Course Policies

Non Attribution Policy

Presentations by guest speakers, seminar leaders and panelists, including renowned public officials and scholars, constitute an important part of the curricula of the National Defense University. To allow the guests (as well as faculty and other University officials) the latitude to speak candidly, the University offers its assurance that their presentations will be held in strict confidence. This assurance derives from a policy of non attribution which is morally binding on all who attend. Without the expressed permission of the speaker, nothing he or she says will be attributed to him or her directly or indirectly in the presence of anyone who was not authorized to attend the presentation. This policy is not to inhibit students and faculty within the academic environment from discussing the opinions and views expressed by speakers. However, the non attribution policy precludes citing the views and opinions of one guest (even if he is not identified by name) when questioning subsequent speakers. It also precludes individuals from taping lectures.

Excusal Policy

The DOD Reorganization Act of 1986 requires that all active duty general and flag officers attend CAPSTONE. The Secretary of Defense may waive attendance for:

  • An officer whose immediately previous assignment was a joint duty assignment

  • When necessary for the good of the Service

  • An officer whose selection for promotion is based primarily upon scientific and technical qualifications for which joint requirements do not exist

  • Medical, dental, veterinary, medical service, and biomedical science officers, nurses and chaplains

Waivers must be requested by the Service headquarters to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. Requests for individual absences during the course are subject to approval by the President, National Defense University.

Security Clearance Policy

All Fellows and Senior Fellows participating in CAPSTONE must have appropriate U.S., NATO, and SCI security clearances. Although much of the course’s written material and discussion will be of an unclassified nature, there will be frequent occasions when discussion will involve sensitive areas. All are reminded of their responsibility to properly safeguard classified material and not to discuss classified information, particularly SCI, in other than appropriately cleared facilities. Classified notes and readings will be kept in storage facilities in the CAPSTONE area.