On 6 September 2012, The Industrial College of the Armed Forces (ICAF) was renamed to The Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy. The institution has has served the Nation for over 86 years, preparing military officers and civilian government officials for leadership and executive positions in the field of national security. Established in 1924 in the aftermath of America’s mobilization difficulties in World War I, its predecessor, the Army Industrial College, focused on wartime procurement and mobilization procedures. Bernard M. Baruch, who was a prominent Wall Street speculator and Chairman of the War Industries Board, is regarded as one of the founding fathers.
With a unique and defining mission, the Army Industrial College rapidly expanded. The College was closed during World War II and then re-opened two years later in 1943 in the Pentagon. Before World War II ended, senior Army officers, including General Dwight D. Eisenhower (graduate of the Army Industrial College class of 1933 and instructor at the College for four years), supported the concept of a joint war college. In 1946, the name of the College changed to the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. ICAF moved to Fort NcNair, near the newly founded National War College, and began the 10-month course. In 1948, Secretary of Defense James V. Forrestal removed the College from the Army’s jurisdiction and formally reconstituted it “as a joint educational institution under the direction of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.”
ICAF moved into a newly constructed facility, Eisenhower Hall, in 1960. During the next several years, a period that Baruch termed the Cold War, the ‘character’ of ICAF changed dramatically. As the United States found itself increasingly involved in Vietnam, ICAF shifted to educating leaders to manage logistical resources in such conflicts, as opposed to focusing on national industrial mobilization. Student demographics changed as well, and the first woman and African American students graduated in 1973.
In 1976, ICAF became part of the newly established National Defense University. In response to the Goldwater-Nichols Defense Reorganization Act of 1986, which called for substantially increased attention to joint military education, ICAF continued to expand its curriculum by adding an acquisition course. In 1991, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff gave responsibility to ICAF to educate the Senior Acquisition Corps (military and civilian) of all Services and the Department of Defense. In 1993, Congress passed legislation authorizing the Industrial College to award Master’s degrees, starting with the graduates of the Class of 1994.
The mission of ICAF today is to prepare selected military officers and civilians for senior leadership positions by conducting postgraduate, executive-level courses of study and associated research dealing with the resource component of national power, with special emphasis on materiel acquisition and joint logistics, and their integration into national security strategy for peace and war. ICAF awards its graduates a Master of Science degree in National Resource Strategy.