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NPS Welcomes New Chief of Staff
U.S. Navy photo by Javier Chagoya

NPS Welcomes New Chief of Staff

By MC1 Lewis Hunsaker

The Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) welcomed its newest Chief of Staff (CoS), U.S. Navy Capt. Mike Ward to the university this month. And while Ward is new to the position, he is not new to NPS, graduating from the university’s Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) program via distance learning in 2006.

“In 2004, while on shore tour in Norfolk, I jumped at enrolling in the newly established NPS EMBA program. And while the program was challenging, I really enjoyed the educational experience, and it no doubt benefitted my career and professional development,” Ward said. “Coming to NPS as CoS, it was exciting for me to meet again with the professionals who run the program, and meet with one of my favorite EMBA professors, Dr. David Henderson, before his retirement this month.”

Designated a Naval Flight Officer in December 1990, Ward accumulated more than 3,100 flight hours and 595 carrier arrested landings supporting peacekeeping operations in the former Yugoslavia as well as in Operation Southern Watch, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Ward comes to NPS following a tour as Comptroller for U.S. Naval Forces Europe/U.S. Naval Forces Africa/U.S. Sixth Fleet in Naples, Italy.

“As a ‘Navy Brat’ dependent, I always wanted to join the Navy and fly airplanes off aircraft carriers, and that was my enduring motivation to join the Navy after graduating college,” Ward recalls.  “My 28-year career has been a tremendous personal and professional experience and it’s taken my family all over the U.S. in addition to multiple overseas tours.

“My most recent experience as Comptroller in NAVEUR/NAVAF Naples, Italy was unique and challenging as a career aviator, but it’s definitely prepared me to work outside my comfort zone and I know it will help me as the NPS CoS,” he added.

Ward has spent his first few weeks on campus getting a crash course in all things NPS, involved in countless meetings and briefs. As he looks ahead to his tenure as NPS’ senior military officer, he says there are definitely opportunities for the Chief of Staff to assist in advancing NPS’ unique mission of graduate education and relevant research.

“Thanks to a thorough and informative turnover period with Col. Todd Lyons, I was able to get a clear picture of the NPS mission and vision, as well as its organization and processes,” Ward stressed. “I’m excited to be part of such a tremendous team as we focus on providing advanced education to the military’s future leaders and enable the relevant and game-changing research.”

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September 2017

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