Winners of the 2020 Essay Competitions

By NDU Press Joint Force Quarterly 99

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NDU Press Congratulates the Winners of the 2020 Essay Competitions

NDU Press virtually hosted the final round of judging in May 2020, during which 26 faculty judges from 14 participating professional military education (PME) institutions selected the best entries in each category. There were 72 submissions in this year’s three categories. First Place winners in each of the three categories appear in the following pages.

Secretary of Defense National Security Essay Competition

The 14th annual competition was intended to stimulate new approaches to coordinated civilian and military action from a broad spectrum of civilian and military students. Essays 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 (tie)
Lieutenant Colonel Roderick K. Butz, USAF

U.S. Army War College
“Beneath the Crosshairs: Remotely Piloted Airstrikes as a Foreign Policy Tool”

First Place (tie)
Kaleb J. Redden, Office of the Secretary of Defense

National War College
“Competition Is What States Make of It: A U.S. Strategy Toward China”

Second Place
Kyle Richardson, Department of State

National War College
“Indonesia: Lessons for the U.S.-China Geo-Economic Competition”

Third Place
Lieutenant Colonel Eric V.M. Kreitz, USA

U.S. Army War College
“Re-Emerging Russian Influence in Latin America and U.S. Foreign Policy Response”

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Strategic Essay Competition

This annual competition, in its 39th year in 2020, challenges students at the Nation’s joint PME 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 Jeremy McKissack, USAFR

Air War College
“Pardon the Paradox: Making Sense of President Trump’s Interventions in Military Justice”

Second Place
Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Kendrick Mulvey, USMC

U.S. Naval War College (Senior)
“Helping Hanoi Keep the Dragon at Bay in the South China Sea”

Third Place
Amy C.F. Carlon, Department of State

Eisenhower School of National Security and Resources Strategy
“Diplomatic Engagement on Missile Defense Amidst Great Power Competition”

Strategy Article

First Place
Colonel Mark M. Zais, USA

U.S. Army War College
“Artificial Intelligence: A Decisionmaking Technology”

Second Place
Lieutenant Colonel Kukunaokala (Kuna) Mendonca, ARNG

U.S. Army War College
“Cybersecurity Initiatives in the National Guard: Opportunities and Challenges”

Third Place
Lieutenant Colonel Jeremy McKissack, USAFR

Air War College
“First Among Equals: Diplomacy as America’s Primary Instrument of Power”

Joint Force Quarterly Maerz Awards

In its 5th year, the JFQ Maerz Awards, chosen by the staff of NDU Press, recognize the most influential articles from the previous year’s four issues. Five outstanding articles were chosen for the Maerz Awards, named in honor of Mr. George C. Maerz, former writer-editor of NDU Press.

Forum
Glenda Jakubowski

“What’s Not to Like? Social Media as Information Operations Force Multiplier,” JFQ 94 (3rd Quarter 2019)

JPME Today
Dale C. Eikmeier

“Simplicity: A Tool for Working with Complexity and Chaos,” JFQ 92 (1st Quarter 2019)

Commentary
Jeffery Zust and Stephen Krauss

“Force Protection from Moral Injury: Three Objectives for Military Leaders,” JFQ 92 (1st Quarter 2019)

Features
Sara Dudley, Travis Pond, Ryan Roseberry, and Shawn Carden

“Evasive Maneuvers: How Malign Actors Leverage Cryptocurrency,” JFQ 92 (1st Quarter 2019)

Recall
John K. DiEugenio and Aubry J. Eaton

“Flanking the Crater,” JFQ 94 (3rd Quarter 2019)

Joint Doctrine
J. Mark Berwanger

“Fire for Effect: The Evolution of Joint Fires,” JFQ 93 (2nd Quarter 2019)

Distinguished Judges

Twenty-six senior faculty members from the 14 participating PME institutions took time out of their busy schedules (and online teaching duties) to serve as judges for this year’s competitions. Their personal dedication and professional excellence ensured strong and credible competitions.

The judges were Joseph L. Billingsley, College of Information and Cyberspace; Brandy Lyn Brown, Marine Corps University; Mark A. Bucknam, National War College; Dr. Charles Chadbourne, U.S. Naval War College; Dr. James Chen, College of Information and Cyberspace; Dr. Benjamin “Frank” Cooling, Eisenhower School of National Security and Resources Strategy; Dr. Armando DeLeon, Air University eSchool of Graduate PME; Dr. Richard L. DiNardo, Marine Corps Staff College; Dr. Peter Eltsov, College of International Security Affairs; Dr. Jack Godwin, NDU Press; Dr. Todd Holm, Marine Corps University; Dr. C.J. Horn, Air Force Cyber College; Dr. James D. Kiras, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies; Captain Bill Marlowe, USN (Ret.), Joint Forces Staff College; Dr. Brian McNeil, Air War College; Dr. Larry D. Miller, U.S. Army War College; Dr. Kristin Mulready-Stone, U.S. Naval War College; Dr. Jaimie Orr, National War College; Dr. Nicholas M. Sambaluk, Air University eSchool of Graduate PME; Jesse P. Samluk, National Intelligence University; Dr. Nicholas E. Sarantakes, U.S. Naval War College; Dr. Naunihal Singh, U.S. Naval War College; Dr. Paul Springer, Air Command and Staff College; Dr. Jeff Turner, Joint Forces Staff College; Dr. David A. Wigmore, College of International Security Affairs; and Dr. Elizabeth D. Woodward, Air War College.