Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Air Force Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., called for increased togetherness and collaboration between the Defense Department and the defense industrial base during an award acceptance speech Wednesday evening. 

Brown made his remarks after accepting the Dwight D. Eisenhower Award from the National Defense Industrial Association on behalf of DOD’s 2.1 million service members at a dinner held near the Pentagon.  

“When it comes to the DOD and our defense industry partners, the only way to ensure our national security is to work together,” said Brown, who added that he sees collaboration as the “pathway to success.”  

“As I like to say, success takes help; failure you can do alone,” he said. 

In discussing the keys to achieve collaboration among defense stakeholders, Brown stressed it’s important to “communicate our priorities and align our equities.”

“Together, we need to be willing to put all the cards on the table — the good, the bad, the ugly — so we can work together on solutions,” Brown said. “We need to discuss not what’s best for one service [or] what’s best for one company, but what’s best for the joint force, what is best for multiple companies, [and], most importantly, what’s best for our national security.”

Brown emphasized that, despite industry and the military having slightly different needs— with the former being focused on building quality products and turning a profit and the latter focused on modernizing and remaining the most respected combat-capable force in the world — both entities need to be focused on contributing to national security together.   

Brown also spoke of the travel he’s been doing across the U.S. since becoming chairman. 

“Across our country, there are many patriotic Americans, in uniform and in industry, working every day to help keep our nation safe,” he said.  

“And I believe, more than ever, we all have a role to play.”

NDIA and its predecessor organizations have given annual awards since 1979. The Dwight D. Eisenhower Award is the organization’s most prestigious award. It is “bestowed annually on an individual who best reflects President Eisenhower’s beliefs and support for a strong national security and industrial base,” according to NDIA’s website. 

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