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AWC Research Awards

The Air War College, in conjunction with noted partners (list below), award students who have done outstanding research over the course of the academic year. Students must be nominated by faculty for an award. Then a panel of faculty assemble to read every nominated paper and rank them to determine a winner in each category. Faculty from every department are involved in the process.



Award Description/Sponsor Winner
AF Cyber Award Outstanding paper on the development of thinking within the cyberspace domain. Spaatz Academic Centers LTC Michael Kaloostian, USA
AF Historical Foundation Award

Best paper on airpower research, advocacy, legacy, and history. AWC Faculty

Lt Col Michael T. McDaniel, USAF
AWC Intelligence Community Best research paper identifying and proposing novel solutions to a critical problem facing the United States intelligence community, including the field of Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance. AU ISR Community Lt Col Gary Beckett, USAFR
AWC Research Excellence Award Presented to the paper that displays the highest levels of analysis, creativity, and/or scholarship. Air University Foundation Lt Col Neil Wheldon, USAF
Center for Writing Excellence Award This award is given to the Professional Studies Paper that exhibits the highest level of writing and research in any discipline at the AWC. Center for Writing Excellence Lt Col (Colonel Select) John P. Cappella Zielinski, USAF
Military and Society Research Award This award is given for the best paper focusing on the military and society. Col John F. Zohn, USAF
Commandant’s Award Recognizes the top overall research product from all award categories produced by Air War College. Air University Foundation Lt Col Jim Roth, South Carolina National Guard
Culture and Language Center Award

Recognizes the best AWC Professional Studies Paper that critically analyzes and offers strategic level insights into the significance or impact of culture on any aspect of Airmen’s work (such as strategic thinking, planning, doctrine development, analysis, operations, diplomacy, advising, partnership building and/or other related issues. CLC

Calvin S. Hall, GS-15, DAF
Douhet-Mitchell International Airpower Trophy PPO Paper that best demonstrates extraordinary foresight or vision into future military air, space, and cyberspace requirements. Order of Sons of Italy Association Lt Col Vic Norris, USAF
Excellence in Space Research The Excellence in Space Research Award sponsored by the Commander Air Force Space Command.  This award recognizes the student who has provided the best research on a space power topic. Research papers will be forwarded to the Commander, Air Force Space Command for consideration in future Space domain development. AU Space Chair and AWC Faculty Lt Col Francisco Casanova, USAF
Gen. Charles A. Horner PPO Presented to the individual who has researched, written, and published the most original contribution to the understanding of Air Force counter-WMD or nuclear enterprise issues during the year. Lt Col Joseph M. Hank, USAF
Gen. Charles G. Boyd Best paper in the areas of regional and cultural issues or regional and international security analysis. Air University Foundation Lt Col Niclas Magnusson, Swedish Air Force
Gen. P.X. Kelly USMC Writing Best Professional Studies Paper by a USMC student at the AWC. LtCol Sean Walsh, USMC
The Human Capital Innovation Award This award is given to the Air War College (AWC) research paper that best addresses Human Capital Innovation. Example subject areas include manpower, personnel, and services policy changes, human relations best practices, resiliency enhancements and diversity & inclusion improvements, and how these matters affect the Air Force as a whole.

Lt Col Eric Phillips, USAF

Joint Airpower Outstanding paper on the joint use of airpower in support of national military objectives. AUF/Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association

Group Captain John Shields, Royal Air Force

Lt. Gen. John Nowak Award for Logistics Best research paper addressing support or logistics issues relevant to DOD readiness and combat capability. Lt Col Douglas W. Whitehead, USAF
Lt. Gen. “Pete” Quesada Army Writing Best Professional Studies Paper by and Army student at the AWC. COL Thomas G. Wilson, Jr., USA
Maj. Gen. Edward G. Lansdale International Affairs PPO

Outstanding research and thought concerning regional/cultural issues pertinent to foreign area officers. Foreign Area Officer Association

LtCol Casey Taylor, USMC
Maj. Gen. Floyd L. Carpenter PPO Outstanding research in the field of strategic deterrence and future bomber operations. 8th AF Lt Col James Roche, USAF
Military Operations Outstanding Research Outstanding paper addressing strategic considerations for irregular war and counter- insurgency operations. Air University Foundation/Northrop Grumman Lt Col Christopher M. Hagemeyer, USAF
Reserve Component PPO Best research providing a greater understanding of the Reserve Component’s role in national security. Reserve Officers Association

Lt Col Jim Roth, South Carolina National Guard

Senior Leadership Innovation Award PPO Most original paper on senior leader development or which aids the understanding of senior leader issues of interest. Military Officers Association of America Lt Col Melanie L. Olson, USAF
Surgeon General Award Awarded to the paper(s) that most significantly contributes to the Air Force Medical Service and its support of national military objectives.

Lt Col Brett Dorey, USAF
Lt Col Joanna Jaminska, USAF
Lt Col Angela Lacek, USAF
Lt Col Alexander Keller, USAF
Colonel Charles R. Montoya, USAF
Lt Col Mocha L. Robinson, USAF
Col William E. Thomas, Jr., USAF