Maritime Operational Planners Course

The Maritime Operational Planners Course (MOPC) develops planners capable of performing in dynamic, complex, and high-tempo maritime operational environments. The curriculum is based on Navy, naval, and joint doctrine as well as emerging concepts at Fleet Maritime Operations Centers and observations from the U.S. Naval War College's (NWC) Assist and Assess Team fleet visits.
Wargame in progress

General Information


This course is available to a select group of officers, O3 to O5, en-route or already assigned to a maritime headquarters.

Location & Duration

MOPC is a 12-13 week course offered twice yearly (Spring and Fall) at NWC in Newport, Rhode Island.

Learning Format

Core components incorporate seminars and practical exercises using realistic case studies relevant to current global maritime challenges.


Graduates of the MOPC are designated Maritime Operational Planners, acquiring the Additional Qualification Designation of Joint Professional Military Education (JPME). In addition, graduates receive partial JPME Credit for the College of Distance Education’s Web-enabled course.

Program Structure


Course Overview

Students will examine both the art and science associated with military activities across the range of military operations. Introductory sessions anchor MOPC with a review of key operational art and theoretical concepts that form the foundations of planning.

During your Stay

Navy Planning Process Steps

This course is organized in modules that center on the steps of the Navy Planning Process (NPP) and incorporations several staff functions and activities within the NPP.

Seminars and Practical Exercises

This course incorporates seminars and practical exercises using realistic case studies relevant to current global maritime challenges. These exercises include multiple in-depth iterations of the NPP exposing the students to multiple maritime problems.

Operational Planning Team Leadership

Student teams are formed that perform planning and staff processes in support of the mission and planning requirements. Positions within the planning team are rotated to allow opportunity for all students to lead and direct the process, develop directives, and conduct briefings.

Additional Studies

Crisis Action Planning

Several crisis action planning evolutions are woven through the course to expose the students to utilization of the NPP in a time compressed environment.

Student Information

Contact Information

MOPC General Admin

More Information

Next Steps
Explore future course offerings at the Maritime Operational Planners Course—and excel as a Maritime Operational Planner.

Students involved in a wargame.
Educational Outcomes & Objectives

Overarching Course Objectives

Throughout the MOPC course, students are expected to analyze, understand, and apply the Naval Planning Process to create plans, orders, and staff estimates at the operational level of war throughout the range of military operations. Students will review subjects such as strategic context, the fundamentals of naval and joint operations, operational art, operational design, and the relationship of operational art to strategy and tactics. MOPC students will comprehend the organization and functions of a maritime component staff and build cohesive and well-trained planning teams that will fostering effective collaborative relationships and trust among diverse organizations and individuals.

Hand moves game pieces
Educational Expectations

Expectations of the Graduate

By the end of the MOPC course, students will demonstrate excellence as a planning team member and lead planning teams addressing routine planning problems. They will be able to conduct Crisis Action Planning or Deliberate Planning across the range of military operations. Students will be able to write Navy component supporting plans and orders with select annexes. They will be able to interact across all echelons of a joint force and effectively represent maritime perspective as a liaison to both higher, adjacent, and subordinate headquarters and participating interagency and multinational forces.