Advanced Research Programs (ARPs)

ARPs allows qualified students to undertake individual or group research projects that substitute for elective courses.  ARPs can be conducted in one of four formal programs, or as directed research on a case by case basis.

Mahan Scholars

Established in 1999, the Mahan Scholars Group offers a small group of select students a year-long program of study beginning each fall designed around a weekly seminar.  This ARP replaces a student’s usual three-elective sequence.  The program studies the concept of deterrence and its relationship to other "ways" of applying instruments of national power; examines US nuclear strategy, comparing and contrasting it to the choices and experiences of other nuclear powers; and reviews the major debates in the nuclear realm -- e.g., the causes and consequences of proliferation, choice of arsenal size and posture, determinants of general and crisis stability, conduct of conventional conflicts under a “nuclear overhang,” mechanisms of escalation control, role of tactical or battlefield nuclear weapons, etc.  The program also exposes students to war gaming in a potentially nuclear environment and, depending on student interest, may bring in other strategic domains and/or tools as well, such as space, cyberspace, and/or special operations.  Students develop and execute individual research projects, working in collaboration with both the director and one another, and have the opportunity to participate in funded class and individual research trips in furtherance of those projects.  Over the course of the year, each student produces 45 pages of written work, including a 30-page final paper and at least one memorandum distilled from it in the spring trimester.  Select students have the opportunity to brief their work to relevant leaders at the end of
the academic year.

Halsey Groups

Established in 2003, the Halsey Alfa ARP provides an opportunity for a small group of specially selected students to focus on the operational and tactical level of war in the PACOM AOR.  It is a collaborative student-faculty research effort that employs Military operations analysis and free-play war gaming to examine in detail high intensity conventional warfare. Specific scenarios center on a technologically sophisticated access denial challenge posed by a "near peer" military competitor in a maritime scenario within the next few years. 

Individuals with operational and/or theater experience are strongly preferred.

Halsey Alfa insights are briefed to the CNO and other flag officers, theater planners, and senior decision makers.

The Halsey Bravo ARP is very similar to Halsey Alfa in focus and methodology but focuses on the CENTCOM and eastern EURCOM AOR.

Gravely Research Group

Established in 2010, The Gravely Group has grown out of the Halsey Charlie Research Group's success. Halsey Charlie research supported the development of Integrated Air & Missile Defense and Undersea Warfare (USW).  Graduates formed the initial cadre and global network of Navy missile defense officers and a growing cadre of USW officers.  The Gravely Group focuses on emerging issues and technologies and follows a warfare area specialization compared to Halsey geographic areas.

Establishment of the Gravely Group at the Naval War College represents the evolution of a learning organization to advance a shared vision of excellence and innovation while promoting professional development among a broad group of military professionals. 

Stockdale Group

The purpose of the Stockdale Group Program is to provide an enhanced educational experience for a select group of officers attending the senior-level program, foster innovative thinking on operational level leadership, and conduct research, analysis and gaming to determine a set of leadership competencies required of 21st century leaders.  The group consists of a linked program of course work in the core and elective curricula, as well as group research projects.  The program culminates in a presentation of the research project to the CNO just prior to the June graduation.

Maritime Advanced Warfighting School

Orginially established in 1998 as the Naval Operational Planner Course, the Maritime Advanced Warfighting School (MAWS) is a 13-month program that educates U.S. officers of all services to:
  • Be operational planners and, ultimately, operational leaders
  • Understand and apply maritime power effectively
  • Form and lead Operational Planning Teams (OPTs) 
  • Think creatively and critically by developing solutions to complex, chaotic security problems
MAWS integrates the College of Naval Command and Staff core curriculum with specialized education and hands-on, real-world projects in the operational planning domain.  MAWS is the U.S. Navy’s peer school to: United States Army Combined Arms Support Command, Marine Corps School of Advanced Warfighting, Air Force School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, and the Joint Advanced Warfighting School.
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