HomeAF Fellows

Air Force Fellows

Air Force Fellows Shield

:  “To provide competitively selected, highly qualified field-grade Air Force officers and their civilian counterparts an in-depth education in national security policy through assignments to a distinguished civilian institute or placement in a key government agency or department.”

The Air Force Fellows program plays a major role in contributing ideas for enhancing national security and assuring the continuing effectiveness of the United States Air Force.


•  Strategic Communication:  Solidify relationships w/ civilian academic & policy communities

•   Broaden & develop senior leader competencies:  Network w/other Fellows:  OSD/Interagencies/Academia

•  Evaluate national & international security policy & processes: 
    1)  Analyze current scholarly perspectives on defense policy & strategy issues and
    2)  Analyze future technologies critical in the implementation of strategic US/coalition warfare capabilities

What is a Fellow?  Every year, the Air Force chooses an elite cadre of officers and civilians to serve 10- to 18-month tours within DOD, other government agencies, or distinguished civilian institutions.  Fellows receive in-residence SDE credit or in-residence IDE credit (upon completion of ACSC by seminar/correspondence to satisfy JPME-I requirements) and, in some cases, academic degrees, for their experience.

Follow-on assignments are normally to joint or departmental staffs, political/military affairs, or command billets.

Institutions are selected based on prominence in security affairs and ability to provide spectrum of views. Fellows serve as resident members of institutions’ faculty/staff and DoD Agency Staff.

Fellows use the nearest AFB as a host base, but they are managed by the Air Force Fellows Office at Air University, Maxwell AFB, AL.

What options are out there?  The links in the menu to the right contain details of current Fellowships divided into DEDB-selected SDE programs, DEDB-selected IDE programs, and non-DEDB-selected SDE/IDE programs.

How do I become one?  Typically, officers are assigned via the DEDB based on military records, academic credentials and potential for senior staff/command duty.  Interested officers should include specific school preferences on their ADP and ensure a strong commander endorsement.  For non-DEDB programs, officers are selected via an application process.  Go to the applicable link to the right for more information.

Research and curriculum:  All Fellows will conduct research during their tour on an area of personal interest or something related to their fellowship.  This research will culminate with a 5,000-word paper supervised by a sponsor and a mentor.  For Fellows attending a university, a school research paper may be submitted to fulfill this requirement. 

Fellows attending a university will follow the school’s established curriculum.  For other programs, Fellows will create an ‘experience plan’ to use as their curriculum.

The Walker Papers

Walker Papers

Walker Papers are selected and published from over 50 papers written by field grade officers participating in the Air Force Fellows program.  The papers, named after Brig Gen Kenneth N. Walker, a former Air Corps Tactical School instructor and Medal of Honor recipient in the Pacific during World War II, are published annually.


AF Fellows Library Guide

Air University Student Support & Research Guides
Student Research Papers