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Annual Report 2021 Image

Highlights from the 2021 Calendar Year and Mission Measures

Download 2021 Annual Report single-page | two-page spread

- 70 Years in Monterey
- 2021 Year in Review
- Mission Measures
- Students & Programs
- Research & Programs
- Executive Education
- Faculty
- Financials
- Impacts

AR2021 President

Ronald A. Route, Vice Admiral, USN

A Message from the President

By Ann E. Rondeau, Vice Admiral, USN (Ret.)

2020 was a year of uncertainty. 2021 was a year of change and opportunity for the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS). Our strategic and organizational transformation journey continued with increased focus on the pacing threat and warfighter requirements. 

As the fight against COVID-19 continued, we were able to gradually transition from teleworking and distance learning to resuming full in-person classes, while retaining gains from virtual operations. The past year has reaffirmed the flexibility and resourcefulness of our NPS faculty, staff and students. Our responsiveness to Fleet and Force needs has defined NPS since our inception in 1909 at the U.S. Naval Academy, through our move to Monterey in 1951, and into the dynamic environment in front of us.

2021 marked our 70th anniversary in Monterey, and on behalf of the NPS family, I want to again thank the entire Monterey community for their extraordinary support. Impressively, our time together has produced more than 60,000 degreed alumni, including thousands of international officers from hundreds of countries, and more than 40 astronauts (the most of any graduate institution). Last year, more than 17,000 U.S. and allied military and civilian students came through our degree granting programs, certificates, workshops, executive education and/or professional development. Continue reading the full message in the Annual Report 2021.

AR2021 Provost

Dr. Scott Gartner

A Message from the Provost

By Dr. Scott Gartner

It is with great pride, humility and a sense of privileged honor that I began my duties as NPS Provost and Academic Dean in 2021. 

What drew me to NPS was my experience as a visiting professor in the Defense Analysis Department. What always stuck with me from that experience was the extraordinary students. They taught me! They come to NPS with 8-10 years of operational experience, some directly from combat tours, and my academic background in national/international security and policy assessment was informed everyday by the real-world perspectives they brought to the classes and their research. 

Unique to NPS, our students not only discover new knowledge in their graduate research, but they apply it directly to solving operational problems. Last year NPS education programs reached more than 17,000 total students. NPS is the nexus of research, education and innovation for our Naval forces, and a strategic capability to the defense department and our nation. Continue reading the full message in the Annual Report 2021.

AR2021 70 Years

Did You know?

➤ 1951: RADM Earnest Herrmann officially moves NPS to Monterey from Annapolis.

➤ 1960: LT Wayne E Meyer graduates and would go on to pioneer the AEGIS combat system.

➤ 1978: NPS student LCDR Martin Dundics research expedites the incorporation of micro-computer units in modern ship propulsion control systems.

➤ 1987: The Center for Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Research is established to advance pioneering research and Naval applications.

➤ 2007: ADM Michael Mullen nominated as the Chairman, Joint Chief of Staff, first NPS alumnus to achieve this position.

➤ 2019: After 10 years of development by NPS Faculty and students, NPSAT-1 was launched aboard a SpaceX rocket to investigate space weather and the fight demonstration of space technologies. 

AR2021 Sections List 1


Student’s Research Wins Prestigious National Award for Advancing Science,Technology

Preparing Leaders to be Innovators

AR2021 Sections List 2


NPS Partnerships Advance Research Capabilities and Students' Learning Experiences

Naval Warfare Studies Institute Connects NPS, Warfighting Solutions to the Fleet

AR2021 Sections List 3


Prepared for History-NPS and Operation Neptune Spear

Advancing Leadership Through Graduate Education, Research

Annual Report 2021 Individual Sections

Mission pdf img

students pdf img

research pdf img

executive pdf img

Faculty pdf img

Resources pdf img

Financials pdf img

Impacts pdf img


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"[Lt. Commander West] is an out-standing example and what makes NPS and U.S. Naval forces second to none." Navy League CEO Mike Stevens 

AR22 Student Research TEXT


Student’s Research Wins Prestigious National Award for Advancing Science,Technology

The Rear Admiral William S. Parsons Award for Scientific and Technical Progress is presented by the Navy League of the United States annually to a Navy or Marine Corps officer, enlisted or civilian who has made an outstanding contribution in any field of science that has furthered the development and progress of the Navy or Marine Corps. 

In 2021, the winner of that recognition was an NPS student, graduating from the Meteorology and Oceanography program. U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Austin West’s thesis examined the atmospheric effects of the maritime environment on the Navy’s High Energy Laser Weapons System (HELWS), and how adaptive optics could compensate for those effects making the futuristic weapons system more effective. Continue reading on page 9 of the 2021 Annual Report.

WATCH Watch Lt. Cmdr. West describe his award-winning research in laser propagation. 

Did you Know?

Rear Adm. William S. Parsons himself graduated from NPS, and was instrumental in developing the variable time fuse in addition to his notable contributions to the Manhattan Project. Lt. Cmdr. Austin West is not the only NPS graduate to win the Parsons Award. 


AR22 Leaders Innovators IMG

"Experts have estimated that a 10-20 percent increase in ship fuel efficiency could be achieved if hull fouling levels were kept to a minimum, which would facilitate an extension of underway replenishment timelines, easing the burden on the fuel supply chain." U.S. Navy Lt. Sam Royster 

AR22 Leaders Innovators TEXT


Preparing Leaders to be Innovators

The Naval Postgraduate School places a high priority on supporting agility and innovative thought in its students, serving as a catalyst for the advancement of solutions to the complex challenges facing seapower in this era of global strategic competition.

Students walk onto the university campus with the seasoned leadership skills of a mid-career officer in the U.S. uniformed services. But does that mean they are prepared to create and lead innovation? A good idea is not innovation … Rather, it is the maturation of that idea that leads to change … a process, product or function that is now different. Continue reading on page 11 of the 2021 Annual Report.

WATCH Lt. Sam Royster’s pitch during the 2021 NavalX Agility Summit Challenge. 

Did you Know?

Lt. Sam Royster is not the first NPS student to leverage the university’s innovation programs to make a significant impact on the service. In 2019, then Capt. Courtney Thompson’s Big Ideas Exchange presentation “Paying for Weight in Blood” motivated the Marine Corps to take a closer look at combat load outs.


AR22 Partnerships IMG

Vice Adm. Ann Rondeau, USN (ret.), President, Naval Postgraduate School (left) and Naresh Shanker, Chief Technology Officer for Xerox (right).

AR22 Partnerships TEXT


NPS Partnerships Advance Research Capabilities and Students' Learning Experiences

When Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin detailed his top three strategic priorities in March 2021, he re-affirmed the critical role of partnership in the security of our nation. Partnership at every level – from joint efforts within the DOD, to the engagement of the legislature, to cooperative relationships with industry – will be required to win. 

“Protecting the nation requires teamwork at every level — state, local, tribal and federal,” Austin wrote. “It requires cooperation from all with a stake in our national security: our interagency, Congress, private industry and the American people.” Continue reading on page 13 of the 2021 Annual Report.

Did you Know?

In addition to its partnership, with AT&T and Xerox, NPS executed several cooperative research agreements with industry partners through 2021.




Naval Warfare Studies Institute Connects NPS, Warfighting Solutions to the Fleet

The Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) launched a new organization to expedite the Navy’s ability to access the university’s immense talent and resources in taking on its most complex warfighting issues. 

Commissioned as the Wayne P. Hughes, Jr. Naval Warfare Studies Institute (NWSI) in late 2020, NWSI spent 2021 maturing into an essential portal connecting the fleet and force with NPS research and expertise, as advantage at sea faces new operational challenges.  Continue reading on page 15 of the 2021 Annual Report.

Did you Know?

NPS’ Naval Warfare Studies Institute launched the Seapower Conversations series, featuring informal conversations with leading Navy, Marine Corps and defense experts on the trends, technologies and tactics that shape modern seapower. 

AR22 Neptum IMG

William McRaven, Author of the Theory of Special Operations, Graduated 1993.

AR22 Neptune TEXT


Prepared for History-
NPS and Operation Neptune Spear

May of 2021 marked the 10- year anniversary of one of the most consequential and well known military missions in modern U.S. history. Executed on an unremarkable compound in a relatively unknown city in northern Pakistan, the mission to neutralize Osama bin Laden, known as Operation Neptune Spear, made history worldwide and propelled one of the central figures in the execution of this pivotal mission into the global spotlight. Continue reading on page 17 of the 2021 Annual Report.

What is less known about that central figure, retired Adm. William H. McRaven, is that he directly utilized what he learned at the Naval Postgraduate School in the planning and execution of that mission … And quite a few others, in fact. 

WATCH William McRaven describe the impact of his Naval Postgraduate School education, and offer his perspectives on leadership to current NPS students in this 2021 Secretary of the Navy Guest Lecture. 

Did you Know?

In a 2021 edition of the Journal of Strategic Studies, NPS’ Dr. James Wirtz provided a detailed analysis on McRaven’s impact on the 2011 raid, and how these might be adapted to the current strategic utilization of special operations. 

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AR22 Graduation TEXT


Advancing Leadership Through Graduate Education, Research

The mission of the Naval Postgraduate School is 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. 

The impact of that critical mission is felt every three months, when the next class of NPS graduates is returned to the fleet and force more prepared to lead than when they arrived on the campus only months before. Continue reading on page 19 of the 2021 Annual Report.

AR22 Video 1

"Thank you for making this effort. You and our joint force will be better and stronger because of it as this chapter of learning comes to an end.” Vice Adm. Lisa Franchetti, USN, Commencement Speaker, March 2021 Virtual Graduation. 

AR22 Video 2

"Central to our success is the strength of our intellectual capital and creativity. We require leaders of competence and character who think freely and leverage the strength of diverse thinking from their teams … You now possess knowledge, skills and abilities in an enhanced cognitive toolkit that will allow you to drive solutions.” Vice Adm. Jeffrey Hughes, USN, DCNO for Warfighting Development (N7), Commencement Speaker, June 2021 Graduation. 

AR22 Video 3

This institution and our military’s technological advancement are completely linked … For more than a century, the Naval Postgraduate School provided students with top-of-the-line, defense-focused education.” Vice Adm. Roy Kitchener, USN, Commander, Naval Surface Forces, Commencement Speaker, September 2021 Graduation. 

AR22 Video 4

NPS is simply a national treasure with cutting-edge research and brilliant motivated students from a variety of backgrounds … As you depart back to your commands, you leave with a great deal of new knowledge – including, most importantly, the ability to think through and solve problems and improvements needed to execute our national security strategy.” Lt. Gen. Eric P. Wendt, USA (ret.), Commencement Speaker, December 2021 Graduation