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Friday, February 4, 2011

Norwich announces two military history programs with battle “field” trips

For Immediate Release
Feb. 4, 2011

Contact: Daphne Larkin
802-485-2886 or 595-3613(m)

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Norwich University officials announced open registration for two upcoming experiential military history programs, called “staff rides,” to begin in March.

Organized through the School of Graduate and Continuing Studies’ (SGCS) Master of Arts in Military History (MMH), the programs begin with 11 weeks of instructor-led online learning and culminate in educational tours of historic Civil War battlefields.

A study of the Overland Campaign runs online from March 7 - May 22, and from May 15 - 21students from all over the country get together with the instructor to tour and examine the battlefields of the Wilderness, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor and Petersburg.

The instructor is Professor Chuck Sanders of Kansas State University, a retired US Army colonel and historian specializing in 19th century American history.

“We try to get students to see how the battlefield must have looked to the participants and why battles unfolded as they did,” said James Ehrman, MMH program director.

The second staff ride is an examination of the strategic decisions made during the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg, and the online course runs June – August culminating in an instructor-led tour of the battlefields.

Students, who must have earned a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in order to be eligible, may either audit the course or earn one graduate level credit for the successful completion of one of the programs.

About staff rides:

A staff ride was an exercise developed by the German General Staff in the 19th century. The general staff studied past campaigns to glean lessons from them and also traveled to the battlefields to explore them on horseback or on foot. The general staff felt their staff officers really only truly understood how and why campaigns and battles unfolded as they did if they had the opportunity to examine the terrain and see things from the perspective of the people they were studying. The US Army still uses staff rides as learning tools.

“Norwich was founded upon experiential learning, and we believe staff rides are an excellent way for students to learn more about Civil War battles,” Ehrman said.

To register, or learn more about the Overland Campaign program, please contact Benjamin Snipe at 802-485-2945, and for the Gettysburg or Master of Arts in Military History program, please contact Andrew Liptak at 802-485-2626.


Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army. Norwich University is the oldest private military college in the United States of America and the birthplace of our nation's Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). www.norwich.edu

Norwich University’s School of Graduate and Continuing Studies (SGCS) builds upon the institution’s 191 year academic heritage with innovative online master’s degrees in a variety of areas. SGCS also offers a certificate in teaching and learning and a bachelor’s completion program. The programs are recognized throughout the industry for their rigor, small class size, high student satisfaction and retention. http://graduate.norwich.edu/