U.S. Department of Defense - Missile Defense Agency

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Missile Defense Agency

MDA News Release

5700 18th Street, Bldg 245
Fort Belvoir, VA 22060-5573

MDA Graduates 20 from the Career Intern Program and Welcomes 58 New Employees into the Missile Defense Career Development Program

October 25, 2010

The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) held a Graduation Ceremony for 20 employees of the Agency's previous Career Intern Program. MDA also held an Oath Ceremony and welcomed 58 new employees into the current Missile Defense Career Development Program. The Career Intern Program Graduation and Missile Defense Career Development Program Oath Ceremonies were held on Friday, Oct. 22 at the Von Braun Complex on Redstone Arsenal. Lieutenant General Patrick O'Reilly, Missile Defense Agency Director, hosted the ceremonies and administered the oath of office to the incoming protégés.

In 2002, the MDA Career Intern Program was established to recruit college graduates to fill entry-level engineering, scientific, business/financial management, and contracting positions. The MDA uses this program as a resource for hiring bright, innovative employees. In 2009, the Career Intern Program became known as the Missile Defense Career Development Program (CDP).

The Missile Defense CDP offers recent college graduates, and those seeking entry into the exciting world of missile defense, a two-year, fully-paid developmental assignment that allows them to experience the variety of challenges MDA addresses on a daily basis. Each program participant has a mentor; the mentor and protégé together create a two-year program containing rotational assignments across the agency that are tailored to the interests of the participant and the needs of the agency.

It is an exciting, hands-on approach to gaining the specific skills and experience on cutting-edge technology that puts them on a fast track to success in the missile defense community. The participants acquire valuable technical and work-related skills through assignments that include seminars, formal classroom and on-the-job training.

Selection for the Missile Defense CDP is highly competitive. The graduating class was selected from more than 1,700 applications by panels that rigorously evaluated each applicant's achievements. The members of the class have diverse backgrounds and earned their most recent diplomas from 50 different colleges and universities located across the country. Thirty-eight members already have a Master's degree, and three have doctorates.

Mr. John Crawford, Missile Defense CDP "champion," described the program as a vehicle for the MDA to recruit, train, and grow our future workforce.

"Participants in the program are selected for their potential to excel and ability to rise to challenges," said Crawford.

The Missile Defense Agency is a joint service agency of the Department of Defense, and is the single management agency for all U.S. missile defense technology development, testing and acquisition.