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Documents 10 through 13

10. “The Common Bond of the Sea” and a Global Influence

Admiral Arleigh Burke’s remarks to the 2nd class of the Naval Command Course.

30 August 1957

Admiral Arleigh Burke, who became Chief of Naval Operations in 1955, believed that cooperation among free-world navies could be improved by bringing together their most talented officers to share knowledge, develop mutual understanding, and build friendships.  In support of this vision, the Naval War College established the Naval Command Course in 1956 under the direction of Captain Richard Colbert.  The initial course brought together officers from 23 countries for a year of study in the United States.  After the success of that first year, Burke articulated his hopes for the course when he met with its second class of international officers at the Pentagon in 1957.  The program continued to flourish at the College and a complementary course designed for intermediate level international officers – the Naval Staff Course – was added in 1972.  Since 1956, more than one thousand graduates from the Naval War College’s international programs have risen to the rank of flag officer in their respective navies, and more than three hundred have gone on to become Chiefs of Navy.


11. A Place of Original Research

Concept Plan for Center for Advanced Research.

11 December 1974

In a 1903 speech, Stephen Luce described the Naval War College as “a place of original research on all questions relating to war and to statesmanship connected with war, or the prevention of war.”  Research has been an integral part of the work of the College from its founding.  New insights into naval tactics and strategy have been gained as students and staff have worked through problems and carried out war games as part of the curriculum.  Beginning in the early twentieth century, the Department of the Navy increasingly sent special problems for study by the students and staff at Newport.  Research however was not officially incorporated into the mission of the Naval War College until 1975.  In 1974, Vice Admiral Julien LeBourgeois, President of the College, proposed the creation of the Center for Advanced Research to better coordinate research projects to support the Navy’s current and future needs.  Secretary of the Navy J. William Middendorf II approved the project and the necessary changes to the College’s mission the following year.

12. Accreditation and the First Master’s Degrees

Naval War College Self Study, 1989.

Prior to 1991, the Naval War College lacked the necessary accreditation to grant master’s degrees to its students.  Beginning in 1960, students had been able to earn advanced degrees through cooperative degree programs formed between the College and other institutions, like George Washington University and Salve Regina College.  The professional benefits that came with earning a graduate degree led many students to enroll in these outside programs, but some critics worried that the extra coursework diverted students from their War College studies.  To be able to grant degrees to its students and to enhance the reputation of the institution, the College began the accreditation process in 1988.  As part of that work, it undertook an eight-month self-study which provided a comprehensive view of the Naval War College one century after its founding.  The New England Association of Schools and Colleges granted the College accreditation in 1991, which allowed it to award a Master’s Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies for the first time.

13. The Campus

Aerial photograph of the Naval War College.


This view of the Naval War College campus speaks to the institution’s growth over its 130 years.  The College originally was housed in the white building capped with gold cupola.  What was once the Newport poorhouse, this building was renamed Founders Hall and has been home to the Naval War College Museum since 1978.  The granite building adjacent to it was the first structure purpose-built for the College.  Opened in 1892, this building was named Luce Hall in 1934.  To meet the growing demands for library space, offices, and game rooms, Mahan Hall and Pringle Hall were added as wings to the main building in 1904 and 1934, respectively.  Just as the College grew, so did the Naval Training Station surrounding it.  In response to continued expansion following World War II, the College obtained Barracks “C” from the training station in 1947, and renamed the three-winged, brick building Sims Hall.  The College again met the demands of a growing student population and larger faculty by constructing the modern complex of Spruance, Connolly, and Hewitt Halls along the west shore of Coasters Harbor Island in the 1970s.  In 1999, the College added McCarty Little Hall in the center of campus as its new center for research and war-gaming.

Documents 10 through 13