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The New U.S. Navy Master-at-Arms 'A' School

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- The Center for Security Forces will pilot a major change to the Master-at-Arms Apprenticeship course today at the school. The purpose is to firmly align the training to current Fleet Forces Command requirements and the “Ready Relevant Learning” model of the Navy’s Sailor 2025 vision.

“The revised MA “A” School curriculum content has fundamentally changed in almost every aspect,” said Lt. Cmdr. Kelly Cruz, who serves as the master-at-arms training manager at CENSECFOR. “The curriculum includes a hybrid of Security Reaction Force - Basic, Security Reaction Force - Advanced, Active Shooter Response, advanced First Aid, and various elements of law enforcement training.”

Cruz further said this pilot is the culmination of 4-years of planning and coordination, and CENSECFOR has made a substantial investment in improved training aids and staff. The improved training aids will enhance the training experience for students and instructors are now required to be genuine subject matter experts of the training and the MA rating.

“We are bringing in experts in the field to hone our instructor skill sets,” said Steve Kleintank, who works as the curriculum model manager at CENSECFOR. “These include verbal judo, stimulus force-on-force instruction, and self-defense improvement through controlled force.”

According to Cruz, the course redesign incorporates a variety of innovations and new ideas to bring the training in line with the reality of modern-day threats and situations.

“This new course expands the focus on threat determination and response, which aligns with Fleet expectations,” said Cruz. “The course provides its students with current information, practical training aids, and relevant scenarios that better prepare our Sailors for real-life events.”

Cruz also noted that the upgraded course offers a relevant and immediate usable impact to the Sailor and the fleet. The most considerable upgrade is a mock installation for realistic training; however, it must be built in phases, so upgrades to the course will occur throughout the next two years.

“Generally, I would expect that the fleet would see a vastly improved MA that can become an operational asset much sooner than before,” said Cruz. “With the hybrid approach, we added many advanced skills in a shorter timeframe to add desperately needed operator skills and confidence.”

As for the way ahead, Cruz anticipates the school and CENSECFOR will continue to make adjustments to the training to ensure it maintains optimum relevance.

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 that carry the motto “Where Training Breeds Confidence.”

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