Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

Sequestration is no game as MORS military operations research conference scrambles for a new location


The Military Operations Research Society is the largest association of military OR researchers in the world,  and its annual conference is a place where the American operations research community (including wargaming and simulation design experts) have been discussing and advancing the discipline since 1957. However, with budget sequestration having led to tight restrictions on military participation in conferences and workshops, MORS is now scrambling to relocate its annual symposium which was to have been held at the United States Military Academy (West Point) in June:

MORS was informed late last week that the Office of the Secretary of the Army has not approved the waiver request for the United States Military Academy (USMA) to host the 81st MORS Symposium, making West Point unavailable this year.

As a result, the 81st MORS Symposium will be moved to the National Capital Region (NCR). The exact location is still being arranged and further details will be provided as soon as they are available. We would like to share our plans for proceeding:

A. Every effort is being made to keep the Symposium on the same planned dates 17-20 June, 2013.

B. The Symposium will be restructured into sessions at the Composite Group level, rather than at the Working Group level, in order to make them more compatible with potential venues in the NCR. Working Group leadership will be coordinating their presentations and discussions with the Composite Group leadership.

C. Every effort is being made to allow presenters to have the opportunity to present in person or remotely via Defense Connect Online (DCO) or similar video teleconference system.

D. If you have submitted an abstract you will receive a MORS questionnaire asking if you can attend the Symposium in the NCR, attend only to present, or present remotely.

E. Everyone who has registered for the Symposium may request a full refund until June 5th, 2013, if you determine you cannot join us at the new location. Please contact Liz Marriott at or 703-933-9070.

F. Note that if you have made a hotel reservation at West Point you must call the hotel and cancel your reservation. MORS cannot cancel reservations made by individuals even as part of the MORS room blocks.

MORS is fully aware of the uncertain environment and the current restrictions affecting our community. Denial of the waiver request by the Army may affect Army personnel differently than others and we encourage you to check with your command or organization to determine if you can present your work, either in person or remotely. MORS continues to work with the other services to determine the status of their waivers.Moving the Symposium at this late date is a great challenge, but MORS firmly believes it is worth the effort to preserve the opportunity for the OR community to share work, exchange ideas, and keep our community focused on moving forward.

Let us take this opportunity to thank the Symposium Program team headed by Tom Denesia, all of the Working Group Chairs, Co-Chairs and advisers, the other session Chairs, and the USMA site coordination team for the many volunteer hours spent preparing for this Symposium. Your dedication and support to MORS is greatly appreciated.

There will be more details in the near future, please look for updates and check the MORS website,, for the latest information on the 81st Symposium.

Very Respectfully,

Mike Garrambone

MORS President

Susan Reardon


As previously noted at PAXsims, sequestration has also led to the postponement of a planned MORS special meeting on professional gaming, and has also affected efforts to organize the 2013 Connections interdisciplinary wargaming conference.

4 responses to “Sequestration is no game as MORS military operations research conference scrambles for a new location

  1. brtrain 03/04/2013 at 12:23 pm

    Yes, the NOFORN thing, and I would think the security issue would be a major point for them – I’m sure MORS symposia have always been held at some form of military installation where access can be controlled.

  2. Rex Brynen 01/04/2013 at 4:49 pm

    Most aren’t. Plus there’s that whole NOFORN issue, so perhaps there are some security consideration regarding a potential location?

  3. brtrain 01/04/2013 at 4:35 pm

    I wonder what proportion of MORS people could be described as “games/sims” guys?

  4. Brant 01/04/2013 at 2:21 pm

    Hold it in Columbus, right after Origins is done. The convention center will still be set up for a big conference, and the GAMA guys would LOVE the publicity to help facilitate the event. Plus, then all the games/sims guys at MORS could come in early and hang out with the real gamers.

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