1. NSHQ has created a NATO SOF Professional Education Continuum for the professional development of both SOF Officers and NCOs. Given the global challenges faced by the Alliance, it remains imperative that NATO SOF continue to develop its interoperability and capability, while continuing to grow capacity in a unified and cohesive manner. Beyond weaponry, technology, and numerical superiority, a key differentiator between a NATO SOF Officer and NCO from his threat counterpart would be the ability to apply critical and strategic thinking in a rapid manner, to solve problems as they present themselves on the battlefield.
2. The NSHQ Professional Education Continuum focuses on the development of the Command Team at every level of leadership at the levels of the Special Operations Task Unit (SOTU), Special Operations Task Group (SOTG), and Special Operations Component Command (SOCC), as well as Executive Leadership positions at NSHQ and NATO SOF entities. Educational courses will be delivered as a Systematic Training and Education Program (STEP), with four stages of progression aligned with each of the leadership team levels. Some ‘overlap’ of rank grades have been built in throughout each STEP course. The programme has been designed to accommodate different levels of standards and experiences across the NATO SOF Alliance. The four stages of the programme (NATO SOF Leaders Course) are:
NATO SOF Junior Leaders Course (SOTU Level) OR (4-6) and OF (1-3),
NATO SOF Mid-Level Leaders Course (SOTG Level) OR (6-7) and OF (3-4)
NATO SOF Senior Leaders Course (SOCC Level) OR (7-8) and OF (4-5)
NATO SOF Executive Leaders Course (Executive Level) OR (9) and OF (6-10)
3. NATO SOF Mid-Level Leaders Course target audience are OF 3-4 and OR 6-7, serving or preparing to serve as a command team of Special Operations Tactical Group – SOTG or other similar Tactical level SOF or supporting SOF Units. Each nation/organization is required to request the participation of both Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers. The course will be broken down into two distinct phases:
a. A Distant Learning phase of 8 weeks of asynchronous self-study via NATO JADL/ILIAS advanced distributed learning – ADL platform.
b. A Residential Learning phase of 10 days of residential synchronous guided learning in classroom in various host nations.If COVID-19 related travel restrictions are still in place, the resident portion of the course will be delivered virtually, with all participants remaining in their units/organisations.
4. Nations will be responsible to provide transportation, accommodation and Per Diem for the duration of the course for their students. Accommodation is available free of charge on base. Students are allowed to use other hotels at the local area with the cost covered by nations. There is no course fee for the students.
5. Prospective students are firstly to register for a JADL/ILIAS account via https://jadl.act.nato.int.