A high-intensity, hands-on program, Intent Into Action: Advanced Leadership for the Command and General Staff cultivates proficiency beyond the technical requirements of doctrinal systems, such as the Incident Command System (ICS) or the Australian Inter-service Incident Management System (AIIMS).

Advanced Leadership for the Command and General Staff

The program offers command teams (North American Type 2 and Type 1 or Australian Level 2 and Level 3) the practical skills and tools to build cohesion, adaptiveness, and resilience during complex incident planning and operations. At this level, the ambiguous, undefined, and dynamic nature of incidents requires a degree of teamwork and integration beyond what is needed for smaller incidents. C&G members need to function as an integrated unit in order to build a common operating picture, plan strategically, and conduct effective operations. Salient themes – leadership, teamwork, intent, communication, and operational culture – extend beyond the confines of the incident organization to have a significant effect on cooperators, jurisdictional owners, and political-public spheres.

The Program

This program picks up where fundamental IMT courses, such as All-Hazard IMT and Incident Leadership, leave off. This program concentrates on integrating leadership and incident management acumen to achieve strategic results in large-scale incidents.

With the following topics, the program focuses on guiding the C&G as a highly functional and integrated team that can leverage incident management practices to its best effect:

  • Developing ethos and team culture as a professional staff
  • Establishing and maintaining an effective command climate aligned with a Mission-Driven Culture
  • Developing and maintaining a common operating picture
  • Providing functional integration and resilience
  • Leading at the team, section, and stakeholder level
  • Influencing the political, social, information, and economic elements of the operational environment
  • Assuming command and propagating intent

This five-day program provides practical experience using ICS or AIIMS structure in the context of a large incident response. Students work in iterative simulations to review, practice, and improve the application of doctrinal tools along with leadership skills as appropriate for the C&G. They graduate with a portfolio of feedback upon which to base future development activities.

The hands-on character of Intent Into Action makes it valuable for both C&G trainees and veteran members to deepen understanding and strengthen effective command behaviors. In addition, its flexible structure allows the accommodation of both individuals and standing teams.

Who Should Attend?

Candidates preparing for assignment on Type 2 or Type 1 IMTs (AIIMS Level 2 or Level 3) or veteran C&G members serving on local, regional, state, or national command teams in the following disciplines:

• Fire Services • Law Enforcement • Emergency Management •
• Emergency Medical Services • Hazardous Materials • Public Health •
• Health Care • Public Safety • Communications • Public Works •

Student Prerequisites

MCS has compiled a comprehensive overview of the development path for prospective IMT members.


Upon successful completion, participants will have met the criteria for the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) L-481 Advanced Leadership course.

Advanced Leadership for the Command and General Staff is included in the DHS catalog of state sponsored courses, designated as CA-057-RESP.

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers about schedule, facilities requirements, certifications, student qualifications, and more.