Joint Services Staff College

Joint Forces Staff College

The Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC) located in Norfolk, Virginia, was established as the Armed Forces Staff College in 1946 and incorporated into the National Defense University in August 1981. It educates and acculturates joint and multinational warfighters to plan and lead at the operational level. Military operations increasingly require the Armed Services to work jointly and JFSC provides students the tools to operate in a joint environment. JFSC is composed of four schools, each with different student populations and purposes.


To educate military officers and other national security leaders in joint, multinational, and interagency operational-level planning and warfighting, to instill a primary commitment to joint, multinational, and interagency teamwork, attitudes, and perspectives.

Schools composing the JFSC

  • Joint Advanced Warfighting School (JAWS)
  • Joint and Combined Warfighting School (JCWS)
  • Joint Command, Control & Information Operations School (JC2IOS)


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. ANSCOL, which had been established to meet the immediate needs of war, was discontinued upon its conclusion.

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. 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., JFSC was established in Norfolk, Virginia, on August 13, 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 February 3, 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, JFSC completed its transition from a temporary to a permanent institution. JFSC was assigned to the National Defense University on August 12, 1981. The staff, faculty, and students are assigned by each Service to foster a joint atmosphere.


The Joint Forces Staff College is located in Norfolk, Virginia on land adjacent to Naval Station Norfolk.

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