Joint Services Command and Staff College

Joint Services Command and Staff College (JSCSC) is a British military academic establishment providing training and education to experienced officers of the Royal Navy, Army, Royal Air Force, Ministry of Defence Civil Service, and serving officers of other states.

Joint Services Command and Staff College
Former names
Motto"Unity is Strength"
TypeStaff college
Parent institution
Defence Academy of the United Kingdom
CommandantMajor General Andrew Roe
Location, ,


JSCSC combined the single service provision of the British Armed Forces: Royal Naval College, Greenwich, Staff College, Camberley, RAF Staff College, Bracknell, and the Joint Service Defence College, Greenwich. Initially formed at Bracknell in 1997, the college moved to a purpose-built facility in the grounds of the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom at Watchfield in Oxfordshire in 2000.[1]

Command, control and organisation

JSCSC is a component of the Defence Academy and the commandant is a full member of the DA Management Board, reporting to the director of the Defence Academy. The commandant is a two-star appointment (rear admiral, major general or air vice marshal) and can be filled by candidates from each of the three services. Within JSCSC itself, each service is represented by a one-star assistant commandant, each with responsibility for both single service issues and delivery of training. The dean of academic studies leads King's College London's Defence Studies Department, which provides theoretical and conceptual academic education in partnership with the military directing staff.[2]


As of 2016, the JSCSC provides the following courses, amongst others:

  • Higher Command and Staff Course: aimed at OF-6 rank (Commodores, Brigadiers & Air Commodores) or OF-5 (Captains RN, Colonels & Group Captains)
  • Advanced Command and Staff Course: aimed at OF-4 rank (Commanders, Lieutenant Colonels & Wing Commanders)
  • Intermediate Command and Staff Course: aimed at OF-3 rank (Lieutenant Commanders, Majors & Squadron Leaders)

Royal Navy Division

  • Intermediate Command and Staff Course (Maritime): Aimed at Lieutenant Commanders, Lieutenants and civil servants
    • Elements:
      • Command, Leadership, Management and Ethos
      • Staff and Communication Skills, including Defence Writing
      • Strategic Studies: The International Environment and UK Defence Management
      • Maritime Studies: Strategy, Environment, Capabilities, and the Royal Navy
      • Joint Studies: Capabilities, Environment, and Joint and Combined Operations[3]
  • Intermediate Command and Staff Course (Maritime Reserve)[4]
  • Advanced Amphibious Warfare Course[5]

Army Division

  • Intermediate Command and Staff Course (Land): Aimed at Army and Royal Marine Majors, and civil servants
    • Elements:
      • Staff and Communication Skills
      • Command Leadership and Management
      • Global Effects on Defence
      • Higher Management of Defence and the Army
      • Equipment and Capability
      • Land Warfare – including Formation Level Planning and Military Assistance to stabilisation and Development[6]
  • Intermediate Command and Staff Course (Land Reserve)[7]

RAF Division

  • Intermediate Command and Staff Course (Air): Aimed at Squadron Leaders and civil servants
    • Elements
      • Introduction
      • Air and space power
      • Strategic context
      • Warfighting and planning
      • Command, Leadership and Management[8]


The college crest features a cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo), a symbol of all three armed services; Britain's largest seabird flies, swims on the sea surface and catches its fish underwater, yet builds its nest on dry land (either on cliffs or in riverside trees). The cormorant was derived from the symbol of the Joint Service Defence College. The alumni association of the college, open to graduates of the Higher Command and Staff Course, the Advanced Command and Staff Course and staff of the college, is named the Cormorant Club.[9]


The following have commanded the college:[10][11]


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