Civil-Military Relations Area of Concentration
USAWC Resident Program

CMRC offers an area of concentration that will develop graduates who are capable of advising and leading with a more thorough understanding of: 1) the needs of civilian policy-makers; 2) changing norms and expectations in the profession of arms; and 3) the relationship between the military and society in democratic states. These goals directly align with meeting the Secretary of the Army’s priorities, including: 1) build positive command climates; 2) reduce harmful behaviors (including racism and extremism); and 3) strategically adapt the way the Army recruits and retains to sustain the All-Volunteer Force.

To qualify for the civil-military relations area of concentration, students will meet the following requirements:

1. Complete one of the two electives specifically dedicated to understanding civil-military relations foundations and concepts, listed below:

  • “Contemporary Issues in Civil-Military Relations” (Dr. Lee, DNSS)
  • “Comparative Civil-Military Relations” (Dr. Marino, DNSS)

2. Complete four additional elective credits from the courses listed below:

  • Total Force Integration: Understanding the Reserve Components
  • The National Industrial Base
  • Inclusive Leadership
  • “Contemporary Issues in Civil-Military Relations”
  • “Comparative Civil-Military Relations”
  • Economics of National Security
  • Public Speaking for Strategic Leaders
  • Online Presence and Publication for Strategic Leaders

Additional electives may be added as new electives are vetted by the committee. Students who participate in the Eisenhower Speakers College Program are eligible for this area of concentration, conditional on the topics that students select. Students who participate in the Civil-Military Relations Integrated Research Project are also eligible. The program will be managed and coordinated by the Director of the USAWC Center on Civil-Military Relations.

Graduates who complete this area of concentration will leave the war college better prepared to address the recruiting and retention challenges that the military faces, develop solutions that will sustain the all-volunteer force, and lead with empathy and understanding of the challenges the Army faces as it interacts with American society. Graduates within the civil-military relations area of concentration will also have a fuller appreciation for the political-military relationship in strategy-making, the tensions that can arise in the policy-making process, and be better prepared to fulfill their role as advisors to civilians. The AOC requires some baseline understanding, but retains enough flexibility for students to specialize in areas that are of particular interest such as recruiting, public engagement, and/or strategy-making.

The Secretary of the Army has made clear that she would like Army leaders who are better prepared to tackle the challenges that arise when recruiting from a cross-section of American society and labor markets are tight. Students are eager for the opportunity to learn more about how to better incorporate and value diverse Americans in the force; the most popular student SRR topic in AY22 was around diversity, equity, and inclusion. It is therefore reasonable to conclude that there is demand for an area of concentration on civil-military relations by both USAWC stakeholders and students.