Mission: “To provide competitively selected, highly qualified field-grade Air and Space 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 Department of 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 and Space Force.
• Evaluate security strategy, defense policy, and processes
1) Analyze current scholarly perspectives on strategy issues & defense policy
2) Analyze future technologies critical in the implementation of strategic US and coalition warfare capabilities
• Strengthen the DAF’s relationships with esteemed universities, federal agencies, and science, technology, and policy communities
• Broaden and develop senior leader competencies to include strategic mindset and strategic communication skills
• Enable Fellows to cultivate their network of senior military leaders, academic mentors, and national security professionals
What is a Fellow? The DAF Fellowship program is critical for carrying out National Defense Strategy objectives and developing strategic leaders for the Air and Space Force. Every year, the Air and Space Force selects high performing officers and civilians to serve 10- to 18-month tours immersed with distinguished civilian institutions. These institutions include esteemed universities, think tanks, national labs, corporations, other government agencies, and legislative offices. DAF Fellowship programs are administered by Air University for graduated Fellows to receive in-residence senior developmental education (SDE) credit, in-residence Intermediate Developmental Education (IDE) credit, and post-graduate degrees or certificates for certain fellowship programs.
Note: Receiving IDE credit through fellowship programs also requires completion of ACSC by correspondence to satisfy JPME-I requirements.
Fellows are immersed with institutions to gain exposure to a spectrum of views while receiving a world-class developmental education experience. While Fellows are often leveraged as faculty or staff of their hosting institution, they are not expected to be staff action officers or interns. Successful Fellows will investigate a national security problem they are interested in while maximizing all opportunities of their tenure to conduct diligent research, write, and publish.
Fellows are tracked by Air and Space Force leadership for relevant follow-on assignments to utilize their newly acquired skills and network to focus on the DAF’s strategic priorities.
During their academic year, Fellows receive administrative support from the Air War College Fellows office, a geographically separated unit located between Maxwell Air Force Base and the Pentagon’s Air University Liaison Office (Office 1E924).
What Fellowship programs are available? Reference the latest DAF Program Description Guide (PDG) and non-DEDB program guide, for more information.
How do I apply to be a Fellow? Eligible members are selected for Fellowship programs by their Air Force Developmental Education Designation Board (DEDB), or Space Force equivalent. Selection is based on military records, academic credentials, and potential for future command duty. Interested officers should indicate their preferences with a strong commander endorsement. Various programs such as CSAF Scholars, White House Fellows, and Mansfield Fellows are selected via an application process. Reference PSDM 22-125, linked at the bottom of this page, for more information.
What are the requirements to graduate? 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.