Nomination Process


What is JCOC?
The Joint Civilian Orientation Conference (JCOC) is a program sponsored by the Secretary of Defense for civilian public opinion leaders interested in growing their knowledge of the military and national defense issues. JCOC is the only civilian orientation program the Secretary sponsors and is the oldest existing Pentagon outreach program, having been held 84 times since 1948.

What is the objective of JCOC?
The purpose of JCOC is to increase public understanding of national defense through a forum of free exchange among influential citizens, DoD officials, and military leadership.

Specific objectives are to:

  • Acquaint participants with the strength and readiness of the U.S. armed forces through personal observation of Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps activities;
  • Facilitate the candid exchange of information on defense matters between the Secretary of Defense and JCOC participants.
  • Help the American public obtain a better understanding of national defense policies and programs through opinion leaders who return to their communities and share firsthand observations and knowledge gained during the Conference; and

Nomination Process

How are participants nominated for JCOC?
Nominations are solicited from DoD officials, military commands, as well as JCOC alumni.


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What is JCOC looking for in a nominee?
Nominees are regionally or nationally influential citizens from across the country who neither possess special knowledge of DoD nor have existing relationships with senior members of the military.

Nomination and selection procedures are designed to bring together a geographical, professional, and cultural cross-section of influential Americans who are leaders in their fields. We also encourage nominations of leaders representing a broad spectrum of areas.

JCOC ParticipantsJCOC participants routinely include opinion leaders such as:

  • CEOs and senior officials of private enterprises with regional or national reach.
  • Presidents of universities and colleges;
  • Publishers and Editors of newspapers;
  • Management in print and broadcast media;
  • Published authors;
  • National association and regional leaders of professional, minority and women's organizations; and
  • State and Local elected and appointed officials (as long as they are not in the midst of an election).
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How competitive is the nomination process?
The selection process is extremely competitive. JCOC expects to receive more than 400 nominations this year, and only 100 slots are available. Selections are based on the qualifications of the nominees as determined by an inter-Service selection panel, not by the rank or the position of the nominator.

Who is NOT eligible for the JCOC program?
JCOC ParticipantsSince JCOC is an educational outlet for those without a strong working knowledge of the military, nominators should be diligent in ensuring that they recommend people with little or no exposure to the Department of Defense.

For this reason, JCOC discourages nomination of veterans with service after 1990 and individuals who have had extensive participation in other Department of Defense or service-related distinguished visitor tours.

Ineligible nominees are:

  • Federal, State or Local elected officials or candidates who will be in campaign status;
  • JCOC alumni;
  • Anyone working for, retired from, or drawing any kind of paycheck from the federal government; and
  • Employees of government contractors whose primary area of responsibility is military related.
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What is the responsibility of a Nominator?
Nominators should speak directly with their nominees prior to nomination to establish that minimum basic eligibility requirements are met and to ensure that if selected they will accept the invitation, barring an emergency. Nominees must also be clearly informed that their nomination is not a guarantee of selection.

JCOC ParticipantsNominating components receive information on the status of their nominees after the invitation list is compiled.


How will nominees know if they are selected to participate?
The JCOC staff, in addition to the service representatives, will reach out to all participants to tell them of their selection.

JCOC will alert Nominators of the status of their nominees.

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How is JCOC funded?

Recent policy changes have resulted in JCOC being fully funded through appropriated funds. The conference is provided at no cost to the participants.

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What are the financial obligations of JCOC participants?

Each participant is responsible for the cost of his or her round trip transportation to the conference registration site and any lodging costs exclusive of the actual conference dates.