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The Army has launched an open-to-all essay contest to gather bold and creative ideas related to the modernization of the U.S. military – specifically how our nation can understand and incorporate historical lessons into future warfighting and what the Army and Joint Force might be missing when considering tomorrow’s conflict dynamics.

The Army Mad Scientist Fall/Winter Writing Contest is sponsored by the U.S. Army Mad Scientist Initiative, which also runs the Mad Scientist Laboratory blog, a forum for crowdsourcing and sharing ideas about the future operational environment.

The two themes of this season’s writing contest are Back to the Future and Divergence.

The Back to the Future prompt asks contestants to explore how historical lessons learned can inform future conflict considerations, whether new technologies might revitalize past warfighting concepts and what surprises or disadvantages we might experience in future conflict that did not exist in past warfare.

The Divergence prompt seeks opinions on what the Army and Joint Force might be overlooking or getting wrong about the future of competition and conflict.

To be considered, contestants must submit an original essay of no more than 1,500 words on either prompt to madscitradoc@gmail.com by the Jan. 10 deadline. Winners will have their essays published to the Mad Scientist Laboratory blog.

In addition to selecting winners from the essay contest, the U.S. Army Mad Scientist Initiative will select a winner from individuals who tweet @ArmyMadSci with the most interesting bite-sized ideas or insights about modernization. Those who wish to participate via Twitter should include #MadSciBacktotheFuture or #MadSciDivergence in their tweets, depending on which theme they have elected.

For more information on how to enter the essay contest or Twitter challenge, please see full details and instructions available on the Mad Scientist contest webpage and APAN.


The U.S. Army Mad Scientist Initiative develops collaborative partnerships with academia, industry and government representatives; hosts conference and webinars with world-class experts and the nation’s premier learning institutions; engages innovators through a robust virtual ecosystem; and crowdsources ideas through writing programs and online wargaming.

The Army Mad Scientist Fall/Winter Writing Contest is supported by both the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command and U.S. Army Futures Command.

*Article and photo provided by Army Futures Command

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