A Driving Force in Cultural Change Main Image  

Above: Between what President Barack Obama calls an “all of the above” approach to energy independence and Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus’ vision of energy security, NPS is developing bio-fuels to power planes and fleets, advanced solar cells to power command outposts, rechargeable batteries for mobile teams and gear, and efficient light bulbs for vessels, all of which will help increase combat effectiveness and save millions of dollars. Right above and below: One reason for many of NPS’ successes is that students get to tinker, work and experiment with state-of-the-art equipment and research labs to engineer the future of energy.


When the Navy, Marine Corps and DOD shed the burden and inherited weakness of fossil fuel reliance, the services immediately become more resilient, more combat effective. That was the essential idea behind Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus’ Energy Security initiatives.

Being green, respecting our environment and the resources nature provides is an admirable quality to any organization, or individual. Energy security, however, is not about environmentalism…It’s about combat effectiveness and the elimination of the weaknesses caused by security’s thirst for fuel. Making change to eliminate this weakness requires true cultural change.

This is, and has been, the role of the Naval Postgraduate School in the Secretary’s vision of energy security. If true cultural change is to be achieved, education needs to play a powerful role in driving this change. Throughout 2013, with the university’s dedicated energy specialization curricula now well established, and its partnering efforts through the Energy Academic Group hitting on all cylinders, what were once seedlings of potential shift are beginning to bear fruit.

A full year of near weekly Defense Energy Seminars provide students with the latest developments across the spectra of energy security topics. From “Energy Innovations for the Warfighter” from the Marine Corps’ lead expeditionary energy expert to the advantages of laser peening in nuclear power plants, every issue is covered. The result is an environment on campus that is highly-educated on the variables surrounding this issue.

Continuing development of NPS’ Executive Energy Education program have focused cultural change to the other end of the service leadership spectrum. Senior flag officers and executive service civilians from various backgrounds attended the university’s executive education course 2013 offerings, and with the transition of the effort over to the Center for Executive Education, where flag education is a daily order of business, this innovative program will continue to expand its impact on the service.

Add to these efforts countless student research projects on every topic imaginable—highly-efficient battery chemistries, new biofuel applications, efficiency and cost analyses, nanomaterials, and so many more—and the degree and certificate programs that accompany them, and the past year has shown that the cultural change has already begun. The only variable left is time.

“The Navy’s partnership with Naval Postgraduate School helps prepare our future leaders to integrate energy efficiencies and alternative energy into strategy and operations, which will strengthen our energy security.”


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