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Assessment at the maritime operational level of war (OLW) remains fundamentally misunderstood by staff officers and HQ principals. Much of the confusion lies in the English language itself. “Assessment” is defined as “the act of making a judgment about something” or “an idea or opinion about something 1.” The trouble with assessment at the OLW tends to be the context of the “something,” as individuals across the staff frequently are called upon to make judgments and form opinions. The question then becomes, “What is the ‘something’ that should to be assessed at the operational level?”