The Christmas – Hanukah Holiday Season has once again arrived. Hopefully, Santa will bring us many new members of the Alumni Association, especially since we are now offering ½ price membership for graduating students in PMT360, LOG465, BCF301, CON360 and ENG302. This promotion was recently approved by the Association’s (national level) Board of Directors to reverse a trend of lower memberships, and the regional chapters are moving to implement it at their regional campuses as well. An organization like ours needs new blood on a continual basis to survive, and especially to continue to co-sponsor DAU symposiums and hot topic forums.
Speaking of which – planning for the Wednesday 3 April DAU Symposium is well underway. We had to change the date of the event from 2 to 3 April to meet Ms. Ellen Lord’s (USD(A&S)) travelling schedule. The plenary session and classroom breakout topics are building as I write this column, and DAU coordinators/POCs for each classroom session have been assigned. The planned theme is now locked: “Agile Acquisition – Delivering Capabilities Faster” Ms. Lord will give the keynote, so plan on being there for this great learning event. It will only take one day out of your year and the networking, lunch, coffee service and social aspects alone are worth the low price of admission. More on this event on the Alumni Association website – https://dauaa.org/training/ – starting in January, 2019. Registration will begin on February 1.
And on the hot topic forum front, we were treated to an excellent update on the Congressional defense budget and other acquisition initiatives on November 14 by a hot topic panel presented by the Congressional Research Service. Those panelists included Mr. Brendan McGarry, Mr. Moshe Schwartz, and Dr. Pat Towell. The presentation included information on the new Congress and its impact on 2020 DoD appropriations, including budget caps. Fiscal Year 2019 – which we are in – saw a significant up-tick in the DoD appropriation, and it will be interesting to see if 2020 will also see a similar increase. From recent defense information, Secretary of Defense James Mattis has seen the DoD budget increased significantly for 2020; now we need to see if that translates into an actual appropriation.
Before I forget, we are also planning two DAU hot topic forums in January and February 2019 respectively. The first – in January – will cover continuous integration/continuous software delivery environment; i.e., rapid, coordinated software fielding. It is titled: Using DevSecOps and Cloud to create DoD Software Factories.” Professor Bob Skertic is coordinating that one. The guest speaker – on Wednesday, 30 January (10:00 – 11:30 AM), will be Mr. Nicolas Chaillan, Special Advisor for Cloud Security and DevSecOps to the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment. Registration starts on 27 December. Then in February we have an industry presentation by the former CEO of Lockheed-Martin, Mr. Bob Stevens, who will address an industry perspective on the state of DoD acquisition; this latter forum is being coordinated by Mr. Tom Davis, the DAU Industry Chair.
One last point: Although we have the ½ price membership for selected graduating classes underway, we still need DAUAA members to act as recruiters in expanding Alumni Association membership. Membership is key if we are to continue as a viable organization supporting the DAU mission.
- My Best Wishes for the Holiday Season – 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.