Course Description: JAWS


Joint Advanced Warfighting School provides combatant commands and sub-unified commands with planners who are experts in joint planning, capable of critical analysis in the application of all aspects of national power across the full range of military operations, and capable of synergistically combining existing and emerging capabilities in time, space, and purpose to accomplish a range of operational or strategic objectives. It is the only institution that has at its core purpose to produce officers who are masters at planning the employment of joint forces at the operational level of war. Joint Advanced Warfighting School graduates gain both the intellectual and practical skills that make them confident practitioners of joint warfare at the operational-strategic nexus. They are capable of building and leading effective joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational teams. They possess the ability, in either a command or staff position, to design, direct, coordinate, and execute military plans across the operational continuum in a joint and interagency environment in a multinational setting.

The Joint Advanced Warfighting School mission demands a rigorous curriculum. Three core Fields of Study, Theory and History of War, Strategy, and Operational Art and Campaign Planning, provide the developmental framework. The fourth Field of Study, Joint Synthesis, provides the students the opportunity to discover the linkages among the other courses. The fields of study and courses are carefully woven together with key thematic questions to demonstrate the relationships between the subjects and improve student learning. Student individual research, analysis, and writing comes together in a directed research paper as well as other research and writing requirements.

Thematic Questions

(1) What is war?

(a) Why does defining war matter?

(b) What is the nature of war?

(c) What is the character of war?

(d) What is the conduct of war?

(2) What is strategy?

(a) What is your personal definition of strategy and how does that apply to the execution of policy, strategy, and warfare in the US?

(b) What is the relationship between strategy and war?

(3) What is operational art?

(a) How do you translate strategic decisions into tactical actions, and tactical outcomes into strategic success?

(b) What are the skills and abilities of the operational artist in the 21st century?

(c) What is the relationship between operational design thinking and planning, and how does the operational artist synergize these two concepts to optimize desired outcomes in the joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational environment?

(4) What is strategic leadership?

(a) How is strategic leadership unique from other types of leadership?

(b) What are the challenges of strategic leadership?

(c) How do you describe the ethics and principles of a successful strategic leader?

(d) What are the skills and abilities of the successful strategic leader?


Program Learning Outcomes

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Instruction 1800.01F, Officer Professional Military Education Policy, requires joint professional military education programs to use joint learning areas and policy guidance to develop mission-unique program learning outcomes. The Joint Advanced Warfighting School curriculum is designed to achieve six program learning outcomes. 

(1) Program Learning Outcome 1. The graduate can describe situations and identify challenges and problems relating to Great Power competition and the global strategic environment, to include actors and environmental conditions, and the role of the military in relation to the other elements of national power and other actors.

(2) Program Learning Outcome 2. The graduate can produce a military strategy at all levels, working within current Department of Defense systems, while also analyzing and contributing to national strategies at all levels.

(3) Program Learning Outcome 3. The graduate can, as a leader and a team member, employ joint planning and processes in the development of campaign, contingency, and crisis plans, or strategies.

(4) Program Learning Outcome 4. The graduate can employ current concepts in planning, while also recognizing changing future environments, domains, and emerging technologies and modifying responses appropriately.

(5) Program Learning Outcome 5. The graduate can analyze strategic situations and identify the challenges and opportunities facing strategic leaders, while providing appropriate guidance and recommendations based on an appreciation of the nature of the joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational environment.

(6) Program Learning Outcome 6. The graduate can model ethical and moral principles of strategic leadership and decision-making in the act of advising superiors and mentoring subordinates.