Maritime Staff Operators Course

The Maritime Staff Operators Course (MSOC) provides resident education in the application of the Maritime Operations Center (MOC) concept, organization and processes; maritime operational level of warfare concepts, terminology and processes; and the Navy Planning Process (NPP) in order to produce graduates capable of immediately supporting the commander’s decision cycle at the operational level of warfare in a dynamic and complex environment.
Students in the Maritime Staff Operators Course at the U.S. Naval War College listen to a lecture.

General Information


The course is for Navy chiefs and officers, O1 -O5, en route to a MOC or operational-level maritime staff. U.S. Government Civilians are also eligible (GS11-GS14).

Location & Duration

MSOC is a five-week course held at U.S. Naval War College (NWC) in Newport, Rhode Island.

Learning Format

The course is conducted in a seminar format and culminates with practical planning and execution application using a complex, fictitious case study, and a Battle Lab experience.


Officer students (O1-O5) receive an Additional Qualification Designation (JOM) upon completing the course and enlisted personnel (E7+) receive a Navy Enlisted Classification (831A) certificate. MSOC graduates receive partial credit for College of Distance Education's Web-Enabled Program.

Program Structure

Line of Effort I

Strategy, Operational Art, and Operational Functions

Students are introduced to the fundamental aspects of joint warfare. The initial academic sessions culminate in a comprehensive discussion of the Battle of Leyte Gulf which synthesizes the key aspects of operational art.

Line of Effort II

Maritime Command and Control

The second series of academic sessions focus on the core aspect of operational-level warfare – command and control (C2) of maritime forces, the employment of maritime capabilities, and how the Navy executes operational C2 via the MOC construct.

Line of Effort III

Planning and Preparation

This series of academic sessions use operational art and MOC processes as its foundation to engage students in practical exercises using a contemporary scenario that reinforces class lectures and uses a “learn then do” methodology. The students then employ the NPP, with emphasis on key techniques, supporting concepts, and doctrine to perform the six steps of the NPP.

Line of Effort IV


This last week of the course is the synthesizing event of MSOC, where the class functions as a MOC staff and applies joint and service concepts, fundamentals, doctrine and knowledge of the NPP within the context of a realistic scenario. The intent is to demonstrate how internal and external activities support the commander’s decision cycle.

Student Information

Contact Information

MSOC Administration

More Information

This course examines both the art and science associated with military activities across the range of military operations. MSOC incorporates seminars, lectures, and practical exercises using a realistic maritime scenario. Please see our syllabus below for more information.

Chairs Overlooking the Bay
NWC Information, lodging, and more

MSOC Student Information

While you’re attending NWC, you’ll have time to take a break from coursework to explore Newport and the New England region, from seaports and mansions to festivals and downtown entertainment. We offer support services to all of our students and access to a writing center. Our library is open 24/7.

More Student Information