NORFOLK, Va. – An advocate for distance learning (DL) solutions in the federal government has
recognized Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC) for its successful use of DL instruction in its
The Federal Government Distance Learning Association presented the Five Star Award this month to
JFSC, a component under the National Defense University. This marks the first time the college has
received this award.
The Five Star Award recognizes the organization that demonstrates excellence in providing
enterprise-wide DL solutions for the federal government. “The College uses the DL educational forum
in various methods throughout its programs and was the overall recipient for the distance learning
award,” said Col. John Paul, director of JFSC’s Joint Continuing and Distance Education School
The award specifically cites the DL accomplishments of the JCDES, which provides oversight for two
DL programs: Advanced Joint Professional Military Education (AJPME) and Senior Enlisted Joint
Professional Military Education (SEJPME).
“The AJPME program has excelled at providing its diverse student populace worldwide 24/7 access to
JPME materials in order to meet their joint education requirements,” Paul said. “Providing a forum
for joint education via distance learning is particularly critical for our Guard, Reserve and
Interagency partners, given the difficulty in securing in-residence student billets and the limited
student availability to attend an in-residence course.
Likewise, he said, “the SEJPME program provides senior enlisted military members the ability to
gain access to critical joint information while achieving college credit for the 45-hour online
“To be recognized as a leader in distance learning in the entire federal government is a great
honor for JFSC,” said RDML John W. Smith Jr., JFSC commandant. “Building an effective, proven DL
program from its inception into an award-winning program validates that JFSC has dedicated faculty
and staff who firmly believe in using DL to improve joint education for the total force.”
Winning the award reinforces JFSC’s commitment to DL solutions. “Our near term goal is to provide
students greater access to one another as well as to JPME material via the DL forum,” Paul said.
Doing this will enhance cultural awareness between U.S. military and interagency civilians.
“Distance learning instruction can be provided at a reduced cost and with today’s budgetary
constraints, it is critical that we increasingly seek efficient yet effective methods to educate
students to the same high quality standards provided during in-residence JPME programs,” Paul