Naval Studies Certificate Program Outcomes

Pre-Decisional Information
The Naval Studies Certificate addresses critical thinking, research/writing, and communication, in the context of the Naval Services. It builds from the service member’s individual responsibility, to an understanding of the force, relationship of the military to the nation, and to our allies and adversaries across the globe.
Upon completion of all five Naval Studies courses, students will be awarded a USNCC Naval Studies Certificate of completion and will be documented on their Joint Service Transcript (JST).
  1. Students shall understand the context of the Naval Services through the lenses of history, civil-military relations and current geopolitical trends. (Broad and Integrative Knowledge)
  2. Students shall demonstrate 21st Century skills inclusive of critical thinking, analytical reasoning, information literacy, data fluency, and teamwork. (Intellectual Skills and Collaborative Learning)
  3. Students shall demonstrate effective communications skills, inclusive of writing and verbal communications. (Intellectual Skills)
  4. Students shall demonstrate strong ethics and judgment in personal and professional environments, and through individual and team leadership. (Civic and Global Learning)

Course Sequencing: The recommended ordering of courses is as listed below, with Naval Ethics & Leadership as the first course, and Geopolitics as the capstone. The middle three courses are recommended in the order below, but there is some flexibility in ordering if course seats are not available. The purpose of this sequence is to allow the service member to start at the level of the personal (responsibilities as a member of the armed services); move towards learning from the past; understand the role of the organization of the naval services; understand the role of the military in society; and then connect that understanding to larger world, including allies and adversary. The program also begins with a smaller research/writing assignment in Naval History, and culminates with a capstone assignment in Geopolitics.

Course Name Course Description USNCC Notes
Naval Ethics & Leadership

This course provides students with the foundational knowledge to assist them in understanding their role as a member of the United States military including their promise to “support and defend” the Constitution as well as be persons of exemplary character, worthy of moral praise. This course is centered around Moral Deliberation Road Map that includes three elements: moral deliberation, moral excellence, and the just war tradition which lends an understanding of how together we can fight and win with honor. It seeks to provide a deeper knowledge of the ethical demands of combat, and a basic understanding and contemporary thought in the theoretical complexities inherent in such service.

Modern Naval History This course will provide students with an overview of modern naval history, with an emphasis on understanding the roles that the Naval Services (Marine Corps, Navy, Coast Guard) have played and how they relate to the relevant period of history and conflicts therein. Students will examine the key events that marked the evolution of the Naval Services and exercise critical thinking skills to understand the political, environmental, and societal causes and impacts of those conflicts. There will likely be an emphasis on writing in this class.
Naval Force Design

The purpose of this course is to provide USNCC students with an understanding of how the naval forces are organized and the fundamental concepts that underpin naval operations. For the Naval Service to be prepared for contingencies within the spectrum of armed conflict, it is essential to integrate different components of the naval force and optimize them for specific missions or threats. This involves a layered system of warfare that aligns local military action to national objectives. In turn, this course will prepare students to recognize how elements of naval power can be applied across strategic, operational, and tactical levels of warfare.

The course will use historic examples to improve student’s understanding of how the current state of naval force design has been developed, lead into the structures that comprise the Naval Service’s force design, and explain the fundamental missions of the naval services and how they contribute to the Joint Force. The course will cover topics including the philosophy and organization of our naval forces, functions of the naval forces, and the operational concepts of the Joint and naval forces.

As students begin to align with the naval doctrine of warfare, it is vital that they understand how and why the current state has developed and be able to objectively examine with a critical eye. This course will allow students to demonstrate critical thinking skills, ethical reasoning, and judgment in applying naval doctrinal concepts to operational problems.

Civilian/Military Organization and Policies

The purpose of this course is to provide USNCC students with an overarching understanding of how the American political system is organized within the United States and the role that the Military has in that system. This course provides an introduction to American politics, along with an introduction to policies relevant to the Naval Services. The lessons taught in this course are developed to prepare service members to operate within the military construct of the American political system. This course also prepares students for further instruction on the concepts and theories of political science and public administration.

This course will cover the foundations of American politics, the history upon which it was built, the structures that comprise it, and how they interact with each other. Specific topics include the presidency, the U.S. Congress, the Supreme Court, the Constitution, political parties, civil rights, elections, and military organization. Students will examine the range of factors, from historic and geographic issues to threats and risks from a multitude of sources, that have impacted the formation of our current day American political structure and military organization. Students will learn the roles and responsibilities that the military plays in the U.S. government, and the policies which govern the execution of military power.

Introduction to the Geopolitical Environment

This course provides students with foundational knowledge to assist them in understanding the role of the United States in the international system, as well as the challenges it faces in the 21st Century. It seeks to address a series of critical questions: How did the modern international system develop? Who are the major actors? What are the major theories for understanding state behavior? What are the causes of war? What is the role of treaties, alliances, and international organizations? What specific challenges do our current adversaries (China, Russia, North Korea, Iran) pose to U.S. interests? What tools do the United States and its allies have in meeting these challenges? It concludes with a consideration of possible future directions and factors that will affect cooperative and competitive outcomes among states.

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