National Defense University

Educating, Developing and Inspiring National Security Leaders

The Gen. Dempsey Interviews

In this four-part series of interviews, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Martin Dempsey discusses how NDU students must make a shift from tactical leadership to strategic leadership; the value in taking time to reflect, reconnect with family and peers, and explore areas of personal curiosity; how Professional Military Education (PME) benefits students, faculty members and military leaders; and the role faculty members can play in meeting students where they learn.



If you have received your registration e-mail via Blackboard, you can complete your initial Blackboard registration process and review the "Academic Preparation for New Students" exercise there. International students will receive their Blackboard accounts upon arrival on campus.

Link: Blackboard


Active Duty: Prior to in-processing, please ensure your Medical Readiness information is up-to-date and includes your annual PHA (Periodic Health Assessment), annual Dental Exam, and biannual HIV. Civilians: Please send a copy of your immunization record to Lt Col Tricia Garcia or Mr. Don Myers prior to in-processing.

A Message to Incoming Students

Dear Students:

Congratulations and welcome to the National Defense University! Our vision is to be the nation’s premier strategic leader development institution and we offer a unique academic environment designed to carry out the vital mission the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has charge us with: supporting the joint warfighter by providing rigorous Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) to members of the U.S. Armed Forces and select others in order to develop leaders who have the ability to operate and creatively think in an unpredictable and complex world.

You have been selected because of your superb accomplishments, but also your proven potential for future positions of leadership. NDU educates, develops, and inspires national security leaders to confront global security challenges by offering them a comprehensive and collaborative experience. Our charter at NDU rests upon the foundation of high caliber faculty, rigorous curricula and programs, and first class total health fitness resources to make your time with us as beneficial and productive as possible.

The information packet that was sent to you is designed to help you and your family make a smooth transition to Fort McNair and the greater Washington, DC, metropolitan area. If you have not completed your registration requirements, please do so as soon as possible. If you have any questions during your transition, please contact the Human Resources Division at (202) 685-3921 or DSN 325-3921.

I look forward to the chance to meet you sometime during the academic year.


Ambassador Wanda L. Nesbitt

Acting President

National Defense University

Joint Education Transformation (JET)

This past year, NDU sought institutional improvement to achieve the Chairman's vision for Joint Force 2020. He also provided direction to update our curriculum to incorporate desired leader attributes and the lessons to be learned from a decade of war. From his guidance, we transformed our curriculum in a manner that will strengthen the University and its graduates thereby contributing to our colleagues within the Department of Defense, the interagency, and our partners around the world.

Learn more.