"...this is the only college in the school system where the basic mission will be to give instruction on the theater and major joint task force level..."
General Dwight D. Eisenhower (in a memorandum to Admiral
Chester W. Nimitz), 12 June 1946 [doc]
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
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.
**JFSC Historical Documents
3 June 1946
Memorandum for General Eisenhower from Admiral Nimitz [doc]
12 June 1946
Memorandum for Admiral Nimitz from General Eisenhower [doc]
13 August 1946
From: Secretary of
the Navy - Establishment of the Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Virginia [doc]
Links noted as [doc
] are Word files and require Microsoft Word or the Word Viewer