CHDS Launches Army National Guard Certificate Program

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The Naval Postgraduate School’s (NPS) Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS) has launched a certificate program in Homeland Defense and Security (HD/S) specifically for the National Guard (NG). The new program is designed to help the NG to fulfill its critical roles, responsibilities and tasks in conducting HD/S and Defense Support to Civil Authorities. Additionally, it will provide an avenue to degree completion for NG personnel at all levels, to raise the level of education across the force, to provide leadership education as personnel progress through their careers, and to help them think critically in dealing with the asymmetric threats faced in the Global War on Terror.

The hybrid program will consist of four courses developed by CHDS, taught for a pilot iteration by CHDS faculty, and hosted by a university partner. The program pilot is currently being offered in Arizona and Missouri in cooperation with CHDS University Partners, Arizona State University and Missouri State University.

During the weekend of January 20-21, 2007, instructors and participants convened at their respective locations in these two states, and the initial comments from the participants have been very positive. Major Brian Murphy, Secretary to the General Staff of the Arizona NG, and pilot participant, remarked that he expects to be challenged by the program, but likewise believes that the effort will be well worth it. “I am proud to be part of this group of experienced and dedicated professionals, who bring a wealth of knowledge to the table.” Major Murphy believes that the collectively experiences of the participants will lend itself to many interesting discussions on how to best effectively with the threat of terrorism. “In terms of homeland defense and security, we all must acknowledge that we are in this struggle for the long haul. The ’bad guy
’ is not going to ever go away.”

Participant Major Eddie Brown, Brigade S-4 for the 110th Combat Support Brigade of the Missouri National Guard echoed many of Murphy’s sentiments. Impressed by the CHDS course content and the role it will play in imparting insight into policy-making, he remarked that the training is a great educational opportunity for not only the Guard leadership in his state, but for every state. “The National Guard will play an increasingly significant role in homeland security, and we acknowledge that we will be called upon more and more in the future – not only for those state emergencies traditionally related to the National Guard – but the future Guard will also be expected to plan for, and respond to, issues related to homeland defense.”

Following completion of the pilot and vetting of the four courses for content and quality, the courses will be taught by university partners. CHDS will continue to monitor the courses, along with the National Guard Bureau, to ensure the content remains current and academically rigorous. Ted Lewis, Acting Director of CHDS, commented that the program fills a tremendous need in homeland security going forward. “NPS has always been at the forefront of civil-military relations. This program will increase the nation’s ability to prevent, deter and respond to terrorist threats by providing graduate-level education to hundreds of National Guard officers that might otherwise not have access to it.”

The program will grow to five additional states by fall of 2007 and will begin to enroll first responders along with National Guard officers. An additional 10 states will undertake the program in the spring of 2008, and move forward with a goal of establishing a program in all 54 states and territories by 2009.

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