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Naval Spouse Leadership Course


The Naval Spouse Leadership Course Steering Committee’s mission is to promote a collaborative approach to the Command and CMC/COB tour recognizing that engaged, inspired and informed spouses of Command Leadership directly and positively impact the morale and success of the Command enabling Sailors and families to thrive.

The Command Spouse Leadership Course (CSLC) and the Command Master Chief / Chief of the Boat Spouse Leadership Course (CMCSLC) is an intense one-week, executive-level course for spouses of Commanding Officers, Command Master Chiefs, Chiefs of the Boat, and Command Senior Chiefs en route to their first command tour. Prospective Navy Leadership Spouses are extended official Department of the Navy funded orders in conjunction with their active-duty spouses to attend the course at the Naval Leadership and Ethics Center. Conceived in 1997 by Senior Navy Spouses and supported by Naval Services FamilyLine, this spouse leadership course runs in conjunction with the Naval Leadership Courses conducted in Newport, RI. In 2020, the CSLC and CMCSLC courses merged in an effort to provide Navy leadership spouses with one collaborative educational offering. Working and learning together, sets the foundation of the Command Support Team format.


The CSLC/CMCSLC provides spouses of prospective COs and CMC/COBs with an in-depth program that enriches their knowledge of the choices and contributions they make as a leadership spouse. Based on personal values and preferences, each spouse develops a personal vision statement and, together with their active duty member, develops a Command Tour Charter. Additionally, the CSLC/CMCSLC course involves dynamic exercises as well as supplemental materials to highlight skills in leadership, management, and communication that will benefit the Command Couple, the Command, the Command families, and the community that supports the Command. Through the guidance of the instructors and a mentor team of experienced command spouses, the course addresses some issues likely to arise during the Command tour and provides ideas on ways to positively impact the command environment, communication, and support among the Command, families, and others. Topics such as Ombudsman, Family Readiness Groups, support resources, Navy organization, and crisis response are addressed to prepare the leadership spouse for the command tour.

The true beauty of the course instruction is that it is uniquely designed to provide content for thoughtful conversations for the prospective couple throughout the week. Some of these discussions may include: How are you both going to approach the dilemmas and challenges presented during this upcoming Command tour? How will you handle your personal finances during the Command tour with the known and unanticipated expenses associated with Command? As a couple, how are you going to manage and balance the 24/7 pressures and the responsibility of Command or CMC/COB tour with your family, extended family, work, church, or other volunteer responsibilities? How are you both going to respond if there is a crisis or Command mishap? How do you envision supporting Command events and celebrations? What roles do you expect each other to play in the various aspects of Command, and how involved do you expect each other to be at the command and at home. Additionally, how does it change with deployment, with a mishap, with the birth of a baby, illness of a family member, and/or your promotion at work, etc.?

The Naval Spouse Leadership Course Steering Committee (NSLCSC)

The Naval Spouse Leadership Course Steering Committee (NSLCSC) provides oversight and guidance for the course's direction and collaborates closely with the Naval Leadership and Ethics Command (NLEC) Spouse Instructors. The Steering Committee (formerly CSLC & CMCSLC Steering Committees) has been in existence since the conception of the course. Its members are CO and CMC spouses representing different Naval regions throughout the nation and the world. The Steering Committee members attend the course annually as mentors, recruit students and mentors to attend the course, make suggestions regarding the curriculum, and keep in touch with the students as they enter the fleet as CO/CMC/COB spouses. Their involvement helps the course remain aligned with current fleet issues and reflect the perspectives and challenges of Command spouse leadership. Additionally, CMC/CO NSLCSC Regional Representatives are available to provide ongoing support beyond the coursework as Navy leadership spouses navigate their upcoming journey. By staying connected with the students and mentors, the Steering Committee can stay abreast of current and relevant issues that Navy leadership spouses are facing.


Consider Becoming a Mentor

Have you thought about sharing your knowledge, expertise, and enthusiasm for being a Command or CMC Spouse? Have you thought about what helped you survive and enjoy your Command or CMC tour; and feel like you can now support the next generation of Command or CMC spouses? If so, the Navy's Command Spouse Leadership Course (CSLC)/ Command Master Chief Spouse Leadership Course (CMCSLC) is for you! 


We are always actively seeking mentors for this one-week course - offered, on average, once a month during the fiscal year (October-September). CSLC/CMCSLC operates in conjunction with the active-duty Prospective Commanding Officer course and the Prospective CMC course at the Naval Leadership and Ethics Center (NLEC). When mentoring, you sit alongside the students each day, get all the updates on new course content, plus share your Command/CMC tour experiences. The CLSC/CMCSLC Mentors are not responsible for instructing the course; rather, they support and encourage CSLC/CMCSLC students with real-life examples outlined in the curriculum by NLEC instructors. This is an incredible opportunity to share your successes and lessons learned from your command or CMC tour. Over the course of the week mentors actively demonstrate that CST Spouses can genuinely and positively impact the morale and success of the command! It is our vision that this mentor-student relationship will extend beyond the classroom as a source of support in CO/CMC/COB Tours. Additionally, mentors play a pivotal role in helping the course remain relevant by sharing their feedback and suggestions to be included in upcoming classes.


NLEC funds this experience and makes all of your travel arrangements, rental car reservations, and preparations for your trip. Please fill out the appropriate Mentor Intake Form at the link above and the CO or CMC NSLC Mentor Liaison will be in touch.

Please consider joining us for a tremendous opportunity and making a significant contribution to our future Commanding Officer Spouses and CMC/COB Spouses!

Become a Mentor
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