State of the Armed Forces

Council on Foreign Relations Military Fellows

State of the Armed Forces

Zoom Webinar

April 17, 2020 | 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Curtis R. Bass

Colonel Curtis R. Bass, of the U.S. Air Force, most recently commanded the 461st Air Control Wing at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia and the 609th Combined Air Operations Center in Southwest Asia. Bass is a master air battle manager with more than 2,500 hours in the E-3 AWACS and E-8 Joint STARS command and control aircraft. He has commanded at the squadron, group, and wing levels. He has served on the personal staff of the secretary of the air force, the commander of Air Forces Central Command, and the North American Aerospace Defense Command Operations staff. Bass received his commission in the U.S. Air Force from Mississippi State University Air Force ROTC. He holds a BA in international relations/international law from Mississippi State University, an MA in military operational art and science from Air University, and an MA in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College.

Michael J. Jackson

Colonel Michael J. Jackson, of the U.S. Army, has served as chief for information operations and special activities at the brigade, division, theater special operations command, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) operational, and global combatant command levels. Jackson is an information operations officer with extensive experience integrating information–related capabilities across the Department of Defense, within the whole of the U.S. government, with NATO allies, and with partner nations. His assignments include positions at the U.S. European Command, Special Operations Command Europe, NATO, First Armored Division, First Infantry Division, and Second Infantry Division. His overseas assignments include Germany, Portugal, Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, Jordan, and Kosovo. He earned a BA from Ohio University, an MS from Naval Postgraduate School, and an MMAS from the College of International Security Affairs.

Brian L. Sittlow

Captain Brian L. Sittlow, of the U.S. Navy, commanded Submarine Squadron 4 and USS Boise and has held a variety of other leadership positions throughout his career in the submarine force. Sittlow has conducted several deployments in the Atlantic, Arctic, and Pacific Oceans on fast attack and strategic ballistic missile submarines. He earned a degree in marine engineering from the Naval Academy, received an MA in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College, and was the first American to complete the Norwegian Submarine Command “Perisher” Course.

Maya Alexandri

Maya Alexandri is a novelist, lawyer, medical student, and 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. She is the author of The Plague Cycle (Spuyten Duyvil 2018), a short story collection, and The Celebration Husband (TSL Publications 2015), a novel. Her short stories have been published in The Magnolia Review, Coe Review, The Stockholm of Books, and many others. Her story, “Ann Noni Mini,” was nominated for a 2018 Pushcart Prize. After graduating from UCLA School of Law, Maya clerked for two federal judges and practiced at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering in Washington, DC, before moving to Beijing, China, and teaching law in the Temple-Qinghua Joint LLM Program. While based in China, she started a consulting practice. Clients included UNICEF, UNDP, UNAIDS, UNEP, Mercy Corps, and other organizations in China, India, Nepal, and Kenya. Maya began meditating in the vipassana tradition in 2012, and her meditation practice was instrumental in her decision to return to the U.S. and retrain. She is a recipient of the U.S. Army’s Health Professions Scholarship and is in the midst of her third year of medical school at the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra-Northwell. For more information, see



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