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MX400 - Officership                                                                                                                 

MX400 is the capstone experience for you at the United States Military Academy.  It embraces core elements of the West Point Leader Development System, and it seeks, in an integrative way, to draw the various strands of the Cadet experience and education together to focus on what it means to be an officer in this era of persistent conflict and transition.  This course, a graduation requirement, represents the Academy leadership’s continuing effort to prepare Cadets and junior faculty for the challenges and uncertainties of the 21st Century operating environment.

MX400 Course Goals:

       To develop a distinctive professional outlook based on an Officer’s (vice Cadet’s) way of thinking that is firmly grounded upon being a leader of character, a synthesis of mission command, and military professionalism.

       To inspire the transition from a Cadet (apprentice) identity to an Officer (professional) identity, prepared for the stewardship of the Army profession and a commitment of service to the Nation.

       To understand that war is a complex human endeavor and therefore practice leader competency sets focused on challenges and opportunities within the Human Dimension.

       To hone judgment and refine decision-making ability across the domains of expert knowledge (Military-Technical, Political-Cultural, Human Development, Moral-Ethical).

       To develop a habit of professional curiosity and a personal ethic that prizes total fitness and life-long learning and self-development as an Army professional.

MX400 Learning Model:

Our learning model encompasses experience, sharing, processing, generalizing, and application of leader/leadership-relevant areas as the Cadets prepare to assume the mantle of being an Officer.  Class time focuses on the following:

       Professional Discussion

      Seminar-based, discussion format for open dialogue

      Relevant new/emerging doctrine and knowledge

       Hands-on Experience

      Leader Challenges and Tactical Decision Exercises (Combat vs. Contemporary)

      Engagement with peers, guest speakers, role playing

       Reflection Exercises

      Papers: self-assessments, projections of future roles

       Oral Practicum Assessment

      Culmination oral board that encompasses the four instructional blocks

       Developmental Activities

      Mission Command Guest Speakers (Company-grade officer exposure), VTCs with operational leaders, Mission Command Conference

The notion of being an Army Professional and an officer in the Army Profession rests upon meeting the Army’s certification criteria of competence, character, and commitment.  This certification process is a continual journey of honest self-assessment, dedicated developmental planning, and a persistent drive towards individual and collective improvement within a framework of a shared military identity and culture of sacrifice and service to the Nation.  Using the Army’s concept of mission command to establish this critical foundation, the MX400 curriculum will also explore the five essential characteristics of the Army Profession and relate them to the effective application of the fields of expert knowledge by Army units and by individual professional


   Five Essential Characteristics               Field of Expert Knowledge of the Army Profession

   Military Expertise                                Military-technical knowledge

   Honorable Service                               Moral-ethical knowledge

   Trust                                                Political-cultural knowledge

   Esprit de Corps                                   Human development

   Stewardship of the Profession