Class of 2019 Application

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Truman Project is a nationwide membership of diverse leaders inspired to serve in the aftermath of 9/11 and committed to shaping and advocating for tough, smart national security solutions. We are united in the belief that America is strongest when we stand with our allies to lead, support, and defend a growing global community of free people and just societies.

Our community includes more than 1,800 post-9/11 veterans, frontline civilians, policy experts, and political professionals who share a common vision of U.S. leadership abroad and hail from 16 Chapters and 47 different states across the nation. We believe that America is at its best when we use all the tools in our toolbox: diplomacy, defense, development, and democracy promotion.

About the Application

The questions on the following pages allow us an opportunity to learn more about you. You might find that we ask a bit more than other programs. You'll also find that we try to go above and beyond to create an exceptional community of leaders - and that starts with our attention to detail during the selection process. In this application, you will be asked for:
  • Basic Demographic Information
  • Professional Background Information
  • $50 Application Fee
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Résumé
  • Six essay questions
  • Headshot
  • DD 214 (if available)
  • Up to three pages of optional additional materials (media appearances, publications, etc.)

Please Note:

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Your application will only be considered once you have submitted all required information and documents AND paid the $50 application fee no later than 5:00 PM Pacific Time on Friday, September 14, 2018.

Contact Information

This will be the email address used for all future communication with the Truman National Security Project, a 501(c)(4) organization. As such, it is important that you do not enter a .gov or .mil address.

Click "Next Page" to get started!

Applicant Eligibility

Please check your eligibility before you apply. You must meet all of the following requirements to be eligible to apply to be a Truman member.
  • You must submit your complete application no later than 5:00 PM PT on Friday, September 14, 2018
  • If accepted, you are required to attend all three days of your program's orientation*
  • If accepted, you are required to attend the annual members conference which is held each June in Washington, DC*
  • You must be a U.S. citizen
  • If selected for an interview, you must attend the interview
  • Truman membership is a competitive young professionals program, and candidates tend to be between the ages of 27 and 40 - however, there is no official age requirement
  • Most accepted candidates live in one of the 16 chapters for at least one year from acceptance (i.e. January 2018-January 2019).** 
  • Current Truman chapters are:
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Boston, MA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Denver, CO
  • Florida (Central Florida, Ft. Lauderdale/Palm Beach)
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Michigan 
  • New York City, NY
  • North Carolina (Raleigh, Charlotte)
  • Ohio (Columbus)
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • San Diego, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Seattle, WA
  • Texas (Dallas, Austin)
  • Washington, DC
*Please do not apply unless you know that you can attend the full three-day orientation and conference, at your own expense (including transportation and housing). Limited scholarships are available.

**Living in a chapter city or state is a major part of the first year experience. The ability to attend regular
chapter meetings allows first year members to create relationships and develop strong ties to the
Truman community. Applying from out of chapter is extremely competitive and we recommend
emailing before you proceed. If you currently do not live near a chapter but know that you will be moving to a chapter area in 2018, we recommend that you apply to the chapter to which you will be moving.
Truman Chapters

PLEASE NOTE: A"Metro area" refers to a 2 hour driving range around a chapter city. If you anticipate moving in the next year, select the chapter in which you will spend the majority of 2019. 

Living in a chapter city or state is a major part of the first year experience. The ability to attend regular chapter meetings allows first year members to create relationships and develop strong ties to the Truman community. Applying from out of chapter is extremely competitive.

If you do not live within a 2 hour driving range of any Truman Chapter, please contact
Confirmation of Applicant Eligibility
Before you continue:

Truman National Security leadership development programs (Defense Council, Security Fellowship, and Political Partnership) are non-partisan programs intended to train and educate individuals in national security, communications skills, and progressive national security philosophy and history. They are run by Truman National Security Project, a 501(c)(4) organization, and largely funded by grants from non-partisan 501(c)(3) organizations.

At Truman, it is our understanding that nearly all occupations within the federal, state, and local governments would allow employees to hold the role of Defense Council member, Security Fellow, or Political Partner of the Truman Project, even though Truman may undertake some political activity. However, to engage in the work of Truman Project members, government employees should be aware of potential restrictions (Hatch restrictions, Active Duty military restrictions and restrictions for law clerks). Law clerks and some federal offices have additional rules barring membership in 501(c)(4) organizations. If you currently serve or intend to serve as a law clerk in 2018, you should wait until that period has ended to apply.

First Year Requirements

Please ensure that you can fulfill these requirements before you apply:
  • Participate in half of the monthly core curriculum trainings
  • Pay membership dues (standard annual membership dues are $250)*
  • Attend at least two-thirds of monthly chapter meetings
  • Attend TruCon, Truman's annual members conference (the discounted TruCon registration rate for new members will be $250)*
  • Join at least one Expert Group
  • Meet one-on-one with Chapter Leader(s) and three members (e.g. get coffee, attend a non-Truman event together, co-author an op-ed, etc.) in order to foster a strong and trusted community
*As a matter of policy, we work to ensure that no candidate or member is barred from participation in Truman based on their ability to pay. Please ask about available scholarships.
Digital Signature
I understand and if selected will commit to the first year requirements as stated above.

This serves as your digital signature to a binding agreement.

Truman Membership Information

About Truman's Membership Cohorts

Security Fellows are policy experts, academics, and other thought leaders who anticipate and articulate new global challenges and opportunities. Many work within the U.S. national security apparatus and legislative bodies, as well as the international community and an expansive network of nongovernmental and private organizations.

Political Partners are political leaders, advocates, communicators, journalists, and aspiring or actively serving public officials. Fluent in campaign management, media, journalism, organizing, and more, they advance progressive principles and a shared liberal internationalist worldview at all levels of civil society.

Members of the Defense Council include veterans and frontline civilians who have firsthand experience implementing U.S. foreign policy. They have wide-ranging expertise in hard security and an ongoing professional interest in defense and intelligence operations as they continue to serve in government, business, policy, and nonprofit ventures.

Please Note: You must be available for each orientation of every program to which you are applying.
Selecting a Membership Cohort

Application Fee

Applications for Truman membership require a $50 application fee. You must pay your application fee on the following external webpage for your application to be accepted.

Click Here

Once you have paid your application fee, check the box below and continue with your application.
Application Fee Confirmation

Contact Information

Home Address

Phone Number

Social Media

Demographic Information

We ask for your demographic information to better understand who applies to be a Truman member. The information you provide on this page will in no way impact your application for Truman membership. You may decline to answer any question about yourself that you feel uncomfortable answering.

Thank you for sharing - we appreciate it!
Your Origin Story


What languages do you speak?

Race & Ethnicity

Faith & Religion


Sexual Orientation

Professional Information

Job Information

Elected Information

Government Background

Level of Government

Check all that apply.
Federal Government

Check all that apply.

The Hill

Check all that apply.
Please provide a short bio no longer than 700 characters (including spaces). Please note: If accepted, this biography will be used publicly in the Class of 2019 Bio Book and on the Truman Project website.

We understand that some applicants hold sensitive positions, and cannot publicly release details about their work. If this is the case for you, tick the box below. If accepted, we will clarify with you about restrictions on using your bio publicly.

Professional Interests

We ask for your interests as they relate to your professional background to better understand who applies to be a Truman member. The information you provide on this page will in no way impact your application for Truman membership.

Thank you for sharing - we appreciate it!
Geographic Interests

What geographic areas do you work on professionally?
Check all that apply.
Issue Interests

What issues areas do you work on professionally?
Check all that apply.

Military Background

Military Information
Military Follow Up Questions

Frontline Civilians Information
Who are frontline civilians?

Around the world in areas of instability, crisis, and conflict, Americans are serving in important non-military roles furthering our national security interests and the cause of human development. Together, government civilians, contractors, NGO workers, medical workers, and journalists constitute the community of frontline civilians.

Education Background

Education History

Essays and Additional Information

On this page, you will have the opportunity to upload the following components as separate documents:
  • Résumé
  • Six essay questions
  • Headshot
  • DD214 (if available)
  • Up to three pages of optional additional materials (media appearances, publications, etc.)
All are required except the optional additional information. 

All documents are required to follow the demonstrated naming conventions. If you do not follow the naming conventions, your materials may not be processed with the rest of your application. If that is the case, your application will be considered incomplete.


Naming Convention: Smith.John.Resume (if your name was John Smith)

Essay Questions

Please answer all of the following essay questions in a single document. Each answer should be 200-250 words.
  1. Why do you want to be a member of Truman National Security Project? Why now?
  2. How do you define service? Describe a time that you have served that has been especially meaningful to you and why.
  3. Of all the security challenges confronting us today, what motivates you the most? What have you done about it? What do you intend to do in the next two to three years?
  4. Pretend you are pitching an op-ed to an editor at USA Today on the topic you discussed in Question 3. How do you convince the editor of USA Today that your argument is relevant to his/her readers?
  5. Please describe what activities you might pitch to your local Chapter as to how you can impact change at a local level.
  6. Under what circumstances should the U.S. be willing to sacrifice human rights in the name of security?

Naming Convention: Smith.John.Essays (if your name was John Smith)


In addition to your public biography, we require a headshot for future printed material.

Naming Convention: Smith.John.Headshot (if your name was John Smith)


If you can provide your most current DD214, please do so.

Naming Convention: Smith.John.DD214 (if your name was John Smith)

Optional Additional Information

Additional background information can include media appearances, publications, etc. This must be a single document that is be no longer than three pages. If you would like to submit large files (e.g. a video), please provide links to an online video in the document you attach. 

Naming Convention: Smith.John.Additional (if your name was John Smith)

References and Recommendations

Please enter the information for your recommenders below. Letters of recommendation can be submitted in two ways:

1. You can upload the letters of recommendation in PDF format using the form below
2. Your recommenders can email letters of recommendation directly to

Regardless of how you choose to submit your letters, they must be received by the September 15th deadline to be considered with your application. Once all of the required fields have been filled out, you will be able to process past this page.

Recommenders are welcome to submit their letters directly to If they choose to do so, their email should follow these guidelines:
  • Subject line: "Letter of Rec for [Candidate Name]"
  • PDF format
  • The file name should include both your name and the recommender's name
All letters of recommendation must be submitted by the application deadline. Letters submitted after September 14th are not guaranteed processing, and your application may be negatively impacted.
First Letter of Recommendation

How will you be submitting your first letter of recommendation?

Naming Convention: App2019.Smith.John.LOR1 (if your name was John Smith)

Second Letter of Recommendation

How will you be submitting your second letter of recommendation?

Naming Convention: App2019.Smith.John.LOR2 (if your name was John Smith)

How did you hear about Truman?

Thank you for your interest!
If you do not meet all the of the applicant eligibility requirements, you may not complete an application for Truman's Class of 2019 at this time.
Please contact about your application. We are happy to explain the eligibility requirements with you, and discuss whether or not it makes sense for you to apply to Truman at this time.