The Field of Study
Military and Strategic Studies
All cadets complete mandatory courses referred to as the core curriculum. All core courses contribute to a professional nucleus for future officer development and form a broad critical and analytical foundation upon which all academic majors are built.
The MSS core courses provide the cornerstone and capstone for an officer’s strategic thinking. These courses impart and develop professional knowledge as well as build skills in strategic thought and theoretical analysis. They reinforce the direction set in key USAF institutional documents such as Secretary of the Air Force Letters to Airmen and Chief of Staff of the Air Force Vectors. To meet USAF requirements and provide cadets operational relevance and intellectual rigor, we compare, update, and coordinate the MSS core with other academic departments for content integration. Additionally, we continually collaborate with professional military educational programs including US war and staff colleges, the USAF School for Advanced Air and Space Studies, USAF battle laboratories, appropriate civilian undergraduate and graduate programs and selected foreign military curricula. The MSS curriculum builds knowledge of classic military theory prompting critical study of contemporary strategy and doctrine, ensuring cadets graduate with a strong foundation for continued professional education and development. The MSS curriculum employs group dynamics and a learning-focused classroom model combining experience, training, and education processes to motivate cadets and explore key concepts. Cadets learn through classroom interaction, debate, case study and application to prepare for entry into the military profession.
MSS 200 - Airpower and the Military Profession
This course provides cadets the professional military educational cornerstone for development as an Airman through responsible strategic thinking. Drawing on a wide range of operational and strategic art, cadets evaluate air, space, and cyber capabilities and theories, adaptively formulating and applying concepts in contemporary contexts. This course seeks to develop ethical and effective Air Force leaders who can form creative solutions to complex problems. Intended to be taken during the cadet’s first four semesters. Final exam. Prereq: None. Sem hrs: 3 fall or spring.
MSS 415 - Joint Operations Strategy in Regional Contexts
MSS 416 - Joint Operations Strategy and Technology
First-class cadets (seniors) choose one of these seminars.
MSS 415 - This seminar course focuses
on strategic military assumptions, processes, and interactions across and within U.S. military
operational domains. Within the context of contemporary and emerging strategic technologies and
service attitudes toward technology and its operational effects, cadets evaluate current and
emerging operational environments, developing requisite knowledge, analytical, and decision- making
skills. Cadets apply the capabilities of U.S. military services across domains, illustrating
strategy, doctrine, technology, and service culture within diverse threat contexts. The course
integrates special operations and coalition forces and includes joint/coalition/interagency
operational simulations. Emphasis is on teamwork. Final exam and/or final paper. Prereq:
MSS 200. Sem hrs: 3 fall or spring.
MSS 416 - This seminar course focuses on strategic military assumptions, processes, and interactions across and within regions of interest to the United States military. Cadets evaluate current and emerging operational environments in Combatant Command Areas of Responsibility, developing requisite knowledge, analytical, and decision-making skills. Cadets apply the capabilities of all U.S. military services across domains, illustrating strategy, doctrine, technology, and service culture within diverse threat contexts. The course integrates special operations and coalition forces and includes joint/coalition/interagency operational simulations. Emphasis is on teamwork. Final exam and/or final paper. Prereq: MSS 200. Sem hrs: 3 fall or spring.