Expect Challenge. Achieve Distinction.


head shot of General Breedlove
General Philip “Phil” Breedlove, U.S. Air Force (Retired) Senior Advisor

General Phil Breedlove is a proven strategic planner, motivational leader and talented communicator. During 39 years of service, he served in a variety of demanding joint command and staff positions, leading large-scale, diverse, global operations across two theaters of combat and earning a reputation as an inspirational leader focused on his people, their families and mission accomplishment. Leading a diverse political-military alliance, he was able to build consensus and form teams to accomplish complex tasks spanning multiple continents

As the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) and the Commander of U.S. European Command, he answered directly to NATO’s governing body, the North Atlantic Council, and to the President of the United States and Secretary of Defense. He led the most comprehensive and strategic structural and policy security changes in the alliance’s 70-year history. His diplomatic skills reassured allies, deterred potential aggressors, and maintained alliance unity during the most dynamic and challenging period since its inception. He led the forces of 28 nations and multiple partners in ensuring the security of an alliance that accounts for more than half the world’s GDP.

As Commander, U.S. Air Forces Europe and Air Forces Africa, General Breedlove was responsible for organizing, training, equipping and maintaining combat-ready forces while ensuring theater air defense forces were ready to meet the challenges of peacetime air sovereignty and wartime defense. This diverse portfolio included both theater and operational air and ballistic missile defense, areas where his operational designs remain in place today.

As Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force, he presided over the Air Staff and served as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Requirements Oversight Council and Deputy Advisory Working Group during a period of intense challenge, including devising measures to meet the requirements of the Budget Control Act’s required $480 billion reduction of the Department of Defense budget. Accordingly, he led the organization, training and equipping of more than 690,000 people serving in the U.S. Air Force and provided oversight of its $120 billion annual budget.

As Assistant Chief of Staff for Air Operations, Plans and Requirements, General Breedlove directed all Air Force operations across the globe, oversaw strategic and operational planning, and set the requirements for all Air Force procurement. Additionally, he was one of two original authors of the Defense Department’s Air-Sea Battle Concept.

General Breedlove served in a variety of assignments leading up to those leadership positions, including commanding a squadron, a group, three fighter wings, and a Numbered Air Force across three different continents. His extensive command experience in wartime, contingency planning, and humanitarian relief include operations in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

He earned his Bachelor of Civil Engineering degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Master of Science in Aerospace Technology from Arizona State University. Additionally, he completed a Master of International Security Affairs from the National War College, a Fellowship in International Security Affairs, Seminar XXI from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

learning, sharing, and camaraderie

October 5, 2021
  • Participants arrive at Burlington International Airport (BTV)
  • Norwich will provide transportation to Burlington area hotels
  • Meet and greet cocktail hour in main hotel conference room
  • 17:00 Dinner cruise on the Spirit of Ethan Allen
October 5, 2021
  • 0700 Breakfast, main conference room
  • 0800 Depart to Norwich University (transportation provided)
  • 0900 Arrive at Norwich University. Meet and great president in Milano ballroom
October 6, 2021
  • 0700 Breakfast, main conference room
  • 0800 Depart to Norwich University (transportation provided)
  • 0900
October 7, 2021
  • 0700 Breakfast, main conference room
  • 0800 Depart to Norwich University (transportation provided)
  • 0900
October 8, 2021
  • 0700 Breakfast, main conference room
  • 0800 Depart to Norwich University (transportation provided)
  • 0900

The 2021 International Symposium of Military Academies (ISOMA) at Norwich University
Monday through Friday, October 4-8, 2021



Portrait of Col. Mark Anarumo, USAF in uniform
Colonel Mark C. Anarumo, PhD, USAF (Ret) is the 24th president of Norwich University.

Welcome to Norwich University and the first International Symposium of Military Academies (ISOMA) Symposium in the United States. It is fitting that Norwich University host this inaugural event as Norwich founder Captain Alden Partridge is credited with advancing the initial concept of citizen soldiery educated in a collegiate setting. As the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), Norwich University was founded in 1819 and Partridge taught the necessary officership and military tactics appropriate in the day for defending the fledgling Republic in times of crisis. Your presence at this academic symposium honors Captain Partridge and Norwich University’s legacy of preparing military leaders in service to our nation for over two centuries.

In a world defined by uncertainty and complexity, and a security capacity increasingly dependent upon the ability to integrate multiple capabilities, cultural competencies, and adaptability to change, the focus of the five-day symposium is to explore what the future holds for military leaders and how the world’s senior military academies’ academic and leadership programs and experiential learning opportunities can support the critical thinking and disciplined actions required of our officers. We need to clarify and comprehend the changing nature of conflict and the new global threats that involve hybrids of state and non-state adversaries, cyberspace, unmanned and autonomous weapons systems, and climate change. Insights and actionable intelligence, trained to the highest standards and connected by a shared ethos is how we must inform and develop all of our young officers so they possess the academic fortitude, strength of character, and principled leadership required to thwart our enemies.

This symposium is an ideal place to discuss these issues with Norwich University Corps of cadets and civilian students, and to network with one another. Let us think boldly about the future, which is far more complex than ever imagined by Captain Partridge, with confidence that our future leaders have been well-prepared to think critically and creatively and to act honorably and morally as they face the challenges of the unknown.

Norwich Forever,
Col. Mark Anarumo, USAF (Ret.)
President, Norwich University

Honored to be first US Institution to host ISOMA

Norwich University is the nation’s oldest private military college. Founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge, its mission is “To give our youth an education that shall be American in its character — to enable them to act as well as to think — to execute as well as to conceive — ‘to tolerate all opinions when reason is left free to combat them’ — to make moral, patriotic, efficient, and useful citizens, and to qualify them for all those high responsibilities resting upon a citizen of this free republic.”

Norwich University holds a very special place in the nation’s landscape of higher education. Captain Partridge believed the ideal education was a practical, scientific and liberal one which prepares youth for the responsibilities of peace and war. He was convinced by the lessons of history, both ancient and modern, that a well-trained citizen-soldiery was the best defense of a republic because citizen-soldiers “identified in views, in feelings, and in interests, with the great body of the community.” He created a novel program that combined civilian liberal arts and theoretical and practical military studies in order to produce educated and useful citizen-soldiers mentally and physically fit. He pioneered experiential learning, adopting field training as a regular and important extension of theory learned in the classroom, and laid the foundation for the creation of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corp (ROTC).

Now over 200 years later, Norwich’s brand continues to reflect Captain Partridge’s vision and values and its reputation for preparing leaders to serve in the military, government and business is renown. There are less than 40 American institutions of higher learning as old as Norwich University and fewer still that continue to adhere to the educational principles of its founder. Partridge’s educational philosophy continues to guide Norwich University and serves as a touchstone by which the university can be measured and appraised.

There are more than 3,500 colleges and universities in the United States, but there is only one Norwich. It is a unique academic community that stresses a dynamic yet structured learning environment, self-discipline, a dedication to the concept of the citizen-soldier, and a commitment to the motto, “I Will Try.”

Learn more about the history and legacy of Norwich University

All ISOMA participants who submitted an abstract on this year’s theme, Preparing Military Leaders to Effectively Resolve 21st Century Service Challenges, have received confirmation of their acceptance. Accepted abstracts will be followed by an invitation to submit a paper by April 30, 2021 for blind peer review to be published in the Journal of Peace and War Studies (JPWS). The selected papers will form the JPWS special issue which will be published and disseminated at the 2021 International Symposium of Military Academies (ISOMA ) conference.

Preparing Military Leaders to Effectively Resolve 21st Century Security Challenges

Three sub-themes:

Relationships for Military Leaders
• Working with Partner Nations
• Civil Military Challenges
Mastering New Domains
(Developing Military Leaders’ capacity beyond traditional conceptions of Land, Sea, and Air)
• Cyber/Information
• Environmental Challenges and Security
• Space
Foundational Methods
(The cornerstones of our success)
• Leadership
• Ethics
• Educational Challenges/Methods

We welcome submissions from varied perspectives and unique insights from a broad range of authors for this special edition. In addition to academic abstracts in the fields of military education, peace and war studies, cyber, international relations, and political science, we also encourage submissions from experts outside these fields who envision the future from a myriad of perspectives and can contribute unique insights. These additional fields could include, but are not limited to, environmental science, anthropology, communications, biology, engineering, psychology, geography, architecture, and robotics. Finally, we encourage joint authorship with cadets, non-commissioned/commissioned officers, and security professionals/practitioners.

Each abstract/paper should offer unique insights, practices, training, or evidence-based predictions. The central focus for all submissions is to share best practices and approaches for professional and military training/education in order to prepare leaders to overcome 21st century challenges.

We look forward to your abstracts, the knowledge that you will share, and to be your host at Norwich University in October 2021.


  • October 2020: Paper abstract due
  • November 2020: Paper abstract acceptance notification & full paper invitation
  • April 2021: Full Paper Due
  • May 2021: Final Articles Blind Peer Review
  • July 2021: Review and Resubmit, if necessary
  • August 2021: Copy editing and final proofs
  • September 2021: Journal of Peace and War Studies, ISOMA Edition published
  • ISOMA: October 4-8, 2021

Getting Here

We encourage conference participants to arrive in Vermont by mid-day Oct. 4. For people flying into Burlington International Airport, the university will provide ground transportation to Montpelier, Vermont area hotels, then to campus, which is located off Interstate 89, Exit 4 via Route 12 North, about 50 miles from the airport.

Conference registration and registration materials will await you on our campus beginning on Tuesday, October 5. President Anarumo will host an evening welcome reception on Oct. 4.

View Accommodations

aerial view of montpelier village
Village of Montpelier, Vermont

About Montpelier, Vermont

Montpelier is the smallest state capital in the United States with a population of just under 8,000 people. It's a small town with big city amenities - a lively arts and music scene, great restaurants, pubs and shops, excellent outdoor recreation, and an active community life amidst spectacular Vermont foliage. Local artisans display their works on Main Street at Artisan’s Hand Craft Gallery, one of only five Vermont State Craft Centers in the state.

front of Vermont state capital in summer
The Vermont State House, located in Montpelier, is the state capitol of the U.S. state of Vermont

Montpelier is proud to be home to the Vermont State House, one of the oldest and best preserved of our nation's state capitols. After 140 years, the State House Chambers are the oldest legislative chambers in their original condition in the United States. As you tour the halls and chambers, you will develop a sense of what makes this historic building, and the State for which it was built, unique.

About Burlington, Vermont

church street burlington in evening
Church Street marketplace in Burlington, Vermont

Burlington, the most populated city in the Green Mountain State, is a celebrated, vibrant, small city located in northwestern Vermont on the eastern shoreline of Lake Champlain. The sunsets over the lake are superb, as is the assortment of restaurants, pubs and shops that line the pedestrian Church Street Marketplace and walkable streets and parks surrounding the college town and important commercial city.

A short walk from Church Street takes you to the nearby waterfront--lakeside parks, ferry crossings, excursion boats, and a 12.5 mile walking/bike path that connects to the Lake Champlain Islands by a special bike ferry in summer. Bicycles, rollerblades, kayaks, and sailboats are all available for rent.

The city harbors great museums and galleries too. The waterfront offers ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center, the go-to place to learn about the history and ecology of Lake Champlain. Nearby Pine Street and downtown are full of contemporary galleries, and the University of Vermont’s eclectic Fleming Museum is not to be missed.

About Northfield, Vermont

Located in the heart of Vermont's Green Mountains, Northfield is home to Norwich University, the oldest private military college in the United States. Northfield is an easy ten-mile drive from Montpelier, the state's capital. The Town of Northfield, Vermont was chartered in 1781 and consists of 38.3 square miles.The Town Common is the heart of Northfield’s downtown and home to banks, stores, restaurants, and a Farmer’s Market held weekly from mid May through mid October. Northfield also is home to six covered bridges, four of which are located in Northfield Falls in the northern part of town.

Participate Virtually

learning, sharing, and camaraderie

burlington waterfront
Lake Champlain waterfront in Burlington, Vermont


The International Association of Military Academies conference is a biennial international exchange forum focused on military academies’ training of young officers. The summit, which will include representatives from 40 nations, will explore meeting civil-military challenges through military leader relationships; developing military leaders’ capacity beyond traditional conceptions of land, sea and air; and leadership, ethics and educational challenges.   

Norwich University President and retired U.S. Air Force Col. Mark C. Anarumo welcomes International Association of Military Academies representatives and their guests to the 2021 ISOMA conference. It is our distinct honor to host you on our campus in picturesque Northfield, Vermont.

cyber war room space
Inside the cybersecurity "War Room" at Norwich University


We encourage conference participants to arrive in Vermont by mid-day Oct. 4. For people flying into Burlington International Airport, the university will provide ground transportation to Montpelier, Vermont area hotels, then to campus, which is located off Interstate 89, Exit 4 via Route 12 North, about 50 miles from the airport.   

Conference registration and registration materials will await you on our campus. President Anarumo will host an evening welcome reception on Oct. 4.

norwich tiny house build concept drawing
The "Lift" house concept drawing by the Norwich Design Build Collaborative


Once you’re here, we’ll have a plethora of activities to complement panel discussions and enhance your experience.  


Starting from Mack Hall, the conference hub, we’ll show you “the Hill,” and its amenities, our Thaddeus Buczko Cyber War Room, and other campus sites. 


We’ll offer briefings from the John and Mary Frances Patton Peace and War Center (PAWC), the Center for Global Resilience and Security (CGRS), the Center for Cybersecurity and Forensics Education and Research (CyFER) and the Norwich University Applied Research Institute (NUARI).     

You’ll also hear from ROTC leaders and the commandant and student leaders of our Corps of Cadets. We’ll also brief you on our learning traditions, showing you Undergraduate Research Student Scholarship Posters.  


The Norwich Design+Build Collaborative will showcase its’ sustainable housing initiative.   The College of Graduate and Continuing Studies will provide an overview of its online bachelor’s and master’s degree programs and professional development (Norwich Pro®) programs.

The Sullivan Museum and History Center, a Smithsonian® affiliate, will be open for tours. 

sullivan museum outside view in summer
The Sullivan Museum and History Center, a Smithsonian® Affiliate, will be open for tours
cadet review outside
Corps of Cadets Pass and Review in honor of ISOMA
exercising in the dog river
Physical training in the Dog River, Northfield, Vermont

Welcome to Norwich University and the inaugural International Symposium of Military Academies (ISOMA) in the United States. We are honored to be first university to host ISOMA in the United States.

Norwich University admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.

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