by Donovan Jackson
42nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs
10/9/2013 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. - -- Taking
a break from the daily rigors of Air Force academia, the Air Command
and Staff College competed against the Air War College in the second
annual Duel of The Schools competition Monday and Tuesday.
Events took place base-wide, providing excitement, relaxation and a competitive spirit for ACSC and AWC students.
"This friendly rivalry started three years ago," said Lt. Col. Dwayne
Lahaye, AWC student. "The Duel of The Schools competition is a great
break from the demanding academic routine for all of the students. The
AWC team was really fired up this year, and we are always looking
forward to competing against our much younger counterparts at ACSC."
According Lahaye, the Dual of The Schools competition is a "carry on"
from the Jim Thorpe Days competition, but at a much more economical
"In the past, the AWC would send students to participate in a
long-standing annual sports event called the Jim Thorpe Days," he said.
"Students would travel to Carlisle Barracks (Penn.) to compete against
the other senior military schools, like the Army War College and
National War College, in mental and physical challenges. However, due to
serious budget constraints in the past couple of years, the AWC began
reaching out to its neighbor ACSC for fun competition hosted locally at
Events for the competition ranged from the physical, such as tennis,
cycling, and running, to the cognitive, such as Jeopardy and chess.
"I really enjoyed all of the events, but my favorite was the 5K run,"
said ACSC student Navy Lt. Cmdr. Jonathan Farley, an F-18 Hornet pilot.
"This event really helped to bring the colleges together while
encouraging us to get to know one another on a competitive level."
Aside from being an enjoyable time, the competition provided the
opportunity for international officer students to participate in
friendly, American competition.
"I really enjoyed the competitive spirit of my American colleagues,"
said Col. Marco Lant, member of the Italian Air Force and AWC student.
"I feel that a competition such as this helps to build our relationships
and partnerships amongst each other, but most importantly, our
AWC class president, Col. David Drichta, said that the competition helps to bring a "level of balance" to the academic year.
"We are all here for a year of professional military education, and
competitions like the Duel of The Schools gives us a chance to refresh
ourselves before hitting the books again," said Dritcha. "You can only
study for so long; it's nice to get out and have a little fun with
After the scores for each individual event were counted, ACSC rose
victorious over AWC, bringing home a trophy and bragging rights until
next year's event.