President’s Message

Since I last talked to you in April, the Alumni Association supported the 2nd Annual “Leaders Building Leaders” event staged by the 4th Estate Defense Acquisition Career Manager (DACM) – Mr. Scott Bauer.  That 3-day event on the Fort Belvoir campus of DAU  (April 16-18) focused on leadership in the Acquisition Workforce.  Our Capital Area Chapter sponsored the refreshments for this event and we had a display set up in the foyer of Scott Hall.  That translated into a few more memberships for the Alumni Association.  The idea is to gain visibility within the workforce for the various activities the Alumni Association supports.

While I am on the subject of membership, it is no secret that over the past ten years our membership has declined from around 2000 to about 1600.  We have tried many initiatives and promotions to turn that tide – “3 years for the price of 2”, ½ price memberships for new graduates of 300 and 400 level courses, and broadening the corporate sponsor program.  The latter nets us funds from various defense companies and organizations, and we in return provide memberships to employees of those entities.  All our efforts to date have helped some, but not enough.  At our last board meeting, Lt. Col. Marty Lewis, USMC, volunteered to lead a focus group to address this issue, and see what we need to do to perk up membership.  Marty has the authority to move forward with this initiative, and there is some urgency to explore new avenues to spur membership.  Without membership, we are dead in the water and rudderless.  In particular, if we want to continue to co-sponsor acquisition learning events such as symposiums and hot topic forums, we need a vibrant and active membership.  You will be hearing more from me on this in the months ahead.

On a brighter front, the Alumni Association (including our Capital Area Chapter) also sponsored the refreshments and reception for the June DAU TEDx.  The “x” indicates an independently organized TED event by DAU.  TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design and is a media organization that posts talks online for free distribution under the slogan “ideas worth spreading.”   The DAU exercise was themed as “Decisive Edge.”  It featured 12 speakers – each 18 minutes – followed by group discussions and exchange of ideas on the presentation in a networking refreshment area. We supported this event to show support for DAU innovation and as a learning event where Alumni Association attendees (85 out of 400) were given priority for attendance.  It was a good one!  Unfortunately, the proceedings were only being fed via VTC to one location on each regional campus.  A good way to look at the TEDx concept:  The TEDx is like going to church or synagogue and being spiritually uplifted with new and exciting ideas; whereas the symposium and hot topic forums are like going to Sunday School and doing the heavy lifting of acquisition learning.

Before I close, some info on additional DAU events supported by the DAU Alumni Association.  First, our Capital Area Chapter enthusiastically supported the DAU Day of Cyber on Wednesday, 26 June in Howell Auditorium, Scott Hall.  Support included refreshments throughout the day, and we were able to set up a “recruiting” table in the Hirsch (Networking) Center.  We gained some memberships/renewals, and a lot of good visibility for what we – especially the Capital Area Chapter – do for DAU.  It was an outstanding event attended by about 150 acquisition professionals and sponsored by DAU Professor Mike Cobb.   Secondly, there will be a hot topic forum co-sponsored by DAU and the Alumni Association on Wednesday, 24 July in Howell Auditorium.  The topic is: “Navigating Data rights, Intellectual Property, and Contracting Issues in Cloud Computing Contracts.”  This forum is being sponsored by DAU Faculty Professor Vicki Allums.   The event is very timely, and an excellent opportunity for acquisition learning.  The Forum will be fed to the regions via WebEx. For more info on this event, go to

  • That’s it for now.  Regards to all,   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.