As a recovering TRADOCian, I have a little experience trying to get something new into the curriculum at military schools. With packed schedules, anything new requires that something else be dropped. I predicted that it would be a long time before energy security started showing up in the school house. I was wrong.
The Green Hornet himself, SecNav Ray Mabus came up on the net late last month with an announcement:
"Let me give you the headline of why I'm here today," Mabus said. "Starting this fall, the Naval Postgraduate School will offer … energy graduate degree program[s], the first military educational institution to do so. And beginning early next year, NPS will launch the SECNAV Executive Energy Series – catchy title – a two-week program designed to tackle specific energy challenges."
The Naval Post Graduate School has the mission to “provides high-quality, relevant and unique advanced education and research programs that increase the combat effectiveness of the Naval Services, other Armed Forces of the U.S. and our partners, to enhance our national security”. Officers from all Services compete to attend this highly prestigious school. The fact that it is located in on Monterey Bay in Northern California does not reduce its appeal. As I well know, they are highly select in who attend. I bet it would have been fun.
That the Navy is willing to commit the resources in their educational program to highlight this area of study is telling. Where there may not be big dollars for projects in the near term, shaping future decision makers understanding of energy security is about setting the conditions for success. While DOD has been relatively short term focused, the Navy is stepping out to create the leaders for whom energy is an internalized value. Well done, Sailors!