U.S. Naval War College Hits Milestone Completing 200th Maritime Staff Operations Course

Luce Hall in the spring time with yellow flowers.

Newport, R.I - The Naval War College's College of Maritime Operational Warfare celebrated a milestone completing their 200th Maritime Staff Operations Course (MSOC) on May 7.

The goal of MSOC is to understand, analyze and apply Maritime Operator Course processes and procedures necessary to plan, prepare, execute and assess complex maritime operations in a dynamic environment. MSOC incorporates seminars, lectures and practical exercises using a realistic maritime scenario, and it culminates with a synthesizing battle lab exercise designed to replicate the organization, processes, procedures, and command and control tools of a nominal MOC. There are 17 classes per year and each class is 5 weeks in duration.

“During my fleet visits in 2018 in preparation for a complete course review of 2019, fleet commanders and their key staff principles overwhelming praised MSOC’s ability to give these graduates a six-to-nine-month head start on their staff competencies compared to those without this education or previous MOC experience,” said Professor J. R. Mathis, Ph.D., director, MSOC. “The 5-week course was a significant return on their NWC educational investment.”

The mission of the MSOC is to educate and prepare students to immediately and effectively serve on a maritime operating operational level staff.

“MSOC graduates predominately go right from our course to their fleet staff billet, so that they can quickly apply the knowledge and skills they learned here immediately,” said Mathis. “They are educated with the requisite expertise to support the nine fleet Maritime Operational Centers (MOCs), to ‘employ the force’ at the operational level of warfare.”

The MSOC course began in late Fall 2007 where it educated about 400 students each year. The course has recently increased to approximately 500 students each year to meet the Navy’s critical fleet needs. The course is designed to produce personnel who can perform in a high-tempo, fluid operational level of warfare environment.

In 2020 CMOW updated the course based on fleet commanders, key MOC staff members, and student post-graduate feedback.

Officers that graduate MSOC acquire the Additional Qualification Designation (AQD) of Joint Operations Maritime (JOM), and Senior Enlisted E-7 and above graduates acquire the Navy Enlisted Classification (NEC) of Joint Maritime Staff Operator (831A).

A total of 4,795 students have graduated from the course so far.

For more information about the course, please visit: https://usnwc.edu/college-of-maritime-operational-warfare/Core-Curriculum.

CMOW provides short duration, classified and unclassified education and advising to military officers and their commands across the U.S. Navy, the joint service and U.S. partner nations.

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Michael Guterl, U.S. Naval War College Public Affairs
May 26, 2021

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