Special Operations Planning Course
The Special Operations Planning Course (SOPC) instructs students on the pathways to conduct operational-level, Special Operations Forces (SOF)-centric, Operational Design for development of a special operations crisis operation. Students follow Operational Design with instruction and application of detailed planning for a SOF-led operation through the Joint Planning Process. Each day students will be challenged to exercise critical thinking and problem-solving skills during multiple different virtual learning activities outlined on the agenda. These activities include: readings, analysis of prepared Power Point and DOCNET materials, completing online assignments, and synthesizing information found in online resources such as audio and video files. Collaborative interaction occurs through seminar discussions with a small group mentor, briefings to peers and a culminating brief to a senior SOF mentor (former TSOC, JSOTF/SOJTF Commander). Students will gain an understanding of the relationship between joint doctrine, SOF military strategy, and operational-level planning in order to better prepare them to serve in a Theater Special Operations Command (TSOC) or other special operations component or command. Using case study scenarios and collaborative exercises, students apply all phases of the military planning process, SOF focused, as they create a variety of analytical products. SOPC is a Joint-certified course, and students completing the course earn 1.5 credits towards full Joint Officer Qualification (JQO).
Special operations military officers (O3-O5), warrant officers (W1-W4), senior noncommissioned officers (E7-E9), and government civilians (GS11 and up) as well as non-SOF military and civilians who are preparing for, are en route to, or are serving in a joint special operations assignment (TSOC, JTF, JSOTF, GCC SOF billet USSOCOM, or component HQ) that may involve joint staff planning.
The instructor of record will email students any required text or materials. Students must have access to a commercial computer, internet access, and must have Microsoft Office (PowerPoint, Word, and Excel).