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) IOT 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 (O-5 and below) en route to a MOC or operational-level maritime staff.

Location & Duration

MSOC is a five-week course held at at the Naval War College in Newport, RI.

Learning Format

The course is conducted in a seminar format and culminates with practical planning and execution application using a complex, fictitious case study, including a 4 1/2 day Battle Lab experience.


Officers receive an AQD (JOM) upon completing the course and enlisted personnel (E-7 and above) receive an NEC (831A). MSOC graduates after 01 July 2012 receive credit for Blocks 4 and 5 of the NWC College of Distance Education's (CDE) Web-enabled or CD-ROM based JMO course; once graduates have successfully completed CDE JMO Blocks 1, 2, and 3, they have completed CDE JMO.

Program Structure

Line of Effort I

Strategy, Operational Art, and Operational Functions

Students are introduced to the fundamental aspects of joint warfare. The initial LOO culminates in a comprehensive discussion of the Battle of Leyte Gulf which synthesizes the key aspects of operational art. The foundational aspects are then carried forward and used extensively throughout the remainder of the course.

Line of Effort II

Maritime Command and Control

The second LOO focuses on the core aspect of operational-level warfare – C2 of maritime forces, the employment of maritime capabilities, and how the Navy executes operational C2 via the MOC construct. They are also shown the organization and missions of the individual Navy MOCs (USFF, CPF, C3F, C4F, C5F, C6F, C7F, and C10F). They explore how a C/JFMCC is formed and how a staff operates within a disciplined battle rhythm to support the decision cycle.

Line of Effort III

Planning and Preparation

The Planning and Preparation LOO uses operational art and MOC processes as its foundation. In this LOO, the students engage 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 and use the doctrine in NWP-5-01 to perform the six steps of the NPP.

Line of Effort IV


The Execution LOO 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. It is a week-long command post exercise where students are assigned (and later rotated) among various cross functional teams.

Incoming Students

Contact Information

MSOC Administration

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February 12, 2019
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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.

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