Military Education Level 1 Programs


  • Resident Education Program
  • Distance Education Program
  • USAWC Fellows Program

The Resident Education Program and Distance Education Program, both offered by the School of Strategic Landpower, represent the Army's highest level of professional military education—that is, Military Education Level 1 (MEL 1).

The educational program is designed for senior military and civilian leaders—at the lieutenant colonel and colonel rank, typically with 22 years of service—to prepare for service at the strategic level in a joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational (JIIM) national security community

The School develops strategic leaders by providing a strong foundation of wisdom, grounded in mastery of the profession of arms, and by educating future leaders in the theory and practice of strategy, operations, national security, resource management, and responsible command.

  • Students may earn a  Master’s degree in Strategic Studies in both the resident and distance programs, accredited by Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Resident program graduates are granted Joint Professional Military Education-Level II (JMPE-II) credit
  • Distance program graduates earn JMPE-1; selected students in the Distance program's Joint Studies Program earn JPME-II credit.

The resident and distance MEL 1 programs offer equivalent curriculums, each with core courses covering theories of war, strategic leadership, defense management, national security policy, and theater strategy, regional studies, and elective courses.

The resident class is in session for 10 months at Carlisle Barracks. The curriculum includes five core courses, multiple elective courses, a regional studies program, strategic research project, and national security staff rides to the Gettysburg battlefield, New York City, and Washington D.C., each with objectives tied to the curriculum.
The 382 students of the resident class of 2019 include–

  • 225 Army officers: Active, Reserve, Guard
  • 53 Navy, Marine, Air Force and Coast Guard officers, all components
  • 76 international officers/ fellows
  • 28 senior national security civilian professionals

The two-year distance program delivers its curriculum through online classes and discussion forums. It includes a two-week resident phase at Carlisle Barracks following each year of study, with graduation coming at the conclusion of the latter two-week period. The resident phases provide students opportunities for professional networking, national security staff rides, and engagement with strategic leaders.

The distance program extends the Army War College education to students stationed around the world and particularly to Reserve Component officers who complete the course while balancing other professional responsibilities.

The 375 students of the distance program of 2019 include-

  • 303 Army officers, primarily Army Reserve and Army National Guard
  • 30 Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force officers–active & reserve
  • 38 national security civilian professionals
  • 4 international officers/ fellows.