SAASS awards 48 degrees

special Courtesy of
the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies

6/17/2013 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. - -- The School of Advanced Air and Space Studies presented 44 students with master's degrees and four with doctorates Wednesday.

Four former SAASS graduates also received a Doctor of Philosophy degree in military strategy during this academic year.

"This has been a terrific year at SAASS," said Col. Jeffrey Smith, the school's commandant and dean. "SAASS Class 22 exemplified and exceeded the high standards that SAASS demands. Our Air Force, sister services, total force and coalition partners from India, Australia and France are now better prepared to provide significant strategic-level insight. It was a true pleasure to work alongside this tremendously successful and professional class."

Smith said SAASS, one of the military's leading advanced studies programs, is mission critical and highly demanding, specializing in the art and science of air, space and cyberspace power used to defend the United States and protect its interests.

The 50-week program consisted of 10 core courses in subjects such as the foundations of strategy and military theory, international relations, air power history and operations and courses on irregular warfare, innovation and technology, space power and cyberpower. Students were required to read more than 144 books. The curriculum ended with a class on strategy and campaign planning, where the officers participated in a multi-regional wargame.

In addition to their coursework, each student was required to write an original thesis on a strategically relevant topic.

"These students possessed fantastic qualifications and careers ahead of them before even coming to SAASS," said Dr. Richard Muller, dean of academics. "To their credit, they volunteered to take an extra year out of their life and pursue a very rigorous and demanding program in order to master strategic studies. Now they will go back into the field with additional knowledge and perspectives that will allow them to do great things for the Air Force, their service and their respective countries."

Students were thankful for the opportunity to expand their knowledge of strategy and warfare.

"As a class, we are grateful for the opportunity to spend a year gaining a deeper understanding of strategy, the history of warfare and of the use of air power in pursuit of military and political objectives," said student Lt. Col. Lawrence Sullivan. "Our hope is that armed with this knowledge, we can make a meaningful contribution to our services and our country."

Of the 44 graduate students receiving Master of Philosophy degrees in military strategy, eight were selected to pursue a Doctor of Philosophy with Air University. These officers will serve in operational assignments while researching and developing a dissertation. These same graduates also will have the prospect of returning to Air University to complete their dissertations in the future through the Lorenz Fellowship, which affords the needed time to research and write as well as awarding in-residence senior development education.

"We feel privileged to be able to teach such fine students," Muller said. "Their enthusiasm and hard work has made it a rewarding year not only for them, but for us as a faculty."