Welcome to the College of Naval Command and Staff


The College of Naval Command and Staff is a multidisciplinary program designed for U.S. Naval and Coast Guard officers in the grade of lieutenant commander, U.S. Marine Corps, Army, and Air Force officers in the grade of major, and civilians of equivalent seniority from various federal agencies. This intermediate level service college course provides an initial opportunity for professional military education wherein students prepare for increased responsibilities as commanders/lieutenant colonels and as junior captains/colonels.


Military students are selected to attend the College of Naval Command and Staff by their respective services. In general, all officers who attend the College of Naval Command and Staff will have bachelor's degrees--historically, on average, almost half will already have been awarded master's degrees, will have compiled outstanding performance records during their 12 to 15-year service careers to date, and will be considered to possess the potential for future achievement and promotion within their respective services and in the joint arena. While each service has its own selection process, in the case of the U.S. Navy, each annual board convened to select officers for promotion to lieutenant commander then proceeds to choose candidates for the College of Naval Command and Staff from among those lieutenant commander selectees. Attendance by civilian officials is by invitation to their federal agencies, who in turn nominate their respective candidates using similar selection criteria.

Class Profile

While the size of each College of Naval Command and Staff class varies slightly due to a number of factors, a typical class will be comprised of 240-260 students. Approximately one-half of the U.S. Navy students in the class will matriculate in August; the remainder will report to class at the beginning of either the winter or spring trimesters of a given academic year. Officers from the other U.S. services and civilians in the class will begin their studies in August.

College of Naval Command and Staff students pursue studies in each of the Naval War College's three core subject areas in the following order of presentation: Strategy and Policy, Joint Maritime Operations, and National Security Decision Making. While this basic curriculum is essentially the same as that of the more senior students enrolled in the College of Naval Warfare, individual courses are tailored to the experience level and career needs of the College of Naval Command and Staffs mid-grade officers. Each student in the College of Naval Command and Staff is also required to enroll in one Elective Program course of his or her choice per trimester. A limited number of students may, with selection committee approval, forego up to one trimester of the core curriculum to participate in the Center for Naval Warfare Studies' Advanced Research Program.

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