Military Wiki
Defense Acquisition University
DAU Seal.png
Established 1992
Type Professional Development
President Jim McMichael (Acting President)
Location Fort Belvoir, Virginia, USA

The Defense Acquisition University (DAU) is a Department of Defense (DoD) training establishment authorized by Congress under the Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act of 1990 and established by DoD Directive 5000.57 on October 22, 1991, that trains the approximately 150,000 military and civilian DoD personnel in the fields of acquisition, technology, and logistics. In addition, DAU provides services to defense contractors.[1] DAU is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education.[2]

DAU provides the following services:

  • Acquisition certification and leadership training
  • Mission assistance to acquisition organizations and teams
  • Online knowledge-sharing resources
  • Continuous learning assets


DAU serves members of the Defense Acquisition Workforce who are located around the country and world. Branch campuses are located in areas with a high concentration of Defense Acquisition Workforce members. Each branch campus focuses its training on the workforce members in its region. DAU’s branch campuses are found in the following locations:

DAU headquarters is at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.


DAU was created as a result of critical necessity, identified in high-level studies and legislation, for providing the Department of Defense Acquisition, Technology and Logistics workforce with a professional career path and consistency of training content and opportunity.

The Department of Defense issued DoD Directive 5000.57 October 1991, which served as the University’s charter. Originally a loose consortium of existing training commands, DAU worked to standardize the training courses and establish mechanisms that that allowed for centralized equitable management of training funds for the DoD (AT&L) workforce.

During the late 1990s, the consortium arrangement was replaced with a centralized structure that operated more like a corporate university with a focus on case-based instruction and emphasizes the use of distance learning, mission assistance and knowledge sharing. The new structure also centralizes course development under DAU headquarters.

On February 8, 2006, the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics issued DoD Instruction 5000.57, which supersedes DoD Directive 5000.57. This new instruction describes the mission, responsibilities, functions and authorities of DAU.

Learning assets

DAU has implemented the AT&L Performance Learning Model (PLM).[3]

Training[4] 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.

Continuous Learning[5] DAU’s Continuous Learning Center (CLC) DAU’s Continuous Learning Center (CLC) helps the Defense Acquisition Workforce acquire continuous learning points to remain current in their positions. Continuous learning modules cover specific acquisition topics.

Mission Assistance[6] DAU’s multidisciplinary faculty provides consulting services to variable-sized teams in acquisition organizations.

Knowledge Sharing[7] DAU provides the AT&L community extensive knowledge sharing assets available anytime and anywhere to promote career-long learning and workplace effectiveness. Learning products include knowledge repositories, communities of practice, performance learning tools, best practices, and search capabilities.

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 Research 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.[10]

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 for high performance teams that implemented learning best practices and programs on a global scale. The awards are peer-reviewed and judged by learning executives from the public and private sectors.[11]

On June 6, 2013, DAU received the 2012 regional DC-Metro area International Coach Federation (ICF) Prism Award recognizing excellence and achievement in organizational coaching. As the regional winner, DAU will compete for the ICF Global Prism Award.

See the full list of awards >>

Strategic Partnerships

DAU maintains strategic partnerships with more than 160 colleges and universities that offer credit for DAU courses toward degrees and certificates.[12] While each partnership is unique, the objective of the partnership program is to provide opportunities to maximize academic accomplishments by receiving credit for DAU courses toward an undergraduate, graduate, or certificate program offered by a strategic partner. See the full list of affiliations >>

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,[13] an annual symposium,[14] periodic hot topic forums,[15] through partnerships with industry, and more. Each of the DAU regional campus locations have DAUAA chapters.[16]


On July 2011 a hacking incident occurred affecting DAU’s Web-based training site. This incident occurred on a vendor’s network that provides the underlying source code of the learning management system.[17] This inhibited access to online courses for almost two months. While DAU was not hacked, U.S. Cyber Command (U.S. CYBERCOM) evaluated the risk level to DAU’s system based on the incident that occurred on the vendor’s network and temporarily suspended online training course operations to secure the system and protect the personal information of students.

Accessibility issues

Students accessing DAU's training website DAU Online must use Microsoft's Internet Explorer versions 6-8. No support is provided for IE9 or for other browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, or Opera though they have higher security protection. This restriction may violate the Competition in Contracting Act ("CICA"), 10 U.S.C. § 2304(a)(1) if goods or services leading to a "Microsoft Only" access requirement resulted from inappropriate procurement practices.

See also


External links

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