NEWS | April 7, 2021

Nuclear Posture Review Implementing Guidance Task 20 (Professional Military Education)

By Joint Staff J-7 Joint Force Development

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VIRIN: 210407-D-QC535-1003

Task #20 of the implementing guidance for the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) directs the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as follows:

Within 90 days, in coordination with the Chiefs of Staff of the Armed Services and Combatant Commanders, study and recommend methods to enhance and institutionalize professional military education and personnel distribution/assignment processes in order to improve the common understanding of nuclear capabilities and concepts across the force, improve the understanding of plan integration within the cadre of planners, and ensure necessary expertise exists at appropriate planning centers and Geographic Combatant Commanders.

This document does not address the entirety of Task #20. It focuses on the enhancement of Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) to achieve (a) stronger common understanding of nuclear issues across the force and (b) stronger understanding among planners of how the conventional and nuclear dimensions of possible conflict must be integrated into planning. The personnel issues identified in Task #20 are addressed by a separate study (i.e. "...personnel distribution/assignment processes..." and "...ensure necessary expertise exists at appropriate planning centers and Geographic Combatant Commanders.")

This document recognizes that Professional Military Education relates significant phases in an officer's career to five military educational levels (Pre-commissioning, Primary, Intermediate, Senior, General/Flag Officer). Only the last three levels are included as part of the enclosed recommendations. The Pre-commissioning level is not considered but Services are encouraged to examine the inclusion of relevant NPR topics where appropriate. Similarly, the Primary education level, with specific learning requirements for officers to serve in their military specialties, is under the purview of Service education directives but should also consider adopting the enclosed learning outcome where appropriate. In the remainder of this document, the focus will be on the Intermediate, Senior, and General/Flag Officer education levels of JPME (a portion of the larger PME) for which the Chairman provides direction and regularly reviews to reaffirm their accreditation.

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