**Winners Announced** LeMay Center Inspiring Doctrinal Innovation Essay Prize Challenge (PC)

April 28, 2023

THE LEMAY CENTER FOR DOCTRINE DEVELOPMENT AND EDUCATION, In collaboration with MGMWERX and Air University Innovation Accelerator (AUiX), is now accepting submissions for the inaugural, bi-annual

The Inspiring Doctrinal Innovation

Essay Prize Challenge

The contest is inspired by the words of CSAF General Charles Q. Brown who stated that he is “…relying on every Airmen to understand the lessons of doctrine, and then draw on them to innovate and incorporate concepts and technologies that will develop [and] shape future doctrine.” To meet the CSAF’s intent, the LeMay Center for Doctrine and Education has partnered with MGMWERX and other organizations under Air University to host an essay contest. The IDI contest offers a variety of incentives include a cash prize for the top paper and publication for up to the top 20 papers. Airmen will have the opportunity to have their ideas read and shared through a larger audience and inspire a new generation of doctrinal development.


Discuss how USAF operational doctrine would need to change, or new doctrine adopted, due to the changing character or war expected over the next 10 years.

As the principal agent for operational doctrine development, the LeMay Center AF Doctrine Development team is interested in all ideas on how to adapt doctrine to the current and future strategic environment. Often these great ideas can come from unexpected sources, and we look forward to hearing from all ranks, AFSCs, and statuses.



  • Essays may be Air University academic work, but if completed during official work time, the author must make changes to the academic work during non-duty hours to qualify to win the cash prize

Essays must be submitted through the submission form at www.mgmwerx.org/events/idiessaycontest



  • Word Documents Only
  • Simultaneous submissions are acceptable. The LeMay Center wishes to encourage Airmen and Guardians to write. However, please inform us upon submission if your work is being considered for publication elsewhere. If your work is accepted elsewhere, please inform us immediately as you may be ineligible for dual publication and the top prize.
  • We will accept only first-publication articles (previously published articles will not be accepted). Work submitted for academic requirements that is not officially published elsewhere IS acceptable.
  • In addition to your Word attachment please include a brief biographical statement (e.g. “Maj Jones is a an air mobility pilot and currently a student at ACSC.”). Please also provide links to your Twitter handle and your LinkedIn profile, if applicable.
  • You may also need to include any relevant institutional caveats.
  • Authors requiring official review before an article can be published should secure permissions prior to submission.
  • If you create any custom images, figures, or tables for your article, please attach separately the highest possible quality of image for our use. Give credit for any images you do not create.


  • Essays must reference at least one USAF Operational Doctrine Publication and discuss how this doctrine needs to change due to the changing character of war (U.S. Air Force Doctrine > Home (doctrine.af.mil)
  • Essays must be greater than 1500 words and less than 3000 words not including footnotes, headers, title, or author’s bio.
  • Please use AP Style for the content of your piece; that is, for matters including abbreviations, capitalization, forms of address etc.
  • Your article should use the Chicago Manual of Style for formatting and citations. Begin each new paragraph without indenting the first sentence. Use footnotes only—do not use endnotes. Do not include bibliographies or works cited listings. 
  • Use one space only between a punctuation mark that ends a sentence and the first word of the next sentence. All punctuation goes within quotation marks in accordance with AP Style.
  • Default to standard American English for spelling and punctuation.
  • Avoid hyperlink citations.
  • Your essay should be clearly focused and establish that focus almost immediately, in part by providing a thesis in the first paragraph. 
  • Your essay should be well structured over the entire piece, where ideas are developed through the logical, orderly progression of paragraphs.
  • Your essay should also be well organized at the paragraph level, with each paragraph centered on a single, main idea and, your article should provide evidence that logically and clearly supports the content and thesis of your article. 
  • A note on evidence: authors may refer to themselves in the first person (e.g., “I could not put down the book”), but personal and professional experience are no substitute for external evidence.
  • Finally, prose is important. Clarity, concision, and directness at the sentence level ensure even the most complicated ideas are presented in an accessible way.  Avoid jargon. 
  • Your audience does not necessarily share your outlook, background, and store of knowledge; write with that in mind.


Winning articles will be announced in May 2023 and published in the LeMay Papers thereafter.

  • TOP Essay Prize – $1,000 and LeMay/CC Coin with the goal of publishing in a major journal publication
  • 2nd and 3rd Place Prize – LeMay/CC Coin
  • (up to) Top 20 Essays – Published in Air University Publishing Summer Edition of The LeMay Papers


Air Force Doctrine Podcast: Deciphering Doctrine – Ep 7 – Essay Contest Kickoff: Doctrine Needs to Keep Up as Warfare Changes

In this special edition episode, we interview Naval Postgraduate School Professor Emeritus Dr. John Arquilla as a kick-off event to our first bi-annual Inspiring Doctrinal Innovation essay contest. Dr. Arquilla is a former RAND Corporation analyst and Pentagon advisor. He has been researching and writing about the changing character of war for decades. In this episode, he shares his revelations and approaches to identifying the doctrine, organization, and technology changes that have occurred. He also suggests how Airmen can analyze the constants, trends, and shocks in developing new doctrine, choosing new technology, and shifting to new organizational forms.

#USAFDoctrine #EssayContest