OMAHA, Neb., –
Eighteen Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Department of Defense (DoD) civilians completed a 10-week Joint and Combined Warfighting School satellite course at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) this week. The graduates received Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) Phase II credit and were recognized during a graduation ceremony at UNOs Mammel Hall, Aug. 25.
Adm. Cecil D. Haney, U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) commander, provided the keynote speech at the ceremony during which he said the graduates are in a unique situation because the course is only the second of its kind, and the first offered at a non-military academic institution.
I'm very proud of how far our military has come in taking the Goldwater-Nichols standard and developing this kind of education, Haney said. As we work to support our joint mission areas, we need to operate in a joint effort. Thats the only way were going to succeed.
The pilot non-resident satellite JPME Phase II course was approved by Congress and launched in January 2013, with the first class occurring in Tampa, Florida. Prior to the satellite courses, JPME Phase II curriculum was only offered at the National Defense University's (NDU) Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC) in Norfolk, Virginia.
During his speech, Haney challenged the graduates to bring the skills they learned back to the command and stressed the importance of continuous learning, critical thinking skills and a questioning attitude.
Our country and our military need professionals that can think deeply and strategically, voice an educated opinion, coherently document those thoughts, drive effective solutions and communicate, Haney said. When I have a meeting, on any subject, Im looking for those individuals that will challenge our thinking, regardless of their rank.
To demonstrate his own continuous learning practices, Haney presented a Joint Forces Quarterly news article he is currently reading, Measuring Strategic Deterrence: A Wargaming Approach, that describes how the U.S. Naval War College uses wargaming to help measure factors associated with strategic deterrence decisionmaking by emulating notional crises between nuclear-capable adversaries.
You're getting this JPME part II while serving at a joint command. That really raises the bar and my expectations, Haney said. Dont take this for granted¦ What you learned here will help us as we take our joint military capabilities and use them against the threats here in the 21st century.
Haney also explained how his experience with JPME courses and past joint assignments “ including leading a joint task force and working as comptroller for the Secretary of Defense “ have influenced his appreciation for the joint military force. He cited his diverse personal staff, which has only one Navy member, as an example.
I value diversity and having teammates who had different experiences growing up than I had, he said. Even with 38 years in this business, Im still learning from them. I value their opinions and perspectives, I want to hear them “ even if they differ from mine.
Haney went on to thank the faculty and staff of all the organizations involved in the JPME Phase II course for their contributions and said he looks forward to their continuing collaboration with USSTRATCOM.
Im really pleased that this course got mobile, and members of my staff were able to benefit, he said.
In collaboration with USSTRATCOM, NDU and UNO, faculty from the JFSC were brought to UNO to instruct the courses, which focused on effective planning for operational-level warfighting involving joint and combined military forces.
Following the initial 10-week course, NDU plans to hold future courses at UNOs Mammel Hall every two years during the summer.
The Joint and Combined Warfighting School satellite course is the most recent example of USSTRATCOMs initiative to build, sustain and support partnerships with UNO and other academic institutions. Additional collaborative efforts with academia include:
- The Strategic Leadership Fellows Program at UNOs College of Business Administration was launched in March 2014 as an initiative under the University of Nebraska's National Strategic Research Institute “ one of only 13 Department of Defense-sponsored University Affiliated Research Centers in the nation. The program was designed to enhance the management skills and technical expertise of USSTRATCOM civilians as they progress to strategic supervisory roles.
- USSTRATCOMs Deterrence and Assurance Academic Alliance aims to stimulate new thinking and develop future generations of deterrence and assurance practitioners by collaborating with local and national universities, promoting mission-related research topics within their departments, and participating in speaking engagements and workshops. The alliance currently consists of USSTRATCOM and 25 local and national universities.
One of nine DoD unified combatant commands, USSTRATCOM has global strategic missions assigned through the Unified Command Plan, which include strategic deterrence; space operations; cyberspace operations; joint electronic warfare; global strike; missile defense; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; combating weapons of mass destruction; and analysis and targeting.
(Photos available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/usstratcom/albums/72157672898404796)