Industrial College of the Armed Forces

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Industrial College of the Armed Forces
Industrial College of the Armed Forces.gif
Industrial College of the Armed Forces emblem
Active 1924–1941
Country United States
Branch Multi-service
Role Service school
Part of National Defense University
Garrison/HQ Fort McNair
Commandant Brigadier General Gorry

The Industrial College of the Armed Forces (ICAF) is a U.S. military educational institution tasked with preparing selected military officers and civilians for senior national security leadership positions dealing with the resource component of national power. Special emphasis is placed on materiel acquisition, joint logistics, and their integration into national security strategy for peace and war.

ICAF conducts postgraduate, executive-level courses of study and associated research and awards a Master of Science degree in National Resource Strategy.


The United States suffered severe mobilization difficulties during World War I. To minimized a recurrence, the Army Industrial College was established in 1924 to focus on wartime procurement and mobilization procedures. Bernard M. Baruch, a prominent Wall Street speculator and Chairman of the World War I War Industries Board, is regarded as one of the founding fathers.

The college rapidly expanded but closed before the onset World War II. It was re-opened in 1943 within the Pentagon. Before war's end senior Army officers, including Allied Supreme Commander of the European Theatre 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 school's name was changed to the Industrial College of the Armed Forces (ICAF). ICAF moved to Fort McNair, near the newly founded National War College, and began a 10-month course. In 1948, Secretary of Defense James V. Forrestal, removed the college from the Army’s jurisdiction and 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 the character of ICAF changed dramatically. As the United States found itself increasingly involved in Vietnam, ICAF shifted from focusing on national industrial mobilization to educating leaders to manage logistical resources in such conflicts. Student demographics changed, with the first woman and African American students graduated in 1973.

In 1976, ICAF became part of the newly established National Defense University. The Goldwater-Nichols Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 called for substantially increased attention to joint military education. In response the ICAF continued to expand its curriculum and added 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.

 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document "".