ACSC JADS research teams place at service competitions

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  • Air University Public Affairs

Student teams from the Joint All Domain Strategist concentration at Air Command and Staff College earned high marks at a couple of competitions hosted by military organizations recently.

One JADS research team won the Strategy Award at the 2023 U.S Cyber Command Cyber Recon Symposium. Another team placed second at the Army War College’s 2023 International Strategist Competition.

For the Army War College competition, the JADS team defeated 15 other teams from six senior developmental education-level professional military education programs and three Ivy League colleges to place second, very narrowly missing first. ACSC is an intermediate developmental education school.

The competition required teams to identify the most problematic aspect of the relationship between the United States and the People's Republic of China, assess United States policy aims and strategy accordingly, and recommend alternatives to existing United States policy aims and strategy, giving due attention to the military's contribution to the overall strategy.

The teams were fielded from prestigious institutions such as National War College, Naval War College, Army War College, École de guerre-Terre, National Defense University’s College of International Security Affairs, Eisenhower, Columbia University, NYU, and the University of Texas.

The team was comprised of Maj. James Lodge, Maj. Thomas Heistuman, Maj. Erik Brown, Space Force Maj. Francisco Vasquez, Army Maj. Jayson Walser, and Maj. Peter Laclede.

"Our experience at the strategy symposium was invaluable. First, it allowed us to put into practice the theories and design techniques we've been working on all year in JADS against teams and judges who could give us an objective look, provide feedback, and ask the tough questions we needed to think about,” said Laclede. “Second, it was eye-opening to speak with and hear from teams across the Department of Defense and leading civilian educational institutions to understand different perspectives, desired outcomes, and methods in tackling wicked problems. This was an experience I'll carry with me for a long time."

The JADS team that won the Strategy Award at the Cyber Recon Symposium were Maj. Erik Brown, Maj. Jaclyn Carter, and Maj. Matthew Thomas.

The symposium marked the culmination of an annual research initiative sponsored by USCYBERCOM, involving over 100 universities in its Academic Engagement Network to address key mission challenges.

The team's "Cost Imposition in and through Cyberspace" project won over 15 other finalist projects from institutions such as the University of California, Rochester Institute of Technology, and Naval Postgraduate School. The team presented their proposed framework to Army Gen. Paul M. Nakasone, commander, USCYBERCOM, and other senior leaders.

"ACSC JADS is a community of diverse thoughts, experiences, and approaches united by a passion for constant learning and improvement,” said Carter. “The design, planning, and problem-solving frameworks provided by ACSC JADS were instrumental in guiding our research and enabling us to deliver impactful results.”