Senior Fellows Program


An exciting part of the Joint Forces Staff College curriculum is the participation of high-ranking military and civilian leaders who are called Senior Fellows. Senior Fellows are retired senior General and Flag officers, or civilians of equivalent rank, with significant experience and expertise in joint, multinational and interagency operations. They participate in panel discussions and question-and-answer periods, lead discussions during individual seminar reviews on topical issues, present case studies, participate in war games and exercises, receive and critique student staff briefings, evaluate and critique student exercise planning documents, and counsel student groups and individuals during informal sessions on career opportunities and professional experiences. Senior Fellows also periodically participate in curriculum evaluations and curriculum reviews.

The Senior Fellows are true mentors to the student officers--the future joint warriors that will plan and lead our nation's military forces. Senior Fellows participate in a continuing process of educating the nation’s future military and civilian leaders, helping to prepare them for their roles as the organizers and directors of the increasing number of critical joint and multinational operations that aim at preserving peace and security in an ever more interdependent world.

Currently, there are approximately 42 active Senior Fellows supporting the Joint Advanced Warfighting School (JAWS), the Joint and Combined Warfighting School (JCWS), and the Joint Continuing and Distance Education School (JCDES). JCWS is the largest consumer of the Senior Fellows Program. JCWS educates approximately 250 students during each of four separate 10-week programs (January through November). Approximately 6-8 retired General and Flag Officers and Senior Fellows are needed each Thursday of the tenth week, and approximately 6-8 retired Ambassador Senior Fellows are needed each Monday of the third week. The Senior Fellows may also be asked to participate in other events and exercises with JCWS, JAWS, and JCDES throughout the year. Typically, a Senior Fellow might expect to be asked to participate in various events at the College approximately 10 times per year. JFSC appreciates and understands the dynamic schedules of our Senior Fellows and they are of course always free to accept or decline any invitation. Some Senior Fellows may only be able to make it to one or two events in any given year.

The following criterion is used to invite an individual to join the faculty as a Senior Fellow:

§  Retired from active military service as a three or four-star flag or general officer; Department of State official of equivalent rank; or former member of Congress.

§  Selected retired two-star flag or general officers based on the individual’s experience/assignments.


Applicants should have held one or more of the following positions:

§  Commander or Deputy Commander of a unified, specified or combined command

§  Commander or Deputy Commander of a sub unified command

§  Chief of Staff at a four-star command

§  Senior U.S. military representative to NATO

§  Service Component Commander for unified or combined command

§  Commander of a joint, multinational or interagency task force

§  Senior military representative responsible for planning and/or executing a joint, multinational or interagency operation


For Department of State Senior Fellows:

§  Secretary of State or Assistant/Deputy Secretary of State

§  Ambassador or career diplomatic executive


For Congressional Senior Fellows:

§  Former U.S. Senator or member of the U.S. House of Representatives


Other individuals may be considered for Senior Fellow status based on their past or current position and experience within the government. Retired executives of the legislative or executive branches of the U.S. government with unique knowledge and experience in foreign affairs, policy making, and related activities may be eminently qualified to be a Senior Fellow for the Joint Forces Staff College. The decision to select an individual as a Senior Fellow for the college is solely that of the Commandant.

All individuals selected must, of course, also be able to relate to and motivate the students. Mentoring is a major function of the Senior Fellow Program.

For more information about JFSC’s Senior Fellow Program contact the JFSC Senior Fellow Program Manager at (757) 443-6269


Page Updated: 14 Feb 2019