NEWPORT, R.I. (NNS) -- The 2015-2016 academic year kicked-off for 436 joint service and international students during a convocation ceremony at U.S. Naval War College (NWC), Aug. 17.
During the ceremony, Adm. Michael S. Rogers, commander, U.S. Cyber Command, director, National Security Agency, and chief, Central Security Service, and Rear Adm. P. Gardner Howe III, president, NWC addressed the students.
"Today's ceremony begins our academic year and provides us with an opportunity to reaffirm the task at hand; development as an intellectual leader," said Howe. "I challenge you to use this time to improve your readiness as a leader in crisis, conflict and combat."
The incoming resident class is comprised of members from the Navy, Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, as well as federal civilians and international students from 65 countries.
"We take pride in the fact that the military, cultural, religious and ethnic diversity of this gathering is unmatched on almost any campus in the U.S.," said Howe.
The NWC's 10-month Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) programs have developed dedicated decision makers and problem solvers since 1884, making the college the oldest institution of its kind. In addition to students in residence, the NWC's distance education programs graduate over 5,000 students each year. After rigorous study, students earn JPME credit and either a diploma or a master's degree in National Security and Strategic Studies.
The ceremony also served as an opportunity to recognize Rogers as the recipient of NWC's 2015 Distinguished Graduate Leadership Award (DGLA).
The award, first presented in 1996, recognizes the accomplishments of alumni who used their NWC
education as a springboard to positions of senior leadership and national prominence. Rogers is the 20th recipient of the award.
"I found [NWC] challenged me and made me think beyond my own comfort level," said Rogers. "I have never forgotten my time in Newport or the values that it gave me."
Following Rogers recognition as this year's DGLA recipient, he charged new students with an expectation of continued excellence.
"You are here because we view this as a strategic investment for the future of our service and our nation. There is an expectation for each and every one of you about how you will both gain insight and how you will then employ it in the course of your career," said Rogers.
Video of the ceremony can be watched at http://youtu.be/Zyx6Il_cOng.
Photos can be viewed and downloaded at http://flic.kr/s/aHskhTrB2o.
For more news from Naval War College, visit www.navy.mil/local/nwc/.