The Secretary of Defense Senior Leader Engagement Program is an outgrowth of the Joint Civilian Orientation Conference (JCOC), the oldest public liaison program in DoD. Participants in the Senior Leader Engagement Program are guests of the Secretary of Defense and attend briefings by senior military and civilian officials at the Pentagon. Since 1948, DoD has conducted 84 programs for 6,700 prominent U.S. business, community, and educational leaders.
The mission of the Senior Leader Engagement Program is to increase public understanding of national defense by enabling American business and community leaders to directly observe and engage with the U.S. military. Specific program objectives are to:
- Acquaint participants with the strength and readiness of the U.S. Armed Forces through the personal observation of Military operations.
- Provide a better understanding of the challenges faced by our men and women in uniform and by the families who support them, both on and off the battlefield.
- Provide the American public opportunities to obtain a better understanding of national defense policies and programs through the eyes of opinion leaders who will share the firsthand observations and knowledge they gain during the program.
The Secretary of Defense Senior Leader Engagement Program offers unprecedented exposure to senior Defense officials, Service members and military training exercises. Participants are guests of the Secretary and attend briefings by senior military and civilian officials at the Pentagon. They also gain hands-on experience through operations and interactions with troops and military leaders in all five Armed Forces stationed across the United States.
As a result of their participation, program alumni take an active role in their communities to share a better understanding of the ways in which the military helps to achieve national security goals and objectives, and to serve personally as ambassadors within their civilian spheres of influence on behalf of Service members and the Department.