic Framework - Side Vision

Our Vision

The Naval Postgraduate School will become the nation’s leading institution for defense higher education and applied research, delivering transformative solutions and innovative leaders for decisive U.S. seapower and national defense.

Strategic Framework - 05 - Destination

Our Destination

As the world’s preeminent naval force, we must meet today’s operational demands and continuously prepare for future warfighting challenges. Our ability to compete with, and capability to prevail against, 21st-century peer adversaries is a national security imperative. Strengthening our nation’s maritime dominance requires us to rapidly field the concepts and capabilities that create a warfighting advantage against the pacing threat and sustain our capabilities and capacities to generate integrated, all-domain naval power. However, our Sailors, Marines, and Department of the Navy (DON) civilians are our nation’s competitive advantage over our strategic competitors. To that end, the naval service must continuously improve warfighter development through a career continuum of learning with relevant education and skills enhancement...

Strategic Framework - 06 - Outcomes Title
Strategic Framework - 07 - Education - wide


Education achieved graduation procession

NPS is sought-after for advanced interdisciplinary education and alumni that can solve highly complex fleet problems. Demonstrating a mastery of technical, naval-relevant subjects, graduates return to the fleet and Fleet Marine Force with improved critical thinking and problem-solving skills and engage in continuous career-long learning that supports excellence in primary warfighting duties. NPS is the Department of Defense’s premier institution for education and research in science and technology, innovation, analysis and analytics, emerging technologies and future capabilities, and strategic competition...

Strategic Framework - 08 - Research - wide


Research in the Red Room

NPS is known for its responsive, high-impact research solutions. Basic and applied research at all classification level supports solving key operational problems. Hands-on, project-based education and applied research focus on threat-informed solutions and enhance educational outcomes. Enabled by the Naval Warfare Studies Institute (NWSI) as the front door to the NPS knowledge ecosystem, NPS research groups connect to relevant warfighting challenges in pursuit of outcomes supporting critical fleet needs at all levels of classification...

Strategic Framework - 09 - Innovation - wide


Innovation with students of NPS

NPS is synonymous with innovation. Leveraging the intellectual, operational, and entrepreneurial talent at NPS, the institution becomes a technology accelerator, incubator, and testbed for applications, concepts, and capabilities. Promising ideas are generated, analyzed, war-gamed, redteamed, and matured through capstone projects in a classified environment. NPS is a convening place for experimentation, rapid prototyping, and collaboration with industry and NR&DE partners. The Naval Innovation Center (NIC) at NPS is a center of innovation through applied research aligned to core educational program areas that accelerate technology and talent development at greater speed and scale...

Strategic Framework - 10 - Institution - wide


NPS as the instutuion with students walking by.

NPS’ mission success is enabled by people, processes, and places. Expert faculty and staff thrive and grow, impacting and inspiring the students by modeling the advantages of life-long learning and innovation. Non-traditional opportunities to earn tenure attract and retain bright young minds. Our culture enables the institution to be a model command and a “super-connector” linking academia, industry, and defense to develop ideas, solve problems and accelerate the capability of the Joint Force. NPS has a lean and effective organization able to support advanced defense education and research at the pace of technological change...

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Strategic Framework - 15 - Implementation



Implementation is through a portfolio of iterative plans that enable accomplishment of the strategic objectives for each priority in the near (1-2 years), mid (2-3 years), and far (3-5 years) range. These portfolios of plans form a campaign and serve as the comprehensive approach for realizing the strategic vision.  Each strategic priority area will have a designated “lead champion” who is responsible for implementation plan development and associated measures of performance...

Strategic Framework - 16 - Conclusion



The desired end state is recognition of NPS as the nation’s leading institution for defense higher education and applied research. Decisive maritime advantage requires NPS to be an institution valued for delivering transformative solutions, and innovative, technologically competent leaders of character cognitively ready to outthink adversaries and command effectively in the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Joint Force… It is this spirit and determination which drives our vision of the future. We will move forward with a continued, unflinching focus on the NPS mission and vision execution...

Strategic Framework - Give Feedback

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Strategic Framework - Side Quote

"Globally integrated and all-domain operations present challenges for tomorrow’s warfighters that our educational system must adapt to today. Being cognitively prepared to conduct these operations necessitates an adjustment in how we educate tomorrow’s warfighter." 

“Developing Today’s Joint Officers for Tomorrow’s Ways of War”, May 2020

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