DePuy Writing Competition

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2022 General William E. DePuy

Special Topics Writing Competition

This year’s theme is “Insights from Two Decades in Afghanistan”

The intent of this year’s DePuy competition is to highlight from a “boots on the ground” perspective what specifically the U.S. Army should learn from its twenty-year experience in Afghanistan. Possible topics might include the following: What faulty assumptions did leaders at all levels make that should be avoided in the future? What lessons should future senior military leaders learn from Afghanistan? How did the perception of success affect operational planning and assessments of progress? To what degree was Afghanistan a failure of mission-command or counterinsurgency doctrine? Any other salient topics that might be gleaned from an individual’s experience and point of view.

Cautionary note: Over the course of the next several years, the topic of U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan will likely be intensely examined, debated, and heatedly argued; primarily at the strategic level and among a host of entities both in and out of the military. In contrast, while Military Review (MR) will consider all submissions received, the DePuy contest has historically been a venue that places a premium on careful, impartial, and scholarly work in the practical pursuit of applicable lessons learned. MR has selected the 2022 topic specifically to take advantage of the wealth of relatively recent experience still resident in the active-duty or just-retired force for the purposes of practical learning. Consequently, the judges will be advised that preference will be given to articles where authors primarily discuss issues that outline lessons learned salient to the operational and tactical levels of conflict. Authors are advised to avoid attempting to use the contest as a forum for partisan/political-oriented assignment of credit and liability for the outcome of the Afghanistan Campaign.


Contest opens 1 January 2022 and closes 18 July 2022

1st Place $1,000 and publication in Military Review
2nd Place $750 and consideration for publication in Military Review
3rd Place $500 and consideration for publication in Military Review


For information on how to submit an entry, please visit





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July-August 2022