2016 General Bernard A. Schriever Memorial Essay Contest Results
For the third highly successful year, the Lance P. Sijan Chapter of the Air Force Association, in concert with HQ Air Force Space Command, sponsored the General Bernard A. Schriever Memorial Essay Contest in the name and memory of this great Air Force pioneer. The purpose of the contest is to stimulate thought, discussion, and debate on matters relating to how the Air Force and Air Force Space Command provide space and cyberspace capabilities for the Joint Force and the Nation. Specifically, General John E. Hyten, AFSPC Commander, approved the theme for this year as “A contested space environment will require a warfighter mindset in our Airmen. What are the immediate and long term challenges and solutions to adapt to a warfighter mindset?” Per a suggestion from General Hyten, the competition included two divisions this year. The Open Division was for all current AF military and civilian personnel, including AF Reserve and Air National Guard members. The Airman/NCO Division was restricted to E1-E6.
The Chapter is proud to announce the four winning essays selected from a tough competition with 20 excellent submissions. The two top essays in the Open Division are: “Forging Tomorrow’s Air, Space and Cyber Warfighters,” by Lt Colonel Mark Reith, and “The Changing Face of the Warfighter,” by Capt Justin Thornton. In the Airman/NCO Division, the two top essays are “Making a Better Space Operator,” by SSgt Kesa Wood, and “Warfighter Mindset—How Do You Fit In?” by A1C Brandon Kessler and A1C Cameron Mosley. The Air and Space Power Journal will publish the top two Open Division essays, and the chapter awarded over $2500 in prize money, to include plaques for the winners. A $1000 check was awarded to Lt Colonel Reith and $500 to Capt Thornton. Airman/NCO Division winner A1C Wood received $500 from the chapter, with the second place prize of $250 being split between authors A1C Kessler and A1C Mosley. Additional essays receiving Honorable Mentions are: “A Warrior’s Mindset—Key to Winning in Space,” by Col Troy Endicott; “Creating the Space Warfighter, A Rapid Satellite Development Unit Proposal,” by Capt Joe Robinson; and “Next Generation Warfare Requires a Next Generation Approach,” by Major Brandon Erwin and Major Allen Varghese. Topics from the other submissions included policy, training, acquisition, and integration. General (Retired) Lance Lord led the judging committee, comprised of ten senior leaders from HQ AF Space Command, Air University, industry and AFA.
At a HQ AFSPC ceremony on November 15th, the authors of the top essays presented a short summary of their papers. Presiding officials at the awards ceremony were Major General David Thompson, AFSPC Vice Commander, and Kristen Christy, AFA Lance P. Sijan Chapter president. Lt Colonel Steve Drinnon, The Air and Space Power Journal editor provided remarks during the awards ceremony.