What is the National Defence Industrial Association (NDIA)?


The National Defence Industrial Association (NDIA) is a trade association for the United States government and defence industrial base. It is an 501(c)3 educational organisation. Its headquarters are in Arlington, Virginia. NDIA was established in 1919 as a result of the inability of the defence industry to scale up the war effort during World War I.

Women mixing dynamite at Nobel’s Ardeer factory, 1897.


In 1917, Brigadier General Benedict Crowell was called to active duty and served on the General Munitions Board. As a board member, he established a relationship with the steel industry and was almost immediately appointed Assistant Secretary of War and Director of Munitions. As Director of Munitions, Crowell was a significant catalyst in improving the country’s capability to produce arms and ammunition. However, he recognised the nation’s need for an association that fostered cooperation between civilian industry and government in support of industrial preparedness. He founded the Army Ordnance Association (AOA) in 1919 and served as president for its first 25 years. Over the ensuing decades, AOA became the American Defence Preparedness Association (ADPA), which then merged with the 1944 National Security Industrial Association (NSIA) in 1997, creating NDIA.


NDIA currently publishes:

  • National Defence Magazine
  • Weekly Policy Digest
  • Weekly Defence Insider
  • Monthly Defence Watch.

National Defence Magazine

National Defence has been published under a series of different titles since 1940:

  • 2005-Present: National Defence
  • 1947-1954: The Common Defence
  • 1947-1970: Ordnance
  • 1920-1945: Army Ordnance
  • 1945-1947: Logistics
  • 1946: Industrial Preparedness Bulletin
  • 1943-1945: Army Ordnance Report
  • 1940-1946: Army Ordnance Bulletin


The NDIA has 29 chapters located throughout the United States.

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