The Alliance Linking Leaders in Education and the Services (ALLIES) is an undergraduate organization dedicated to improving civilian-military relations. Through joint education, research, and training, ALLIES provides military and civilian students and professionals alike the opportunity to explore significant topics, events and policy while developing relationships that will last a lifetime.
Founded at Tufts University by students involved in the Institute for Global Leadership’s (IGL) EPIIC program in 2006, ALLIES has grown to encompass chapters at Tufts, the United States Naval Academy (USNA), the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA), and the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, with interested students at other civilian universities.
ALLIES holds weekly discussion meetings within each chapter on issues of importance to civil-military relations such as the structure of American defense spending, veterans’ issues, and how military advice can be integrated into policy-making. Individual ALLIES chapter also organize special speakers and events throughout the year.
Students involved in ALLIES work together to plan and execute joint programs each year, including the Intellectual Roundtable (IR), a yearly academic conference that has involved speakers such as the Hon. Michèle Flournoy, Co-Founder of the Center for a New American Security and former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy at the Department of Defense.
Each summer, ALLIES participants from military and civilian schools plan and execute a Joint Research Project (JRP) abroad, conducting academic research on civil-military relations in countries such as Jordan, Chile, Ukraine, and Turkey.
ALLIES students also participate in FIELDEX, or the Field Exercises in Peace and Stability Operations, at Tufts University every
year. In FIELDEX, civilian and military students conduct a real-world kinetic simulation of a conflict scenario, featuring political leaders, negotiations, and armed conflict all taking place in real time on a paintball field. FIELDEX provides real-world experience in effective civil-military cooperation for all participants, as many military students are assigned civilian roles and vice versa.
Each year, ALLIES students attend conferences at each others’ institutions, such as the Student Conference on United States Affairs (SCUSA) at West Point, the Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference (NAFAC) at USNA, and the EPIIC Symposium at Tufts University.