Leadership/Command Philosophy and Interview Paper
Maj John Doe
Applied Leadership and Command
9 Dec 2014
Double-spaced and centered text for the cover sheet.
Use one-inch margins for top, bottom and sides.
12 pt Times New Roman font for the entire assignment
Insert the filename (per assignment instructions) in the header, aligned right.
Air Command and Staff College
Maxwell AFB, AL
The introduction to this paper should provide a summary of the topics the author will
cover and should not exceed more than 10 percent of the assignment total word count. The body
of the paper should cover three key elements: the author’s leadership philosophy, a summary of
the author’s commander interview, and an analysis of the commander interview using the
author’s own leadership philosophy as a guide. This should be followed by a very short
conclusion to reiterate the author’s main points.
The body of the paper should flow smoothly between the three elements described above. There is no set formula for moving between required elements, but be sure to provide some
transitions. For example, you might move from your leadership philosophy to the commander
interview summary by something as simple as, “For the second part of this assignment, I
interviewed a squadron commander, who said her most difficult leadership challenge was…”
Don’t get too hung up on transitions between these elements, however based on past feedback,
we recommend using sentence transitions rather than section breaks (using headers to break the
paper into the requisite elements). The assignment “parts” should meld together in such a way
that is easy to follow.
Throughout the paper, appropriate citations must be utilized to accurately give credit
where credit is due. The ideas, concepts, and facts presented by others can provide valuable
support, but appropriate attribution is required. Failure to do so constitutes plagiarism, a serious
breach of both academic and professional standards that can bring “serious professional
repercussions.”1 Using the exact wording of another writer is acceptable provided it is
appropriately cited and identified in the text through open and closing quotation marks.
Similarly, using the ideas of other writers but changing the wording is also acceptable, again,
provided it is appropriately cited in the text. These in-text citations will require using endnotes.
An endnote is a citation method that allows authors to put references, comments, or
explanations at the end of a paper, and it is required in Air Command and Staff College (ACSC).
Details for formatting, placement and style are in the AU Style and Author Guide (AU-1). Within
the text of your essay, insert a superscript number at the end of a sentence.2 Use superscript
function within MS Word to properly format the endnote number. Past students have asked if
they should cite the interview with their commander, and if so, how to do it when the interview is
anonymous. AU-1 provides an endnote format that can satisfy both questions. Look in
Appendix A of the guide for “Interviews,” and you will find a suitable format. On the last
(separate) page of the essay, list the endnotes in numerical order, and in the format provided in
the AU-1. For example, I once interviewed a group commander who told me about a challenge
faced by his unit when another unit member’s family passed away while the member was
deployed.3 While this is a brief example, in your paper you should properly cite the source of the
information you gathered in your commander interview.
Finally, enjoy the course! As part of the curriculum, class members will have the
opportunity to review and discuss a selected number of their classmates’ essays. The time and
effort class members put into the assignment will not just benefit them, but it will be a part of the
learning experience of others in the class as well.
1. Air University, AU-1, Air University Style and Author Guide (Maxwell AFB, AL: Air University Press, April 2005), 137. Online, available at: http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/style/styleguide.pdf
2. Ibid., 129.
3. Interview with colonel from the National Air and Space Intelligence Center, 27 Nov 2014. Notes should be on the last page, and are not counted in the word or page count for your paper. They can be single-spaced. Additional formatting information is available in AU-1.