Newport, Rhode Island - The U.S. Naval War College (NWC) is now accepting online applications through June 30 for the College of Distance Education's 2014-2015 Fleet Seminar Program (FSP).

The FSP serves as an avenue for officers to complete Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) Phase I, without attending the year-long resident program in Newport, R.I.

The NWC accepts applications from active and Reserve commissioned officers and civilian employees of the federal government.

There are no tuition fees and course materials are provided on a loan basis. All applicants must have previously earned at least a baccalaureate degree.

To be eligible for the FSP, applicants must either be: Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard O-3 and above; Army or Air Force O-4 and above; or federal civilian employees in the grade of government service-11 or equivalent and above. Selected staff members serving in the federal Executive, Legislative, and Judiciary branches are also eligible for enrollment.

For academic year 2014-2015, the program's planned 19 regional locations are: Washington, D.C.; San Diego and Port Hueneme, Calif.; Jacksonville, Mayport and Pensacola, Fla.; Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Great Lakes, Ill.; New Orleans, La.; Annapolis and Patuxent River, Md.; Newport, R.I.; Millington, Tenn.; Fort Worth, Texas; Dahlgren and Norfolk, Va.; Bangor, Everett and Whidbey Island, Wash.

The NWC conducts coursework in unison at all FSP locations. This provides students a unique opportunity to attend class at multiple FSP locations while completing mission-essential transfers and temporary assignments.

Qualified individuals currently stationed at FSP locations and those who expect to transfer to a FSP location, prior to Sept. 1, 2014, are encouraged to apply. The application deadline is June 30, 2014, and all applicants will be advised of their enrollment status by mid-August 2014.

"The College of Distance Education has been providing non-resident educational opportunities for 100 years. In today's challenging Navy, the education that officers receive through both the resident and non-resident courses offered by NWC is a key component in their development as leaders," said Tim Garrold, Fleet Seminar program manager and professor at NWC. "What our students learn through this program will help them to improve their ability to think critically and strategically and contribute to the needs of the Navy and joint forces of the future."

The FSP graduate-level courses, Strategy and War, Theater Security Decision Making, and Joint Maritime Operations (JMO), are similar in content and methodology to the intermediate-level program of study in the resident College of Naval Command and Staff program.

The FSP students are led by adjunct and visiting NWC faculty and meet as a seminar of no more than 18 students, one evening per week, starting in early September and ending in early May.

Whether examining case studies of complex real-world issues or exploring the operational level of war throughout the range of military operations, students can expect a rigorous and academically demanding program that makes a difference in their future success.

For one FSP student currently studying JMO in Washington, D.C., his recent learning has enabled him to provide strategic and fundamental thought to the analysis of competing positions during a recent national professional conference.

"I know that JMO is important, and I was aware that someday I would have to use it," said Lt. Christopher Murphy. "But I never expected a real-world application to hit me this soon that covered so much of what we've learned."

Successful completion of all three courses results in the award of a College of Naval Command and Staff diploma, as well as credit for intermediate JPME Phase I.

"By participating in this program, officers are making an investment in themselves," said Garrold. "The Fleet Seminar Program offers a great opportunity to gain education that matters, and it's a superb opportunity for officers to spend time thinking about the transition from platform-centric expertise to executive leadership competence."

For more information and application, visit the NWC College of Distance Education website at www.usnwc.edu/FleetSeminar.