Author Submission Guide


Military Review sponsors two publication venues for writers concerned with military affairs—

  • Military Review, a publication published in hard copy (also posted online coincident with physical publication). Military Review publishes several categories of material described as follows: research articles, generally between 3,500 to 5,000 words in length, that are supported by research detailed endnote sourcing; insight articles, also generally between 3,500 to 5,000 words in length, that provide insights derived from personal experience and observation; book review essays that are generally 2,000-3,000-word discussions of new books; and book reviews that do not exceed 800 words; and, letters to the editor, generally of about 500 words. Military Review also occasionally publishes specialty material such as war poetry or film reviews.
  • Military Spotlight (a derivative publication sponsored by Military Review), is published exclusively online. Military Spotlight publishes research and insight articles (3,500 to 5,000 words), but does so in an expedited manner to support timely discussion on emerging time sensitive issues.

The intent of both publications is to provide venues for research, reportage, and discussion on a broad range of topics related to military affairs, especially with regard to what is widely termed the operational level of war.  Both strive to provide venues for expression of clear thinking by knowledgeable writers on important issues to be read with ease and pleasure by both the community of military professionals as well as a broad general audience. However, the major differences between Military Review and Military Spotlight are as follows:

  • Unlike Military Review, Military Spotlight only publishes research and insight articles;
  • Articles published in Military Spotlight are archived on line and are not published in hard copy;
  • Articles are published as quickly as possible (usually within a few days of submission and acceptance) instead of the rather lengthy wait that usually accompanies publication in hard copy in Military Review (nine to fourteen months);
  • And, because the intent of Military Spotlight is to publish as quickly as possible, there is less scrutiny in terms of fact checking, and therefore, greater reliance on authors to ensure the veracity of their assertions of fact before submitting; and, less emphasis on photoimagery and artwork to support articles.

In every other respect, the same criteria as described below for suitability of publication under the imprimatur of the Army Press and Military Review apply for all articles submitted. Therefore, all articles will be juried the same based on the criteria described. However, the decision to publish in Military Spotlight as opposed to waiting for publication in Military Review is left to the author upon acceptance of the article for publication.

Consideration of Submitted Articles

Military Review seriously reviews and considers all submissions regardless of topic. However, Military Review places highest priority on publishing “tip of the spear” articles that introduce new concepts or provide fresh perspectives. As a result, well-researched, well-written, persuasive articles that espouse a view that differs from orthodox views rejected elsewhere for publication have a good chance of finding a home at Military Review.

All unsolicited manuscripts received at Military Review are reviewed “in the blind” by an editorial board that evaluates them without being apprised of who the author is. This is necessary to promote objectivity in the evaluation process. Military Review makes no final commitments to accepting a manuscript for publication until it has been thoroughly reviewed by an editorial board, and, as required, until revisions are made that satisfy Military Review concerns for accuracy and clarity, or that make the article conform to Military Review editing and publication conventions.

Notwithstanding, occasionally manuscripts with especially unique and original ideas that may suffer from requiring significant editing to bring them up to a professional publication standard in terms of clarity, development or improved organization are sometimes tentatively accepted for publication. The author of such articles must, however, agree to accept revisions to the manuscript under the guidance of the Military Review staff. Additionally, final acceptance of such special case manuscripts remains a Military Review prerogative based on the willingness and effort the prospective author shows in working with its staff together with assessment of the quality of the revised product with regard to suitability for publication.

When a manuscript has multiple authors, one point-of-contact (POC) needs to be clearly designated with the initial submission. To avoid confusion that results from multiple authors providing independent modifications of a manuscript to the assigned Military Review editor without consultation among them, the POC will be responsible for resolving with co-authors any issues related to manuscript revision as coordinated with Military Review.

As a matter of policy, irrespective of who the main author of an article may be asserted to be, Military Review will list in the by-line of each article the authors by rank order, from highest rank to lowest rank, when attributing authorship. Civilian authors will be listed by last name in alphabetic order after uniformed military authors. The biographies at the end the manuscripts will list the authors in the same order.

Area of Concentration. Military Review’s main area of orientation is the operational level of war (i.e., between the strategic and tactical levels of war). Therefore, the journal seeks mainly articles that address issues of concern to personnel who serve in either a command or staff capacity that deal with the planning and execution of campaigns to achieve strategic objectives, or related supporting topics. This provides for a broad spectrum of possible subjects for examination including dealing with leadership and management issues related to command of units above battalion level; interface with interagency and coalition partners; training and education; innovation; and, policy or doctrine formulation, among many others.

Preferred original research and insight gleaned from practical experience. Military Review prefers two types of articles: those based on original research from primary sources and those stemming from lessons learned via firsthand experience. Military Review also specifically seeks articles of a practical nature as opposed to abstract discussions lacking practical insights and concrete application.

Responsibility for Accuracy, Reliability of Research, and Originality. Authors are responsible for their manuscript’s accuracy and source documentation. Plagiarism is regarded as an unforgiveable sin.

Writing Style and Required Formatting Features

Military Review seeks articles that can be clearly understood by the reader. Such are usually characterized by precise, concise, and direct language written in active voice. The thesis of the proposed article should be clear, logically developed, and supported by sound reasoning and evidence. However, dullness of style is not synonymous with either erudition or professional writing; readers appreciate writing that is lively, accessible, and engaging. Consequently, elegant use of language is not discouraged if employed literary devices have an obvious purpose, including metaphorical flourishes; that is, that they are used skillfully to make the points of the author in an intriguing and fresh way, and are not merely exercises aimed at showcasing the author’s capacious erudition or vocabulary.

Authors should avoid the use of acronyms. As a rule, acronyms should be spelled out on first reference. Additionally, authors should avoid the use of professional cant; that is, arcane or extremely technical language unfamiliar to the average reader that would be more appropriate for specialized journals. Authors should take special care to eschew “Pentagonese” and bureaucratic jargon.

Artwork, Illustrations, and Photographs. Art is a powerful means of helping to tell the story of an article. Authors wanting to submit original photographs need to do so in JPEG format with a resolution of 300 DPI or higher. Submitted photos must be accompanied by a cutline (citation) identifying the date, location, unit or personnel and description of the action, and specifying who took the photo. The usual length of such supporting cutlines is between 25 and 50 words.

Copyright sensitivities with regard to submitted art, illustrations, and photographs require Military Review to insist that the origin of any art, illustrations, or photographs be identified. If artwork is copyrighted, the author must obtain copyright approvals and submit them to Military Review along with proposed manuscripts. As a general policy, Military Review will not use artwork or photo images it cannot attribute.

Article Formatting. Manuscripts should conform to the formatting as found in this manuscript sample. Authors should ensure there are no embedded macros in the document and no footnotes. Manuscripts that are submitted with macros, especially footnote or endnote macros, will be returned to the author to have them removed before resubmitting. The default settings in Microsoft Word are suitable. During the editing process, an author may be asked to use the “track changes” feature in Microsoft Word. A tutorial about this feature can be downloaded here.

Length of Manuscripts. The preferred length for feature articles is 3,500 to 5,000 words, or 15 to 25 typed, double-spaced pages. Military Review reserves the right to edit submitted manuscripts to conform to overall space requirements. Military Review will adjust article lengths based on available space in a given issue.

Editing style guide: To edit articles to industry-standard for professional publication, Military Review follows the professional writing and citation guidance outlined in The Chicago Manual of Style. For writing and citation guidance not addressed in Chicago, Military Review consults the Associated Press Style Guide and Department of Defense writing guidance, especially with regard to military acronyms and definitions.

Use of Endnote as opposed to Footnotes. Military Review prefers manuscripts that are clearly the product of conscientious research as demonstrated by comprehensive and accurate endnotes. Authors should not use footnotes nor should they submit a bibliography with their manuscripts. Authors should strive to reduce the number of endnotes to the minimum consistent with honest acknowledgment of indebtedness, consolidating notes where possible. Lengthy explanatory endnotes are discouraged and will generally by edited out. Use Arabic numbering not Roman numerals.

Automatic endnote feature. Authors should not use the automatic endnote feature of Microsoft Word, or any separate automatic endnote program, in the submitted manuscript. (This feature in Microsoft Word displays the endnote information when the cursor floats above the superscript endnote number.) The automatic formatting is not compatible with Military Review’s editing process or the graphic design software. Instead, authors should manually format the endnote numbers within the text in superscript, and then list the endnotes at the end of the manuscript. To assist in the editing process, authors should highlight in yellow the superscripted endnotes within the text. Manuscripts that use the automatic formatting for endnotes will be returned to the author without action. For a sample manuscript showing the correct format for endnotes, click here.

Biographical Sketch. Authors must enclose a brief personal biography. Such biographies might include significant positions or assignments; notes on civilian and military education together with degrees attained; and brief allusions to other qualifications that establish the credibility of the author with regard to the subject discussed in the article. Authors can find examples of biographies in recent editions of Military Review, or see the biography at the end of this sample manuscript.

Security Review of Manuscript Submissions

Military Review functions under the public affairs principle of “security review at source.”

Documents submitted by non-U.S. Government employees or contractors, or by non-American authors who are not associated with or in the employ of the U.S. Government, do not usually require a memorandum for record verifying a security review. For authors who are not employees of the U.S. government, a security review of a manuscript is usually not necessary unless the source material appears to be from a source inside the government that could represent an unauthorized breach of confidentiality; or, appears to be proprietary information of a private organization. It is incumbent on authors of such manuscripts to resolve any legal issues associated with such manuscripts prior to publication in Military Review.

For authors who are writing on subjects related to their areas of government expertise or work, it is the responsibility of authors who are in government service, and whose article may derive from government information accessed from a government work source, to ensure that manuscripts submitted for consideration receive the proper security review from appropriate government authorities at their places of work. This review should be done prior to the manuscript arriving at Military Review. In most cases, such a review should include a vetting by both the organization’s security officer and public affairs officer.

Manuscripts by U.S. military personnel on active duty or civilian employees of the Department of Defense or service departments are subject to the official clearance requirements of Army Regulation 380-5. This requirement applies mainly to documents that treat the activities or capabilities of specific military organizations; established tactics, techniques, and procedures; or technical subjects, open discussion of which has significant potential for exposing information that should be regarded as controlled.

Current Army policy stipulates that such manuscripts submitted for publication that discuss military subjects of a technical nature or a current organization, which are written by personnel working for the U.S. Government as an employee or contractor, must arrive at Military Review with a memorandum for record verifying security review by the writer’s organization of assignment. This memorandum should contain the words “This manuscript has been cleared for open publication and unrestricted distribution” and be signed either physically or electronically by the reviewing security authorities. It may be sent in hard copy accompanying a manuscript; it may be sent electronically as an Adobe PDF file with appropriate signatures and accompanying electronic versions of the manuscripts; or, it may be sent as an endorsement to a manuscript as part of a verifiable email chain that is electronically signed.

On acceptance by Military Review, manuscripts requiring memorandums for record may be subject to further review and clearance by the Department of the Army in accordance with current regulatory requirements. A decision concerning additional clearance will be made on a case-by-case basis by the Military Review staff.

Manuscripts that are characterized as opinion pieces, historical pieces, or pieces that do not discuss or deal with the specific current capabilities or tactics, techniques, or procedures of military units or organizations need not submit such a memorandum for record. Prudence and sensitivity to the need to restrict information will dictate when such a memorandum is required.

Evaluation Criteria. Evaluation is an unavoidably subjective process. However, in an effort to provide a sense of the standard upon which manuscripts are evaluated for suitability of publication at Military Review, the below noted questions are noted to help prospective authors evaluate the progress of their own manuscripts:

  1. Does the article contribute anything new to the literature of military affairs or security issues?
  2. Does the author of the article appear to know what he or she is talking about? Does the article accurately represent background facts and provide a credible examination of issues based on the facts presented?
  3. Is the article a product of original thinking, offering well-thought-out and well-researched alternate proposals, alternate viewpoints, or dissenting opinions with regard to issues of contemporary importance?
  4. Is the article well written? Does it move logically from a clear thesis through a well-developed argument using supporting evidence to yield persuasive conclusions?
  5. Does the use of obscure or arcane language, or overly ornate sentence and paragraph structure, make the article difficult for the average reader to follow or understand?
  6. Does the article use acronyms? Are they defined for the reader?
  7. Is the article written in a straightforward manner or does it give the impression that it has been written to impress colleagues rather inform and persuade readers?
  8. Does the article show evidence of significant research using accepted academic standards?
  9. Is the article the product of original research?
  10. If the article is not a product of original research, is it an effective synthesis of existing research, and has it yielded significant insight?
  11. Does the article offer plausible solutions to a problem or issue?
  12. Is research backed up by careful citations in the endnotes?
  13. Does the manuscript show significant reliance on questionable or spurious sources in its endnotes?
  14. If the manuscript is a historical article, do the issues associated with the historical events evaluated have any direct relevance to current events or the conditions of the current security environment?

Review Process.Military Review will send an acknowledgment to the author upon receipt of manuscript. Submissions not forwarded to our referees for further consideration are generally returned to the author within three to four weeks. For submissions sent to our referees, the review process can take six to eight weeks from date of receipt.

How to Submit a Manuscript. Unsolicited manuscripts may be submitted in two ways:

  1. The preferred method is as an attachment via email to the following inbox: The document should be saved in Microsoft Word (version 2007 or earlier) or some compatible file format. Do not submit articles directly to any named editor on the Military Review Staff.
  2. Manuscripts may also be submitted on a compact disk (CD). The manuscript should be saved in MS Word (version 2007 or later) and be accompanied by a paper memorandum that notes the name of the author, address, daytime phone number, and mailing address. The CD and memorandum should be mailed to the following address:

Army Press
Military Review
290 Stimson Ave, Unit 1
Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027

An author should carefully edit his text before submission; include his name, address, daytime phone number, and email address; and tell us what word processing program he used. Military Review will not accept any faxed or hand written/typed manuscripts.

Publication Agreement on Acceptance. Under our publication agreement, Military Review retains first publication rights for its English, Spanish, Portuguese, and any other editions of Military Review, including online editions. Except for time-sensitive articles, the normal time from acceptance to publication is six to eight months.

As an official Army publication, Military Review is not copyrighted; however, publication by Military Review gives the Combined Arms Center (Military Review’s higher headquarters) the right to reproduce and use the article for training and other official purposes.

Editors’ Prerogative. In the interests of length, security, clarity, and conformity with the stylistic standards of Military Review, the editor reserves the right to edit all manuscripts; however, editors will send substantive changes to the author for approval. When a manuscript is accepted and published, three copies of the journal, which features the article, will be sent to all authors.

Protocol Concerning Simultaneous Submission to Separate Publications. Authors should not submit a manuscript to Military Review while it is being considered elsewhere; nor should manuscripts be submitted that have been previously published elsewhere or that are already available on the Internet.

As a matter of professional industry-standard convention as well as common professional courtesy, authors should not submit a manuscript to a second publication until after Military Review has fully reviewed it and decided whether or not to publish it. Military Review will generally accept or reject a manuscript within 60 days of its receipt.

Evidence that an article has been submitted elsewhere concurrent with submission to Military Review, or that it has already been published or will soon be, are grounds for denying an author future consideration for publication in Military Review.