The 2022 NSIN X-Force Fellowship is a summer internship program that provides undergraduate and graduate students and recent graduates a chance to serve their country by solving real-world national security problems in collaboration with the U.S. military.

The 2022 NSIN X-Force Fellowship launches today with 139 undergraduate and graduate students from 66 universities spending the summer embedded with operational military commands. These X-Force Fellows will use technical and entrepreneurial skills to deliver rapid, early-stage prototypes that help solve military mission partner problems.

As the DoD is innovating new ways to compete with private industry to attract top talent into its workforce, the X-Force Fellowship offers students an opportunity to work with the military and experience jobs in the defense innovation sector before they graduate. By building relationships between students and service members over the summer, the DoD receives ideas and solutions created in the fellowship from the nation’s greatest asset: highly talented undergraduate and graduate students.

“I am so excited for the chance to get real-world experience in my field. The opportunity means a lot to me because it shows my hard work in school is going to lead to a successful career,” said Cole Rodriguez, one of the fellows from the University of Houston. Rodriguez will help create a non-internet based mobile app and artificial intelligence and machine learning predictive models for speeding up the Air Force’s Rapid Risk Assessment process during his fellowship project, helping save the lives of warfighters by quickly identifying risk for inhaled chemical toxicity and providing chemical reference values to Airmen in austere environments.

NSIN X-Force Fellows will support Department of Defense (DoD) mission partners across all branches of service by applying diverse skill sets to 56 challenging, real-time national security projects. Each week, students meet with their military partners to identify pain points and better understand how to create feasible solutions for the DoD. Students will also attend a weekly speaker series where they will hear from professionals with experience in the public and private sector supporting the National Security Innovation Base. The cohort kicks off Monday, June 6, featuring a keynote from special guest Lauren Barrett Knausenberger, Chief Information Officer for the Department of the Air Force.

At the end of the program, X-Force Fellows deliver and demonstrate solutions to DoD partners with guidance for further development and iteration.

“I had a fantastic time working with my team and learning about the different projects happening throughout the X-Force Cohort,” said Gavin Morse, an X-Force alum from Washington University in St. Louis. “I learned a lot about working with people from different educational backgrounds than I. Different opinions and ways of looking at solutions are imperative for a project to [succeed]. Overall, I consider this summer [an] overwhelming success and would like to thank everyone involved!”

Follow the 2022 X-Force blog to learn about the Fellows experiences and progress.

“These fellows represent the next generation of the national security community. We need their diverse perspectives if we’re going to solve problems faster, better, and more holistically within the DoD,” said Emily Long, NSIN X-Force Fellowship program manager. “The students in this summer’s cohort have accepted the mission of national service by applying their unique insights and critical thinking skills toward solving real-world problems within national security. I am so impressed by the talent and drive in each and every one of our participants this year; I anticipate that we will see many amazing and innovative solutions come out of this year’s fellowship.”

About National Security Innovation Network (NSIN)

NSIN is a government program office within the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OSD(R&E)) that collaborates with major universities and the venture community to develop solutions that drive national security innovation. We operate three portfolios of programs and services: National Service, Collaboration, and Acceleration. Together, these portfolios form a pipeline of activities and solutions that accelerate the pace of defense innovation.

For more information about X-Force or to connect with a fellow, contact