Introducing the Defense Civilian Training Corps

This week, the Department of Defense launched the Defense Civilian Training Corps, a scholarship for service program designed to modernize the civilian acquisit...

This column was originally published on Roger Waldron’s blog at The Coalition for Government Procurement and was republished here with permission from the author. 

This week, the Department of Defense launched the Defense Civilian Training Corps, a scholarship for service program designed to modernize the civilian acquisition workforce in partnership with higher education. DCTC complements existing scholarship programs that recruit and develop exceptional STEM and cyber civilian talent within their academic fields, and the Senior Reserve Officer Training Corps (SROTC), which attracts top talent for the military officer ranks. To improve the collective speed and agility in delivering improved capabilities to the military, DCTC will improve acquisition workforce readiness to innovate as a team across disciplines.

The four host universities [North Carolina A&T (HBCU), Purdue University, University of Arizona (Minority Serving Institution) and Virginia Tech University], are currently creating a pilot cohort of scholars with diverse interests across the STEM disciplines, as well as public policy, business administration, finance, political science and more.  Beginning this fall, DCTC Scholars will engage in multidisciplinary experiential learning in the classroom, studying emerging and current complex DoD development, acquisition, and sustainment challenges. The critical skills students will develop are directly tied to the National Defense Strategy. In the summer, each university cohort will participate in multidisciplinary team internships and challenge projects sponsored by DoD organizations.  Through the DCTC targeted education, internships and challenge projects, DCTC participants will understand and practice their role within the larger mission context.  Upon graduation, DCTC Scholars will be hired and be able to immediately start work in DoD organizations where they will have an immediate impact as a result of their DCTC experiential learning.

DCTC will enable the DoD to strengthen its DoD civilian workforce pipeline, strategically building talent pools to reflect the DoD’s demand signals for talent and skills for the future. DCTC plans to pilot cohort-hiring, a best practice in the private sector, in which post-graduate DCTC alumni will experience the culture of continued networking as a team and a career pathway that includes a combination of training, mentorship and rotational job experiences. Development of an innovative workforce will require a combined effort of the entire national security ecosystem to achieve the flow of new ideas and collaborative mindset necessary to outpace near-peer adversaries. DCTC is an opportunity for an exciting collaboration across government, industry, and academia.  To learn more visit

Copyright © 2024 Federal News Network. All rights reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

Related Stories

    United States Aerial Objects

    Federal employees union issues warning about cutting DoD civilian workforce

    Read more
    FILE - In this Oct. 5, 2017 file photo, Department of Homeland Security personnel deliver supplies to Santa Ana community residents in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Guayama, Puerto Rico. Federal authorities said Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019, that they have arrested two former officials of the Federal Emergency Management Authority and the former president of a major disaster relief contractor, accusing them of bribery and fraud in the efforts to restore electricity to Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria. (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti, File)

    A Defense agency helps a civilian agency with a key post-disaster function

    Read more
    United States Aerial Objects

    Like the revolving door, Defense Department ethics questions keep coming ’round

    Read more