The San Diego Military Advisory Council announced March 29 that it has established a charitable nonprofit arm and plans to continue offering a $15,000 academic scholarship.

For more than a decade, SDMAC has been a forum for military, civic and business leaders to come together and discuss issues of mutual interest. The organization compiles economic studies and presents a well-attended series of monthly breakfast meetings.

The new arm, the SDMAC Foundation, will help the organization “further promote general awareness and understanding of the importance of a strong national defense in our region — and will help further support San Diego’s active duty and retired military community through program initiatives, educational outreach and events funded by tax-deductible donations received by the organization,” according to a statement released by SDMAC.

Retired U.S. Navy Capt. Pete Hedley is president of the new foundation, which will have a board of retired military leaders.

SDMAC originally presented a scholarship in 2014 to mark the organization’s 10th anniversary.

The new foundation plans to recognize an outstanding student with the San Diego Military Advisory Council/San Diego State University Military Student of the Year beginning in fall 2017. The $15,000 in scholarship funds will supplement the student’s support from the GI Bill.