Parameters – Full Issue – Winter 2019
He previously served as dean of the NATO Defense College in Rome, a chair at the National War College, and an assistant professor at West Point. He holds a MA and a PhD in international relations from the University of Virginia and is a 1981 USMA graduate. "Our PME systems have to embrace change or risk irrelevance." General Martin E. Dempsey "PME has stagnated, focused more on the accomplishment of mandatory credit at the expense of lethality and ingenuity." Secretary James Mattis, 2018
... l Defense Strategy S can the literature these days and you will see a welter of commentary about professional military education, most of it focused on the war colleges. 1 The war colleges share many positive virtues and are justly proud of their contributions, but all have areas that can be improved and strengthened. Compared to other professions like law, medicine, and engineering, military professional education lacks the rigor, strict admissions standards, flexible and tailored academic programs, and competition found in the best professional schools. In an increasingly dangerous and complex world, the nation deserves even more from the military leaders our war colleges produce. The Common Experience First, it may be useful to describe and understand the war colleges as they are today. Each service has one, and there are two joint war colleges-the National War College and the Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy-grouped under the National Defense University (NDU) in Washington, DC. All have some unique aspects but, in general, the student experience is similar. Each has a 10-month program leading to a master's degree focused at the strategic level and also confers a joint professional military education (JPME) credential required by law for promotion to general/flag officer rank. Students at the Joint Advanced Warfighting School in Norfolk, Virginia, part of National Defense University, as well as the US Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force students at the NATO Defense College in Rome also receive war college credit. Furthermore, selected officers have opportunities for yearlong war college fellowships at think tanks and prestigious universities. War college students are typically midgrade officers marked out for promotion from the different services as well as a mix of civilian 1 The author gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Dr. Mitchell Zais in preparing this article.