DEFENSE & STRATEGIC STUDIES MISSION
The Defense and Strategic Studies Major provides cadets a greater doctrinal understanding of tactics, operations, and strategy relevant to the current and future U.S. Army in order to produce leaders with a significant edge in professional military development.
Each year we select branch-qualified captains to attend a one to two-year advanced civil schooling program, with a three-year follow-on assignment to the USMA faculty in the Defense and Strategic Studies program. Our officers attend top graduate programs and receive a master's degree in areas such as International Security Policy, International Affairs, Communication, Diplomacy and Military Studies, Defense Analysis/Irregular Warfare, and National Security Affairs. In the past, we have sent officers to Harvard University, Naval Postgraduate School, University of Connecticut, University of Kentucky , and Hawaii Pacific University. As professors in our Defense and Strategic Studies major, our officers teach, perform professional service, do scholarly research and outreach to the Army, and participate in the mentorship and development of cadets, both in an out of the classroom. We primarily teach juniors and seniors in a variety of subjects including Tactics, Military Strategy, Counterinsurgency Operations, Comparative Military Systems, Military Communication, Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict, Transformation, and Theory and Practice in Modern War.
Our instructors have academic credentials from world-class institutions such as Princeton, George Washington University, The Naval Postgraduate School, Columbia, Tufts, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and University of Wisconsin.
The next selection board will occur in December of 2015 to begin graduate school in the Fall of 2017 with USMA arrival in the Summer of 2019.
Ideal candidates for this board should have the following qualities:
- YG 2009-2011 are the primary focus; however, earlier and later YGs may be appropriate depending upon branch timelines and completing KD/Command Positions; Branch must support this opportunity as this will be a 5-year assignment for grad school and instructing.
- Evidence of strong military performance, especially in KD positions
- GRE Scores: To be competitive for top graduate schools, ideal scores should be over 160 on the verbal and 150 on the quantitative portions of the GRE with a 4.0 minimum on writing.
Officers from all commissioning sources are encouraged to apply for open positions.
We have 1xTDA position for a 59 Strategist and 1xTDA position for an SF officer. All other positions are branch immaterial.
We normally select officers to begin graduate school in their 6-8th year of service.
Officers must be branch-qualified captains to attend ACS with a follow-on assignment to USMA.
Officers must meet ACS requirements found through the HRC Continuing Education Website
To be eligible for consideration, applicants can have an undergraduate degree in any field.
APPLICANT FILE: Use the website below for the Web Enabled Selection and Tracking (WEST) system and be prepared to upload and later provide hard copies of the items listed under the link.
- Transcripts. Copy of your undergraduate (all schools if you attended more than one) and, if applicable, graduate transcripts.
- Evaluations. Copy of last five OERs and/or AERs.
- GRE. Copy of current (under 5 years at start of ACS) GRE.
- Letter of Intent: Tell us, in memorandum format, why you want to teach in our department and why you will perform well.
- DA Photo
- An informal photograph
- APFT Score Card
- Letters of Recommendation. We recommend that you provide two letters of recommendation commenting on your potential to do outstanding work at a top American university and be an effective college-level instructor. If you will not have a command OER in time for our selection process, we recommend that you get a letter from your senior rater assessing your performance.
LORs should be in addressed to: (if using standard memorandum format, "MEMORANDUM FOR:")
COL Liam S. Collins
Director, Defense and Strategic Studies Program
745 Brewerton Rd. Rm. 5112
West Point, NY 10996
It is not necessary for you to provide all of this information all at once. Send information as it becomes available. Start early because we can help you more if we have more time.