The United States Army War College (USAWC) is a United States Army school located in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, on the 500 acre (2 km²) campus of the historic Carlisle Barracks. It caters to high-level military personnel and civilians and prepares them for strategic leadership responsibilities.
As the Army's most senior military educational institution, it provides a function similar to that of the Naval War College and Air War College, each an academic institution administered by a sister service of the United States Military, and trains colonels or lieutenant colonels who are board selected for admission.
The War College is a split-functional institution. While a great deal of emphasis is placed on research, students are also instructed in leadership, strategy, and joint-service/international operations. Approximately 600 students attend at any one time, half in a two-year-long Internet-based program, and the other half in an on-campus program lasting ten months. The college grants its graduates, both civilian and military, a Master's Degree in Strategic Studies.
The Army handpicks most of the students who participate in the residential program, but the student body always includes officers from the other military branches, civilians (from the Pentagon, State Department, and the National Security Agency), and several dozen senior officers from foreign countries. For example, the residential Class of 2004 included:
- 268 officers from the Army (active, Reserve, National Guard), Navy (active, Reserve), Air Force (active, Reserve, National Guard), Marine Corps (active, Reserve) and Coast Guard;
- 30 senior civilian employees of the federal government; and
- 42 officers from other countries.
Majors with the specialty of FA59, Strategist, formerly Strategic Plans and Policy, attend their qualification course, Basic Strategic Arts Program (BSAP), at USAWC. Army applicants must have already completed the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (the required US Army Professional Military Education for Officers in the rank of Major).
According to U.S. Army regulation 10–44, the mission of the War College is "To prepare selected military, civilian, and international leaders for the responsibilities of strategic leadership; educate current and future leaders on the development and employment of landpower in a joint, multinational and interagency environment; conduct research and publish on national security and military strategy; and engage in activities in support of the Army’s strategic communication efforts."
Established from the principles learned in the Spanish-American War, the College was founded by Secretary of War, Elihu Root, and formally established by General Order 155 on 27 November 1901. Washington Barracks — now called Fort Lesley J. McNair — in Washington, D.C. was chosen as the site. Theodore Roosevelt attended the Masonic laying of the cornerstone of Roosevelt Hall on 21 February 1903.
The first president of the Army War College was Major General Samuel B. M. Young in July 1902 and the first students attended the College in 1904. The College remained at Washington Barracks until the 1940s, when it was closed due to World War II. It reopened in 1950 at Fort Leavenworth, and moved one year later to its present location.
Basic Strategic Art Program
The Basic Strategic Art Program is one of the academic programs taught at the U.S. Army War College. When the program was founded in 2003, its purpose was to provide those officers who had been newly designated into Functional Area 59 (Strategist, formerly Strategic Plans & Policy) an introduction to strategy and to the unique skills, knowledge, and attributes needed as a foundation for their progressive development as army strategists. FA 59 officers have deployed to combat since the onset of the Global War on Terror in 2001. Since then, graduates of this program served in key positions in Iraq, Afghanistan, all combatant commands, and at the Pentagon.
Center for Strategic Leadership
The Center for Strategic Leadership and Development (CSLD) areas of emphasis are experiential education, Senior Leader education, support to Army Senior Leader research, and support to both US Army War College (USAWC) and Army Senior Leader strategic communication efforts. CSL’s professional staff and Collins Hall facility host, support, develop, and conduct world-class events (workshops, symposia, conferences, games, and exercises) focused on a broad range of strategic leadership and national security issues and concepts in support of the USAWC, the Army, and the Interagency and Joint Communities.
Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute
The Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute (PKSOI) is located at the War College. The institute's mission is to serve as the U.S. Military’s Center of Excellence for Stability and Peace Operations at the strategic and operational levels in order to improve military, civilian agency, international, and multinational capabilities and execution.
PKSOI Stability Operations Lessons Learned Information Management System (SOLLIMS)
SOLLIMS is PKSOI's repository for Observations, Issues and Lessons (Best Practices) emerging from the Stability Operations community. SOLLIMS provides the ability to capture Lessons Learned data from ongoing Exercises, Experiments and real-world SSTR missions and operations. Access to SOLLIMS is provided to OSD, USG agencies, and other NGO, IO and multi-national organizations involved in SSTR operations across the globe.
- Basic Strategic Arts Program
- Staff College
- United States Military Academy
- United States Army Command and General Staff College
- National War College
- Naval War College
- Marine Corps War College
- Air War College
- Strategic Studies Institute
- US Army War College. Carlisle.army.mil. Retrieved on 2013-07-23.
- Commanding Generals and Chiefs of Staff, 1775-2005: Portraits & Biographical Sketches of the United States Army's Senior Officer; William Gardner Bell; Government Printing Office, 2006.
- U. S. Army War College official website
- Strategic Studies Institute of the US Army War College – the College's strategic and security research facility
- Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute website
- US Military Strategists Association
- Strategic Experiential Education Group – the College's Strategic Experiential Education Group
- The College's quarterly refereed journal (Parameters), for senior military professionals
- U. S. Army heraldic entitlements for the War College
- What Is the War College, Anyway?, a May 2004 article from Slate
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