The Joint Advanced Warfighting School (JAWS) is a part of the Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC), located in Norfolk, VA. JFSC is one of the five colleges within the National Defense University. JAWS was established in 2004 following a proposal by Andrew Marshall, then the director of the Office of Net Assessment, and the strong support of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Richard Myers. Modelled after the Service’s advanced studies programs, JAWS provides the Joint Staff, the Combatant Commands, allied militaries, and other U.S. government agencies with graduates expert in the joint planning processes and capable of critical analysis in the application of all aspects of national power across the full range of military operations.

Message from the Director

On behalf of the JFSC Commandant, faculty, and staff, welcome to the Joint Advanced Warfighting School (JAWS) homepage. JAWS is a ten and one half month senior-level school focused on educating expert joint campaign planners. JAWS is a key component of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s vision for expansion and improvement of JPME.

As a student at JAWS, your education will focus on the knowledge required to perform the duties of a senior campaign planner and strategist on any joint, combined, or coalition staff. The curriculum is developed from several sources. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff drives the principal themes at JAWS through the Officer Professional Military Education Policy (OPMEP) and Special Areas of Emphasis (SAE). Second, we stay in close contact with the Combatant Commands, interagency representatives, and our international partners to understand their requirements for their officers and civilians operating in the joint, combined, and coalition staff arena. Third, the faculty contribute their own experiences as senior joint, combined, and coalition officers as well as their academic expertise. Finally, we solicit inputs from class members in a collaborative seminar environment. In sum, the curriculum is built on the foundation of joint doctrine and evolving strategic and operational issues. The combined effect of these efforts keeps our program current and relevant. This is an advanced program, and the work is as rigorous as any graduate academic program. JAWS active duty military students are assigned to predetermined positions, dominantly in the Combatant Commands, following graduation.

Additional JAWS links are available above to provide useful reference and preparation information. If we can assist you in any way, do not hesitate to call the JFSC Registrar & Personnel Services office at DSN 646-6124; COMM (757) 443-6124 or via e-mail at registrar2@ndu.edu.




Joint Advanced Warfighting School


JAWS educates selected O-5s and O-6s, rank equivalent interagency civilians, and selected international officers in the art and science of joint, interagency, and multinational planning and warfighting at the strategic to operational levels of war. JAWS awards Senior Level College (War College) credit as well as Joint Professional Military Education (JPME II). JAWS graduates earn a fully accredited Masters of Science degree in Joint Campaign Planning and Strategy.

Currently, three JAWS seminars are organized with up to fourteen students in each seminar. Each seminar nominally consists of a balanced mix of Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine, Coast Guard, interagency civilians, and international military students. Students are assigned to seminars with an intent to provide an optimum mix of Service, grade, experience, and occupational specialty. Each seminar is conducted in a collaborative learning environment with current information technology tools available at student desktops in the classrooms.

In addition to many other written, oral, and practical assignments, each student is required to complete an individual graduate level thesis of 35 - 45 pages. Students also participate in several staff rides and research visits throughout the busy academic year.

The faculty of the Joint Advanced Warfighting School (JAWS) consists of senior officers with joint experience from all Services and civilian professors. In addition to this highly qualified staff, students have multiple occasions to meet and discuss issues with active and retired flag/general officers and ambassadors. These Senior Fellows are an integral part of the faculty and are a key component of the learning experience within the collaborative seminar. Additionally, the school employs several distinguished academics and a variety of subject matter experts throughout the academic year as guest speakers.


The mission of Joint Advanced Warfighting School is to produce joint operational artists fully prepared to serve as senior planners, joint leaders, and advisors at the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, or a four-star combatant command/sub-unified command. The graduates are historically informed, strategically minded, and skilled joint warfighters. They are critical and creative thinkers who expertly translate strategic decisions to operational and tactical actions through design-informed operational planning.