Major Command Course

Our Major Command Course is a designed for Captains en route to their second Command tour. It focuses on communication skills, self-awareness, ethical standards, teamwork, and command culture to increase overall Major Command effectiveness.
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General Information


Post command Captains selected for and en route to their Major Command tour.

Location & Duration

The Major Command course is one week long and taught at the Naval Leadership and Ethics Center in Newport, RI. It is offered approximately 12 times annually. Please see class schedule below for more information.

Learning Format

The course is conducted in a classroom format. Please see pre-reading assignments below and be prepared to engage in class-wide discussions on the material.


Completion of the Major Command Course is a prerequisite for assuming Major Command.

Program Structure

Core Objectives

Apply teamwork

Required | Objectives
Apply teamwork, communication, and alignment to increase overall Major Command/ISIC effectiveness.

Differentiate between the responsibility, accountability and authority

Required | Objectives
Differentiate between the responsibility, accountability and authority expected of the Commanding Officer role and that of the Major Commander role.

Explain professional and personal expectations

Required | Objectives
Explain professional and personal expectations of the Major Commander charged with accomplishing the mission and setting highest individual moral and ethical standards based on Navy Core Values.

Develop teamwork

Required | Objectives
Develop teamwork to build a positive culture of command and command climate.

Develop communication skills

Required | Objectives
Develop effective communication skills to articulate Commander’s Intent.

Develop self-awareness skills

Required | Objectives
Develop self-awareness skills in order to work successfully with others across various leadership and communication styles.

Key Supporting Objectives

Major Command/ISIC Effectiveness

Required | Objectives
1. Identify the unique challenges facing Major Commanders today that impact the effectiveness or efficiency of mission accomplishment.
2. Describe the influence of the Major Command role in the application of the Navy Ethos in the climates of subordinate commands.

Responsibility, Accountability and Authority (RA&A)

Required | Objectives
1. Describe the expectations of responsibility, accountability and authority by a leader at the Major Command level.
2. Apply the Charge of Command to your roles and responsibilities as a Major Commander in the Navy.
3. Utilize the Charge of Command letter while developing subordinates.
4. Describe the Major Commander’s responsibility to maintain a satisfactory state of mental and physical (resilience) well-being of themselves and their personnel given operational stress factors.

Ethical Standards & Professionalism

Required | Objectives
1. Identify common decisions and ethical dilemmas facing Major Commanders.
2. Describe the ‘web of obligations’ and complexity of the decisions required of the Major Command role.
3. Create a plan to apply your experience to the making of confident and competent selfless decisions while in a Major Command role.

Command Climate

Required | Objectives
1. List methods to inspire and impact a positive and enduring professional culture based on mutual trust, loyalty and respect.
2. Apply influence and collaboration skills across the command structure to address issues impacting climate and team unity.
3. Describe the core elements of prevention and response within the SAPR program and the critical need to address sexual assault within Navy Commands.
4. Describe the impact of operational stress on command and family readiness and early identification of potential stress factors.
5. Explain how to leverage the strengths of a diverse workforce through understanding multiple perspectives.


Required | Objectives
1. Identify ways to communicate a shared vision within your span of control to provide purpose, direction and motivation.
2. Demonstrate the ability to mentor and be mentored.
3. Apply effective communication skills that motivate and inspire people.
4. Describe actions that foster an atmosphere of inclusiveness and mutual respect.
5. Explore the characteristics of leading a command with a substantial civilian population.

Leader Development and Self-Awareness

Required | Objectives
1. Identify leader development opportunities to enhance self-awareness and overall leadership effectiveness given a review of Hogan assessment feedback results with a certified coach.

Incoming Students

Contact Information

Naval Leadership and Ethics Center

More Information

These articles provide in depth discussions and examination of commands and their organizational frameworks to help the command triad better lead their commands to superior performance.

Prepare for your arrival at NLEC

Pre-Reading Assignments

Be prepared to engage in class-wide discussions on the material, readings are linked to the most up to date references. Periodic changes are distributed via Navy Administration (NAVADMIN) or All Navy (ALNAV) messages. Navy SORM 3.1.1 and 2 the Commanding Officer and Executive Officer plus 5.1.47 is a required reading for officers.

Navy SORM (Required)
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Reference Materials

Alumni Documents

The following content is reference material related to the Major Command, Commanding Officer, Officer in Charge, Executive Officer and Command Master Chief / Chief of the Boat courses.

Visit Alumni Documents