The Joint and Combined Warfighting School (JCWS) at JFSC offers JPME Phase II for officers expected to be selected for joint qualification. The Joint Transition Course offers a brief overview for officers entering JPME Phase II on direct entry waivers or having earned JPME Phase-I equivalent credit upon graduation from an international military college; or for U.S interagency and international students.

Upon arrival, JPME Phase II students should already be knowledgeable of the roles and functions of their own Service. This should include having a working knowledge of employment and sustainment requirements, including capabilities and limitations, for warfighting. The students should also have completed a knowledge level of education in joint organizations, the Joint Strategic Planning System, and the Joint Operation Planning and Execution System.

The JCWS graduate will be able to lead joint planning efforts, integrate the creativity of operational art with the analytical and logical process of operational design, and be proficient with the Joint Planning Process (JPP) as the application framework to develop theater strategies and operational plans in a complex global operating environment.


JCWS educates national security professionals to plan and execute joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational operations. Graduates are critically-thinking, operationally-minded, skilled joint warfighters who can operationalize national, military, and theater security strategies into design-informed operational plans. Graduates have a primary commitment to joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational teamwork, attitudes, and perspectives. 

JCWS conducts Phase II of Joint Professional Military Education. JPME Phase II completes the process of joint education for officers who qualified as joint qualified officers (JQOs).

  1. JCWS instructs students on the integrated strategic deployment, employment, sustainment, conflict termination, and redeployment of joint forces. The school accomplishes this through exercises and case studies in a joint seminar environment. JCWS fosters a mutual understanding and rapport that develops when students from all Services share and challenge the ideas, values, and traditions of their Services and solve joint military problems together.
  2. The goal of the Phase II program at JCWS is to build on the foundation established by the institutions teaching JPME Phase I. In addition, the faculty and student interaction in the fully joint environment of the JFSC campus cements professional joint attitudes and perspectives essential to future successful military operations. Reference: CJCSI 1800.01F 15 May 2020, Appendix B to Enclosure A, pp A-B-5
  3. Below are the Officer Professional Military Education Program (OPMEP) objectives that all JCWS graduates will obtain prior to graduation. JCWS incorporates the six Joint Learning Areas (JLAs) from the OPMEP (CJCSI 1800.01F, Appendix A to Enclosure A) as well as CJCS Special Areas of Emphasis, CJCS Desired Leader Attributes and recommendations from the Combatant Commanders:
  • JLA 1 - Strategic Thinking and Communication
  • JLA 2 -The Profession of Arms
  • JLA 3 -The Continuum of Competition, Conflict, and War
  • JLA 4 -The Security Environment
  • JLA 5 - Strategy and Joint Planning
  • JLA 6 - Globally Integrated Operations

Advance Readings

During the first portion of your JPME II education there are several readings from U.S. National Security documents and the Joint Pubs that may compete for your time and energy. Although there is time in your schedule for research and reading, many students find it useful to refresh their memories about the details of these documents prior to their arrival at their JPME II course. Read about the Combatant Commander's role in Joint Strategic Planning, the Principles of Joint Operations and the six Joint Functions in Joint Pub 3-0 and Joint Pub 5-0.

Students are strongly encouraged to complete the JCWS Advance Readings prior to arrival.  Advanced readings of JP3 and JP5 can be found on the CAC-enabled Joint Electronic Library Plus (JEL+).


To accomplish the mission, JCWS delivers a rigorous and comprehensive Joint Professional Military Education curriculum incorporating the latest in joint operational concepts and joint lessons learned into classroom learning and exercise application. Every year, JCWS conducts 4 semesters of Resident and Satellite classes, and 3 iterations of Hybrid Course, with more than 1,100 U.S. and international Fellows attending the institution. JCWS students in each of their seminars share with the faculty and fellow students their recent warfighting experiences to each classroom. This results in rich, relevant and current discussions on warfighting and the use of the military instrument of national power in support of National Interests. The JCWS curriculum is updated accordingly incorporating the best ideas and practices in modern joint and combined warfighting. JCWS is therefore the most current- and up-to-date professional military educational institution in the Nation, offering those we serve the best and brightest ideas and concepts to advance national security interests and objectives throughout the range of military operations.

The JCWS curriculum emphasizes the joint strategic-operational levels of warfighting. It encompasses the integrated deployment, employment and synchronization of land, sea, air, space, and special operations forces. JCWS designed the curriculum for the faculty to teach using a scenario of events that supports a broader course of study. This expanded framework allows for an understanding of joint actions and processes as well as the environment within which they occur.

The JPME Phase II curriculum consists of the following five course summarized below. The overall curriculum uses a background scenario, based on U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM), to provide a framework for the ordering of lessons as well as provide a contextual framework for the assignments students complete as part of the lessons. The students in each seminar serve as members of the USINDOPACOM staff and, as part of the lessons, complete the strategic and operational requirements that represent actual assignments, tasks and missions that a real Combatant Command performs. This allows students to gain first-hand experience in the broad range of activities completed by combatant and other joint commands. The structure of lessons and practical exercises replicate normal staff requirements. The curriculum exposes the students to the replication of nearly two years of activities in a Combatant Commander’s area of responsibility (AOR).

The five courses are Joint Force Fundamentals (JFF), Academic Publishable Essay (APE), Strategy and Campaign Design (SCD), Integrated Contingency Planning (ICP), and CAPSTONE (CAP).  The JCWS program uses an integrated learning concept. The courses build on previous instruction, exercises and simulations.

Each classroom seminar functions independently with the students in each seminar serving as members of the USINDOPACOM staff and working curriculum-based requirements, either as individuals or as a team. Depending on the particular exercise or simulation, students have an opportunity to role-play a number of different staff positions found at a Combatant Command. In some situations students serve as members of the Combatant Commander’s planning staff, while in other situations they serve as members of the USINDOPACOM Standing Joint Force Headquarters (SJFHQ) Staff.

The curriculum structures the lessons and practical exercises so that they serve to replicate normal staff requirements. In addition, the lesson developer built the scenario so the decisions students make during each exercise are cumulative. In other words, when students take actions in their seminar concerning an issue, their decisions affect the starting point of future exercises and influence later actions throughout the remainder of the curriculum. This cumulative approach ensures that the group is not only learning as part of a class, but also gaining a greater appreciation for the impact and outcomes of decisions and policies. The curriculum provides a great opportunity for personalized education. While each seminar’s faculty guides the students’ through the curriculum using the same OPMEP learning areas and lesson objectives, their lessons may vary in depth of coverage and teaching methodology based on the background of the students and their actions and decisions throughout the curriculum.

Student learning objectives are assessed through exercise participation, and through multiple choice and essay examinations, to ensure graduates will be able to lead joint planning efforts, integrate the creativity of operational art with the analytical and logical process of operational design, and be proficient with the JPP as the application framework to develop theater strategies and operational plans in a complex global operating environment.