NEWPORT, R.I. –
Army Maj. Randall Kizziar was preparing to attend the traditional intermediate level education (ILE) course at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas when he received a call from the state training officer, Army Maj. Jennifer Watson, with an opportunity he didn’t know existed but was immediately interested.
“Watson called and asked me if I wanted to go to Newport,” Kizziar said. “I didn’t know where Newport was or what was there. She explained that this schooling would take place at the Naval War College. After she told me I would simultaneously complete ILE, AOC [Advanced Officer Course], JPME [Joint Professional Military Education] credit and obtain a master’s degree, I knew this opportunity was too good to pass up.”
Kizziar took the opportunity to attend the Advanced Strategist Program at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, graduating on March 1, 2022. It is a 13-month course for U.S. Naval officers that focuses on advanced military strategy both on land and sea. Army and Air Force officers are given the opportunity to attend the course to provide cross-service interactions and training to strengthen the bonds between branches of the military in the multi-domain joint environment.
“The Naval War College did a good job keeping classes as diverse as possible,” Kizziar said. “There were at least two foreign students in each class; plus, representation from the other services and civilian sectors.”
The coursework was challenging, but attending the residential program allowed him to focus on his studies without the usual complications of balancing civilian and military jobs as most National Guard officers do when completing their advanced military education courses, which are often conducted through distance learning.
“It was hard work but very rewarding,” Kizziar said. “Being able to solely focus on school was very helpful.”
Studying wasn’t the only thing Kizziar did while at the Naval War College. As part of the program, students can bring their families to live with them in Newport for the duration of the course. This provides families the opportunity to enrich themselves in the history of Newport and the Northeast.
“Our kids have now been to all the Northeast states, the top of Mt. Washington, Washington D.C., Niagara Falls, Plymouth, and much more,” Kizziar said. “It was great being able to share so many first-time experiences with the family.”
One of the primary benefits to attending the course was the ability to complete multiple education requirements in one year. Kizziar complete his intermediate level education course, which traditionally is a year long distance learning course. He also completed his advanced officer course, another year long distance learning course, and was awarded a master’s degree in Defense and Strategic Studies.
Naval War College is not the only broadening opportunity available to National Guard officers. Other opportunities include Harvard Strategist Program; Army Congressional Fellowship; School of Advanced Military Studies; UK Intermediate Command and Staff Course; White House Fellowship; Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA); Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) Fellowship; and CGSC Interagency Broadening Fellowship.
To get more information about broadening opportunities for captains, majors, and lieutenant colonels talk to your training officer or visit the human recourse command’s broadening opportunities program on their website at hrc.army.mil.