Winners of the 2017 Essay Competition

By NDU Press Joint Force Quarterly 87

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NDU Press Congratulates the Winners of the 2017 Essay Competitions

Oct. 1, 2017 — NDU Press is proud to support the annual Secretary of Defense, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and JFQ George C. Maerz essay competitions. NDU Press hosted the final round of judging on May 18–19, 2017, during which 27 faculty judges from 14 participating professional military education institutions selected the best entries in each category. The First Place winners in each of the three categories are published in the following pages.

Secretary of Defense National Security Essay Competition

In 2017, the 11th annual competition was intended to stimulate new approaches to coordinated civilian and military action from a broad spectrum of civilian and military students. Essays were to address U.S. Government structure, policies, capabilities, resources, and/or practices and to provide creative, feasible ideas on how best to orchestrate the core competencies of our national security institution.

First Place
Travis W. Reznik

Marine Corps Command and Staff College
“The Risk of Delay: The Need for a New Authorization for Use of Military Force”

Second Place
Lieutenant Colonel Brian A. Denaro, USAF

National War College
“1995–1996 Taiwan Strait Crisis: U.S. Strategic Leadership”

Third Place
Colonel Paul Wayne Turnbull, Jr., USA

U.S. Army War College
“Asian Alliances in the Era of America First”

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Strategic Essay Competition

This annual competition, in its 36th year in 2017, challenges students at the Nation’s joint professional military education institutions to write research papers or articles about significant aspects of national security strategy to stimulate strategic thinking, promote well-written research, and contribute to a broader security debate among professionals.

Strategic Research Paper

First Place
Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Ray Ogden, USA

U.S. Army War College
“Butter Bar to Four Star: Deficiencies in Leader Development”

Second Place
Colonel Jeremiah Monk, USAF

Air War College
“End State: The Fallacy of Modern Military Planning”

Third Place
Lieutenant Colonel (P) Owen Gale Ray, USA

U.S. Army War College
“The Second Wave: Resurgence of Violent Islamic Extremism in Southeast Asia”

Strategy Article

First Place
Nathaniel Kahle
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College of International Security Affairs
“Asadism and Legitimacy in Syria”

Second Place
Colonel James McNeill Efaw, USA

U.S. Army War College
“Countering Violent Extremists’ Online Recruiting and Radicalization”

Third Place
Major Benjamin Paul Wagner, USMC

College of Naval Command and Staff
“The New Great Game: Why India and Pakistan Joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Should Matter”

Joint Force Quarterly Maerz Awards

In its second year, the JFQ George C. Maerz Awards, chosen by the staff of NDU Press, recognizes the most influential articles from the previous year’s four issues of JFQ. Five outstanding articles were chosen for the Maerz Awards, named in honor of Mr. George C. Maerz, former writer-editor of NDU Press.

Best Forum Article
Celestino Perez, Jr.

“Errors in Strategic Thinking: Anti-Politics and the Macro Bias,” JFQ 81 (2nd Quarter 2016)

Best JPME Today Article
Matthew F. Cancian

“Officers Are Less Intelligent: What Does It Mean?” JFQ 81 (2nd Quarter 2016)

Best Commentary Article
Gregory M. Tomlin

“#SocialMediaMatters: Lessons Learned from Exercise Trident Juncture,” JFQ 82 (3rd Quarter 2016)

Best Features Article
James Hasik

“Defense Entrepreneurship: How to Build Institutions for Innovation Inside the Military,” JFQ 81 (2nd Quarter 2016)

Best Recall Article
F.G. Hoffman

“The American Wolf Packs: A Case Study in Wartime Adaptation,” JFQ 80 (1st Quarter 2016)

Distinguished Judges

Twenty-seven senior faculty members from the 14 participating PME institutions took time out of their busy schedules to serve as judges. Their personal dedication and professional excellence ensured a strong and credible competition.

Distinguished Judges

Front row, left to right: Dr. Charles C. Chadbourn III, Naval War College; Ms. Andrea Hamlen, Marine Corps University; Dr. Carl “CJ” Horn, College of Information and Cyberspace; Dr. Eric Shibuya, Marine Corps Command and Staff College. Middle row, left to right: Dr. Thomas A. Hughes, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies; Dr. Jeffrey D. Smotherman, NDU Press; Dr. Kristin Mulready-Stone, U.S. Naval War College; Dr. Benjamin (Frank) Cooling, Eisenhower School; Dr. Anand Toprani, Naval War College. Back row, left to right: Ms. Joanna E. Seich, NDU Press; Dr. Jim Chen, College of Information and Cyberspace; Dr. Greg McGuire, Joint Forces Staff College; Dr. Laura Manning Johnson, National War College; Captain Bill Marlowe, USN (Ret.), Joint Forces Staff College; Dr. Joan Johnson-Freese, U.S. Naval War College; Dr. Brian McNeil, Air War College; Dr. Ryan Wadle, Air Command and Staff College; Commander Jeffrey Stebbins, USN, U.S. Naval War College; Dr. Paul J. Springer, Air Command and Staff College.

Not shown: Dr. Linda Di Desidero, Marine Corps University; Dr. Antulia (Tony) Echevarria, U.S. Army War College; Dr. Kathryn Fisher, College of International Security Affairs; Dr. Rebecca Johnson, Marine Corps War College; Dr. Sorin Lungu, Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy; Dr. Stephen J. Mariano, National War College; Dr. Bradley J. Meyer, School of Advanced Warfighting; Dr. Larry D. Miller, U.S. Army War College; Colonel Craig J. Price, USMCR (AR), Marine Corps War College; Dr. Michael L. Rupert, College of International Security Affairs; Dr. Margaret Sankey, Air War College; Dr. Paul J. Springer, Air Command and Staff College.

Photo by John Briscoe, NDU