AUSA National Essay Contest

The Association of the United States Army (AUSA) is a nonprofit educational and professional development association serving America’s Army and supporters of a strong national defense. AUSA provides a voice for the Army, supports the Soldier, and honors those who have served in order to advance the security of the nation.

AUSA’S JROTC Lieutenant General Theodore G. Stroup, Jr., Achievement Award

One prize of $1,000 and eight prizes of $500 will be awarded for a total of $5,000. Attendance and recognition at an AUSA Chapter event and a 2-year AUSA membership may also be included. This award honors LTG Theodore G. Stroup, Jr., formerly the Vice President of Education at AUSA. It is intended to recognize achievement in high school junior and senior JROTC cadets and to increase their awareness and appreciation of AUSA and the defense community as a whole.


  • Why: The purpose of the LTG Theodore Stroup, Jr., Achievement Award is to engage the next generation of Soldiers and DoD stakeholders at a young age, to promote their growth into mature members of the defense community and to build an awareness of AUSA.
  • What: This will be accomplished by an annual essay contest, open to JROTC students in their junior and senior years who hold an unweighted minimum GPA of 3.25. Each essay will be accompanied by an academic transcript and a letter of recommendation and will be focused on a matter relevant to current issues and/or military history in the defense world. The award, given to 3 contestants, consists of a monetary prize, and it may include attendance/recognition at an AUSA event and a two-year AUSA membership.
  • How/Where: With the assistance of U.S. Army Cadet Command, AUSA’s Education & Programs will push this opportunity out to JROTC programs nationwide, ensuring that awareness of the program’s benefits and of AUSA as a whole is made readily available to individuals who help to guide today’s JROTC Cadets as they choose their paths into adulthood.
  • When: We will begin accepting submission on 8 February 2021. Applications will be due no later than 9 April 2021. Winners will be notified by 3 May 2021.

2021 Essay Topic:

  • Read the following article: LTG James Dubik, “Rebalancing Needed to Preserve Apolitical Military,” ARMY Magazine, November 2019, 5–6:
  • Consider LTG Dubik’s definition of an apolitical military.
  • First, unpack and summarize his argument in your own words.
  • Next, evaluate and respond to his position. If you think it is correct, in what way(s)? If you think it is incomplete, what is missing? If you think it is wrong, why?
  • In light of this understanding, choose an event from recent (within the past few years) American history, and trace how one or more of Dubik’s three paradoxes played out in a particular circumstance.
  • Finally, in a spirit of personal responsibility, and an understanding that many of the evaluations of the military’s apoliticism or lack thereof are determined at a senior leadership level, consider what you can do to support the necessary effort to maintain an apolitical Army. Provide an example, either real or hypothetical, in which you encountered, or might encounter, a situation that calls for you to balance your duty as a Soldier with your civil liberties to hold political opinions in the democratic-republic that is the United States.
  • JROTC Application Sample


  • 800–1250 words
  • Times New Roman
  • 12-point font
  • Double-spaced
  • Include name, email address and JROTC Brigade on first page
  • Remember to cite all sources used—failure to do so is plagiarism.

Point of Contact:
Mrs. Alana E. Jewett, Assistant Director, Education & Programs
Association of the United States Army