President’s Message

Greetings as we are now in the start of November and will soon enter the 2019 Thanksgiving Holiday Season.  The new board of directors is now on board and the focus is on recruiting new members, which are the lifeblood of the Alumni Association.  Without new members we can no longer support DAU events as we have in the past – hot topic forums, TedX, Day of Cyber, symposia, etc.  I strongly encourage all DAU Alumni to consider DAUAA membership.  We need you!

In that regard, we conducted a major recruiting drive at the DAU Rock-the-Quad event near the end of October; that event is part of the annual DAU update.  Current members – including new sign-ups – received a free lunch.  It was a good opportunity to sign up for yearly membership at $25 and then receive the free lunch worth $7.  It was a real bargain for members and we totaled 11 new and renewal members. Every bit helps.  Nice job by Debbie Garry of our staff for orchestrating this membership program at Rock-the-Quad.

While I am on about bargains, I think it is important for our membership to know that if they purchase items from Amazon, and by using AmazonSmile, they are allowing Amazon to contribute 0.5% of the purchase price to the Defense Acquisition University Alumni Association – a 501(C)(3) nonprofit.  It might not seem like much on each purchase, but with up to 1500 people making purchases, it can add up.  Go to to learn more.  Again, every bit helps.

Since my last “Prez Msg” the Alumni Association supported two excellent hot topic forums – one on Wednesday, 18 September, and the other on Wednesday, 30 October.  The topic of the first forum was: “What the Market is Saying About Defense – And What It Might be Missing.”  The guest speaker was Mr. Byron Callan, of Capital Alpha Partners,  LLC.  Mr. Callan is a Wall Street analyst covering the defense industry.  The presentation was sponsored by the DAU Industry Chair, Mr. Thomas Davis.  Mr. Callan offered his thoughts on the direction of the industry over the years he has covered it, and how he assesses its current and projected condition.  In addition to the financial outlook, he covered external political and economic/market factors affecting the industry. The key takeaway is that the industry is essentially sound, despite the consolidations of recent years, and that companies are investing heavily in new plant and equipment and research and development.  The latter is especially a good sign, and caused in great part by recent corporate tax cuts.

The second hot topic forum took place on Wednesday, 30 October.  The topic was “The FY2020 Defense Budget and Related Acquisition Issues.”  The presenters were Mr. Brendan McGarry and Ms. Heidi Peters of the Congressional Research Service.  Mr. McGarry offered his views on how the defense budget is developed and the major issues with the 2020 budget.  Ms. Peters covered acquisition issues that congressional members and staff are focused on.  This was an excellent and well-received opportunity to learn more about the political and practical issues with developing the budget for this fiscal year.  A large physical attendance of well over 110 attended, with WebEx feeds to selected and authorized acquisition professionals.  The 110 attendees included students from PMT 360 and ENG 302 classes. The faculty sponsor for this event was Ms. Roberta Tomasini of the Defense Systems Management College (DSMC).

That’s it for now; see you next month.  Regards to all and keep those memberships coming.

Bill Bahnmaier, President, DAUAA

About Bill Bahnmaier, DAUAA President: Bill Bahnmaier is a retired Marine and a former (retired) instructor at the Defense Acquisition University (DAU). In his last tour of duty as a Marine he was a major system PM of the Marine Corps Assault Amphibian. Since retirement, Bahnmaier works as an official volunteer at DAU and also is a part time consultant and instructor on defense acquisition matters. He and his wife Peggy reside in Alexandria, VA. They have 9 nephews and nieces and 18 great nephews and nieces.