Industrial College of the Armed Forces Seeks Industry Partners

By Daniels, Eileen | National Defense, February 2009 | Go to article overview

Industrial College of the Armed Forces Seeks Industry Partners


Daniels, Eileen, National Defense


The Industrial College of the Armed Forces (ICAF) is reaching out to industry to find 10 promising young leaders from the private sector to join its student body as industry fellows.

The Defense Department provides formal education for senior military and civilian government leaders. Within its educational offerings, ICAF has the mission to educate government leaders that can provide resources to the national security strategy. It is the department's only senior service college that has a curriculum focused on government and industry working together.

ICAF industry fellows receive a year-long executive-level education. They study and debate topics such as the global economy and the impact of globalization on national security, and the relationship between the economy and the current U.S. military strategy. They examine senior executive leadership skills and lessons drawn both from U.S. and world history and from contemporary events and challenges. They travel to conduct field studies both within the United States and internationally with members of the military, government agencies and international fellows--senior military officers from 20 countries--to study various industries and their contribution to national security.

Students hail from defense and civilian agencies and the military services; their skills range from war fighters to logistics officers to foreign service officers to homeland security and senior law enforcement professionals. A range of organizational and professional backgrounds, specialties and experiences is found among the students.

Industry fellows bring industry expertise and personal insights to the mix, and help the government students understand how the defense-associated private sector is looking at business strategy, economic competitiveness and how the government is viewed as a current and future customer. The college, in turn, sharpens their knowledge of national security issues and helps them build a large professional network across U.S. and non-U.S. government departments and agencies. Industry students say that the friendships they make and perspectives they gain into government processes are just as important as the classroom learning.

"This was the most incredible year of my life. I not only learned a tremendous amount in the classroom, but, more importantly, I developed close friendships and an extraordinary professional network of leaders in the public and private sector. ICAF Grads recognize that they belong to a very special club of senior leaders," says Paul Denham of IBM. …

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