Defense Acquisition University

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Defense Acquisition University
DAU Seal.png
Established October 22, 1991 (October 22, 1991)
Budget $220 Million
President James P. Woolsey
Vice-president James S. McMichael
Location Fort Belvoir, VA, USA
Nickname DAU
Affiliations US Federal Government, Department of Defense
Website DAU Website
Accredited by COE, IAECT, ACE
DAU's Main Campus is in Fort Belvoir.

The Defense Acquisition University (DAU) of the United States Department of Defense serves as the national focal point for the development and delivery of acquisition, technology, and logistics (AT&L) training to enhance the capabilities of military and Federal civilian personnel. In addition, DAU provides services to Federal contractors as well.[1] DAU is fully accredited by the American Council on Education (ACE), International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and the Council on Occupational Education (COE).[2] DAU's mission is to provide a global learning environment to develop qualified acquisition, requirements, and contingency professionals who deliver and sustain effective and affordable warfighting capabilities—clearly by providing certification training. DAU is the primary training organization for the Defense Acquisition Workforce, and is committed to providing the formal and informal training for students both in the classroom and on the job. This organization provides formal classroom and online certification training and is augmented with face-to-face mission assistance engagements plus a virtual, continuous presence with the workforce through online continuous learning and knowledge sharing Web sites. DAU's products and services work to enhance workplace performance and promote mission effectiveness in order to provide a foundation for the future of acquisitions for the Department of Defense.[3]

DAU provides the following services:

  • Acquisition certification and leadership training
  • Mission assistance to acquisition organizations and teams
  • Online knowledge-sharing resources
  • Continuous learning assets


DAU is part of the Department of Defense.

DAU was created as a result of critical necessity, identified in high-level studies and legislation, for providing the Department of Defense Acquisition, Technology and Logistics workforce with a professional career path and consistency of training content and opportunity.

The Department of Defense issued DoD Directive 5000.57 October 1991, which served as the University’s charter. Originally a loose consortium of existing training commands, DAU worked to standardize the training courses and establish mechanisms that allowed for centralized equitable management of training funds for the DoD (AT&L) workforce.

During the late 1990s, the consortium arrangement was replaced with a centralized structure that operated more like a corporate university, with a focus on case-based instruction and emphasizing the use of distance learning, mission assistance and knowledge sharing. The new structure also centralizes course development under DAU headquarters.

On February 8, 2006, the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics issued DoD Instruction 5000.57, which supersedes DoD Directive 5000.57. This new instruction describes the mission, responsibilities, functions and authorities of DAU.[4]

Present Day[edit]

DAU provides a global learning environment to develop qualified acquisition, requirements, and contingency professionals who deliver and sustain effective and affordable warfighting capabilities. By the numbers: DAU delivers more than 2,000 courses annually. Acquisition professionals complete more than 200,000 courses. The institution support more than 150,000 members of the Defense Acquisition Workforce. DAU employs more than 700 faculty and staff members and is located near the workforce at 5 regional campuses and 2 colleges.[5] In 2014 DAU provided more than 8 million hours of learning; Graduated 181,970 students; provided 291,325 hours of Mission Assistance; and provided 183,826 contact hours on Defense Acquisition Portal and Acquisition Community Connection with 65,000 ACC contributors and more than 20 million page views.[6]


DAU has had many individuals lead it throughout its history:[7]

  • William L. Vincent (1991-1993)
  • Claude M. Bolton (1993–1996)
  • Richard A. Black (1996–1997)
  • Leonard Vincent (1997–1999)
  • Frank J. Anderson (1999-2010)
  • Katrina McFarland (2011-2012)
  • James P. Woolsey (2013–Present)


DAU, headquartered at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, serves members of the Defense Acquisition Workforce who are located around the country and world. DAU is responsible for the training and career development of the more than 150,000 members of the Defense Acquisition Workforce who provide weapon systems supplies and services to warfighters. DAU uses the expertise of Department of Defense personnel and the latest technology to deliver responsive learning assets to students. DAU has locations across the United States and also has an extensive virtual presence online.[8]

The DAU has a number of sites where the different branches are placed. The main ones are:[9]

  • DAU Capital & Northeast - The Capital and Northeast Region campus is located at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia near Washington, DC This strategic location allows DAU to provide responsive support to stakeholders in the Pentagon and numerous other Department of Defense agencies. The Capital and Northeast campus serves a DoD AT&L workforce of about 33,000 people.[10]
  • DAU Mid-Atlantic - Located in California, Maryland, near the Patuxent River Naval Air Station. The faculty and staff members of the campus focus on teaching, research, and mission assistance (targeted training, and partnering with agencies). Their agenda includes working with organizations within the region and staying current on major issues and needs of the Defense Acquisition workforce throughout the Department of Defense, other federal agencies, and the private sector.[11]
  • DAU South - The regional campus responsible for supporting the southern half of the country and is located in Huntsville, AL. Located just outside of Redstone Arsenal, South region is in a prime location to support the Army’s largest buying organization. It serves a DoD AT&L workforce of more than 28,000.[12]
  • DAU Midwest - The Midwest Region campus is located in Kettering, Ohio. This location is near the large buying organizations of the Air Force Materiel Command and the United States Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command (TACOM LCMC), as well as other major acquisition commands in the Midwest. It serves a Defense Acquisition Workforce of about 19,000.[13]
  • DAU West - The Headquarters of DAU West Region is strategically located in San Diego, California near large concentrations of Navy space and sustainment communities. Located near the Pacific Rim, and the region serves a Defense Acquisition Workforce of over 25,000.[14]
  • College of Contract Management - Located within Fort Lee in Virginia. the College of Contract Management (CCM) is chartered to ensure well-trained faculty, well-designed curricula, and a cost effective methodology to provide the training necessary to enhance the skills of the workforce. CCM was established in October 2011. The Curricula focuses on contract management functional areas such as: contract administration, pricing, quality assurance, industrial manufacturing, earned value management, software engineering, engineering technical support to pricing and aircraft operations. CCM training will be in addition to and in alignment with other training under the Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA). Portions of the CCM curricula also will be of benefit to non-DCMA functional personnel performing contract management functions.[15]
  • Defense Systems Management College - Located in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, the Defense Systems Management College (DSMC) is chartered to provide the following to the DoD Acquisition, Technology & Logistics (AT&L) workforce across the globe.[16]

Eligibility, Admissions, and Costs[edit]

The applicant must have a current affiliation with the United States government, in order to qualify to participate in training courses offered by DAU. The United States Military Services and DoD non-military department agencies, through their registration offices, have quotas in the classes. The Defense Acquisition Career Management (DACM) Office establish priorities for their own military and DOD civilian employees.

Admission depends on several factors: The DACMs register their own members; the Federal Acquisition Institute (FAI) registers most non-DoD students (via the Federal Acquisition Institute Training Application System). Non-DoD federal agency and defense contractors may attend DAU courses at no cost on a space-available basis. There are some non-DoD and defense industry quotas in DAU courses; however, designated quotas are not in every class at every location. Non-DoD applicants should understand that DoD and Military Department employees have precedence over all non-DoD federal agency and defense industry employees. This is particularly important in the case where a federal agency employee or defense contractor is placed on a wait list, because all DoD and Military Department employees are assigned a higher priority on the waitlist, even when they are added after the non-DoD and defense industry have been assigned a wait status. At this time, DAU does not charge tuition for its courses, except for certain foreign students. Foreign personnel, DOT-related agencies, industry, and non-DoD federal employees fund their own members' travel and per diem costs[17]

Transcript Requests[edit]

DAU also provide transcripts at no cost to the student, or directly to a college/university of the student's request. The transcript request must also be sent to the DAU Scheduling and Student Support Team .[18]

Learning assets[edit]

DAU has implemented the AT&L Performance Learning Model (PLM).[19]

Training[1] The Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) requires Defense Acquisition Workforce members to be certified for the positions they hold. DAU offers training courses for all Defense Acquisition Workforce members in 14 career fields and at three certification levels. Through DAU’s Core Certification and Core Plus training courses, the workforce can fulfill the training requirements needed to achieve the certification required by DAWIA.

Continuous Learning[1] DAU’s Continuous Learning Center (CLC) DAU’s Continuous Learning Center (CLC) helps the Defense Acquisition Workforce acquire continuous learning points to remain current in their positions. Continuous learning modules cover specific acquisition topics.

Mission Assistance[1] DAU’s multidisciplinary faculty provides consulting services to variable-sized teams in acquisition organizations.

Knowledge Sharing[20] DAU provides the AT&L community extensive knowledge sharing assets available anytime and anywhere to promote career-long learning and workplace effectiveness. Learning products include knowledge repositories, communities of practice, performance learning tools, best practices, and search capabilities.


DAU certifies in Information Technology.
DAU certifies in Life Cycle Logistics.
DAU certifies in Program Management.

DAU only certifies Department of Defense active duty and civilian employees. Each DoD component has its own DAWIA program to certify its members. DAU offers credentials and training opportunities for its students. DAU provides leadership in developing and delivering training to ensure that individuals and groups having AT&L responsibilities at all levels possess the requisite competencies to perform their jobs effectively.[21] In addition to its resident training program, DAU disseminates centrally developed training materials through a comprehensive national training program in the United States territories, and trusts. Note that students do not have to be employed by DOD or be a federal employee for some of the programs.[22]

Currently Available Certifications:

American Council on Education Credits[edit]

The American Council on Education (ACE) credits are assigned by ACE to various DAU Courses, some at the undergraduate, some at the graduate levels. These credits will appear on the students transcript.[23]

DAU Media Library[edit]

DAU students may potentially be granted access to the DAU Media Library. The DAU Media Library is the primary repository and distribution system of media on-demand productions presented by senior acquisition leaders, model practitioners, and DAU staff and faculty in multiple formats, designed to provide Defense Acquisition Workforce members with acquisition lessons learned and best practices culled from high-priority acquisition issues and initiatives. This system also houses a number of media objects in both audio and video that are used in DAU’s resident and non-resident courses as well as continuous learning modules. In addition, archived webcasts and media-on-demands through either DAU’s Multimedia Library or iTunesU supplies credible, proven practices are available to workforce members.

Course Catalog[edit]

The DAU Interactive Catalog (iCatalog) provides the most up-to-date information regarding the university’s classroom and online learning assets, various acquisition career field certification and developmental guides, and alternate means to meet training requirements through various programs or partnerships. DAU’s printed catalog is published annually on October 1st. The printed catalog contains information accurate as of the date it was published. Students can request to receive a printed catalog from the DAU Scheduling and Student Support Team.[24]


DAU's publishing arm, is known as the Defense Acquisition University Press, and it provides a number of online publications.[25]

Defense AT&L - is a bimonthly magazine published by DAU Press for senior military personnel, civilians, defense contractors, and defense industry professionals in program management and the acquisition, technology and logistics workforce.

Defense Acquisition Research Journal (ARJ) - is a scholarly peer-reviewed journal published by the Defense Acquisition University (DAU). All submissions receive a blind review to ensure impartial evaluation.


In 2009, DAU’s Defense AT&L magazine received the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Silver Inkwell Excellence in Communications Award. The magazine was judged by senior communicators in the Washington, D.C. area and won in the category of Government/Military Communications.[1]

On September 29, 2009, DAU was presented with two awards during the Chief Learning Officer Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Global Learning and Technology Center (GLTC) received the Learning Team Award for high performance teams that implemented learning best practices and programs on a global scale. The awards are peer-reviewed and judged by learning executives from the public and private sectors.[1]

On June 6, 2013, DAU received the 2012 regional DC-Metro area International Coach Federation (ICF) Prism Award recognizing excellence and achievement in organizational coaching. As the regional winner, DAU will compete for the ICF Global Prism Award.

See the full list of awards >>

Board of Visitors[edit]

The Defense Acquisition University Board of Visitors (BoV) is a consulting body for DAU. The (BoV) consists of members selected for their preeminence in academia, business, and industry to advise the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics and the president and senior staff of the Defense Acquisition University. As of 2014, the Board of Visitors includes ten members. The current Chair of the Board is Retired General William Tuttle.[26]


The Board of Visitors at the Defense Acquisition University consists of the ten members below:

Trustee Notability
William Tuttle, Jr. Chairperson and retired General with the United States Army
Michael Brogan Senior Vice President with ManTech International
Curtis Gray Senior Vice President with BAE Systems
Michael Joyce Senior Vice President with the Lockheed Martin Corporation
Norman Kamikow President of MediaTec Publishing
Erv Lessel Director with Deloitte Consulting
Walter Massenburg Senior Director with the Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems
Christopher Raymond Vice President with the Boeing Corporation
Allison Rossett Professor Emerita with San Diego State University
Ronald Yates Consultant and retired General with the United States Air Force

Strategic Partnerships[edit]

DAU has established strategic partnerships with universities and colleges so Defense Acquisition Workforce members can transfer DAU coursework toward college and university degrees and certificates. While each partnership is unique in what it offers, the objective of the partnership program is to provide the student with opportunities to maximize academic accomplishments by receiving credit for DAU courses toward an undergraduate, graduate, or certificate program offered by a strategic partner. In total this institution maintains strategic partnerships with more than 160 colleges and universities that offer credit for DAU courses toward degrees and certificates.[27]

See the full list of affiliations >>

Alumni association[edit]

Major General Paul Izzo delivers a keynote speech to a group of DAU students.

The Defense Acquisition University Alumni Association (DAUAA) is an alumni organization for the Defense Acquisition University. It was founded in 2002 and is still very active today.[28] The DAU Alumni Association provides a means for professional growth and continued learning, within the defense acquisition community, and promotes DAU’s reputation as a world-class acquisition-learning resource. The Alumni Association brings together the best people, ideas, experiences, and skills for improving defense systems acquisition. The DAUAA has a Board of Directors with over 20 officer positions.[29]

The DAUAA is supported by an active alumni association that partners with the DAU and industry to provide additional learning opportunities for the Acquisition Workforce. Some examples of efforts supported by the DAUAA are the annual research paper competition,[30] an annual symposium,[31] periodic hot topic forums,[32] through partnerships with industry, and more. Each of the DAU regional campus locations have DAUAA chapters.[33]

DAUAA Memberships[edit]

The DAU Alumni Association connects graduates of DAU in many ways. The best way to take advantage of all the DAU offers alumni is to join the DAUAA. Qualifications and Classes of Membership.[34]

  • Regular Members - Graduates of the program management courses, executive courses, short courses and learning modules given by the Defense Acquisition University, and present and past faculty and professional staff members assigned to DAU shall be eligible to become Regular Members.
  • Associate Members - Individuals in Government and Industry who are currently serving, or who have previously served, in defense acquisition program management positions but who do not qualify for Regular Membership, are eligible to become Associate Members.
  • Honorary Members - The Association may, upon approval by a two-thirds secret ballot vote of votes cast by the Board of Directors, elect individuals who have made outstanding contributions in the area of defense acquisition management or to the Defense Acquisition University. Such recognition shall be limited to two (2) individuals per year, but it is not mandatory that the two Honorary Memberships be awarded each year. Honorary Membership is for life, and no annual dues or other assessments are applicable. In addition, the current and past Presidents of DAU and the current and past Commandants of the Defense Systems Management College (DSMC) and members of the Board of Advisors are automatically Honorary Members.


On July 2011 a hacking incident occurred affecting DAU’s Web-based training site. This incident occurred on a vendor’s network that provided the learning management system's underlying source code[35] and inhibited access to online courses for almost two months. While DAU was not hacked, U.S. Cyber Command (U.S. CYBERCOM) evaluated the risk level to DAU’s system based on the incident that occurred on the vendor’s network, and temporarily suspended online training courses to secure the system and protect students' personal information.

Accessibility issues[edit]

Students accessing DAU's training website DAU Online must use Microsoft's Internet Explorer versions 6-8. No support is provided for IE9 or for other browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, or Opera though they have higher security protection. This restriction may violate the Competition in Contracting Act ("CICA"), 10 U.S.C. § 2304(a)(1) if goods or services leading to a "Microsoft Only" access requirement resulted from inappropriate procurement practices.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]