The Mighty Pen: Naval War College Announces Writing Prizes for 2019-2020

U.S. Naval War College museum in spring time

The U.S. Naval War College has announced the winners of its 2019-2020 writing awards.

Competition was fierce. A total of 138 students submitted 240 papers for consideration, and 79 faculty members participated in the judging.

Dean of Academics Phil Haun said that special commendation goes to students who wrote their award-winning papers in the spring, when students were asked to take classes and work from home amid the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The academic rigor of the Naval War College is in large part measured by the quality of the writing assignments submitted by our students for their academic core and elective courses,” Haun said.

“Writing equals thinking, and as Adm. Scott Swift once said, ‘Thinking is hard, and hard is authorized.’ The writing awards highlight the achievements of our most gifted critical and strategic thinkers,” he said.

The winning papers will be entered into the Defense Technical Information Center database to be made digitally available to future scholars and military students who can build upon the research presented this year. A number of these papers usually go on to be published in military and other scholarly journals.

The winners

  1. Robert E. Batemans’ International Prize Essay Award
    First Place: Capt. Rajat Kumar, Indian Navy, "Overhauling the U.S. Strategy in the South China Sea -- Contesting China's Territorial Claims."
    Honorable Mention: Cmdr. Frode Roete, Royal Norwegian Navy, "Supporting Vietnam in the South China Sea: 'To be soft is to be powerful.'"
  2. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Strategic Research Essay Competition
    Second Place (nationwide): Lt. Col. Matthew Kendrick Mulvey, USMC, "Helping Hanoi Keep the Dragon at Bay in the South China Sea."
  3. Admiral Richard G. Colbert Memorial Prize
    First Place: Cmdr. Michael Joseph Beer, USN, "NATO Strategic Relationships: A Balancing Strategy for NATO for to Engage Security Challenges."
    Honorable Mention: Lt. Stuart Kubota Douglas, USN, "DIME and the French Impact on the War for American Independence."
  4. The Diane M. Disney Writing Award
    Maj. Nicholas W. Gydesen, USAF.
  5. Vice Admiral James H. Doyle Jr., Military Operations and International Law Prize (U.S. student)
    First Place: Jason Chue, U.S. Department of State, "Stability through Transparency in Military Space Operations: Launching the Law of Armed Conflict into New Orbits."
    Honorable Mention: Maj. Albert Louis Evans III, USMC, "'Speech-Centric Targeting': Toward a Normative Framework for Targeting Speech in Armed Conflicts."
  6. The John J. D’Luhy Prize for the Outstanding Strategy and Policy Final Essay Given in Memory of Professor Michael I. Handel
    Winner: Cmdr. John H. R. Sellwood, Royal New Zealand Navy, “The Influence of Geography on Great-Power Competitions”
    First Honorable Mention: Lt. Col. Mirielle Petitjean, USAF, “Geography’s Impact on Great-Power Competition”
    Second Honorable Mention: Mr. Jason Southerland, Army Futures Command, “Geography, Economics, and Great-Power Competition”
  7. FAOA for Excellence in International Affairs
    First Place: Lt. Cmdr. Yuki Yagi, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, "An Analysis of the Motivation Behind Russia's Violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty."
    Second Place: Lt. Choilio Sanogo, The Armed Forces of Côte d'Ivoire, "USAFRICOM's Support to the Gulf of Guinea Countries."
  8. General George C. Kenney Award for Writing on the Topic of Airpower
    First Place: Lt. Col. Matthew Collins, USAF, "Beyond Tanker Adaptive Basing: Alternative Options to Improve United States Indo-Pacific Command's Air Refueling Readiness Posture and Extend Operational Reach."
    Honorable Mention: James Malachowski, USAF (Defense Senior Leader Development Program), "Don't Gamble on the Next Space Race: Win the Orbital Gray War Now."
  9. Victor "Brute" Krulak Marine Corps Association Foundation Award
    First Place: Maj. Michael W. Kohler, USMC, "The JFMCC and the Marine Corps: Integrate to Win the Black Sea Fight."
    Honorable Mention: Maj. Nicholas C. Harwood, USMC, "Fighting Our Way In: How the Marines Should Assist the Navy in Gaining Sea Control."
  10. Jerome E. Levy Economic Geography and World Order Prize
    First Place: Lt. Col. Gregory Gerard Keller, USAF, “Expanding the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement to Include Cooperative Exploration of the South China Sea."
    Honorable Mention: Capt. Rajat Kumar, Indian Navy, "The Decentralization Epoch - Repercussions for U.S. Grand Strategy."
  11. The Honorable Juliette C. McLennan Essay Prize for Women, Peace, and Security
    First Place: Lt. Cmdr. Laura K. Stegherr, USN, "Women in Blue Helmets: How Increasing Participation Creates Pathways for Peace."
  12. J. William Middendorf II Award for Student Research
    First Place: Cmdr. David Samuel Ostwind, USN, "Enhancing Domestic Catastrophic Incident Sealift."
    Honorable Mention: Lt. Col. John Gilvan Thorne, USAF, “Warriors and War Algorithms: Leveraging Artificial Intelligence to Enable Ethical Targeting."
    Honorable Mention: Maj. Ronald Edmund Bess, Jr., USMC, "Some Principles of Information Strategy: A Corbettian Approach in Today's Security Environment."
  13. Military Officers Association of America Award for Joint Service Warfare (College of Naval Command and Staff/College of Distance Education category)
    First Place: Maj. Mary Hossier, USAF, "'Such a Thing as a Military Problem': Lessons for Modern Warfare from the Origins of Professional Military Education."
    Honorable Mention: Maj. Edward Bachar, USA, "Operational Planning for Conflict Termination."
    Honorable Mention: Maj. David Matthew Bishop, USAF, "Logistics in Depth: An Operational Design for Logistics in a Contested Maritime Environment."
  14. Lt. Michael P. Murphy Counterterrorism Prizes
    First Place (international): Lt. Choilio Sanogo, The Armed Forces of Côte d'Ivoire, "Understanding Al Qaeda's Achievements for Preventing Future Successful Terrorist Organization."
    First Place (U.S.): Lt. Col. Stephen T. Messenger, USA, "The United States Does Not Negotiate with Terrorists -- Period...Does It?"
  15. Naval Submarine League Award
    First Place: Maj. Weijie Gabriel Choy, Republic of Singapore Navy, "Unrestricted Submarine Warfare in the Two World Wars: Insights for U.S. Strategy in the 21st Century."
    Honorable Mention: Lt. Michael James Hughes, USN, "Ensuring U.S. Maritime Supremacy in the Hidden Ocean."
  16. Naval War College Foundation Award
    First Place: Lt. Col. Marshalee E.M. Clarke, USMC, "China's Global Port Expansion: A Maritime Security Threat to U.S. Geographic Combatant Commands."
    Honorable Mention: Lt. Cmdr. Yuki Yagi, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, "An Analysis of the Sustainability of U.S. Forces and Japan Self-Defense Force in the East China Sea to Counter China."
  17. Matthew C. Perry Award for International Research
    First Place: Cmdr. John Henry Ross Sellwood, Royal New Zealand Navy, "Oil on Troubled Waters: The Strategic Goals of Chinese Oil Exploration in the South China Sea."
    Second Place: Lt. Col Mitchell Jay Cok, USAF, "Leading the Way: USINDOPACOM's Role Amid South Korean-Japanese Tensions."
  18. Mr. B. Franklin Reinauer II Defense Economics Prize
    First Place: Lt. Col. Richard M. Rusnok Jr., USMC, “Splitting the Check -- Military Cost and Burden-Sharing in the U.S.-Japan Alliance."
    Honorable Mention: Lt. Col. Matthew Kendrick Mulvey, USMC, "For National Security's Sake: Revisiting the 'Jones Act' 100 Years Later."
  19. Naval War College Surface Navy Association Award
    First Place: Lt. Cmdr. Christopher N. Pratt, USN, "Littoral Combat Ship SUW Mission Package - Surface Action Group."
    Honorable Mention: Lt. Cmdr. David Matthew Schaller, USN, "Operational Employment of the Littoral Combat Ship in Great Power Competition."
  20. The Capt. Walter B. Woodson NSC Award
    Winner: Lt. Cmdr. Blerim Hoxha, Albanian Navy, "What are the most important strategic advantages a country can reap from possessing command of the sea?"
    Honorable Mention: Lt. Cmdr. Pieterbas Peters, Royal Netherlands Navy, "What enduring lessons about war termination can be learned by comparing the Gulf war with other cases covered in the course?"
  21. Zimmerman-Gray Naval Staff College International Essay Award
    First Place: Maj. Wanling Tung, Republic of Singapore Navy, "ASEAN: A Potential Fulcrum for the Indo-Pacific Amidst Great Power Rivalry.”
    Honorable Mention: Lt. Choilio Sanogo, The Armed Forces of Côte d'Ivoire, "Deforestation: A Threat for the National Security of the Western Africa Countries?"
    Honorable Mention: Maj. Weijie Gabriel Choy, Republic of Singapore Navy, "Unravelling the Dragon: China's Interests and Implications on U.S. Strategy in the 21st Century."

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Jeanette Steele, U.S. Naval War College Public Affairs
June 08, 2020

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