Lieutenant General Michael Plehn, USAF, President of the National Defense University, James Schmellng, NDUF President and CEO and others.
The Patriot Dinner

The Patriot Dinner is presented annually by the NDU Foundation and recognizes men and women of extraordinary caliber whose leadership has strengthened our nation’s strategic interest. It honors exceptional and inspirational leadership and selfless dedication embody the ideals and democratic principles in pursuit of enhancing human security and global stability.

The Patriot Dinner is attended by Administration officials, Congressional Members, senior U.S. and international military leaders, international allies and ambassadors, and corporate executives, and community leaders from across the nation and around the world.


The 2023 NDU Foundation’s Patriot Dinner honored America’s valued allies in the Ukrainian Defense Contact Group, NATO, AUKUS, and the QUAD. We were honored to have Her Excellency Oksana Markarova, Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States, attend and deliver remarks. General CQ Brown, Jr., USAF, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, joined Lieutenant General Michael Plehn, USAF, President of the National Defense University, to discuss the importance of diplomacy and the corporate industrial complex to professional military education and global peace and stability. Jim Taiclet, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Lockheed Martin, and Co-Chair of the U.S. India CEO Forum, was interviewed by Colonel Ester Harrop, MNZM, International Fellow from New Zealand, at the Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy at the National Defense University.

Previous Honorees

  • The Honorable Colin Powell (1997)
  • The Honorable Caspar Weinberger (1999)
  • President George H.W. Bush (2002)
  • The Men and Women of our Nation’s Defense Team - Accepted by Paul Wolfowitz Deputy Secretary of Defense (2003)
  • Senator Robert J. Dole (2004)
  • The Honorable Daniel K. Inouye and the Honorable Ted Stevens (2005)
  • Senator John H. Glenn, Jr. (2006)
  • Senator John W. Warner and the Honorable Ike Skelton (2007)
  • The Honorable Dr. Henry A. Kissinger (2008)
  • General David H. Petraeus, USA, and the extraordinary Men and Women of Central Command (2009)
  • The Honorable Robert M. Gates (2010)
  • Senator John McCain and the Honorable Joseph Lieberman (2011)
  • Men and Women of United States Special Operations Command - Accepted by Admiral William McRaven, USN (2012)
  • The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton (2013)
  • The Men and Women of the National Guard - Accepted by General Frank J. Grass, USA Chief NGB (2014)
  • The Men and Women of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - Accepted by John O. Brennan, Director of the CIA (2015)
  • The Men and Women of the US Department of Defense - Accepted by the Honorable Ashton Carter, Secretary of Defense and the Men and Women of the Defense and Intelligence Industry - Accepted by Mr. Norm Augustine, former OSD DR&E Executive, Acting Secretary of the Army and former Chairman, Lockheed Martin Corporation (2016)
  • The Honorable James Baker III and the Honorable Leon E. Panetta (2018)
  • The Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (2021)
  • The Ukrainian Defense Contact Group, NATO, AUKUS, and the QUAD