Air Force Research Institute

Walker Papers

Selected and published from over 50 papers written by Air Force Fellows.

Click to See the Walker Papers  






Mission:  “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.”

As part of the Air Force Research Institute (AFRI) at Maxwell AFB, 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

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

•  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 AFRI at Maxwell AFB.

What options are out there?  The links to the left contain lists and details of all 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 left for more information.

It is recommended that interested officers have the appropriate DE completed by seminar or correspondence.  This will facilitate DEDB selection, and in-residence DE credit will not be granted without it.

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.