The Foreign Service Journal, July/August 2018

12 JULY-AUGUST 2018 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL MESSAGE FROM THE MILITARY T he National Defense University offers a tremendous vantage point fromwhich to appreciate the value of America’s diplomats. During more than 30 years as a naval officer, I always had great respect for the tremendous contributions the State Department makes to protecting the American people and advancing our nation’s interests abroad. In truth, those contributions have often had to be inferred, not observed directly, since I seldom had a Foreign Service officer on board during my submarine deploy- ments or sharing my cubicle in the Penta- gon—diplomacy requires more open and overt means of communication than are available from underwater or from a SCIF. But the significant positive effects of their important work have always been just as clear as in the situations whenmilitary officers serve directly alongside diplomats across the globe, working together as we carry out our complementary missions. These partnerships evolve into strong personal bonds based on a shared sense of purpose: to serve the nation, preserve our freedom and promote our values. In my few months as president of NDU, my appreciation of our diplomats has grown in both depth and breadth because I have been able to witness the great work of the five ambassadors and 62 other State Department and U.S. Agency for International Devel- opment personnel assigned to NDU as students, faculty and in leadership positions. Therefore, one of my top priorities is to strengthen the rela- tionship with the State Department tomaxi- mize its mutual benefit as we strive together to prepare our rising lead- ers—whether military or civilian, American or international—to positively influence the international security environment. Let me first describe the history of that relationship and then our recent activities to strengthen it. A Long, Close Partnership NDU is commonly referred to as “the Chairman’s University,” because it falls under the direction of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; but the State Department has always been our most important partner outside of the Depart- ment of Defense. Ambassador George Kennan served as the first deputy com- mandant and international adviser at the National War College from 1946 to 1947. Ever since, the State Department has made invaluable contributions to prepar- ing our military and civilian students to The View from the Bridge: Sailing in Formation with the State Department BY VICE ADMIRAL FRITZ ROEGGE, U.S. NAVY become strategic thinkers and to serve as national security leaders. That close partnership is on display daily across NDU’s two campuses, and it was especially prominent at the recent American Patriot Awards hosted by the NDU Foundation honoring former Secre- tary of State James Baker and former Secre- tary of Defense Leon Panetta. The highlight of that evening’s programwas when the two Secretaries shared their views on the international security environment. I was struck that their reflections on the past and the present—through the prisms of a Republican and a Democrat, and the portfolios of State and Defense—were nev- ertheless consistent in acknowledging that the key to stability and security was, is and will be through diplomacy and the patient hard work that diplomacy demands. The audience at NDU’s Foreign Affairs Day tribute to the U.S. Foreign Service on May 9. In the front row, from left: Jennifer Spande, State student at the National War College; Katherine Dueholm, State student at the Eisenhower School; former Assistant Secretary of State Eric Boswell; Amb. Beth Jones; Amb. Marcie Rise; Amb. Kristie Kenney; and Amb. Ruth Davis. Vice Admiral Fritz Roegge, U.S. Navy, is the 16th presi- dent of National Defense Uni- versity, having assumed the position in September 2017. NDU/KATIEPERSONSLEWIS