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Vice Chairman Delivers Commencement Address at National Defense University

National Defense University (NDU) Faculty walk out of Roosevelt Hall
SLIDESHOW | 8 images | National Defense University (NDU) Faculty walk out of Roosevelt Hall National Defense University (NDU) Faculty walk out of Roosevelt Hall for the Graduation ceremony at Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington D.C., June 7, 2018. The NDU Class of 2018 consists of leaders from the U.S. military services, the Department of Defense, other federal government agencies, as well as from the foreign militaries of 66 allied and partner nations. (DoD Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. James K. McCann)

On Thursday, June 7, 2018, General Paul J. Selva, USAF, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, delivered the commencement address at the National Defense University (NDU). The ceremony took place in front of historic Roosevelt Hall at Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington, DC. The University’s four colleges conferred certificates and master’s degrees on 655 students.

General Selva serves as the 10th Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and is the Nation’s second-highest ranking military officer. During his commencement address General Selva highlighted the uniqueness of the 2018 graduating class as “interagency, joint, and combined from the very beginning.” Students attend NDU from all branches of the U.S. military, civilian agencies, private industry, and 66 different allied and partner nations. The Vice Chairman stressed the importance of the NDU network, telling them that “I am evidence that classmates matter” and advising graduates to “sustain and use the networks you have built.”

General Selva also said, “You want to see the world as it is, not the world you wish it would be,” and challenged them to be honest and realistic in their assessments. He encouraged students to bring their energy, talent, and wisdom back to work, cautioning, “No nation can go it alone. Our allies and partners multiply our capability. We are much greater than the sum of our parts.” 

Degrees were conferred by NDU President Vice Admiral Fritz Roegge, USN; NDU Provost Dr. John W. Yaeger (CAPT, USN, Ret.); and the commandants and chancellors of the colleges. The College of International Security Affairs graduated 87 students with a certificate or Master of Arts degree in Strategic Security Studies with concentrations in either Counterterrorism or South and Central Asia, the Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy graduated 299 students with a certificate or Master of Science degree in National Resource Strategy, the College of Information and Cyberspace graduated 64 students with a certificate or Master of Science degree in Government Information Leadership, and the National War College graduated 205 students with a certificate or Master of Science degree in National Security Strategy.

The National Defense University is a strategic national resource that prepares senior leaders to think and operate effectively at the highest levels of decisionmaking in an increasingly dynamic, complex, and unpredictable international security environment. It does this by preparing students to understand, develop, and employ strategies that incorporate all elements of national power. This premier senior leader development is made possible by the University’s holistic approach and unique combination of curriculum, location, and student/faculty diversity. Graduates have developed an understanding of the canon of strategic theory and are able to apply and creatively adapt this knowledge to current and future security challenges.

Photos and links to the 2018 commencement speech can be found at: http://www.ndu.edu/Academics/NDU-Graduation-2018/.

Watch Gen. Selva's entire address below:

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