Navy’s New Education for Seapower Report

February 12, 2019 6:37 PM

The following is the Navy’s new Education for Seapower action memo and report that was released on Feb. 12, 2019.

From Under Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly’s Introduction Letter

Continuous learning – and sharing hard-won knowledge – represents a combat-proven key to victory for our naval services. Our flagship educational institutions, including the United States Naval Academy, Naval Postgraduate School, Marine Corps University, and Naval War College, along with the many outstanding national colleges and universities associated with the Reserve Officers Training Corps, have long and well served the nation in educating our future leaders. They inculcate not only the finest sense of honor and integrity, but also creativity and deep rigor in thinking about the future of naval warfare, especially in times of great change.

As the Secretary of Defense indicates clearly in his summary of the 2018 National Defense Strategy, a new age of great power competition and strategic complexity has dawned, finding our former competitive edge relatively diminished. Once again, our forces must find new, ever-more agile and resilient strategies to dissuade our potential adversaries, and when necessary, prevail in conflict. To shape this more lethal force, we must begin by thinking anew about how those strategies and capabilities are developed in the first place – with our most
critical resource – human creativity and talent.

At the same time, a revolution in the art and science of learning is currently taking place throughout the globe. New uses of digital technology and artificial intelligence are now being applied to a deeper and more holistic understanding of learning psychology, resulting in speed and capacity increases that have the potential to leap well beyond today’s analog expectations by orders of magnitude. To ensure every possible advantage for our sons and daughters sent into harm’s way, we must turn our energies towards a new and comprehensive study of all aspects of naval education, challenging every assumption of roles, responsibilities, and interconnections while pursuing the highest fidelity of learning technology.

With this mandate firmly in mind, I am forming an independent subject matter expert team to conduct a comprehensive study of learning throughout the Department of the Navy. The Department of the Navy (DON) Education for Seapower (E4S) study team will seek input from experts and proven national-level leaders from government, academia, and private industry. They will use this information to develop a series of observations and recommendations for knowledge-based continuous learning throughout the naval services. In order to be effective, the results of this study must be just as consequential and pervasive as the challenges to our national security, as expressed in the 2018 National Defense Strategy.

The DON E4S study will interact with the various flagship naval educational institutions as outlined above, as well as top-flight civilian educational nodes. Interviews with thought leaders on the future of learning, from academe, the military, and corporate America will be held to glean the best possible array of ideas on educating for seapower. An official report containing observations, conclusions, and recommendations will be presented to me no later than December 7, 2018. I will personally review the recommendations of the DON E 4S report, and plan to issue my recommendations to the Secretary of the Navy on January 5, 2019.

I hereby request that all leaders in the DON fully support the many and disparate efforts of this team: from visits to educational institutions, to requests for historical data and background, to the many options available to gather thoughts and opinions on the way ahead.

Good ideas have no rank. This will be a fully transparent and open study, using the panoply of digital communications and sharing tools at our disposal. I will consider every viewpoint tendered before making my final recommendations to the Secretary, and the report will be made widely available to all.

Thomas B. Modly

Education for Seapower Report

Download the report here.

Secreatary of the Navy’s Action Memo

Download the report here.

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