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What is Army Civilian University?

Army Civilian University is the emerging institution charged with the development and oversight of an enterprise approach to civilian education.

Currently headquartered at Fort Belvoir, Va., ACU is not a physical place where civilians attend – like the Army War College. Rather, it is the organizational unification of select academic institutions that serve primarily civilians in support of the Army mission. ACU was created to achieve greater visibility and opportunity for civilian personnel – while having the adaptability and assets to provide civilians the training that Army and its commanders need most.

ACU supports U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command’s establishment of integrated curricula with a standardized, competency-based approach to civilian education and leader development. While ACU will be focused on providing civilians the training the Army needs – and much of this education will be accredited by universities – it is not foreseen at this time that ACU will award academic degrees.

In July 2007, the Secretary of the Army and Chief of Staff of the Army approved Army Initiative 5, “Accelerate Leader Development,” giving TRADOC executive agency responsibility for leader development and establishing ACU.

Although ACU’s development is in its early stages, the institution’s impact over the long term will be significant for the Army. ACU expectations are to:

  • Enhance the Army’s capability to deliver training to the Civilian.
  • Produce trained and ready adaptive civilian leaders who are strategic thinkers.
  • Prepare leaders to operate across the full spectrum of operations in an environment of persistent conflict.
  • Strengthen the quality of each individual educational institution by ensuring appropriate investment in faculty and facilities while developing strong research and publication programs.
  • Create leader development strategies and education systems for Army Civilians, as well as synchronizes an enterprise of well-integrated institutions, building linkages with the larger academic community.
  • Assist the Army to develop a clear positive civilian identity, while streamlining leader development and providing cross-functional opportunities.
  • Ensure the Army leadership model keeps pace with change and resourcing challenges of the Civilian Corps and the increasing role of Civilians in the leadership positions.
  • Streamline activities and operations together into a leader development and education enterprise that develops distinct competency based learning models.