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 Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict 

Special Operations / Low Intensity Conflict (SO/LIC) Division 


Follow the SO/LIC Division on Twitter! @NDIA_SpecialOps

The SO/LIC Division was formed as an industry-based advocacy group and forum to discuss the utility of our Special Operations Forces (SOF) across the conflict spectrum- particularly in those cases below the level of conventional war in the spectrum of operations called Low Intensity Conflict (LIC).

The mission of NDIA's SO/LIC Division is to assist industry, government, and the public in understanding the role of Special Operations Forces in our national security strategy and how these forces are integrated within our national military structure. In fulfilling this mission, the Division facilitates contact and cooperation between industry and SOF in order to help assure that SOF will have access to the ideas and technologies that originate in our nation's industrial and academic base. The SO/LIC Division, in concert with the established staff and resources of the NDIA, gives voice to the initiatives, concerns, and needs of the SOF community. Through meetings and symposia, the Division provides information on the wide range of matters involving SOF, LIC, and related national security issues. These issues encompass the range of missions that SOF might be assigned to perform or support. This includes both traditional combat roles and today's emphasis on such missions as counter narcotics, combating terrorism, helping to control the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, force protection, humanitarian assistance, and peacekeeping. This Division provides forums for discussion of SO/LIC requirements and access to SO/LIC leaders in the government and the military so that they may present the policy and procedures that guide their respective commands and agencies in meeting national security goals. We encourage interagency participation in all of our Division meetings and activities.

The highlight of the year for the Division is the annual SO/LIC Symposium & Exhibition. Portions of the annual symposium's proceedings may be found on the NDIA website (, select Resources tab in upper right-hand corner, scroll down to Online Proceedings). As the SO/LIC Division continues its valuable work, Industry members are invited to join the Division by contacting the Division's Chairman, Vice Chairman, or Executive Officer.

Download/Print/View a Short History of the NDIA SO/LIC Division


Download/Print/View November 2013
Download/Print/View January 2013
Download/Print/View August 2012
Download/Print/View January 2012

Upcoming Events

2014 SOFIC (Special Operations Forces Industry Conference)
May 20-22, 2014
Tampa Convention Center, Tampa, FL  

26th Annual SO/LIC Symposium & Exhibition
January 26-28, 2015
Washington Marriot Wardman Park, Washington, DC

Upcoming Meetings

Tuesday, May 6, 2014
10am - Symposium and Outreach Meeting
11am - Board Meeting with Guest Speaker, CTTSO
NDIA, Arlington, VA

Tuesday, June 3, 2014
10am - Symposium Meeting
11am - Board Meeting
NDIA, Arlington, VA

Annual Awards & Essay Contest

Annually, the NDIA SO/LIC Division solicits nominations for the R. Lynn Rylander Award, DeProspero Lifetime Achievement Award, and Superior Achievement Awards, which are presented during the Annual SO/LIC Symposium. Awards are open to all personnel from USSOCOM and its elements, and to personnel within the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Joint Staff, Service staffs and other organizations with connections to the SO/LIC community. 

Download/Print/View a listing of our 2013 award recipients and Rylander Laureates. 

Annually, the President of JSOU (Joint Special Operations University) and the NDIA SO/LIC Division Board hold a SO/LIC Essay Contest. Entrants are encouraged to address the current year's SO/LIC Symposium theme, but any topic relevant to the broad range of SO/LIC activities is acceptable. The Selection Board awards a $1,000 prize for the best essay and $500 for the runner-up. Winning essays are published with the NDIA annual Symposium proceedings and may be selected for publication as a JSOU Press monograph.

Reports & Activities

Download/Print/View The Origins of USSOCOM

Download/Print/View U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF): Background and Issues for Congress

View the 2012 Katz Deli Luncheon for Wounded Warriors highlights video.

Download/Print/View slides from SO/LIC Board Member, Wade Ishimoto's presentation on OASIS (Operational Advocates Supporting Injured Soliders).
- Presentation to Division 6/7/11

View the 22nd Annual SO/LIC Symposium & Exhibition highlights video.

Download/Print/View slides from Mr. Dyke Weatherington, Deputy Director, Unmanned Warfare, Portfolio Systems Acquisition, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (OUSD) for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (AT&L).
-Presentation to Division 3/1/11

Download/Print/View the Command Report, Multi-National Division Baghdad,
1st U.S. Cavalry Division.



Mr. Sam Morthland
Whitney, Bradley & Brown, Inc.
11790 Sunrise Valley Dr.
Reston, VA 20191
Phone: (703) 448-6081 x290

Vice Chairman

Mr. Preston Plous
Booz Allen Hamilton
9812 Marquette Drive
Bethesda, MD 20817
Phone: (703) 377-1178

Executive Officer

Mr. John Erwin
8436 Kirby Lionsdale Drive
Lorton, VA 22079
Phone: (703) 473-3084

National Defense Industrial Association

Mrs. Christy J. Mason, CMP
Director, Operations
Phone: (703) 247-2586

Mrs. Meredith Hawley, CMP
Associate Director, Operations
Phone: (703) 247-9476


Affiliate Associations

The Association for Enterprise Information    National Training and Simulation Association    Precision Strike Association    Women in Defense