What do future commanders study when they go to a war college?


History obviously seems beneficial, but I was wondering how it is approached in a classroom setting. Where would a young, good future commander excel at?

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It’s an amalgamation of an entire career of experience put simply. There are courses and cross branch training/cross nation training. But ultimately it comes down to experience.

Military Colleges like West Point are really just a regular University with a military slant.

You can earn degrees in the Sciences, engineering, philosophy, economics, psychology, sociology, nuclear engineering, chemical engineering, computer science, civil engineering, political science, etc

The courses include heavy slants on the military including physical education and sports, military history, leadership, and tactics. But most of the courses are no different from any other higher educational institution. But you also have to wear a uniform.

Higher education helps teach history, learning from past mistakes, and critical thinking which are important for a commander. That’s also why military colleges teach the liberal arts, it’s not just sports and combat practice you are going to a real university.

The old saying in the military is “send your best and your brightest”, the military wants highly educated and intelligent people particularly in the officer core. To get promoted to a higher level they expect you to get a Masters or even a Doctorate degree.

There are a lot of useful things you need to know that you won’t get in most history books.

1) logistics: how to keep your troops fed & supplied

2) organization: who you need to obey and who must obey you.

3) industry: one of the big advantages of the US Army in WW2 is every single general )(except Patton – too old) attended the War Industrial College and thus knew how tanks & airplanes were made, prices, and fuel consumption. In comparison, the Germans built a tank so heavy it couldn’t cross highway bridges (Tiger II), and the Japanese expected aircraft without radios to fly 700 miles across the sea.