Navy Bases

Joint Forces Staff College. Virginia

In the 1930s, few officers were qualified, either by training or experience, to engage in joint operations. The demands of World War II brought out the urgent need for joint action by ground, sea, and air forces.

To alleviate the friction and misunderstanding resulting from lack of joint experience, the Joint Chiefs of Staff established an Army and Navy Staff College (ANSCOL) in 1943. ANSCOL conducted a four-month course that was successful in training officers for joint command and staff duties.

After the war, educational requirements for the armed forces were fully examined. Although thorough contingency planning was recognized as essential for waging war on a joint and combined scale, ANSCOL, which had been established to meet the immediate needs of war, was discontinued.

A joint committee was appointed to prepare a directive for a new school. This directive, which was approved by the Joint Chiefs of Staff on 28 June 1946, established the Armed Forces Staff College (AFSC). Responsibility for the operation and maintenance of its facilities was charged to the Chief of Naval Operations.

Following a temporary residence in Washington, D.C., AFSC was established in Norfolk, Virginia, on 13 August 1946. The site, formerly a U.S. Naval Receiving Station, was selected by the Secretaries of War and Navy because of its immediate availability and its proximity to varied high-level military activities. There were 150 students from all Services in the first class. They assembled in converted administration buildings on 3 February 1947 to be greeted by the first commandant, Air Force Lieutenant General Delos C. Emmons. The faculty officers came from joint assignments in all theaters of World War II.

With the construction of Normandy Hall in 1962, AFSC completed its transition from a temporary to a permanent institution. AFSC was assigned to the National Defense University on 12 August 1981. In the summer of 1990, AFSC changed from an intermediate joint professional military education school to a TDY institution where Phase II of the Chairman's Program for Joint Education is taught.

On October 30, 2000, the President signed the Defense Authorization Bill renaming Armed Forces Staff College (AFSC) to Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC).

The staff, faculty, and students are assigned by each Service to foster a joint atmosphere.

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