Having participated in this Fellowship was a powerful way to support my professional and personal development. It was an opportunity to “do something exceptional,” in a resource-efficient environment. Building my independent learning with the resources, support, and professionalism of top-notch scholars, academics, and students, the fellowship has inspired me. I have approached learning differently through day-by-day interactions with students, professors, and mentors. Not only was I lucky to have this unique experience in an academic setting, but I was fortunate to bring to life two amazing characters, MG George Sykes-during the Gettysburg Staff Ride, and Pfc Sadao Munemori- during the Italy Staff Ride. In today’s plethora of challenges and shifting needs in public policy, experiences like this provide a place for professionals to reflect and rejuvenate. The Counterterrorism and Public Policy fellowship helped me get out of my comfort zone by motivating and fostering authentic connections with world-class wisdom and inspiration from the Duke community. Lastly, I want to highlight what I gained from this experience. This fellowship exposed me to invaluable professional networks, through personal connections with students, professors, and other fellows in a challenging, diverse, and interesting way.
-UC Luz Ruiz, 2022-2023
My year as an Army Fellow studying at the Duke University Sanford CTPP Program was professionally enriching and personally rewarding. Professionally, the program offered a slate of instructors and guest lecturers who brought a wealth of practical knowledge, national security policy experience, and academic prowess to the classroom, resulting in very enjoyable classes and meaningful small group engagements. The Fellows program also allowed me the latitude to research deeply into a topic that combined my personal and professional interest. Personally, my year at Duke allowed me to reconnect with my family, and we were able to enjoy enriching activities like the Duke Chapel, Sarah Duke Gardens, various student fellowship groups, and Duke athletics. The Research Triangle is a foodie and family paradise, and we greatly enjoyed exploring all that Durham and the surrounding cities offer. Finally, the opportunity to build relationships with undergraduate and graduate students (at Sanford and Duke Divinity) was a unexpected plus!
-Col Jay West, 2022-2023
My year as a Duke University Counterterrorism and Public Policy Fellowship fellow was an amazing journey of learning and reflection. The diversity of thought and ideas that I encountered at Duke was remarkable and encouraging. The program provided a platform for open and honest discussions, which allowed all to learn from both students and faculty. Moreover, the friendships I formed with both students and faculty have been invaluable. The sense of community that the program fostered was wonderful, and I feel fortunate to have made lifelong friends who are also committed to making a positive impact in their respective fields. Overall, my experience as a Fellow was incredibly fulfilling. I highly recommend this program to anyone looking to expand their knowledge, challenge their thinking, and build lasting connections with an amazing group of people.
-COL James Stultz, 2022-2023
The past year at Duke University has been a once in a lifetime experience. As a fellow in the Sanford School of Public Policy’s Counterterrorism program, I had the opportunity to learn alongside high-performing fellows from the DOD and DOJ and absorb knowledge and expertise from distinguished guest speakers and professors in the national security field. The academic experience at Duke has been amazing, and the climate here is pure positivity – from the dean to the lunch cashier, everyone has a smile and a ‘how can I help?’ attitude. The students, whether graduate or undergraduates, are an impressive bunch. They are intelligent, kind, open-minded, and eager to learn. The opportunity to establish relationships, providing mentorship, and learning from them has been the highlight of this amazing experience.
– SA Bracken Murphy, 2022-2023
Diplomatic Security Service – U.S. Department of State
This world-class academic experience educated me on national security topics and combined the contributions of academic experts and practitioners. While enjoying the Counterterrorism and Public Policy Fellowship program, I also participated in the American Grand Strategy curriculum -- an outstanding program that deepened the relationships with many guest speakers and events including an amazing staff ride to Italy to study the World War II campaign on the Italian Peninsula. My time with students, professors, and the fellows created a unique professional bonding experience that will last for years.
- Colonel Andrew S. Brokhoff, 2022-2023
Participation in Duke University’s Counterterrorism and Public Policy Fellowship Program has been a highlight of my professional career and a truly rewarding personal experience. The Sanford School of Public Policy’s world-class professors, faculty, and students presented me with daily opportunities to grow academically and expand my knowledge on topics ranging from civil-military relations to the study of organizational culture. Through the combination of small, informal socials to a week-long Pearl Harbor Staff Ride, which included visits to U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and U.S. Pacific Fleet, I built relationships that will last my lifetime. I am confident that my time at Duke has made me a better leader and U.S. Army officer, and I am truly grateful for the opportunity.
- COL Benjamin Jahn, 2021-2022
The Duke Counter-Terrorism and Public Policy fellowship provided me with not only the opportunity to study alongside world class professors and thinkers, but also the opportunity to give back to our next generation of leaders- the students. I have grown intellectually through candid conversations with some of the world’s leading professionals, each challenging my thinking and pushing me to broaden my perspectives. The highlight of this fellowship is relationships you will establish with students. Listening to them, while at the same time providing coaching and mentorship as they chart their professional paths is the most rewarding experience. Thank you Duke University! GO DUKE!
– COL John Bishop, 2021-2022
Special Forces Officer, U.S. Army
The Counterterrorism and Public Policy fellowship at the Sanford School is an exceptional academic and professional experience and a high-water mark of my Army career. The world-class faculty, student body, and university experience affords many opportunities for individual growth and countless venues to develop and mentor a future generation of leaders. Additionally, the opportunity to learn from other fellows from multiple government agencies is unique to Duke and presents an amazing opportunity for collaboration, professional development, and relationship building. Following a deployment to Afghanistan, this was a great year to invest in my family, myself, and a university I consider very special.
- LTC Kevin Consedine, 2021-2022
"Participating in the Counterterrorism and Public Policy (CTPP) fellowship program at Duke University provided me with unparalleled access and opportunities. Not only was I able to interact with leading scholars, subject matter experts, and fellow practitioners in the field of national security but I was also afforded the chance to mentor students interested in terrorism studies. Furthermore, the CTPP fellowship permitted me the necessary resources and time to focus on my own independent research.
Perhaps the program’s greatest feature however was its ability to draw in skilled participants from diverse, yet complimentary, backgrounds. This convergence of talent, leadership, and expertise resulted in an exceptional learning environment that readily fostered the exchange of ideas and best practices from members of the intelligence, federal law enforcement, diplomacy, and military communities.
The connections, friendships, and experiences developed while at Duke will undoubtedly play a critical role in all my future career endeavors. I am both extremely humbled and honored to have been part of such an exceptional program.”
- Graham Grove CTPP 2021-2022
The Counterterrorism and Public Policy fellowship at the Sanford School was an excellent opportunity to learn the foundational workings of U.S. public and foreign policy and emerging national security issues. The fellowship also provided an opportunity to learn from world class faculty and interact with American and international students to discuss issues related to policy, politics and working for the US government as a law enforcement professional. I am appreciative of this experience and grateful for the opportunity to interact with such a diverse group of professionals and individuals.
- Khadijah Davis, 2021-2022
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Duke Counterterrorism and Public Policy Fellowship (CTPP) afforded me dedicated time to focus on personal and professional development, expand my network, reflect on past experiences, mentor the next generation of professionals, collaborate with top-leaders, and engage in deep thought about national security challenges. The program offers endless leadership opportunities. I served as a guest speaker at surrounding universities, taught various course lessons, and shared my experience with students and staff. Having the opportunity to mentor students was an exciting part of the fellowship. I expanded my network by engaging with industry and government officials on various platforms. Beyond structured activities, I took advantage of extracurricular opportunities provided by Duke and surrounding universities to include attending football and basketball games and volunteering in Durham. I recommend the CTPP to all future leaders as a broadening experience in strategic thinking and executive leadership.
- Olga Delgado, 2021-2022
Office of the Director of National Intelligenc
My year at Duke University as part of the Counterterrorism and Public Policy Fellowship was incredibly enjoyable and rewarding. The experience was outstanding and the opportunity to learn both in the classroom and from my peers is something I will cherish moving forward. Duke has a wildly impressive group of undergraduate students with a culture of curiosity and passion. I feel grateful for the opportunity to spend a year at Duke and surround myself with such a diverse and capable group of professionals. This was also the year my wife and I welcomed our first child Jack and the CTPP team made sure he was covered from head to toe with Duke gear to make it through the school year.
- LTC Derek Noel, 2021-2022
This was a rare opportunity to take advantage of everything that a world-class university can provide. Duke has tremendous academic resources and the Sanford School of Public Policy is the perfect home base for the program, with endless opportunities to engage with visiting practitioners. I broadened my academic horizons, deepened my understanding of important national security issues, and built meaningful relationships with professors and students. I have nothing but praise for the program staff and for the other fellows in the program. This was an invaluable mid-career opportunity for me that will reap benefits for years to come.
- Drake Weisert, 2021-2022
U.S. Department of State
Attending the Counterterrorism and Public Policy fellowship at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy was one of the most rewarding things I have done in my career. Having the opportunity to take a break from my daily job and spend time critically thinking about issues in National Security today, reaffirmed my passion for the career field. I realized how important it is to broaden your thinking and gain new perspectives. At Duke you are surrounded by brilliant and talented professors and students. Having the opportunity to mentor some of the students was my favorite part of the fellowship. I felt as though I finally found a way to give back what I have learned to the next generation. I experienced tremendous growth through my interactions with the students and learned a lot about myself as a leader. Finally, it was an honor to be selected and to work alongside other National Security professionals who will undoubtedly become future leaders within National Security.
- Jenny Arnold, 2020-2021
Senior Civil Servant, Department of Defense
The Duke Counterterrorism and Public Policy Fellowship afforded me an entire year to expand my strategic outlook beyond how the military views the world and learn from world-class professors and fellow students who pushed me to see the world through a different lens. The professors were active practitioners in their fields that brought today’s innovative research into the classroom to help students develop solutions for tomorrow’s policy problems. The brilliant students were collaborative and were always willing to question the status quo as we worked on papers and projects that integrated behavioral economics to news literacy lessons into solutions for government, business, or societal challenges. In a year that Duke’s Sanford Public Policy School could have let the global COVID-19 pandemic slow it down, it found inventive ways to connect the fellows and students with today’s national security and public policy leaders through collaborative zoom events. We may not have had the “normal” Duke experience, but I am walking away from this phenomenal academic experience better prepared to contribute to the Army as a future leader.
- LTC Randee Farrell, 2020-2021
Public Relations Officer, U.S. Army
My year at Duke University as part of the Counterterrorism and Public Policy Fellowship Program was an extremely rewarding experience. Even through the struggles of the COVID19 pandemic, the CTTP program provided opportunities for educational and professional growth that I hadn’t received during my career in the military. As a strong science backgrounded professional, the American Grand Strategy program broadened my perspectives as a future senior leader in the military. The caliber of guest speakers and senior national strategy professionals was truly astounding and memorable. This year allowed for a recalibration of priorities to both my family and my career.
- LTC Tina Hayes, 2020-2021
Nuclear Counterproliferation and Countering WMD Specialist, U.S. Army
What a unique and amazing experience to have the opportunity to spend a year at Duke University learning from exceptional faculty, interacting with amazing students, and being personally enriched both personally and professionally. I had high expectations for the Army War College Fellowship here at Duke University inside the Sanford School of Public Policy and the Counter Terrorism program exceeded them. I leave here a better military officer!
-COL Jon Harvey, 2020-2021
Field Artillery Officer, U. S. Army
To step away from my normal diplomatic and federal agent duties and spend a year at Duke expanding my focus, knowledge and strategic understanding of geopolitical events was truly a once-in-a-career opportunity. I jumped into the academic lifestyle, excited at the course offerings and all the events surrounding the CTPP program. Even in the midst of the pandemic with weekly Covid-19 testing, the rigorous pace of classes continued. I was fortunate to attend all but one of my classes in person with dedicated instructors. I met with and mentored dozens of Duke undergraduate and graduate students, who were eager to learn more about my career and working in the State Department. Truly, all rising or established leaders should pass through a program such as the CTPP Program at the Sanford School to take the moment to think strategically about their craft and understand new approaches and methods to their profession.
- Margalit Murray, 2020-2021
Supervisory Special Agent, Department of State
Rarely does life offer us dedicated time to improve ourselves, establish meaningful relationships, reflect on past experiences, and codify thoughts about our nation, the political process, and national security. The Duke Counter-Terrorism and Public Policy fellowship did just that. It was one of the most impactful experiences of my career and opened my eyes to new ideas and perspectives. I made lifelong friendships with other fellows and students that will undoubtedly endure the test of time. One of the most rewarding things about this program is the ability to connect with and mentor young professionals that are starting their journey in public policy and eager to make a difference in the world. Thank you to the Sanford School and Duke University – Go Blue Devils!
- COL Matt Ross, 2020-2021
Special Operations Officer, U.S. Army
I am incredibly appreciative to Duke University faculty and staff for providing a rich academic experience that facilitated not only the opportunity to become more informed on complex national security issues but also the freedom to interact and develop meaningful friendships with fellows, students and faculty that I will cherish throughout my life. The experience will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of my career and truly has contributed to my growth as a professional within the FBI. I look forward to revisiting Duke in the future and being involved in all the fantastic programs the Counterterrorism and Public Policy fellowship at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy provides!
- Matt Whittemore, 2020-2021
Supervisory Special Agent, FBI
Imagine a year of your life committed to developing you as a strategic thinking and senior defense leader. Duke University and the Sanford School of Public Policy committed the entire institution - the staff, faculty, resources, time, and attention - to my development. The U.S. Army War College Fellowship at Duke University should be the model for building our nation's senior defense leaders. Every place I went or endeavor I sought I was met with the open arms of an institution focused on investing in me. This year has truly been a lifetime-rewarding experience. Duke does it right.
- COL Dave Butler, 2019-2020
My year at Duke University, as an Army War College Fellow in the Counterterrorism and Public Policy Program (CTPP), was among the most rewarding and transformational experiences of my career. The Sanford School’s American Grand Strategy (AGS) program and faculty, including former national security heavyweights Dr. Peter Fever (National Security Council ’93-’94 and ’05-’07) and General (Retired) Martin Dempsey (18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff ’11-’15), challenged my military assumptions daily. Engagements with recent national security leaders such as Denis McDonough (26th White House Chief of Staff), Andrew McCabe (Acting Director FBI 2017), Samantha Power (28th U.S. AMB to the UN), and John Bolton (27th U.S. National Security Advisor) broadened my appreciation of the national security landscape. The Fuqua School / Coach K Center on Leadership and Ethics (COLE) Leadership Summit provided me the personal opportunity engage with elite organizational leaders like Coach Mike Krzyzewski, Len Komoroski (CEO Cleveland Cavaliers), and Paxton Baker (Minority Owner Washington Nationals). I am very grateful for the world-class education, research support, and family opportunities on campus (Duke football and basketball games) this year. This program provided newfound national security appreciation, important relationships, and prepared me well for strategic leadership within the U.S. Army and Department of Defense; it truly was the experience of a lifetime.
- COL Ed Croot, 2019-2020
I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Duke. The Counterterrorism and Public Policy Fellowship Program provided me opportunities and experiences that I will never forget. From having breakfast with Coach K, to visiting Oak Ridge National Lab, the program provided a wide and diverse range of experiences that have broadened my perspective and sharpened my professional abilities. This program has left an indelible mark on both my personal and professional life.
- Aaron Honey, 2019-2020
Dept. of Defense Civilian
The Counterterrorism and Public Policy Fellowship Program at the Sanford School of Public Policy allowed me to step away from the demands of uniformed service and examine contemporary public policy issues, reflect upon the military’s role in these issues, and contemplate the relationship between the profession of arms and other public policy and national security fields. It also presented opportunities to engage with the next generation of inspiring young Americans. Duke’s world-class faculty facilitated my research. The fellowship incorporated extracurricular engagement through the American Grand Strategy program, with an impressive lineup of trips and guest speakers. Through the entire year, I existed in a challenging academic environment of mixed opinion and well-argued positions, which emphasized the importance of being well-informed and open to different perspectives. Most importantly, the program afforded time to enjoy my family and develop my personal life while growing professionally. I have nothing but complementary things to say about the program staff, the faculty at Duke Sanford, the students, and my cohort in the fellowship.
- COL Matt Gomlak, 2019-2020
Serving as an Army War College Fellow at Duke University was one of the most valuable experiences of my Army career. The Counterterrorism and Public Policy Fellowship surrounded its members with world-class faculty, brilliant students, unbelievable facilities, and extraordinary access to Duke-sponsored events. Welcomed into every class, Fellows offered their unique experiences to enrich small group discussions with students and professors. Fellows also educated many Duke faculty and students unfamiliar with life in the military. The Duke University Program in American Grand Strategy provided Fellows the opportunity to meet with influential national security leaders and participate in exclusive guided tours across the US. Experienced program advisors encouraged me to blend national security classes with other courses interesting to me. That approach allowed me to take innovative courses in economics, philosophy, and psychology that were extremely rewarding and insightful. Helping families regain work-life balance, the program allowed Fellows more time to think deeply about contemporary and historical national security and leadership issues. If given the chance to attend Duke University as a War College Fellow—DO IT!
- LTC Mike Mourouzis, 2019-2020
Working as a national security professional, I often looked back on my academic experience and wondered how I'd do things differently, given the practical knowledge I'd accumulated. The Counterterrorism and Public Policy Fellowship program gave me the opportunity to study complex policy issues and to conduct research on behalf of my organization. The strength of the CTPP's program is in its uniqueness. A fellow is a student, researcher, liaison to other professionals, organization representative to Duke, and mentor to prospective national security professionals. The experience was enhanced by a full-time schedule where 100% of my time was devoted to classes, assignments, projects and events which provided a great education. Counterterrorism, national security, counterintelligence and leadership issues were explored in depth with outstanding professors and students. The program's value lies in the regular interactions with students, faculty, staff, and guest speakers in classroom and practical settings on Duke's impressive campus. It was a career-enhancing program that will serve me well in the future. The experience with the five other fellows was a great one and I appreciated all of their talents, experiences, and camaraderie. My family and I greatly enjoyed our stay in Durham visiting the restaurants, playgrounds, bike trails, and kid-friendly museums on a regular basis.
- Neil Reedy, 2019-2020
My time in the Counterterrorism and Public Policy Fellowship Program (CTPP) was among the most rewarding experiences of my career. Fellows are introduced to a broad array of national security officials and topics that provide a vastly diverse view of our nation’s policies. The program balances historical case studies, current events and emerging challenges faced by policy makers and the intelligence community charged with defending our nation.
The small group interactions with top tier officials through the fellow’s participation in the Triangle Institute for Security Studies (TISS) and the Duke University Program in American Grand Strategy (AGS) provided me the perspective and experience to be much more prepared and comfortable interacting with senior government civilians. The day after I completed the program I met with senior civilians within the Department of Defense. I was able to interact with Deputy Assistant Secretaries of Defense on strategic topics with much greater understanding of their positions and concerns due to my experiences during the fellowship. Up to this point in my career I primarily focused on how to accomplish assigned missions. I now have a better understanding of the factors to consider when advising policy makers not only what the military can do, but how to help assist when determining what we should do.
The program also provides limitless opportunities to fully integrate Army War College officers and their families into Duke University through countless graduate student, veterans, and service organizations. Fellows have access to world class leadership forums, recreational facilities, athletic programs and events. The Duke CTPP has undoubtedly challenged me while enhancing my understanding of strategic national security policy and preparing me to continue to serve as a senior leader in the U.S. Army.
- COL Shane Finison, 2018-2019
Completing my Senior Service College year at Duke’s Counterterrorism and Public Policy Fellowship has been an incredible experience. Duke’s world-class faculty and exceptional student population challenged me throughout the year to become a strategic thinker and better leader. As Army War College Fellows, we were welcomed into the Sanford School’s family and given unparalleled access to all that the school offered, especially their remarkable guest speaker program. Duke faculty and students valued fellows’ experiences as practitioners of the military art and we were able to lend experiential insights to national security and military subjects, enhancing the discourse. Through frequent engagement and outreach opportunities, we were also able to represent the value that the military places on education and learning to our civilian counterparts and to better inform the many Duke graduates entering into public service or private sector leadership about the military profession. Finally, the year provided us the ability to think deeply about subjects that are important to us and to reset our work-life balance before returning back to the professional demands that tend to detract from extracurricular pursuits and from time focused on family. The year has absolutely exceeded expectations and I’m thankful for the opportunity.
- COL Mike Rose, 2018-2019
The US Army War College fellowship at Duke University was a tremendous opportunity to be surrounded by talented, energetic and driven students in classes that were taught by leading academic professionals. After 21 years in the military it was refreshing to be immersed in a challenging environment so different than my previous academic settings. It was professionally rewarding and broadening to take classes in the Sanford School of Public Policy and the Fuqua School of Business. Duke University hosts numerous senior military and civilian leaders and often, prior to their public speaking events, the Fellows have arranged small group sessions. Some of the notable visitors were General Dunford (Chairman of Joint Chiefs); Former Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright; General (R) Stanley McChrystal; General (R) and Former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly just to highlight a few. While attending classes in the Fuqua School of Business I had the opportunity to hear from senior business leaders from companies such as Amazon. We had an amazing opportunity to attend Fuqua/Coach K Center on Leadership & Ethics (COLE) Leadership Summit that hosted over 25 top business executives from the military to basketball general managers. The event culminated with a small group discussion with Coach K about leadership and what he’s observed in the coaching profession and the changes he makes to keep pace with the millennial generation players. The CTPP program has countless benefits for each Fellow especially with the opportunity to tailor the coursework around professional interests.
- COL Joe Blanton, 2018-2019
The fellowship at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy has been an extremely rewarding and fulfilling life experience. I mostly appreciated the opportunity to delve deeper into a wide range of national security topics through my coursework and through personal interaction with an outstanding range of top-tier national security officials who visited Duke and shared their experiences with us—often in small-group settings. In addition, I chose a Fellows Strategy Research Paper topic focused on Morocco’s counterterrorism program which tied together many aspects of my academic year. For example, during the fall semester I took courses on Africa and Middle East politics; my Middle East Politics professor was from Morocco and served as my faculty advisor; I discussed my project with Duke’s Representative for Muslim Affairs, Abdullah Antepli; and—best of all—I participated in the American Grand Strategy Program’s Operation Torch Staff Ride to Morocco where, in addition to meaningful interaction with fellow Duke students, faculty, and alumni, I met with U.S. Embassy staff in Rabat. In sum, the fellowship at Duke equipped me with a rich and deep understanding of national security issues that will serve me well as a strategic leader in the U.S. Army and beyond.
- COL Jamie Cogbill, 2018-2019
My year as a military fellow at Duke University was the most productive and rewarding educational experience of my career. I was initially unsure about pursuing a fellowship, but quickly discovered the inherent value in surrounding myself with accomplished academic professionals and serious, focused students. The readings and class interaction were challenging despite having served 27 years in uniform. Furthermore, having the opportunity to interact one-on-one with people instrumental to national security really brought the material we’d studied to life in a way I didn’t anticipate.
On a personal level, having the chance to have such a predictable schedule could not have come at a better time. We knew that having our oldest attend college this year out-of-state would be stressful, and we also knew that I would be deployed again next year. This year allowed us to acclimate to the change in our family and to really reinforce family bonds prior to the deployment. Given the opportunity, I would strongly suggest this fellowship to any officer qualified to pursue it for professional and personal fulfillment.
-COL Scott Rawlinson, 2017-2018
My experience as an Army War College Fellow at Duke University far exceeded my expectations. This year was both professionally rewarding and personally enriching. My time at Duke allowed me to work on very specific goals for my coming command, while also pushing me academically and challenging me to grow and expand my horizons. The opportunity to access all educational disciplines at Duke and the surrounding universities, coupled with a world renown faculty, an incredibly talented student body, and a phenomenal guest speaker series, provided an unparalleled learning experience. At the same time Duke University and all its faculty took great care of my wife and I, allowing us to regain balance in our lives at a critical time. I’m so thankful to the Army War College staff and the Duke University faculty, staff, and students for making this such a worthwhile year.
-COL Nate Prussian, 2017-2018
The Counterterrorism and Public Policy Fellowship was truly a career enhancing experience professionally and personally. Access to a top academic institution like Duke University, with all its academic resources, was incredible and provided an unmatched opportunity to hone critical thinking and communications skills. Faculty and students welcomed us at every opportunity and adopted us as peers and friends. The interaction with professors and classmates certainly challenged my beliefs and made me a better communicator. The practicing policy makers and professionals that the fellows interacted with were astounding. From Lisa Monaco and John Podesta to GEN (R) Dempsey and the current Joint Special Operations Command Commander and Command Sergeant Major, the insights from small group conversations with these professionals offered rare insights and was invaluable to understanding how our government works. My experience at Duke certainly helped me better appreciate the challenges involved in formulating and implementing public policy, which will serve me well as a deputy operations officer at the Joint Special Operations Command, and as a Joint force officer.
-COL Gabe Barton, 2017-2018
My AWC Fellowship experience at Duke University far exceeded my expectations. My desire to attend this fellowship was threefold. First, to take part in a wide variety of classes expanding my understanding of the National Security environment. Second, to meet many people with a wide variety of experiences and education. Third, to spend time reuniting with my family and preparing my son for college. All three desires were met. The faculty, students, and guest speakers were some of the most professional, scholastic, and brilliant people I have ever been around. The opportunities to be a part of the many programs at Duke were endless. The fellows' ability to bring real world experience into the classroom, mentor other students, and promote a positive impression of the Army was tremendous. My wife and I were afforded the time to participate with our son’s college application process and selection, and ultimately celebrate his acceptance of an appointment to the US Coast Guard Academy. I am very thankful to the great AWC staff, the Duke students, and to the Duke faculty for making this year one of my most rewarding experiences.
-COL James McGahey, 2017-2018
The US Army War College fellowship at Duke University provides a unique, challenging, and rewarding experience for Army leaders. The program’s focus on counterterrorism and national security in a world-class academic learning environment adds unique strategic perspective to military practitioners, who will return to the field to lead and command service members around the globe. I truly appreciated the opportunity to interact with highly intelligent, well-informed undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty. These individuals challenged my critical thinking skills and forced me to view tough problems with a new lens. I was encouraged by the caliber of Duke University educators. Many of the faculty served in various high level governmental, non-governmental, and private sector entities before joining the academic team. Additionally, Duke attracts and schedules a number of former and current leaders from all three sectors. Speakers and guests interact candidly with the Duke community. In many cases, they seek input from students and faculty on some of their toughest problems. The opportunity to research, write about, and present a strategic topic, with assistance from Duke research and academic professionals, created an incredibly enriching environment. My experience at Duke altered my perspective on several strategic topics. Duke allowed me to explore areas, relevant to leading service members at the operational and strategic level. Finally, I cherish the relationships I built in the program, which I plan to leverage in future leadership roles.
-COL Matthew Weinshel, 2016-2017
Before starting the Fellowship I was convinced that I wanted to write about the Civil-Military Divide -- the sense that over the last decade and a half, 'the Army was at war, but America was at the mall.' I was also convinced that this statement cut both ways: that while a variety of factors have isolated military communities since the end of the Cold War, we in the military weren't doing much to try to bridge that gap. I believed the Fellowships were a perfect opportunity to do just that--to expose bright young Americans to career military officers, providing opportunities for both sides to challenge and learn from each other. I could not have been more pleased with the result--I have formed lifelong relationships with young Duke students and their families who, frankly, we now consider family. I have run a Marathon and obstacle course with them, we've shot all manner of guns, and we've hosted them at our house several times. They have cooked meals and baked cookies with my wife, curled up and watched movies on the couch with my boys, and they traveled out to Colorado this Summer to visit us for our change of command. On top of that they never pass up an opportunity to educate me regarding just how ill-informed and incorrect I am! None of this would have happened at Carlisle Barracks and I'll be forever grateful for the Fellowship opportunity.
-COL Lawrence G. Ferguson, 2015-2016
The Counterterrorism and Public Policy fellowship experience exceeded all expectations! Access to a world class institution like Duke, with all its academic resources, was incredible and provided an unmatched opportunity to learn about subjects normally unavailable in the military’s resident institutions. Faculty and students welcomed us at every opportunity and adopted us in the classroom as fellow Blue Devils. The interaction with professors and classmates certainly broadened my exposure to concepts and ideas not usually found within the sometimes cloistered life of the military. My experience at Duke certainly helped me better appreciate the challenges involved in formulating and implementing public policy, which I have put to good use participating in the development of strategic guidance for the Army in my current job on the Army staff.
-COL Geoff Stewart, 2015-2016
"This experience was 100% about relationships - and I continue to value the connections I was able to make with Duke faculty and students outside of the traditional Sanford school network. Even now, as the commander of a Stryker Brigade Combat Team, it is rare that a week goes by that I don't reference an experience or conversation from my time in the fellowship program. Sometimes it is a discussion on media coverage that I picked up from Phil Bennett, or a leadership discussion from Sanyin Siang and Joe LeBoeuf from Fuqua, or trying to decide how we force the future of Army technology from Michael Clamann and Missy Cummings - each one of those relationships has an impact on the leaders and soldiers of the Ghost Brigade and the Army.
-COL Jasper Jeffers, 2015-2016
Four years after the experience, I view my decision to become a Duke CTPP fellow as one of the best things I have done, professionally and personally, in my 25 year career. The greatest thing about the Duke fellowship is the people. Those "people" are a diverse group. They begin with world class Duke faculty and staff who manage the fellowship program. Then you have your cohort of military fellows. I formed life-long friendships through study and work with leaders from other services. In several cases, I have seen the same people again on the battlefield or on staffs in Washington, DC. Then there are the students. The Duke CTPP fellowship is unique from some of the other military programs because you attend classes with both the graduate and undergraduate students. When I arrived to the program I felt like I was an "out of the box" thinker. The reality is I was a middle aged military dude and hadn't been thinking out of the box for years. The thoughtful, intelligent perspectives from many of the students and faculty expanded my thought process, re-assured me of the exceptional intelligence and grit of today's young men and women, and made me a better military leader.
Since the Duke fellowship, I have served in the Pentagon for the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict (ASD SO/LIC), served at the Joint Special operations Command as a Deputy Operations Officer, and currently command the East Coast SEAL Teams. The lessons I learned and the connections I made as a Duke CTPP fellow have benefitted me at every turn. I continue to lean on advice and perspective from faculty within the fellowship, the Sanford School of Public Policy, Fuqua and Duke Law. If you have an opportunity to participate in this Duke CTPP fellowship then don't hesitate - this is a MUST DO. You will emerge a better educated, intelligent and diverse military professional and leader.
-CAPT Jamie Sands, 2013-2014
Incredible broadening opportunity that spans opportunity and access to an influential community of faculty and students alike. Both the Sanford and Fuqua schools at Duke are the best at what they do. Duke’s first class faculty delivers content of value to all who experience it. A program I will not soon forget and one I look forward to leveraging in the future.
-COL Nate Hunsinger, 2013-2014