Army Congressional Fellowship Program

Tuesday April 5, 2011

What is it?

The Army Congressional Fellowship Program educates selected Army officers and civilians on the importance of the strategic relationship between the Army and the Congress.

It is a three-year program which includes pursuit of a master's degree in legislative affairs at George Washington University (GWU), service on the staff of a member of Congress, and utilization on the Army or joint staff in a legislative liaison duty position. The program seeks regular Army; Reserve; and National Guard officers who have demonstrated outstanding promotion potential, have combat tour experience and have recently completed successful company/battery/troop command or equivalent key developmental (KD) duties. It is also open to outstanding DA civilians who will work in a legislative liaison duty position in their parent organization.

What has the Army done?

The Fellowship begins in the spring when selected Fellows arrive in the national capitol region and begin an intensive training program. Throughout the summer and fall, Fellows are full-time students at GWU and are fully exposed to the legislative process through interaction with classmates and GWU professors, many who are current or former Capitol Hill staffers, industry and interest group representatives and lobbyists.

In January, Fellows start their one-year assignment to a Congressional Office working directly for a member of Congress or Congressional Committee. Congressional Fellows are often responsible for drafting legislation, arranging congressional hearing information for the Member, writing floor speeches, and briefing the Member of Congress for Committee deliberations and floor debate.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

The 2013 Army Congressional Fellows selection board will meet this summer and select up to 25 officers for the program. To apply, an AC officer must have ten or less years of commissioned service and have completed key developmental level assignments; Army Reserve and Army National Guard captains or majors must not have more than four years in grade. Application deadlines for active component (AC) Army and Army Reserve Officers are July 8, 2011, and for the Army National Guard, Aug. 1, 2011.

Why is this important to the Army?

The direct interaction with Members of Congress offers a Fellow critical insight on how our military is governed at the highest levels. Over the years, many Members of Congress and Senior Defense Officials have grown to greatly appreciate the service and experience of having Defense Fellows serving on congressional staffs.


Army Congressional Fellows, OCLL Information Page

MILPER Message 11-045, FY2013 Army Congressional Fellowship Program (ACFP)

Army Regulation 1-202, Army Congressional Fellowship Program





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"The Army has always needed entrepreneurial leaders with a broad perspective and a diverse range of skills, in addition to the essential troop command and staff assignments, you should look for opportunities (that) include being a congressional fellow."

-Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, comments on the value of the Army Congressional Fellowship Program during a visit to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Feb. 25.

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