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The Problem

Our nation’s students have never been less educated on or less prepared for a career in military affairs. Universities have overseen a steep decline in the teaching of military history; more than seventy percent of the nation’s 18-24 year-olds are ineligible for military service; and young Americans are generally not knowledgeable about the military’s basic characteristics. Students are graduating from college and entering the defense workforce without a proper and fundamental framework for national defense policy.

This generation of research assistants and analysts at think-tanks, staff and legislative assistants on Capitol Hill, and special assistants at the Pentagon and across the Executive Branch face a steep learning curve in the theory, application, and even the vocabulary of working in the Washington defense world. The national security workforce is under severe stress. The cultivation of a new generation of leaders is critical to our future.

The Peace Through Strength Boot Camp

The Peace Through Strength Boot Camp is an intensive four-day program run in partnership between the Alexander Hamilton Society and the Ronald Reagan Institute in Washington D.C. The program educates about 20 advanced undergraduate students, graduate students, and recent graduates about the vocabulary, theory, practice, and organization of U.S. defense policy. The program is a unique opportunity to learn from the nation’s foremost defense policy thought-leaders and practitioners and hear from distinguished senior leaders in the national security and military communities.

Students emerge with a strong fundamental understanding in defense affairs, covering specific topics such as: budgeting, strategy, civil-military relations, force structure, readiness, the industrial base, the future of warfare etc. Students also learn about the key actors and institutions involved in making defense policy. Over time, the Boot Camp will serve as a pipeline of young defense talent and vetting agency for key defense nodes.

Each day consists of morning and afternoon seminars led by leading instructors complimented by guest speakers. Students are assigned readings ahead of time. Lodging, meals, a transportation stipend, and a course reader are provided.

Please direct questions to Thomas Kenna at tkenna@reaganfoundation.org.