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Leadership Development Center: Courses
Command and Operations School
Prospective Commanding Officer/Executive Officer (PCO/PXO) School
PCO/PXO Course Mission
To enhance operational safety, promote positive command climates, and increase the level of unit readiness across the cutter fleet. Graduates of this course will develop a personal command philosophy to promote safe mission execution and a renewed enthusiasm for service afloat. The course’s strategic objectives are: 1) Prevent loss of life from cutter operation. 2) Prevent collisions, allisions, and groundings. 3) Mitigate operational risk. 4) Enhance operational readiness. This course is Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) certified.

This two-week pipeline training course is designed to prepare personnel to serve as senior leadership on board all classes of cutters. The course provides training to students in receipt of orders to initial assignment as CO/OIC/XO/XPO afloat while concurrently refreshing perishable skills for those students who have previously served in command cadre positions. As such, the course is designed for officers O-2 to O-6, W2 to W-4, and senior enlisted members E-6 to E-9 assigned as prospective CO/XO/OIC/XPOs of Coast Guard cutters. Major topic areas focus on command and leadership imperatives, development of professional maritime skills, as well as policy and procedural information relevant to senior leaders in the cutter fleet.

  • Operational Readiness and Mission Execution: Focuses on application of skills, information, and risk analysis to conduct safe and effective operations.
  • Command and Leadership: Focuses on the specific responsibilities, authority, and accountability of the CO/XO/OIC/XPO that promote positive command climates though constructive interpersonal relationships and philosophies while supporting good order and discipline in the fleet.
  • Engineering and Cutter Readiness: Focuses on applicable programs, training, and tools to prepare the cutter and crew to conduct safe operations.
  • Bridge Resource Management: Focuses on the manner in which people work together with their equipment, available information, and each other in preventing collisions, allisions, and groundings.

American Council on Education (A.C.E.) Accreditation
Course #:
Location: Coast Guard Academy, New London, Connecticut
Length: 2 weeks (75 hours)
Exhibit Dates: 1/10–Present
Credits: In the lower-division baccalaureate/associate degree category, 3 semester hours in Bridge Watchkeeping (2/11)


Commander Mark Walsh  School Chief  860-701-6675 
Lieutenant Commander Nolan Cuevas  Assistant School Chief  860-701-6872 
Lieutenant Chris Salerno  Senior Instructor  860-444-8222 
Master Chief David Riser  Instructor  860-701-6476 
Mr. John Hayes  Training Specialist  860-701-6318 

Course Convenings (Search by Course Number 340380: CG Portal - CG Personnel Only under ETQC Course Catalog)