Strategic Advisor Course (SAC)

SC Workforce Certification Level

Not Evaluated


The goal of the course is to prepare students to advance U.S. security cooperation and operational objectives supporting U.S. strategic interests while serving as Department of Defense (DoD) strategic advisors overseas. Upon completion of this course, successful students will be able to build, manage, and leverage powerful relationships based on respect, empathy, and humility, which support US and Partner Nation efforts to bring about enduring change and achieve mutual goals.


The course is structured to achieve a distinct set of objectives: Understand the purpose and role of a strategic advisor; Display effective cross-culture behaviors conducive to relationship-building; Demonstrate the use of analytical concepts and tools within vignettes and exercises; Develop habits and practices for effectively operating in a foreign, stressful, austere, and complex environment; Analyze personal and team performance in problem assessment and planning processes; Practice security awareness skills to maintain personal safety and security; and, finally, Demonstrate a level of reflection and synthesis throughout training, and in a rigorous, immersive, Final Exercise. The course concentrates on three broad areas: Advising Fundamentals, Operational Readiness, and Advanced Advising. First, Advising Fundamentals, provides tools and skills to build relationships and engage in sustainable capacity building. While technical expertise is critical, by itself it will not prepare them to be capable advisors, as their effectiveness depends heavily on demonstrating competencies and attributes distinct from technical expertise. Topics include: Advising as Capacity Building, Guiding Principles, Skills for Effective Communication, and Negotiation for Advisors. Second, Operational Readiness, is designed to enable students to carry out advising missions safely and effective in challenging operational environments. This training has been certified for Foreign Affairs Counter Threat (FACT) equivalency, which is Department of State mandated training to prepare people to work overseas under Chief of Mission. Third, Advanced Advising, reinforces and provides greater understanding of Advising Fundamentals. Topics include: Advising in a Conflict Environment, Communication in High Stakes and High Stress Situations, Working with Interpreters, and Planning and assessment.

Target Attendees

Senior civilians, in the grade of General Schedule (GS) 13 through SES, as well as uniformed officers of equivalent rank and senior non-commissioned officers, who have been selected to serve as strategic advisors worldwide.


SC-101 Introduction to Security Cooperation

Substitute Course(s)


Course Length

3 Weeks ILT

Additional Course Information

Delivery Mode


SC Continuous Learning Hours

Not evaluated

Equivalent Courses


DAU Continuous Learning Points

Not evaluated

College Credit Recommended

Not evaluated

FM Continuous Education

Not evaluated

Transfer Credit Available


Constructive Credit Available



This registration button will take you to an equivalent course page on our Learning Management System (LMS), hosted by the Defense Acquisition University (DAU). If sessions are scheduled, you will be able to select one from its Upcoming Sessions drop down list.


The third phase of the Strategic Advisor Course culminates with a determination by the faculty whether Defense Advising (DA) certification candidates have successfully completed the requirements to serve as an advisor. Candidates who successfully complete the Strategic Advisor Course continue with the next component of their training, which is DA-202, the Country and Mission Seminar Course. This course is designed to prepare students to operate effectively in – and readily adapt to -- the regions and countries to which they will deploy. The common scenario created for the Strategic Advisor Course is generic; the Country and Mission Seminar Course provides specific, current information to enable students to understand the strategic context in which they will operate.

On completion the SAC is the only course which offers full certification as a strategic advisor, and with that certification DoS approved FACT equivalency.

This course will be a prerequisite for the planned Masters course in SC advising.

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Course Login

Registration for DSCU courses is completed using the Cornerstone on Demand (CSOD) Learning Management System (LMS) hosted by the Defense Acquisition University (DAU). You will access the LMS using a dialog similar to that shown to the left. Click the "Need help signing in?" link (indicated by the arrow) if you need help.

If you are a student who currently occupies a Security Cooperation Workforce position, you should be immediately redirected to DSCU’s instance of the CSOD learning management system after logging into the DAU hosted site. If you do not see any DSCU courses available after login, you will need to take one of the following actions:

  1. Register for the Introduction to Security Cooperation Course (SC-101).
  2. Change your organization in your CSOD profile. Follow these Directions for Changing your Organinization so you can view your DSCU courses.

Click the button below if you are ready to proceed.

Take me to the CSOD login page