Defense Acquisition University

Defense Acquisition University
Defense Acquisition University
DAU Seal.png
Established 1992
Type Professional Development
President Katrina McFarland
Location Fort Belvoir, Virginia, USA

The Defense Acquisition University (DAU) is a United States military training establishment that trains and enables the 147,705 military and civilian Department of Defense personnel in the fields of acquisition, technology, and logistics, including leadership, program management and bureaucratic organization. DAU serves the members of the Defense Acquisition Workforce and their defense industry counterparts and recently celebrated the one millionth graduate.[1]

DAU's mission is to provide a global learning environment to support a mission-ready Defense Acquisition Workforce that develops, delivers, and sustains effective and affordable warfighting capabilities.[citation needed]

DAU aims to impact acquisition excellence through:

  • Acquisition certification and leadership training
  • Mission assistance to acquisition organizations and teams
  • Improving the Core Technical Competence of the Defence Workforce
  • Online knowledge-sharing resources
  • Continuous learning assets

The DAU vision is to enable the Defense Acquisition Workforce to achieve the right acquisition outcomes.

The Defense Acquisition Workforce is responsible for spending billions of dollars each year on systems, services, and supplies to support the warfighter. The Defense Acquisition Workforce has an even greater need to be a motivated, well-educated, and highly trained workforce.[citation needed]

To ensure a mission-capable workforce, DAU has implemented the AT&L Performance Learning Model (PLM).[2] The elements of the PLM—training courses, continuous learning, mission assistance, and knowledge sharing—give the Defense Acquisition Workforce the right training and tools to positively impact the acquisition outcomes of our defense programs.

Training[3] The Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) requires Defense Acquisition Workforce members to be certified for the position 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. DAU uses innovative approaches to impact all learners and learning styles as they work to complete their certification training. In FY09, there were: • 6,479,014 hours of training (22 percent increase over FY08) • 193,967 graduates (26 percent increase over FY08) • 154,399 online graduates (30 percent increase over FY08) • 39,568 classroom graduates (10 percent increase over FY08)

Continuous Learning[4] DAU’s Continuous Learning Center (CLC) places cutting-edge[citation needed] learning modules on critical acquisition topics at the fingertips[clarification needed] of the Defense Acquisition Workforce whenever and wherever they want. With these modules, DAU is able to deliver the newest initiatives and latest policy changes as well as refresh the workforce’s skills.[citation needed] The continuous availability of these modules conveniently and quickly helps the workforce meet their continuous learning requirements[citation needed] and positively impacts job performance.[citation needed] In FY09, there were: • 236 continuous learning modules (CLMs) available in the online DAU CLC • 494,568 completions of CLMs (48 percent increase over FY08).

Mission Assistance[5] DAU’s multi-disciplinary faculty teams with acquisition organizations to help positively influence acquisition outcomes.[citation needed] Mission assistance extends services beyond the classroom and into the workplace. From major defense acquisition programs to smaller acquisition teams, DAU is able to provide advice, consulting support, rapid-deployment training on new initiatives, or training targeted to address the mission needs of acquisition field organizations. Through the mission assistance program, DAU is able to impact acquisition outcomes by helping to solve program and technical issues. In FY09, there were: • 577 consulting, targeted training, and rapid-deployment events (49 percent increase over FY08) • 492,521 consulting, targeted training, and rapid-deployment contact hours (17 percent increase over FY08)

Knowledge Sharing[6] By combining people and information, ideas are easily shared. DAU has been doing this formally for years through coursework and consulting efforts. But to expand the impact, information and ideas must be shared informally. DAU does this through a variety of knowledge sharing assets. Impacting the Defense Acquisition Workforce outside the classroom through increased access to information enhances job performance and improves acquisition outcomes. In FY09, there were: • 696,701 contact hours on the Defense Acquisition Portal (DAP) (59 percent increase over FY08) • 540,270 contact hours on the Acquisition Community Connection (ACC) (109 percent increase over FY08)

DAU headquarters is at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. It has five regional campuses located throughout the United States:

The DAU maintains strategic partnerships with over 160 colleges and universities that offer credit for DAU courses toward degrees and certificates.[7]

DAU's publishing arm, DAU Press, provides a number of online publications, along with its flagship publications, Defense AT&L Magazine[8] and the Acquisition Review Journal.[9]



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. At the awards ceremony, the presenter discussed the judges’ awe at how much the magazine staff members are able to do with only two staff members and varying levels of contractor support. Over the past year, the look and feel of the magazine was completely redesigned, converting to full color and displaying new layout techniques. The magazine has implemented outreach efforts, including developing a reader survey, establishing Meet-the-Author events, and ensuring magazine staff attendance at major acquisition conferences. The award is a reflection of the magazine’s overall efforts to serve as an effective communications and learning tool for the acquisition workforce.[10]

DAU was recognized for excellence in learning and development by Chief Learning Officer magazine. 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. This award recognizes high performance teams that implemented learning best practices and programs on a global scale. The DAU GLTC team was recognized for its unique seamless integration of both formal and informal learning programs. The second award presented to DAU was the Vanguard Award. DAU earned this award by effectively leveraging games and simulations to improve learning assets. These interactive learning tools are having a significant impact on the quality of the Defense Acquisition Workforce’s learning experiences. The awards are peer-reviewed and judged by learning executives from the public and private sectors. Selection is highly competitive and prestigious—they recognize only the very best learning leaders and organizations from around the globe.[11]


In the summer of 2011 hacker group Anonymous compromised DAU's servers which resulted in public release of user's personal information. [12] This event resulted in the DAU online learning site being put offline for a period of several months. During this outage the DAU failed to post notices connecting the outage to the hacking of their servers or to notify those affected of the possible release of their personal information into the public domain. DAU has yet to publicly acknowledge the fact that their servers were hacked or that user information was compromised.

Accessibility Issues

DAU fails to maintain open browser accessibility and requires students accessing the web-based training site (DAU Online) to use Microsoft's Internet Explorer versions 6-8. No support is provided for IE9 or for any other browsers (Chrome, Firefox, or Opera), in spite of the lower security protections offered on IE6-8. Further, this restriction may be in violation of the Competition in Contracting Act ("CICA"), 10 U.S.C. § 2304(a)(1) if goods or services leading to a "Microsoft Only" product accessibility requirement were as a result of inappropriate procurement practices. [13]

Alumni association

The Defense Acquisition University 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,[14] an annual symposium,[15] periodic hot topic forums,[16] through partnerships with industry, and more. Each of the DAU regional campus locations have DAUAA chapters.[17] More information about the DAU Alumni Association can be found on the DAUAA website located at[18]

See also

External links

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