USA: Chief of Naval Operations Addresses Naval War College Graduates


Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Gary Roughead encouraged U.S. Naval War College (NWC) graduates to use their knowledge and international relationships to answer the challenges of a rapidly changing world, during a commencement ceremony in Newport, R.I., June 10.

Speaking to 518 U.S. and international students in attendance, the CNO addressed the global challenges facing them, and said they’re well positioned to lead in an uncertain world.

“Today is an opportunity to consider the environments to which you will return in short order – to your services, to your agencies, to your nation – to continue your promising careers and your contributions in our common interests for a more peaceful world,” Roughead said.

Roughead referred to NWC as the Navy’s “home of thought,” and said that having the college as an institution where students from around the world converge “to study foreign policy, national strategy and military operations, with an eye toward the application of those disciplines to our collective security, stands as a signal that we will never stop searching for ways to prevail in peace, even if our world is becoming unstable with its growing complexity.

Sovereignty concerns, trade and economic realities, and the speed of the information age will greatly impact the world to come. Roughead cautioned that the pace at which events develop also will challenge our ability to anticipate local frictions. He pointed to recent events throughout the world that highlight the multilateral and multinational settings the graduates are returning to within their defense and security roles.

“We know from first-hand operational experience of the enduring value of relationships, we see the potential of global partnerships to address common tests, and we are in the business of preserving options, options that have always been explored first at our Naval War College,” said Roughead.

For the graduates he sees “great opportunity – opportunity to shape and to lead, opportunity to bring to bear the benefits of the Naval War College perspective for the complexities of our time.”

The resident graduating class included 303 members of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Coast Guard, and civilian government employees and 126 international students from more than 60 countries. This year, 963 graduated from the College of Distance Education, after having completed coursework through the Naval War College Program at the Naval Postgraduate School in California, the Fleet Seminar Program at 20 locations throughout the U.S., or the Naval War College’s web-enabled and correspondence programs. Of those, 89 participated in the graduation ceremony.

NWC President Rear Adm. John N. Christenson noted an additional 205 students graduated during the course of the academic year, and the combined number of graduates totaled 1,595, the largest class in the college’s 127-year history.

Students earned Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) credit and either a diploma or a Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies, accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

As part of the ceremony, Christenson bestowed upon Roughead an honorary Master of Arts degree in recognition of his naval service and commitment to the college and the nation.

Christenson also acknowledged the support of the Rhode Island National Guard’s “Guards of Thunder” and Navy Band Northeast and the contributions of NWC’s faculty and staff to the success of the students.

“As you leave Newport, you will find that your services, your nations, and your fellow officers will now look to you, as graduates of the finest and most demanding war college in the world, for enlightened leadership,” Christenson told the graduating class. “We have tried to teach you how to think, not what to think – to give you the tools to overcome the tough, unexpected problems you will face, all while underscoring the importance of your personal integrity, your leadership, and your ethics.”
Source: navy, June 12, 2011;