2023 Membership Application

About Truman National Security Project

The Truman National Security Project is a vibrant, diverse, nationwide community of leaders leveraging the power of the Truman network to develop smart national security solutions that reinforce strong, just, and effective American global leadership.  Our community includes more than 2,000 veterans, frontline civilians, policy experts, political professionals, and their allies who share a common vision of US leadership abroad.  We 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.

For more information on the Truman National Security Project - please visit www.trumanproject.org.
Membership Application Requirements

Thank you for your interest in becoming member of the Truman National Security Project. 

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:
  • $50 application fee
  • Basic demographic information (optional)
  • Six essay questions (approx. 200 - 250 words each)
  • Résumé/CV
  • Biography (500 word max)
  • Optional military service records such as a DD 214 (if applicable and available, sanitized for personally identifiable information)
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Links to additional materials (media appearances, publications, LinkedIn page, personal website or project page, etc.)
You will have the option to save and continue your application. Incomplete and/or late applications will not be considered. You will receive a submission receipt by email for this application and your $50 application fee. 

Questions may be directed to membership@trumanproject.org.

First Year Membership Requirements

Truman is more than a loose collection of individuals. We unite as a tight-knit community in order to more effectively build and lead. To that end, we require all members to participate actively in their first year. 

Please ensure that you can fulfill these requirements in your first year, if you become a member:
  • Pay annual membership dues. Introductory due are $350. After the first year, dues are $250.*
  • Attend orientation for three days, held in-person in Washington, D.C. (tentative date February 2023)
  • Attend TruCon, Truman's annual three-day members conference held in May or June. The cost is $250 for in-person attendance. 
  • Participate in new members mentorship program that meets virtually once a month.
  • Participate regularly in chapter events in order to foster a strong and trusted community.
  • As problem-solvers in a gratitude-powered organization, we ask new members to support community efforts well and/or often enough to earn thanks from three staff or senior members. Additional efforts in this regard may substitute for Chapter meeting attendance.
*We work hard to ensure the ability to pay does not affect candidates' or members' participation in Truman. Please contact membership@trumanproject.org about financing options.

Confirmation of Membership Eligibility

Please check your eligibility before you apply. You must:

  • Submit your complete application by the application deadline
  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Must be 21 years of age or older (no age limits)
  • Live in one of the 16 chapters for at least the duration of one year from when you are accepted. Those chapters are: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Colorado (Denver), Florida, Los Angeles, Michigan, New York City, North Carolina, Ohio, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Texas, Washington, D.C.
  • If you don't live in one of these areas, please refer to the FAQ section
  • Attend the virtual interview if selected
  • If accepted, attend new member orientation and the annual Truman Conference. This year, orientation will be held in-person in Washington, D.C. (tentative date February 2023)
  • Please do not apply unless you know you can attend the full three-day orientation and conference. If you cannot attend your program's orientation or have concerns about the cost, please refer to the FAQ section.
  • Affirm the values of the Truman community (see Truman Values Statement)

Truman members have many ways of engaging in the public square, some of them partisan. Truman itself is a 501(c)(4) advocacy organization without official partisan affiliation. For these reasons, you may be unable to participate in Truman if you hold certain roles or belong to certain organizations. 
For example, judicial clerks usually find that they are prohibited from membership; as a consequence, we do not accept applications from current clerks. On the other hand, we are not aware of any reason why Hatch Act or Active Duty uniformed status would restrict first-year participation in Truman. Nonetheless, we ask that all applicants certify that they are confident they will be able to participate in Truman, if selected.

If you have doubts, please reach out to ask or consider whether next year would be a better time.

Truman Values Statement

Truman Values Statement 

The mission of the Truman National Security Project is to unite and equip a diverse community of American leaders to produce timely, innovative, and principled solutions to complex national security challenges. 

The vision, in partnership with our sister organization, the Truman Center for National Policy, is an inclusive foreign policy that makes American lives better by advancing democracy, human rights, prosperity and security at home and abroad.

Our work is guided and informed by our commitments to:

1. Do work that matters. Be ambitious, tackle worthy problems, and have a theory of alignment with our goals for national security, leadership, or both. 

2. Protect the torch. Do your diligence, taking care to work only with people and  organizations we can be proud of. Conduct your work as a professional, with the highest standards for content, form, and delivery. Every Truman member is an Ambassador of this organization and its members. 

3. Protect the community. Look within the Truman community for help; it’s here. In return, help when asked if you’re in a position to do so. Treat each other with respect.

4. Lift up and make room for others. Share the mic, be inclusive, and offer even strong opinions in a way that will leave others comfortable sharing their own.

5. Assume and model good faith. Engage with the most generous interpretation of others’ speaking and writing. Ask clarifying questions if any other interpretation seems plausible. Think about an issue from the other person’s perspective before you write or speak.

6. Set the standard for professionalism and principle. Be on your best behavior. Ask what the community would be like if everyone comported themselves honorably. We are what our habits make us.

7. Live gratefully. Say thanks and give thanks. Let folks know when they did something you appreciate.

8. Elevate diverse voices. Truman National Security Project seeks to expand the diversity of Americans contributing to every level of the U.S. national security and foreign policy community. We are dedicated to advancing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ) as a national security imperative. Truman condemns white nationalism and white supremacy. Racism is a threat to the social fabric of the United States and is an important national security issue that degrades American democracy and the vitality and credibility of U.S. global leadership. Truman strives to be a diverse and inclusive organization in our recruitment of fellows, members, and staff, and in elevating diverse voices in the work we do together. 

Membership Preferences

Cohort membership helps us to ensure that our incoming class includes the ranges of experience that help us to effect change. It also signals to other members of the community where your primary expertise lies. While there is not currently a way to switch Cohorts after joining, all members receive the same rights and privileges regardless of the Cohort through which they join Truman.

Please select your first choice of Cohort. If you are selected for an interview with a different Cohort, you will be notified at that time.

Security Fellows are policy experts, academics and other thought leaders who anticipate and articulate new global challenges and opportunities. Many work within the US 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.

Defense Council members include veterans and frontline civilians who have firsthand experience implementing US 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.

Affinity Groups provide forums for internal discussion and debate, serve as a resource of subject matter expertise for our larger community and allies, and help inform and drive Truman's policy and advocacy efforts. They also ensure that Truman is an organization that comes to mind when thought leaders and policymakers within and beyond Washington, D.C. think of where to go for substantive and functional expertise. 

Applicant Information

Demographic Information

The information you provide in this section helps us understand more fully our applicant pool and select a Truman class that is representative of the full complexity and diversity of the United States. All responses are optional.

If you need an accommodation to complete the application, please email: membership@trumanproject.org
Additional Information

The information you provide in this section helps us understand more fully our applicant pool and select a Truman class that is representative of the full complexity and diversity of the United States. All responses are optional.

Please answer the following essay questions in approximately 200 to 250 words each, and upload together with your application materials in a single doc, docx or pdf file:

How to merge your materials in a single pdf file:

For Windows: Visit the Adobe website and use their merger tool directly on your browser. OR use a reliable third-party merger application such as: PDF Merger & Splitter to merge your document.

For Mac: (1) Open a PDF in Preview. (2) Choose View > Thumbnails to show page thumbnails in the sidebar. (3) To indicate where to insert the other document, select a page thumbnail. (4) Choose Edit > Insert > Page from File. (5) From the file dialog, select the PDF that you want to add, then click Open. (6) To save, choose File > Export as PDF. For more information, read here

You can also use your computer’s “screenshot” or “screen capture” function, then upload the image saved into a word or google document. You can then save the document “File>Save as a PDF”. 

Essay Questions

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 a major newspaper on the topic of your response to Question 3. How do you convince the editor of the newspaper that your argument is relevant to the reader audience?

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 US be willing to sacrifice human rights in the name of security?

Note: Each recommendation letter must be one-page and single-spaced. The letter must include the reference's full name, phone, email address, job title, and relationship to the applicant.

Additional Materials
 — Media Appearances, Publications, etc. (Optional)
Please provide website links for the following optional materials.
LinkedIn Profile URL:
Twitter Profile URL:
Personal Website URL:
Media Article or Publications URL: