Presiding at the change of presidency ceremony at the National Defense University on Fort Lesley J. McNair here today, Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said professional military education is a priority for the American military and its allies.
Dunford watched as Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Frederick M. Padilla handed the NDU flag to Navy Vice Adm. Frederick J. Roegge.
The chairman thanked Padilla for his persistence and example, saying he epitomized “the servant leader” to the NDU faculty, staff and students Padilla arrived at a time of staff turbulence and financial uncertainty at the university, he noted, putting new curricula in place and fighting to ensure the university received the proper funding to accomplish its important mission. Dunford said the United States military will "double down" on professional military education.
As he looked across the audience, he noted a number of officers from allied militaries and said the source of the U.S. military's strength is the network of allies and partners built up since World War II. Padilla has paid particular attention to reaching out to this network to increase the international flavor of the school, he added.
Dunford said he chose Roegge – a career submariner – to take the university to the next level because he combines a hard science education with a liberal arts degree. This, the chairman said, is a perfect combination for the leader of an institution such as NDU.
The National Defense University is the pinnacle of officer professional military education. It consists of the National War College, the Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy, the College of International Security Affairs and the Joint Forces Staff College. The university also hosts the Pinnacle course for senior government leaders.
The institution is designed to foster development of joint security leaders and has students from all the military services, many civilian agencies and international allies and partners. The military established the university in 1976.
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