U.S. Naval War College Celebrates Summer Graduation at Naval Station Newport

Naval Station Newport was abuzz with pride and ceremony on June 14 as the U.S. Naval War College (NWC) celebrated its in-residence summer graduation. The event honored the achievements of 332 students from senior-level and intermediate-level leadership courses, including 93 international students. Additionally, 462 students from the College of Distance Education (CDE) programs, with 90 attending in person, were also recognized. The graduates represented all branches of the U.S. armed forces, over 30 federal agencies and departments, and 58 partner and allied nations.

Retired U.S. Navy Admiral and former Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, Scott Swift, delivered the commencement address, sharing insights from his time as an NWC student.

“While standing on the foundation of practical experience and expertise in the science of war, you must also master the art of warfare,” Swift emphasized. “Tap back into what you have learned here. I am confident if you remain guided by your experience here at the Naval War College, you will find it as professionally rewarding as I have.”

Swift urged graduates to embrace risk, think strategically, remain humble, and practice vulnerability to lead successfully in an unstable and uncertain world.

Distinguished graduates included Col. Alexander E. Goodno of the U.S. Marine Corps, recipient of the Stephen B. Luce Award, and Maj. Grace A. Butler of the U.S. Space Force, recipient of the William S. Sims Award. The ceremony also recognized 19 in-resident students who graduated with highest distinction, ranking among the top 5% of their class, and 52 students with distinctions, ranking among the top 15%.

Rear Adm. Peter A. Garvin, president of NWC, concluded the ceremony by urging graduates to model the unwavering commitment to principle and integrity displayed by Admiral Raymond Spruance, the college’s 26th president from 1946.

“As you move forward, let integrity be your compass,” Garvin stated. “In every decision you make and every action you take, uphold the highest standards of honesty and ethics. For your integrity will earn you the respect and trust of those you lead and will be the foundation upon which you build lasting and meaningful change.”

NWC students participate in a one-year graduate-level program that offers in-resident or distance learning options. They earn Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) credits and either a diploma or a master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies or Defense and Strategic Studies. Graduates include U.S. and international officers from the Navy, Marine Corps, Army, Air Force, Space Force, Coast Guard, and various U.S. civilian government employees.

Founded in 1884, NWC is the oldest institution of its kind in the world. Since its inception, more than 50,000 students have graduated, including about 300 current active-duty admirals, generals, and senior executive service leaders. The college’s international program, established in 1956, boasts over 4,500 alumni from 137 countries, with approximately 10 percent becoming chiefs of their country’s navy.

Today, NWC continues to deliver excellence in education, research, and outreach, preparing tomorrow’s leaders to anticipate and strategically plan for the future, strengthen peace foundations, and create a decisive warfighting advantage.




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