President Ronald A. Route with Alvarez


The Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) plays an important role in the development of Navy and Marine Corps future leaders and decision makers by providing defense-focused, relevant graduate education and research programs. This impact is not limited to the sea services, however, due to NPS’ truly joint environment. Alongside our Navy and Marine Corps students are officers of the Army, Air Force and Coast Guard, as well as service members from allied and partnered nations along with select Department of Defense civilians and homeland security professionals from across the nation.

Educating this diverse community of national and domestic security practitioners provides NPS with an outstanding opportunity to advance the effectiveness of our U.S. Armed Forces and homeland security professionals. Across the force, one will often hear that the men and women of the military reside at the “Tip of the Spear.” Given our mission of advanced education and research, ultimately designed to improve combat effectiveness, then I believe it is the function of the Naval Postgraduate School to be “Sharpening the Spear.”

Our world-class faculty works with our students to help them be more productive, more effective, and better prepared to serve as the tip of our nation’s spear. The work performed here contributes to military operations at all levels, from the deckplates through the Pentagon, and serves the direct needs of our combatant commanders. And when our students complete their rigorous studies, they return to the fleet and field – to the Tip of the Spear – where they will use the advanced skills and capabilities developed here at NPS to outthink and out-perform the enemy. That is what is meant by “Sharpening the Spear,” and it’s something we are very proud of.

Throughout the past year, there have been countless examples of how this institution executes its mission of advanced education and research, we’ve taken the opportunity to highlight just a few of them on the pages that follow. But one of the more compelling pieces of evidence was released in June 2014, when the National Research Council produced its Congressional report on advanced, specialized education in the military services. The report was resoundingly positive, noting the benefits of the DOD’s graduate education institutions far “outweighed their costs,” providing opportunities that simply would not exist at civilian institutions of higher education.

As we have begun to look ahead to 2015 and beyond, we have placed a concerted effort on developing a long-range strategic plan for the university. This plan will provide our academic departments, faculty and research centers with an aligned vision of how our institution will continue to provide the advanced education and research the services have come to depend on us for.

Regardless of the threats that emerge over the coming years, or the missions that our nation’s leadership call upon us to execute, the U.S. Armed Forces are and always will remain at the Tip of the Spear, and the Naval Postgraduate School stands ready to keep it sharpened.