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Press Release | June 17, 2015

NDU Graduation to be held June 18 at Fort McNair

Washington, DC  –   The National Defense University’s (NDU) main campus graduation will be held on Thursday, June 18, at 10:00 a.m., in front of historic Roosevelt Hall on Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington, DC. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin E. Dempsey (U.S. Army) will be the graduation speaker.

General Dempsey became the 18th Chairman in 2011, after serving as the Army’s 37th Chief of Staff. In this capacity, he serves as the principal military adviser to the President, the Secretary of Defense and the National Security Council. Dempsey is the nation’s highest-ranking military officer, is a 1974 graduate of the United States Military Academy and holds Master's degrees from Duke University, the United States Army Command and General Staff College, and NDU’s National War College

During this graduation ceremony, NDU colleges will award 686 degrees: 

Degrees will be conferred by NDU President, Maj. Gen. Frederick M. Padilla (U.S. Marine Corps); NDU Provost, Dr. John W. Yaeger; and the commandants and chancellors of the colleges:

Officers from the joint force (Army  Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard) comprise more than 50% of this graduating class. Twenty-six percent of this class is composed of civilians from the Department of Defense, Department of State, and many other federal agencies. Additionally, this class also includes 102 international officers from 62 countries, all of which adds tremendous value to the diversity and learning throughout the year.

On June 11, NDU's Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC) held the first graduation of its satellite program for the Joint and Combined Warfighting School (JCWS) in Tampa, Florida. During this ceremony, Maj. Gen. Padilla conferred degrees to 40 graduates.

Also on June 11, JFSC held a graduation ceremony at NSA Hampton Roads in Norfolk, Virginia. Lt. Gen. Thomas D. Waldhauser (U.S. Marine Corps), Director for Joint Force Development and an alumnus of NDU’s National War College, was the speaker for JFSC's Joint Advanced Warfighting School (JAWS) graduation. In this ceremony, 38 graduates, including 4 international officers, received Master of Science in Joint Campaign Planning and Strategy degrees.

The next day, on June 12, JFSC’s Joint and Combined Warfighting School (JCWS) graduated 243 students, including 10 international officers. Admiral Bill Gortney (U.S. Navy) was the graduation speaker. He is the 6th commander of U.S. Northern Command and the 23rd commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command

In addition to these graduation ceremonies, 34 CISA-Special Operations Command students graduated on June 4 from the CISA program at the U.S. Army's John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School (SWCS) at Fort Bragg, N.C. The graduation speaker was Lt. Gen. Bennet Sacolick, director of the strategic operational planning directorate at the National Counterterrorism Center in Washington, D.C., and former commander of SWCS. Maj. Gen. Padilla and Dr. Bell conferred the students' degrees. 

About NDU: 

As the premier national security institution focused on advanced joint warfighter education, strategic leader development, and scholarship, NDU supports national security by providing rigorous joint professional military education to develop strategic leaders who can operate and think creatively in a complex and unpredictable world. The student body includes U.S. military officers, civilians and senior enlisted; officers and senior officials from allied nations and other federal agencies; and executives from industry. In addition to U.S. military and government students, NDU hosts more than 100 international and allied students, representing more than 90 countries.

NDU comprises the College of International Security Affairs, the Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy, the Information Resources Management College (iCollege), the Joint Forces Staff College, and the National War College. NDU also is home to CAPSTONE senior leader development programs and the Institute for National Strategic Studies, and partners with the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies, and the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies. For more information, contact Mark Phillips, NDU Strategic Communications, at (202) 685-3140 or

Connect with NDU on Twitter @NDU_EDU. The graduation hashtag is #ndugrad.

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