Tuesday, 22 May 2012 16:42

Commandant's Remarks

Academic year 2012 is winding to an end as two hundred and twenty-one students entered Roosevelt Hall on the 8th of August, 2011 and will be graduating on 7 June, 2012. The mix of our student body is pretty much the standard one-third mix of military services making up 55%, 35% interagency, and 15% international fellows. Unique to this year is that we have our first international fellow from Vietnam. Sr Colonel Chung Thanh Ha was raised in Thai Nguyen, Vietnam. He speaks fluent English and is a great addition to our student body. We continue to have a very experienced class, many who have spent a great deal of time in Afghanistan, Iraq, and surrounding areas. Both military and civilian students carry a significant resume of combat experience. This fine class is lead by our Class President, Colonel Barry Williams, USA. The class has unique accomplishments in the NDU President’s Sports Cup completion particularly having won the Little World Series (three games that went into extra innings). General Jim Jones USMC (Ret.) personally sent an email to congratulate the class on this huge accomplishment. Unfortunately we were not as successful in the rest of the competitions as ICAF captured the President’s cup.

Within our faculty we have had significant changes. The last of our original “plank holders” retired just prior to the start of the school year, Dr. Bard O’Neill retired after 36 years of dedicated service to our college and his country. Stepping up behind our distinguished professor is a young generation of superb scholars who I know will continue our tradition of excellence in the classroom. Another change to our organization was the recruitment of our first civilian Dean of Faculty, Dr. John Ballard. His previous teaching positions have included: Academic Dean at the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies, Professor of National Security Studies at the National War College, Professor of Joint Military Operations at the Naval War College, Foundation Professor and Chair of Defence Studies at New Zealand’s Massey University, and Professor of History and Strategy at the Joint Forces Staff College. He is a 1979 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, and earned his doctorate from Catholic University. A retired Marine and a combat veteran of the Iraq War, Dean Ballard commanded at the battalion and group levels and has served on Service, Joint Task Force and Unified Command staffs. He is the author of five books and has published many articles in professional journals. Armed with a tremendous resume of experience for this key leadership role, it is no wonder why he was selected to lead our wonderful institution.

This year is a real challenge for us fiscally as you may know. Budget reductions across the Department of Defense loom and NDU is being directed to provide its fair share. As you would suspect, NWC must contribute its fair share. We are working to preserve our core programs and try to mitigate any detrimental effects to our overall program. I have all the confidence that we will be successful in preserving what is near and dear to us as an institution.

Last but not least, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how pleased we are to have Gene Russell to handle the Alumni Association activities in Roosevelt Hall. His drive and initiative is tremendous and he has energized everyone in the building. We cannot say thank you enough for his generosity and genuine support to ensure that NWC remains the premier College within the Department of Defense. He is but a reflection of you, our wonderful alumni who continue to contribute day-in and day-out to our beloved college. To Gene and to all of you, the NWC Alumni thank you for your continued support.

Rear Admiral Douglas J. McAneny


Read 2807 times Last modified on Friday, 20 July 2012 18:16

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