News | Oct. 30, 2023

Winners of the 2023 Essay Competitions

By NDU Press Joint Force Quarterly 111

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NDU Press and the NDU Foundation Congratulate the Winners of the 2023 Essay Competitions

NDU Press hosted the final round of judging on May 11–12, 2023, during which 29 faculty judges from 17 participating professional military education (PME) institutions selected the best entries in each category. There were 95 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 17th 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.

1st Place
Lieutenant Colonel Karl Scheuerman, ANG

Eisenhower School
“Weaponizing Wheat: How Strategic Competition with Russia Could Threaten American Food Security”

2nd Place
Lieutenant Colonel Bryony Slaughter, USSF

National War College
“Patrolling the Celestial Narrows: How the United States and Japan Can Shape and Enforce Space Governance”

3rd Place
Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Wong, USMCR

Eisenhower School
“Alexa, Write My OPORD: Promise and Pitfalls of Machine Learning for Commanders in Combat”

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Strategic Essay Competitions

These annual competitions, in their 42nd year in 2023, challenge 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

1st Place (TIE)
Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin P. Donham, USA

U.S. Army War College
“It’s Not Just About the Algorithm: Development of a Joint Medical Artificial Intelligence Capability”

1st Place (TIE)
Lieutenant Colonel Nathaniel A. Peace, USSF

Air War College
“Space Denial: A Deterrence Strategy”

2nd Place
Lieutenant Colonel Adam Dykstra, ANG

Air War College
“A World Without Truth: How AI and Social Media Are Shaping Disinformation”

3rd Place
Lieutenant Colonel Tony G. Lawrence, USAF

National War College
“Frozen Ambitions: Building U.S. Influence for Greater Arctic Security”

Strategy Article

1st Place
Colonel Robert A. Rodrigues, USA

U.S. Army War College
“Promoting Accountability in Military Sexual Assault Prosecutions”

2nd Place
Lieutenant Colonel Jason R. Wayne, USA

U.S. Army War College
“Urban Wars: The Convergence of Tactics and Strategy”

3rd Place
Major Chad Everett, USAF

Air Command and Staff College
“Quantum Technology”

Joint Force Quarterly Maerz Awards

In its 8th year, the JFQ Maerz Awards, chosen by NDU Press staff, recognize the most influential articles from the previous year’s four issues. Six outstanding articles were chosen for the Maerz Awards, named in honor of Mr. George C. Maerz, former NDU Press managing editor.

James Kwoun

“Design Thinking at the Enterprise Level: Integrating Defense All-Source Analysis”
JFQ 104 (1st Quarter 2022)

Zachary Zwald, Jeffrey Berejikian, Samantha Jane Daly, and Jeffrey Hannon
“Challenges to Creative Thinking: Identifying Officer Background Beliefs in Limited Information Environments”
JFQ 104 (1st Quarter 2022)

J. Bryan Mullins
“Insights on Theater Command and Control from the Creation of Allied Force Headquarters”
JFQ 106 (3rd Quarter 2022)

Scott C. Apling, Martin Jeffery Bryant, James A. Garrison, and Oyunchimeg Young
“Pivoting the Joint Force: National Security Implications of Illegal, Unregulated, and Unreported Fishing”
JFQ 107 (4th Quarter 2022)

Nathan A. Jennings
“Improvised Partnerships: U.S. Joint Operations in the Mexican-American War”
JFQ 105 (2nd Quarter 2022)

Christopher Sims
“The Integrated ‘Nonwar’ in Vietnam”
JFQ 106 (3rd Quarter 2022)

Distinguished Judges

2023 Essay Competition Judges

Twenty-nine senior faculty members from 17 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.

Left to right: Dr. John J. Church, NDU Press; Ms. Joanna E. Seich, NDU Press; Dr. John G. Terino, Air Command and Staff College; Dr. David P. Hadley, College of International Security Affairs; Dr. James R. Van de Velde, Eisenhower School; Dr. Brandy Lyn Brown, Marine Corps War College; Dr. Jeffrey A. Turner, Joint Forces Staff College–Joint Advanced Warfighting School; Ms. Kathleen Gallaher, Marine Corps War College; Dr. Donald Stoker, Eisenhower School; Dr. Richard P. Samuels, Air War College; Dr. Mark A. Bucknam, National War College; Dr. Richard DiNardo, Marine Corps Staff College; Dr. Richard D. Killian, Command and General Staff College; Lieutenant Colonel Keith Caldwell, USA, College of Information and Cyberspace; Dr. William T. Eliason, NDU Press; Dr. Amy R. Baxter, Air University Global College of PME; Dr. Jim Chen, College of Information and Cyberspace; Dr. Anna Cairney, U.S. Army War College; Ms. Leigh Caraher, U.S. Army War College; Dr. Andrea Hamlen-Ridgely, Marine Corps War College–Expeditionary Warfare School; Dr. Kevin M. Generous, Joint Forces Staff College–Joint and Combined Warfare School; Dr. Paul J. Springer, Air Command and Staff College; Dr. Dylan Craig, National War College; Dr. Naunihal Singh, U.S. Naval War College; Dr. Charles Chadbourn, U.S. Naval War College; Ms. Caroline V. Schweiter, NDU Press.

Not shown: Dr. Nicholas M. Anthony, Jr., Joint Forces Staff College–Joint Combined Warfighting School; Dr. Donald W. Chisholm, U.S. Naval War College; Captain Alex J. Lega, USAF, Air University Global College of PME; Dr. Matthew Millard, Air University Global College of PME; Dr. Nicholas E. Sarantakes, U.S. Naval War College; Dr. Jeffrey D. Smotherman, NDU Press; Dr. Elizabeth D. Woodward, Air War College.