Command Master Chief (SS/SW) Mike Bruner and Command Master Chief (SW/AW) Raymond James became the first enlisted graduates of the prestigious Naval War College, 16 November, in a ceremony at the college campus in Newport, Rhode Island.
In a dramatic shift in admission policy, the Naval War College welcomed the newest graduates to its distinguished ranks last fall. For the past year, Bruner and James have been fully integrated as students in the senior-level course, the College of Naval Warfare.
Bruner and James were competitively selected by the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, force master chiefs and senior officials from the Naval War College. "When we selected these two exceptionally qualified command master chiefs, we selected the best in the fleet," said Dr. James F. Giblin Jr., provost and dean of academics at the Naval War College. Criteria used in the selection process included potential for service in a joint environment, academic background, and demonstrated leadership in the senior enlisted ranks.
As Naval War College students, Bruner and James were exposed to a wide range of academic opportunities and seminars, bringing their combined 48-years of enlisted experience to the program. "These seasoned enlisted leaders brought a new insight and perspective that we did not previously benefit from," said Dr. Mackubin Owens, professor, Strategy and Force Planning.
The change in Naval War College admission policy is directly linked to the Chief of Naval Operations' (CNO) Guidance for 2004, which called for improving personnel growth and development opportunities, and establishing an enlisted and officer Professional Military Education Continuum.
NAVADMIN 094/05 further outlined Naval War College advantages for Command Master Chiefs. "In order to better empower senior enlisted leaders to serve in both Navy and joint operational assignments, we must provide them with opportunities which will hone their analytical skills and increase understanding of leading change in large, complex organizations that deal with national security." This program also …