William & Mary’s Finest Succeed in Army War College Simulation

  • Army training certificate recognizing W&M PIPS interns following their War Game participation.
  • Chris Coelho '15 receives recognition from U. S. Army Lt. Gen. Keith Walker.
  • Amanda Brazzel '13 (center) accepts her certificate from Lt. Gen. Keith Walker with Chris Coehlo '15, Col. Toffer Beatty and Maj. Brandon Garner.
  • Eric Sawchak '14 receives his certificate from Lt. Gen Keith Walker, pictured with Col. Matt Dawson and Chris Coehlo '15.

At the conclusion of their summer internship at the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), three William & Mary students participated in the Unified Quest: Deep Futures Wargame at the Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pa.  Lt. Gen. Keith Walker recognized the students — Amanda Brazzel '13, Christopher Coelho '15, and Eric Sawchak '14 — for their outstanding work over the summer preparing for the simulation.  The students conducted research and wrote papers for the Human Dimension, Future Warfare, and Science and Technology Divisions of TRADOC’s Army Capabilities Integration Center (ARCIC).

The war game used predictions about future technological and political developments to assess challenges the U.S. Army will confront by 2030. The predictions were drawn from the National Intelligence Council 2030 study and other sources identifying trends in politics and technology.  In the war game, two teams simulated combat operations. The first team relied on technology available with current funding initiatives. The second team benefited from technology that could be ready by 2030 if the Army redirected or focused its resources. The war game revealed that maintaining a sufficient number of troops and a technological edge, especially in the area of heavy lift and energy-based weapons, was critical to success on future battlefields.

Initiated by Government Department Professor Kathryn Floyd, Managing Director for the Project on International Peace and Security (PIPS) E-internship Program, and Maj. Gen. William Hix, Deputy Director/Chief of Staff of ARCIC, this new internship opportunity for students is, according to Col. Kevin Felix, Chief of the Future Warfare Division, “a foundation for a broader partnership in learning between the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command and the College of William & Mary.  The students that participated in the inaugural program performed magnificently.”  Col. Felix added that “Incorporating as many insights as possible, including young thinkers, is an important aspect of what we do in the Future Warfare Division and we intend to offer opportunities to strengthen our partnership in learning.”

The students that participated in the PIPS-TRADOC internship gained invaluable experience.  “My internship at the Future Warfare Division provided me with unparalleled exposure to the full range of national security issues. The work I was given contributed directly to briefings given to senior Army leaders, including the Army Chief of Staff. It was an amazing experience that taught me how to think critically about real world issues, and helped me develop both academically and professionally," said W&M student intern Chris Coelho.

“We are delighted with the success of the TRADOC internship and look forward to further cooperation with the Command,” said Dennis Smith, Director of PIPS.  “Bridging the academic and policy communities in the area of undergraduate education in international security is one of the reasons we founded PIPS six years ago,” added Amy Oakes, PIPS Co-Director.

Based on the success of this summer internship, TRADOC is now participating in the PIPS E-internship program where students at the College telecommute to internships with international security related organizations during the regular academic year. 

The TRADOC internship highlights the impact that PIPS at W&M’s Institute for the Theory & Practice of International Relations (ITPIR) can have on students as well as partners.  It also speaks to PIPS’ core beliefs that rigorous policy-relevant research is a valuable component of a student’s education and undergraduates, when guided by faculty and members of the policy community, can make meaningful contributions to national security debates — their creativity and energy are untapped resources.  

ITPIR fosters student-faculty collaborations that advance scholarship and help shape international policy, while transforming students’ lives and realizing key strategic objectives of the university — collaboration and internationalization.

For information on the PIPS and all ITPIR programs visit the website www.wm.edu/itpir