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NPS’ CORE Lab Rethinks Traditional Intelligence Analysis
Researchers at the Naval Postgraduate School’s (NPS) Common Operational Research Environment (CORE) Lab have embarked on several innovative programs that allow both intelligence analysts and tactical operators to visualize the battlefield as never seen before.
Read the full story here.
NPR Interview with Professor Bradley Strawser: The Future of Cyberwar
What is the future of cyber war? And what rules of engagement or ethics come with this new form of combat? Listen to this NPR interview to find out.
In Salinas, Fighting Gang Violence on a Shoestring
Read the New York Times article on the DA Department's involvement in quelling gang violence in Salinas!
Naval Postgraduate School Honors NCO with University’s Top Army Student Award
Naval Postgraduate School Defense Analysis student Master Sgt. Jim Monroe was recently the first non-commissioned officer (NCO) to ever be awarded the Association of the U.S. Army, Gen. Joseph W. Stilwell Chapter, Award for Outstanding Army Student.
The award is presented quarterly to a resident Army student who demonstrates exemplary academic achievements and community service. Monroe was also nominated for an outstanding thesis for his work, titled “Deception: Theory and Practice,” and is up for the title of distinction.
“Each of our students brings a unique skill set and background to his or her time here at NPS,” said NPS Dean of Students Capt. Alan Poindexter. “Master Sgt. Monroe’s accomplishments demonstrate that in academia, hard work, above all else, dictates what one can achieve. The NPS mission is to provide a quality defense-based education for men and women across ranks and services. We are proud to call him a NPS alumnus as he moves forward in his career."
After graduation, Monroe is headed to the Fourth Military Information Support Operations Command at Fort Bragg. He had previously served in the First Cavalry Division, and in operational and tactical military information support operations positions at Fort Bragg. He is proud of the support he received from his previous command, as he heard about opportunities to study at NPS.
“To me, beyond the knowledge gained in the classes, the true values of a graduate education lay in the increased understanding of how to process and synthesize information, and in how to approach problem solving,” said Monroe. “As an NCO, the Defense Analysis program has improved my worth to the force – both as a leader, and as a resource for my commander.
“I was just happy to be able to study here in the first place,” he added, “so to be recognized and get the Award for Outstanding Army Student was just a humbling experience.”
Monroe’s thesis, titled “Deception: Theory and Practice,” explored military deception history and practice, an often overlooked but important topic for the military. His work was described by NPS Defense Analysis Senior Lecturer Dr. Hy Rothstein as being of a caliber not frequently seen in his 11 years at NPS.
“Today’s doctrine, does not say much about deception. It’s an undervalued and underappreciated tool in war,” said Rothstein. “Jim shows very clearly that the benefits of deception, historically, have been remarkable. The return on investment – in training, education and material necessary for deception – have almost always produced benefits that far outweigh the investment.”
“My thesis had a few different parts,” Monroe noted. “For the first part, I surveyed deception within U.S. Army doctrine, and looked at reasons why the level of emphasis of deception has fluctuated over the years. In the second half of the thesis, I surveyed and synthesized the various civilian and military works on deception theory and practice. And I finished up with an overview of U.S. Army use of deception from the Revolutionary War to the present.
“Currently there is a void in unclassified deception guidance in the U.S. Army,” he continued, “so I tried to go over theory and practice and create an overview designed to be used as an unofficial handbook for deception practitioners.”
While Monroe is humbled by the recognition he has received, he and Rothstein agree that the topic of his research is one of importance to the defense community, and one that has not had the attention it deserves.
Monroe was one of 17 enlisted service members to graduate in the Spring quarter. Although the majority of NPS’ military students are officers, senior military leaders have demonstrated a commitment to providing all qualified and eager officers, commissioned or otherwise, with advanced education opportunities. And, as Monroe and his fellow NCOs have demonstrated, the classroom provides everyone a level playing field from which to excel.
“Of course our job at the Naval Postgraduate School is to educate the people that the services send us, so it’s really the services that have made the decision that education is valuable for non-commissioned officers. And I think that’s a good decision,” explained Rothstein. “This type of education is not for every non-commissioned officer, but it is very important for those NCOs who are going to ultimately serve on higher level staffs and for senior commanders.
“Those who will be the ones that provide advice to senior military officers need to be capable of providing thoughtful and well reasoned advice, and advanced education is one way to ensure that their advice is thoughtful, relevant and well reasoned,” Rothstein continued. “This ultimately helps commanders make decisions, because they have senior enlisted folks around them whose advice is well packaged, well thought out and on target.”
DA Student Wins JSOU Essay Contest
Major Dave Kenney, a U.S. Army Special Forces officer who is attending the Naval Postgraduate School, accepts his second place essay award from Dr. Brian Maher, President of Joint Special Operations University (JSOU). His essay was titled “The USSOCOM Trinity: Refining Special Operations Commitment to 21st Century Warfare.” Major Kenney received his award during the 2012 National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict (SO/LIC) Division Symposium Banquet, on 7 February 2012 in Washington D.C. The first place award was presented to Ms. Eva Shinagel, a U.S. foreign affairs officer with the Department of State who is attending the National War College. Her winning essay was titled “Hearts and Minds: Islam and Afghanistan’s Moral Center of Gravity.” The annual essay contest is co-sponsored by JSOU and the NDIA SO/LIC Division and is open to students attending, or recently graduated from, professional military education programs. The first place winner is presented with a $1000 award and the second place winner is presented with a $500 award. The winning essays will be published in an upcoming JSOU monograph.
In September 2011, Professor Anna Simons ran the department's third OSD-sponsored Long Term Strategy Seminar with DA students. 2011's topic was "SOF 2030." Twelve U.S. officers and one CWO participated, representing Navy SEALs, Army Special Forces, Air Force Special Operations, the Air Force, and the Marine Corps. Students briefed their results in Washington in Fall 2011 to audiences in the Pentagon and at the CIA. This report summarizes that 50-minute long brief.
By MC1 Leonardo Carrillo
The Commanding General of the esteemed ‘intellectual center’ of the Army, the Combined Arms Center, Lt. Gen. David Perkins visited the Naval Postgraduate School for a series of briefings and meetings with faculty, staff and students, Jan 10.
The briefs represent the continuation of an exploratory visit by the Chief of Staff of the Army, Gen. Raymond Odierno, this past September, as the Army continues to support and potentially expands interest in different programs offered at the university. Perkins expressed interest in the abilities education provides his soldiers, and discussed his educational goals with leaders at NPS emphasizing the need for training programs to adapt to a changing world.
“Advanced schooling is a critical element of the professional development of our soldiers,” said Perkins, “because it gives them technical skills and problem solving skills that I think are critical to operate in this increasingly ambiguous environment.”
The department of Defense Analysis currently houses about half of the total number of Army officers studying at NPS. Perkins was briefed in full on the program, but also explored other curricula and research currently underway within the Graduate School of Operational and Information Sciences, and the School of International Graduate Studies (SIGS).
SIGS’ Department of National Security Affairs (NSA), which specializes in the study of international relations, security policy and regional security studies, presented Perkins with a comprehensive overview of the department’s programs. NSA curricula represent an intricate part of the educational requirements of Foreign Area Officers, a discipline the Army holds in high regard.
Although NPS is a naval institution, its joint, multilateral research and educational programs have been held in high respect by Army leadership for many years. And in the same way, NPS has enjoyed a significant presence of Army personnel in its student body.
As Perkins wrapped up his visit, he praised the school’s international and joint environment that exposes soldiers and other service members to a similar environment they would see in the real world, an experience that would prove crucial to the formation of any leader.
“NPS has a great academic reputation,” said Perkins. “It has a unique capability to focus on problems that the military is particularly concerned about. It’s very difficult to see everything in one day but I think I was most impressed by the enthusiasm and dedication of the faculty, staff and students. Obviously, they are very renowned for their academics but their commitment, and in many cases sense of service, were outstanding.”
By Amanda D. Stein
On Nov. 4, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno visited NPS to learn firsthand about the education and research programs underway at the university. Specifically, he was briefed by several faculty and students in the school’s Defense Analysis department, which enrolls approximately half of the Army students studying at NPS.
Odierno began his visit to NPS with a command brief offered by Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Operations and Information Sciences, Army Col. Robert Burks, providing an overview of the university’s mission, programs and research. Odierno then attended a Defense Analysis brief presented by department Chair Dr. John Arquilla.
“I was very impressed with the depth and utility of the program of instruction at the Naval Postgraduate School,” Odierno said. “Guided by a dedicated and expert faculty, the students are receiving a first-rate education that will serve them well as our nation’s future senior leaders.”
“Beyond special operations and information operations, I think the Army has been interested in the larger questions of Defense Analysis, which is what I think our department is all about,” Arquilla explained. “When you think about which of the curricula at our school are specifically, operationally oriented, this is one that seems to fit very neatly into the needs of the Army.”
With an opportunity to see specific research projects in action, Odierno was briefed by Defense Analysis students Lt. Deak Childress and Lt. John Taylor on project Lighthouse. For the students, it was a unique opportunity to directly brief a service chief on their thesis research, which utilizes social network analysis to identify and illuminate potential improvised explosive device networks. Childress and Taylor hope that their project will have lasting real-world military applications.
“We were … both extremely impressed with how quickly Gen. Odierno was able to pull the value out of a very brief discussion, and the understanding he showed of the analysis we are doing, as evidence by a couple of very pertinent questions he asked,” explained Childress.
“It is absolutely vital to keep DoD senior leadership abreast of the different types of research ongoing here at NPS,” he continued. “I think it shows them that the investments they are making by sending folks here is paying off, and the time spent here at Monterey is definitely not wasted. We are both Navy guys, so we didn’t approach this project with any one service in mind, but our research is definitely geared more to ground operators.”
At the completion of the briefing, Odierno complemented the students on their project, and encouraged them to continue the research.
“The wide variety of research and analysis that the NPS students are conducting is extremely relevant to today’s complex and uncertain strategic environment,” Odierno said. “I am also impressed with their enthusiasm and intellectual curiosity, attributes that will serve them well in the future as agile and adaptable leaders.”
NPS Students Stabilize Shark Attack Victim
by MC1 Rob Rubio
On a crisp Saturday morning, Oct. 29, local resident Eric Tarantino, 27, was bitten along the right side of his neck and shoulder by an estimated 15–20 ft. shark while surfing at Marina State Beach in nearby Marina. As Tarantino and his friend struggled to paddle back to shore, they were fortunate to find two NPS students — Army Maj. Jonathan Bleakley and Master Sergeant Garric Banfield — who just happened to be on the beach, getting ready to paddle out and hit the waves themselves.
The two active duty service members, and NPS Defense Analysis students, with advanced training to treat acute trauma like this immediately knew something was wrong, and jumped into action. “We could tell something was going on when these two were paddling to the shore and then ran up onto the beach,” Banfield said. “Someone said that he was bit by a shark, and we knew what was obviously going on. Even before we got there, we were yelling for first aid kits and one of our friends went to his vehicle to get one. With our Army training, the combat life saver training kicked in and we were calm and able to assist the victim.”
After what seemed like an eternity for both the victim and rescuers, paramedics arrived in just eight minutes to take over. The students knew the victim was experiencing significant blood loss, and their quick response limited this, but they take little credit for their actions.
Bleakley remarked, “I take no credit for it other than having the Army training that I did. I was very impressed with how my training turned to him. I’m thankful that we have that training.” Army officers get advanced trauma care training at Fort Bragg, Banfield added. “We’re not medics by any means, but we have been trained in Tactical Combat Casualty Care, which is similar to the Army’s combat life saver training with some more advanced trauma care thrown in.”
“I’m glad that I was able to do it. I’m glad that I had the training to be able to do it,” Bleakley noted. “I feel privileged that I was able to help him out … and was able to use my training when it was needed.”
Kiwanis Outstanding International Student Award
Congratulations to Ronnie Kristofferson, Norwegian Navy Coastal Ranger Command…2011 Kiwanis Outstanding International Student Award winner! Each year in September, the Kiwanis Club of Monterey recognizes two International students in appreciation of his/her academic achievements and community involvement while at NPS. The student receives a Certificate of Achievement and a plaque at the September monthly meeting of the Kiwanis Club. Additionally, their plaque is presented again at the time of their graduation from NPS.
Dr. John Arquilla named one of the Foreign Policy Top 100 Global Thinkers
Dr. Kalev “Gunner” Sepp Makes Tom Ricks COINdinistas list