FAQs

How do I sign up for the course?
You can’t simply “sign up” for the RCNSC. Each service controls course quotas and authorizes funded orders to attend. Some services have selection boards. Contact your service representative listed on the “Application Points of Contact” tab to determine your eligibility or for any questions.

What is the start time on Monday?
In-processing will be conducted at National Defense University on the first Monday starting at 0800, please arrive NET 0730 and NLT 0755. The walk from the hotel should take approximately 20 minutes. Recommend departing the hotel at 0730.

What is the attire for the course?
The attire for the course is CIVILIAN BUSINESS FORMAL (coat and tie for men; business suit, dress, or professional attire for females, no jeans, NO MILITARY UNIFORMS, no casual clothes). Civilian business clothes are the approved attire for NDU students. The desired outcome is for greater interaction among students without regard to rank. We recommend you prepare for a variety of conditions and check the Washington weather forecast prior to your departure. Be sure to bring comfortable walking shoes for Capitol Hill Day and the walk from the hotel.  Note:  For men leather dress shoes are required, not leather casual or tennis shoes; slacks not cargo pants.

Where do I park if I am local and plan on driving to the University?
On weekdays, there are a very limited number of parking spaces at the University based on availability. Do not park in the reserved spaces, as you will be ticketed or towed. Parking passes for local drivers are issued out at check-in. Metro transportation is not readily accessible to NDU and Fort McNair. The nearest metro station is the Green Line Waterfront Metro Station approximately 3/4 mile to Fort McNair, and another 1/2 mile to Lincoln Hall.

I am a local student and driving to Capitol Hill – where do I park?
You can park at a metro station and then metro to the Union station. From there it is a 6-8 minute walk to Capitol Hill. You can park at Union Station for approximately $20. You can also take a taxi or Uber to Capitol Hill.

What is the best airport to use?
The best airport to use is Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). DCA has an adjacent Metro stop. Alternative airports are Dulles International Airport (IAD) and Baltimore Washington International (BWI).

Is there transportation available from the airport?
The recommended airport is Reagan National Airport (DCA). You need to arrange your own transportation to and from the airport using Metro, taxi or Uber.

If you are local and driving to NDU, there is free parking at Lincoln Hall, building 64.  The hotel has paid parking.  Other options for transportation around DC are the Washington Metro, Car 2 Go, Uber, Lyft, and DC Bike Share; a rental car is not required.

Taxis
From Dulles Airport (IAD) to Hyatt House Washington, D.C. – The Wharf, the cost is approximately $95, from Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI), the cost is approximately $60, and from Reagan National Airport (DCA) approximately $18. Uber may be a more affordable option.

Can I have a rental car?
If a service or sponsoring command is willing to pay for rental car, or you pay out of pocket, you can have one. Keep in mind that, parking at NDU is limited, and the hotel changes a daily parking fee. If you are a local student driving in daily, there is room for you to park at NDU. Additionally, you have the option of parking at NDU and then walking back and forth to the hotel if you are staying at the hotel. This will save you the hotel parking fee.

Daily Transportation to Fort McNair (National Defense University)
The Hyatt House Washington, D.C. – The Wharf is a short 20 minute walk to the Fort McNair 2nd Street Gate. Students may wish to wear walking shoes, and change into professional footwear upon arrival at NDU.

Course Evaluation: Students will be asked to complete a daily survey to assess speakers and RCNSC programming.

What is a good emergency number once the course is underway?
Our operations staff can be reached at 202-685-4309 (course director), 202-685-9460 or 202-433-9666. If the emergency requires you to terminate your active duty to return home, please instruct your family on the procedures for contacting the local Red Cross.

Who makes the reservation at the hotel?
If you are selected by your service to attend, we will email you the internet link to make your reservation. You must make your own guaranteed reservation. All expenses are handled through the hotel via the credit card you provide at registration. The room rate is adjusted per the established per diem rates.

Is there anything I need to read before I arrive?
The advanced readings are posted on the RCNSC website http://rcnsc.dodlive.mil/. Additional required and recommended readings are provided by our lecturers and will be available at least one month prior to the course. Please review the website periodically for updates. Note that your National Security Assessment Paper is due on the first day of the course. See pre-course assignment page.

What/When is Capitol Hill Day?
Capitol Hill Day is a unique opportunity to engage a Congressional Staff panel, an interactive presentation by a sitting member of Congress, and a Capitol Hill tour which includes observing debates in the gallery (if Congress is in session). There is time for you to schedule an afternoon meeting with a member of either the House of Representatives or Senate, and/or your military legislative assistant availability permitting. Capitol Hill Day normally is set up for the 2nd Tuesday of the course, dependent on scheduling considerations.

To schedule a meeting with your Representative and/or Senator, look up your members website and call the office scheduler. Inform the member’s staff that “you are both a Reservist and a constituent,” and will be on Capitol Hill as part of the Reserve Component  National Security Course at NDU, and want to make a 10-15 minute courtesy call on the member or his military legislative assistant. Please be aware that scheduling this call may fluctuate depending on our speakers for the day.

As part of Capitol Hill Day, you will be responsible for finding your way to Capitol Hill from the hotel. Walking from NDU or the Contract Hotel is about 1.5 miles. You may also take the metro to Capitol Hill South or Union Station. Please verify the location of the Capitol Hill briefing (ROA building or NGAUS building).   Union Station is directly across the street from the NGAUS  building. The ROA building is half-way between Union Station and Capitol Hill South metros. You may also Uber or take a taxi for less than  $10. Please do NOT arrive earlier than the designated time. RCNSC is charged if our partners need to open the building early.

Where is the course conducted?
The course is held in Lincoln Hall, building 64, at the National Defense University, located on Fort Lesley McNair 260 5th Avenue SW Washington, DC 20319-5066. Please see the directions tab for how to enter Fort McNair. All of your classes and seminars are held on post, with the exception of Capitol Hill Day.

Do I need a security clearance?
RCNSC attendees do not need a security clearance.

What documentation do I need to bring?
You must bring two copies of your official orders with any modifications or amendments. If you were promoted between the time of registration or when your orders where issued and the start of the course, please notify RCNSC of you new rank to ensure your course completion certificate is correct. Students reporting without orders will be declined course admission.

Are there workout facilities available?
Fort McNair has a Fitness Center adjacent to Lincoln Hall (Monday through Friday 0500-2000;  Weekends 0800-1200). A fitness center is also available at the contract hotel.

Is there WiFi or Internet for students? There is NO WiFi or Internet for RCNSC students. There are also NO printers. Students may bring their own smart phones and use their own cellular data plans for Internet access. Please note, the use of WiFi is not allowed during lectures.

Can I bring my family?
It is not uncommon for families to visit but more so during the summer course. You will not have much time after class during the week. The middle weekend you will be available after 2PM. Sunday is a non working day with the option for a Gettysburg tour in April and July. Family members may NOT travel on the government bus to Gettysburg, but they are welcome to drive on their own. If you are bringing your family, you may opt for alternative lodging to accomodate more people. For alternative lodging options (i.e. 1 or 2 bedroom apartment), you may contact Kathy Policaro at Churchill Living at 202-870-3017 or KathyP@churchillliving.com Churchill offers fully furnished 1-bedroom apartments on the metro line at per diem rates if you pay with your government travel card. Please tell Kathy you are with the NDU RCNSC when booking. Complimentary parking is available upon request. If you stay with Churchill, you are responsible for your own travel (metro or POV) to get to NDU. The apartments are not within walking distance of NDU. In most cases, Churchill can arrange for a 1 or 2 bedroom fully furnished apartment (complete with laundry and kitchen) on the metro line to NDU. Apartments are available dependent on availability, and need to be charged on military travel card for per diem rate.

What is the average day like?
The days are long with additional required reading at night.  The average day is two briefings in the morning followed by a seminar session. Lunch is followed by two more briefings and an afternoon seminar session.

Where do we eat?
The only onbase option is Lincoln Hall cafeteria. It is a “market style” cafeteria that is open for breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday.  The cost of lunch is $11-13.  All other restaurants are off base near the hotel, which is about a 15-20 minute walk.

There are local restaurants within walking distance of the hotel.   RCNSC also has coffee and tea available through an optional landing fee for all participants. The landing fee includes unlimited coffee or tea daily during your two week stay and a CISA travel mug.

Are there laundry facilities at the hotel?
There are no personal laundry facilities in the hotel, but they offer valet laundry and dry cleaning services.

What is NDU’s Non-Attribution Policy? What does it mean to me?
Information gained during lectures, briefings, panels, and discussion seminars may be used, but neither the speaker nor any element of the University may be identified as the originator or source of the information without the express consent of both parties. This policy is in effect for both on-campus lectures and off-campus visits, such as to Capitol Hill. Additionally, neither the speaker nor any element of the University may be identified as the originator or source of the information without the express consent of both parties. The non-attribution policy is morally binding on everyone who attends the lectures. If you have questions concerning this policy or cannot abide by it, you must report this to the Course Administrator before attending any lecture or other course event.

When will I be able to depart?
The course concludes at 1200 on the second Friday. Please do NOT plan your departure flight before 1530. Often we have students schedule an early Friday departure flight and subsequently need to reschedule. On occasion students traveling long distances will need to depart Saturday AM. We recommend using the Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. because it is the closest airport to NDU.

Can I miss a day for a scheduled meeting or family event?
We only approve excused absences in rare cases. In most situation if you must miss class time we will drop you from the course and then your service representative will enroll you in a follow-on course.