329th officer graduates from 2018 resident Army War College class

Col. Weedon Gallagher (left), commander of the Virginia Army National Guard’s 329th Regional Support Group, poses with Lt. Col. Matthew D. Way (right), commander of the 1940th and 1945th Contingency Contract Teams, following Way’s graduation from the U.S. Army War College June 8, 2018, at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. Way was one of 370 graduates of the course, which focuses on key concepts in the study of war at the strategic level.  (Courtesy photo)

Col. Weedon Gallagher (left), commander of the Virginia Army National Guard’s 329th Regional Support Group, poses with Lt. Col. Matthew D. Way (right), commander of the 1940th and 1945th Contingency Contract Teams, following Way’s graduation from the U.S. Army War College June 8, 2018, at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. Way was one of 370 graduates of the course, which focuses on key concepts in the study of war at the strategic level. (Courtesy photo)

U.S. Army Garrison, Carlisle Barracks, Pa. — Lt. Col. Matthew D. Way, commander of the Virginia Beach-based 1940th and 1945th Contingency Contract Teams, 329th Regional Support Group, graduated in the top third of his class from the U.S. Army War College June 8, 2018. The USAWC educates and develops leaders for service at the strategic level and produces graduates who are skilled critical thinkers and complex problem solvers in the global application of landpower.

Way was selected for the resident USAWC Course as a U.S. civil service professional through his full-time civilian job with the Joint Improvised Threat Defeat Organization. The selection process was rigorous and included a series of selection boards and interviews. The course began July 31, 2017, and he graduated June 8, 2018, along with 370 of his classmates at U.S. Army Garrison, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania.

“This was an incredible opportunity to not only learn from the experienced faculty of the USAWC, but also my talented classmates coming out of various battalion command or other senior operational positions,” said Way. “This year of study allowed me to understand the importance of the people, policy, and process that support our national objectives at the strategic level.”

The course focuses on key concepts in the study of war at the strategic level that includes national security policy, strategic leadership, and national strategy with a focus on the relationships among military, economic, diplomatic, and informational elements of power in both a domestic and international context.

“It’s no surprise that Lt. Col. Way’s civilian employer, JIDO, sees the same potential as we see,” said Col. Weedon Gallagher, the 329th RSG commander. “Somehow, Matt continued to attend drill and develop the team of acquisition professionals in the CCTs while enrolled in a senior service college program; this is an officer dedicated to our profession. It was particularly inspiring to see his wife, Megan, and the rest of his family at the graduation ceremony, supportive of Matt’s service.”

Studies also include the decision and resource systems of the Department of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Department of the Army. Focus is on the landpower component of the national military strategy in both current and future settings; and includes analyzing, evaluating, and formulating resourcing and force structure issues and responses for combatant commands and joint operations.

In addition to the core USAWC curriculum, Way was also selected to the Advance Strategic Art Program, described as a six-month, honors-like experience for 13 U.S. resident students to serve as strategic advisors capable of making an immediate impact in the complex joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational environment. Completion of this course provided an Additional Skill Identifier qualification as a 6Z, Strategist.

“It was a humbling year,” said Way. “It highlights your own personal shortfalls and I walked away with a renewed sense of understanding about the importance for continuous professional learning and effective communication to serve as a strategic advisor.”