The Marine Corps University was established in 1989 to serve as the focal point for the Marine Corps' professional military education programs. It provides the structure and policy for the Corps' worldwide professional military education network, integrating both resident and nonresident programs for all Marines, active and reserve. Like any university, it is made up of various schools with curricula and programs oriented to students at all levels. The resident schools below educate Marine leaders from sergeant to colonel.
In 1989, 14 schools were combined to create the new Marine Corps University that would provide professional military education and instill professional values in today's Marine Corps officer and enlisted leaders. At the heart of the University is the General Alfred M. Gray Marine Corps Research Center Archives and Libraries. The Center is a superior facility designed as an educational resource with technology to support Marines around the world. It also links the University and the Corps to the Library of Congress and other civilian libraries and research facilities in the United States and abroad.
In 1995, the Marine Corps University received degree-granting authority for the Command and Staff College to confer the Master of Military Studies degree. And on December 6, 1999, the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) granted the University accredited status. This brought closure to the process started with the establishment of the University in 1989, and gave focus and progression to Marine Corps education. The Foundation is proud to have played a role in making, the 29th Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Alfred M. Gray's dream of a Marine Corps University a reality. Today the Foundation supports the eleven schools that comprise the Marine Corps University. Throughout the University over 15,000 students (including 100 sister service members, Department of Defense civilians and international students) benefit from Foundation sponsored educational programs each year.
Marine Corps War College
The Marine Corps War College is designed to provide a select group of Marines and other Service majors/lieutenant commanders or lieutenant colonel/commander selectees with an education in the nature of, preparation for, and conduct of war and military operations other than war. The War College prepares officers to assume senior positions of increasingly complex responsibility associated with the application of maritime expeditionary warfare, Marine Air-Ground Task Force operations, joint and multinational warfare concepts, national military strategy, the elements of national power, and national security strategy. Highlights of the curriculum include active learning seminars with prominent guests, frequent trips to national agencies in the Washington D.C. area, and national and international travel to visit unified commanders and their staffs to learn more about their areas of responsibility.
Command and Staff College
The Command and Staff College provides field grade officers of the Marine Corps, other Services, and officers from selected foreign countries the intermediate level professional military education required to function in command and staff assignments with joint, combined, service and other high level military organizations. Emphasis is on duties with Marine Air Ground Task Forces at the Marine Expeditionary Force level operating in a joint and/or combined environment. A guest-lecture program includes high-level government officials and members of the academic community. The instruction is presented in the setting of a field-grade workshop requiring individual and group problem solving enhanced by extensive student exercises, computer-assisted battle simulations and historical battle studies.
School of Advanced Warfighting
The School of Advanced Warfighting provides a graduate-level professional military education for selected field grade officers of the Marine Corps, other Services and selected foreign countries. The school educates officers in the capabilities, limitations and requirements of military institutions and the application of that knowledge to improve the warfighting capabilities of a nation. The curriculum is designed as a progressive study of the framework for military institutions and how nations prepare for war. The course analyzes recent and contemporary military history, focusing on problems that military leaders have faced and the subsequent influence their solution has had on military institutions. The instruction is presented in the setting of a field grade officer graduate seminar, where the emphasis is on active learning and problem solving.
Expeditionary Warfare School
The Expeditionary Warfare School, established at Quantico as the the Amphibious Warfare School in 1921, is a nine-month course providing career-level professional military education with emphasis on combined arms operations, warfighting skills, tactical decision-making and Marine Air Ground Task Forces in amphibious operations. It prepares Marine captains to function as commanders and staff officers at appropriate levels within the Fleet Marine Force up to and including the Marine Expeditionary Brigade. In addition, it provides career- level professional military education to selected officers from the Marine Corps Reserve.
Essential to this education is the development of the students' communication skills and leadership abilities. Occupational Field Expansion Courses in Ground Combat, Aviation and Combat Service Support supplement the core curriculum to more fully prepare graduates for anticipated billets in the Fleet Marine Force.
Command and Control Systems School
The Command and Control Systems School, established at Quantico on June 1, 1944, offers three resident courses and also provides command, control and communications-related instruction to the other schools within the University.
The Basic Communication Officers Course is an entry-level course of instruction for selected graduates of The Basic School and officers from foreign countries. It provides the student with familiarization of command and staff duties, responsibilities of the small-unit communications officer and the communications systems of units of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force with primary emphasis on the battalion landing team.
The Command and Control Systems Course is a 41-week career-level course for selected Marine officers and officers of other Services. It prepares them for assignment to command and staff billets in the Fleet Marine Force and with other Services as well as joint duty in a unified command.
The Reserve Communication Officers Course is a one-month reserve course conducted in two-week increments on consecutive years. It provides initial skill training for reserve officers to employ communications equipment and to execute communications officer staff responsibilities in support of Marine Air-Ground Task Force operations.
Staff Noncommissioned Officer Academy
The Staff Noncommissioned Officer Academy was established at Quantico in February 1971. It offers Noncommissioned and Staff Noncommissioned Officers professional military education and leadership training in preparation for assuming duties of greater responsibility.
In 1987, the Commandant of the Marine Corps re-affirmed that all Marines were basic infantrymen and endorsed teaching tactics, weapons, and rifleman skills in the Academies' curricula. He also directed that all the academies he directed by a senior enlisted Marine.
The Academy at Quantico, provides five active duty courses annually. They are the Sergeant Major/Master Gunnery Sergeant Symposium, First Sergeant/Master Sergeant Seminar, and the Advanced, Career, and Sergeants' Courses. Also conducted are three Reserve courses. the Advanced, Career, and the Sergeants' Reserve Courses. Quantico is specifically designated as the lead academy for the validation of all enlisted professional military education. As courses are approved, updated new course materials provide the most current academic programs and overall coordination to the SNCO Academies located at El Toro, CA, Camp Lejeune, NC, and Marine Corps Base, Camp Butler, Okinawa, and to the two independent Sergeants' courses located at 29 Palms, CA, and Marine Corps Air Station, Kaneohe Ray, Hawaii.
General Alfred M. Gray Marine Corps Research Center
The General Alfred M. Gray Marine Corps Research Center is a 100,500 square foot facility specifically designed to meet the growing information needs of the Marine Corps as it enters the 21st century. Since it opened May 6, 1993, it has provided the University with state-of-the-art research and expanded conference and seminar capabilities.
The mission of the Research Center is to support the Marine Corps by providing a comprehensive facility for the study of expeditionary and amphibious warfighting. It focuses on linking scholarly research and schools of professional military education with lessons learned from the field in order to stimulate the development of successful concepts, doctrine, tactics, techniques, and procedures.
A comprehensive collection of traditional library, research, and archival material is readily available within the facility. The Research Center ultimately will contain over 500,000 items, including maps, books, reports, annuals and historically significant planning documents. The facility itself consists of five functional areas: the James Carson Breckinridge Professional Library, the Research Library/Patron Work Area, the Family Library, the Marine Corps University Archives, and the Marine Corps Lessons Learned Library. In addition, patrons visiting the Center are able to access a variety of electronic bulletin boards, on-line electronic data bases, and CD-ROM titles. Because the Research Center's bibliographic and on-line data bases are linked to the world-wide Marine Corps Data Network, Marines can access this informational resource from anywhere in the world.
The Research Center also has a Conference Wing which contains a 250-person auditorium and a large conference room that can be divided into three seminar rooms, each holding approximately 35 people. A state-of-the-art audiovisual system is available to users of the auditorium and meeting rooms.
The Research Center is a Marine Corps asset. It is designed to serve the information needs of the operating forces around the world as well as those of the students and faculty members of the University, By collecting, organizing, accessing and disseminating information, the Research Center will remain a key resource whose value will continue to grow well into the 21st century.