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The George Washington University Partners with the Naval Academy to Train the Navy’s Future Leaders

Midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy

Naval Officers will earn an M.A. in Leadership Education in One Year

June 03, 2014

Maralee Csellar: 202-994-7564, [email protected]
Jennifer Erickson: 410-293-1522, [email protected]

WASHINGTON—The George Washington University has been selected by the United States Naval Academy to create and offer a graduate-level leadership program for company officers in their first year of service to the academy.

The 45-credit master of arts degree in leadership education and development will blend coursework from GW’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences and the Graduate School of Education and Human Development with the USNA to improve company officers’ leadership knowledge and skills.

“GW’s high-quality education, combined with our commitment to supporting military, veteran and military family member students distinguished GW from the other universities that competed for the USNA LEAD program,” said Vice Admiral (retired) Mel Williams Jr., GW’s associate provost for military and veteran affairs.

The program develops students’ abilities to think critically and analytically, and focuses on the knowledge, skills and abilities essential for understanding, designing and conducting leader and team development.

“Company Officers are critically important to Naval Academy’s mission of developing midshipmen into leaders for the Navy and Marine Corps,” said Lt. Col. Carroll J. Connelley, deputy director of USNA’s Leadership Education and Development Division. “Our Company Officers serve as mentors and role models for midshipmen, helping them reach their potential and preparing them for the leadership challenges in the fleet and Fleet Marine Force upon graduation. The Naval Academy is thrilled to partner with the George Washington University in ensuring our company officers receive a world-class graduate education before assuming this important responsibility.”

A company officer’s primary responsibility is to lead and mentor a company of around 150 midshipmen. The competitive LEAD program accepts top Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard officers. Company officers will spend the first year of their three-month tour as full-time students, taking 10 courses offered through GW and five through USNA.

The first class of 16 fellows begins coursework this month. The number of LEAD fellows will vary between 14 and 25 students per cohort.

The GW Veterans Accelerated Learning Opportunities and Rewards Program (GW VALOR) is an extension of GW’s interest in supporting the U.S. armed forces through its academically rigorous and ideally positioned learning opportunities. Additionally, “G.I. Jobs Magazine” has named GW to be a “military friendly school” for the fourth consecutive year; “Military Times” also placed GW on its “best for vets” list of colleges. In 2013, more than 1,000 veterans and their dependents used GI Bill benefits at GW.

The George Washington University
In the heart of the nation's capital with additional programs in Virginia, the George Washington University was created by an Act of Congress in 1821. Today, GW is the largest institution of higher education in the District of Columbia. The university offers comprehensive programs of undergraduate and graduate liberal arts study, as well as degree programs in medicine, public health, law, engineering, education, business and international affairs. Each year, GW enrolls a diverse population of undergraduate, graduate and professional students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and more than 130 countries.

United States Naval Academy

Founded in 1845, the U.S. Naval Academy today is a prestigious four-year service academy that prepares midshipmen morally, mentally and physically to be professional officers in the naval service. More than 4,400 men and women representing every state in the U.S. and several foreign countries make up the student body, known as the Brigade of Midshipmen. Midshipmen learn from military and civilian instructors and participate in intercollegiate varsity sports and extracurricular activities. They also study subjects like small arms, drill, seamanship and navigation, tactics, naval engineering and weapons, leadership, ethics and military law.  Upon graduation, midshipmen earn a taxpayer-funded bachelor of science degree in a choice of 25 different subject majors and go on to serve at least five years of exciting and rewarding service as commissioned officers in the U.S. Navy or U.S. Marine Corps.