The New Zealand Defence Force needs a better way of educating its most senior officers in New Zealand-specific security issues. Recent studies reveal a need to improve the entire Professional Military Education (PME) system to increase strategic awareness in the officer corps. With its small population, however, innovative proposals are required. The aim of this study is to identify blended learning solutions for Joint Professional Military Education in the New Zealand Defence Force.

Using primarily literature reviews, this book examines the New Zealand Defence Force’s current PME system before scanning the international scene for developments in Western military PME systems. Common themes include a move toward modularising PME so individual programs can be tailored as well as increasingly continuous, flexible, and blended learning.

Developments in the education and technology sectors are creating paradigmatic shifts away from legacy content-centric education toward constructivist learning. A rapid increase in technology delivered learning is globalising higher education and giving rise to virtual universities. Associated software is allowing better organisational management of human capital. All of these developments are transferable to the military.

This study recommends a whole-of-career PME framework, where individualised courses of study are designed from a network of residential and blended learning modules. Networked military colleges and affiliated universities will share their courses via a single portal, giving military students greater access to international courses.

The study acknowledges a number of potential problems with the concept and offers possible solutions. The model may appear untenable to many traditionalists, but the emerging generation of students will consider it the normative approach. Trends in the civilian sector suggest the concept is inevitable.