News | Oct. 14, 2021

Winners of the 2021 Essay Competition

By NDU Press Joint Force Quarterly 103

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NDU Press Congratulates the Winners of the 2021 Essay Competitions

NDU Press virtually hosted the final round of judging in May–June 2021, during which 27 faculty judges from 18 participating professional military education (PME) institutions selected the best entries in each category. There were 110 submissions in this year’s three categories—a record number. First Place winners in each of the three categories appear in the following pages.

Secretary of Defense National Security Essay Competition

The 15th 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 provide creative, feasible ideas on how best to orchestrate the core competencies of our national security institution.

First Place
Lieutenant Colonel Charles L. Carter, USAF

U.S. Army War College
“Reading the Tea Leaves: Understanding Chinese Deterrence Signaling”

Second Place
Lieutenant Commander Suraj Aiyappa, Indian Navy

U.S. Naval War College (Intermediate)
“Indian Ocean Island Chain: A Potential Indo-U.S. Strategy for Maintaining Maritime Superiority in the Indian Ocean Region”

Third Place
Lieutenant Colonel Eric V.M. Kreitz, USA; Lieutenant Colonel Claudia Bermudez, USAF; Colonel Bill Greer, USA; and Colonel Kathleen Turner, USA

Joint Forces Staff College–Joint and Combined Warfighting School
“Civ-Mil Implementation of the National Guard Response to COVID-19”

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Strategic Essay Competition

This annual competition, in its 40th year in 2021, challenges students at the Nation’s joint PME institutions to write research papers (5,000 words) or articles (1,500 words) 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 (Tie)
Captain Aaron Smith, USMC

Marine Corps University–Expeditionary Warfare School
“Purpose-Built Antiarmor Teams: An Imperative for the Marine Corps Ground Combat Element”

First Place (Tie)
Major Douglas J. Verblaauw, USMC

Marine Corps University–Command and General Staff College
“Degrading China’s Integrated Maritime Campaign”

Second Place
Lieutenant Colonel Christopher G. Adams, USAF; Lieutenant Commander Camilo Carillo, USN; Lieutenant Colonel Christopher W. McLeod, USSF; and Lieutenant Colonel Amber R. White, USA

Joint Forces Staff College–Joint and Combined Warfighting School
“Deterrence in Space: Apply the Fundamentals”

Third Place
Commander Timothy Chesser, USN; Lieutenant Colonel Jason Seitz, USAF; Lieutenant Commander Dan Owens, USCG; and Major Chris Telley, USA

Joint Forces Staff College–Joint and Combined Warfighting School
“Angling for Competition: Countering Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing as Irregular Warfare”

Strategy Article

First Place
Lieutenant Colonel Timothy Renahan, USA

U.S. Army War College
“Realizing Energy Independence on U.S. Military Bases”

Second Place
Commander John Ferrari, USN; Lieutenant Colonel Leonard Miller, USAF; Major Steven Lem, USA; and Lieutenant Colonel Carmona March, USA

Joint Forces Staff College–Joint and Combined Warfighting School
“The Truth Is Out There: State-Sponsored Narratives and Credibility After International Incidents”

Third Place
Jonathan Dixon, Department of the Treasury

National War College
“Climate Change and a Nuclear North Korea”

Joint Force Quarterly Maerz Awards

In its 6th 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.

Matthew A. Hallex and Travis S. Cottom

“Proliferated Commercial Satellite Constellations: Implications for National Security,” JFQ 97 (2nd Quarter 2020)

JPME Today
David Wigmore

“Expanding Atrocity Prevention Education for Rising U.S. National Security Leaders,” JFQ 97 (2nd Quarter 2020)

Charles Davis and Kristian E. Smith

“The Psychology of Jointness,” JFQ 98 (3rd Quarter 2020)

Matthew C. Gaetke

“Mobilization in the 21st Century: Asking the Right Question,” JFQ 99 (4th Quarter 2020)

Michael R. Rouland and Christian E. Fearer

“Calling Forth the Military: A Brief History of the Insurrection Act,” JFQ 99 (4th Quarter 2020)

Joint Doctrine
Matthew N. Metzel, Todd J. McCubbin, Heidi B. Fouty, Ken G. Morris, John J. Gutierrez, and John Lorenzen

“Failed Megacities and the Joint Force,” JFQ 96 (1st Quarter 2020)

Distinguished Judges

Senior faculty members from 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 Dr. Amy Baxter, Air University eSchool of Graduate PME; Dr. Brandy Lyn Brown, Marine Corps University; Dr. Mark A. Bucknam, National War College; Dr. Grant Campbell, Marine Corps University–Expeditionary Warfare School; Dr. Charles Chadbourne, U.S. Naval War College; Dr. James Chen, College of Information and Cyberspace; Dr. Don Chisholm, U.S. Naval War College; Dr. Benjamin “Frank” Cooling, Eisenhower School of National Security and Resources Strategy; Dr. Richard L. DiNardo, Marine Corps Staff College; Dr. Antulio J. Echevarria II, U.S. Army War College; Dr. Peter Eltsov, College of International Security Affairs; Dr. C.J. Horn, Air Force Cyber College; Dr. James D. Kiras, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies; Dr. Larry D. Miller, U.S. Army War College; Dr. Kristin Mulready-Stone, U.S. Naval War College; Dr. John O’Brien, College of Information and Cyberspace; Dr. Robert J. Orr, National War College; Dr. Jesse P. Samluk, National Intelligence University; Dr. Nicholas E. Sarantakes, U.S. Naval War College; Dr. Eric Shibuya, Marine Corps University; Dr. Naunihal Singh, U.S. Naval War College; Dr. Paul Springer, Air Command and Staff College; Dr. Dale F. Spurlin, Command and General Staff College; Dr. John Terino, Air Command and Staff College; Dr. Jeff Turner, Joint Forces Staff College; Dr. Elizabeth D. Woodward, Air War College; and Dr. Christopher Yung, Marine Corps University.