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Sculpting the 2025 Navy Master-at-Arms

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MARCOA Media
Story by Darryl Orrell on 08/06/2019
The Center for Security Forces is revising and modernizing the Navy's Master-at-Arms "A" School. The redesigned course will align with the Ready Relevant Learning model that provides Sailors with the right training at the right time in their naval careers.

The RRL model is the third pillar of the Navy's Sailor 2025 vision to renovate aging systems and methodologies used to manage and train personnel. The goal is to have a succession of career-long learning in place for every Sailor by the year 2025.

The timing for the Master-at-Arms "A" school redesign could not have been better according to Stephen Kleintank who oversees the curriculum for the school.

"Obviously a lot of events have occurredthe Mahan, Chattanooga, the Navy Yard and two recent events at NAS Oceanaso the threat is at our doorstep," said Kleintank. "One of the major threats that we face today are active-shooter threats."

The MA rating underwent a dramatic shift after the bombing of the USS COLE (DDG 67) and the events of Sept. 11, 2001. Prior to 9/11, the number of master-at-arms personnel was in sharp decline at roughly 1000 personnel total.

"The emerging threat of terrorism after 9/11 prompted a major change to the "A" school curriculum," said Kleintank. "The training took less of a focus on law enforcement and focused more on antiterrorism and physical security, which is what we see today."

The new curriculum, according to Kleintank, will have advanced tactical team training to teach Sailors how to deal with a wide variety of situations, such as active-shooter threats. The trade-off is to remove the basics of law enforcement from the "A" school and teach it as a separate class "C" school or journeyman level course.

"The master-at-arms "A" school of the future will produce a Sailor who will be more tactically and mentally ready to stand watch," said Kleintank. "It will produce a Sailor who can stand a sentry or sentinel post whether it is fixed or mobile from day one of reporting for duty."

The new course will also reduce some of the qualification burdens that gaining commands face, according to Kleintank.

"The idea is to provide Sailors with a document that specifies the training they received at "A" school," said Kleintank. "This will give commands the option to sign off those qualifications upfront to avoid the Sailor starting from ground zero."

The pilot for the new course is set to begin in January 2020; however, Kleintank said this pilot would not follow the traditional method used to implement a new curriculum.

"The traditional method is to select a class and pilot the course," said Kleintank. "Then the next class will go back to the old curriculum while corrections and adjustments are made to the new curriculum based on the pilot results. The new method takes a progressive approach where refinements and corrections will be made as the course continues to mature."

The Center for Security Forces provides specialized training to more than 23,000 students each year. It has 14 training locations across the United States and around the world "Where Training Breeds Confidence."

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