Last week, nearly 40 business and community leaders participated in the 93rd Joint Civilian Orientation Conference (JCOC), the department's oldest and most prestigious public outreach program. Since 1948, the Secretary of Defense has invited select groups of civilians to the Pentagon and to military bases to engage with troops and leaders from each of the armed services to observe their work on land, at sea, and in the air at various locations throughout the United States.
The Secretary of Defense-sponsored program returned for the first time since 2019, after a temporary pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 92 JCOC programs have included more than 7,000 participants to boost public understanding of national defense, the military, and our service men and women.
The competitive program seeks to demonstrate the strength and readiness of U.S. armed forces and help attendees understand the challenges that service members encounter on and off the battlefield, and that their families face every day.
"JCOC is an important opportunity for civilian leaders to get up close and personal with the men and women in uniform – to better understand them and the mission they carry out every day," said Melanie Fonder Kaye, deputy assistant to the secretary of defense for strategic engagement. "JCOC 93 participants were engaged in a broad exchange of ideas throughout the week and I’m certain they will take that knowledge back into their communities to help their fellow Americans gain a better understanding of their military."
The 93rd iteration of JCOC was comprised of top business and community leaders that included CEOs, presidents, vice presidents and chairmen as well as professors, music and entertainment artists, and other influential community representatives from cities and towns across the country.
Below is a list of all the locations JCOC participants visited:
Monday, Oct. 24
The Pentagon, Arlington, Va. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III welcomed and spoke to JCOC participants at the Pentagon where they also received background information from a group of senior service members and defense officials.
Peterson Space Force Base and Schriever Space Force Base, Colo. Participants were the first class in JCOC history to receive a Space Force immersion. They received interactive mission demonstrations at the 2nd Space Operations Squadron and 527th Space Aggressor Squadron, where they engaged with Guardians performing command and control for the Global Positioning System satellite constellation, and demonstration of satellite signal loss.
Tuesday, Oct. 25
Fort Carson, Colo. The 4th Infantry Division hosted JCOC participants for an obstacle course at the ‘Mabry Mile,’ an interactive combatives demonstration, a CH-47 Chinook orientation flight, small arms familiarization, and a medical evacuation demonstration.
Wednesday, Oct. 26
Creech Air Force Base and Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The 11th Attack Squadron provided participants with an overview of MQ-9 Reaper capabilities, and access to a simulator with pilot and sensor operator Q&A. Participants also observed a U.S. Air Force Weapons School Combat Search and Rescue demonstration involving A-10 Thunderbolt IIs, HH-60 Pave Hawks and MQ-9 Reapers, and engaged with Joint Terminal Attack Controller personnel.
Thursday, Oct. 27
Naval Air Station North Island and U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Diego, Calif. JCOC participants received an overview brief of Naval Special Warfare Group 1 and engaged with members of a West-Coast based SEAL team squad before meeting with sailors aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln to learn about aircraft carrier operations. They also visited with U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Diego for an in-depth look at the Joint Harbor Operations Center and the U.S. Coast Guard’s diverse mission set. The visit ended with a live Search and Rescue demonstration.
Friday, Oct. 28
U.S. Marine Corps Recruiting Depot San Diego and Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif. Participants experienced the first 15 minutes of Marine recruit training, learned the basics of Rappelling, and witnessed a Recruit Training Battalion graduation. Later that afternoon JCOC participated in an MV-22 Osprey orientation flight, and live-fire training with Marines.
Learn more about the Joint Civilian Orientation Conference at https://www.defense.gov/jcoc, on Twitter at @DoD_Outreach and @DeptofDefense, and by using the hashtags #JCOC93 and #KnowYourMil.