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The United States Army War College is a United States Army school located in Carlisle, Pennsylvaniamarker, on the 500 acre (2 km²) campus of the historic Carlisle Barracks, a military post dating back to the 1770s. It caters to high-level military personnel and civilians and prepares them for strategic leadership responsibilities. It is the U. S. Army's most senior military educational institution and trains most of the army's colonels or lieutenant colonels.

The War College is a split-functional institution. While a great deal of emphasis is placed on research, students are also instructed in leadership, strategy, and joint-service/international operations.

Approximately 600 students attend at any one time, half in a two-year-long Internet-based program, and the other half in an on-campus program lasting ten months. The college grants its graduates, both civilian and military, a Master's degree in strategic studies.

The Army handpicks most of the students who participate in the residential program, but the student body always includes officers from the other military branches, civilians (from the Pentagonmarker, State Departmentmarker, and the National Security Agencymarker), and several dozen senior officers from foreign countries. For example, the residential Class of 2004 included:
  • 268 officers from the Army (active, reserve, National Guard), Navy (active, reserve), Air Force (active, reserve, National Guard), Marine Corps (active, reserve) and U.S. Coast Guard;
  • 30 senior civilian employees of the federal government; and
  • 42 officers from other countries.

The average age of students is 45 years old and the typical military rank is Lieutenant Colonel. Majors with the specialty of FA 59, Strategic Plans and Policy can attend the BSAP program. Army applicants must have already completed the U. S. Army Command and General Staff College (where they receive training after achieving the rank of Major).


According to U. S. Army regulation 10-44, the mission of the War College is to "To prepare selected military, civilian, and international leaders for the responsibilities of strategic leadership; educate current and future leaders on the development and employment of landpower in a joint, multinational and interagency environment; conduct research and publish on national security and military strategy; and engage in activities in support of the Army’s strategic communication efforts."


Established from the principles learned in the Spanish-American War, the College was founded by Secretary of War, Elihu Root, and formally established by General Order 155 on November 27, 1901. Washington Barracksmarker — now called Fort Lesley J. McNair — in Washington, D.C.marker was chosen as the site. Theodore Roosevelt attended the Masonic laying of the cornerstone of Roosevelt Hallmarker on February 21, 1903.

The first president of the Army War College was Gen. Tasker H. Bliss and the first students attended the College in 1904. The College remained at Washington Barracks until the 1940s, when it was closed due to World War II. It reopened in 1950 at Fort Leavenworthmarker, and moved one year later to its present location.

Basic Strategic Arts Program

The Basic Strategic Arts Program is an academic program taught at the U.S. Army War College. In the late 1990's when the Army decided to create the Functional Area 59 Branch it selected USAWC as the institution. FA 59 Officers were used in combat for the first time beginning in 2001 with the onset of the Global War on Terror. Graduates of this program served in key positions in Iraq, Afghanistan, at all combatant commands, and at the Pentagon. When it was founded its purpose was to provide officers newly designated into Functional Area 59 (Strategic Plans & Policy) an introduction to strategy and to the unique skills, knowledge, and attributes needed as a foundation for their progressive development as Army Strategists.

Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute

The Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute (PKSOI) is located at the United States Army War College.

PKSOI's mission is to serve as the U.S. Military’s Center of Excellence for Stability and Peace Operations at the Strategic and Operational levels in order to improve military, civilian agency, international, and multinational capabilities and execution.

PKSOI Stability Operations Lessons Learned Information Management System (SOLLIMS)

SOLLIMS is PKSOI's repository for Observations, Issues and Lessons (Best Practices) emerging from the Stability Operations community. SOLLIMS provides the ability to capture Lessons Learned data from ongoing Exercises, Experiments and real-world SSTR missions and operations. Access to SOLLIMS is provided to OSD, USG agencies, and other NGO, IO and multi-national organizations involved in SSTR operations across the glob.

Notable alumni

See also



External links and sources

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