CGSC Graduation Awards


The General George C. Marshall Award was created in 1960 in honor of Marshall to be presented to the distinguished graduate in each regular CGSOC class. The award recognizes scholarship and leadership, pays homage to one of America’s most honored soldiers and serves as a lasting incentive to officers attending the college. – Sponsored by the CGSC Foundation

The General Dwight D. Eisenhower Award was established in 1969 by the Henry Leavenworth Chapter of the Association of the United States Army as the “International Award,” recognizing the distinguished international officer graduate of each class. Later that year, with the consent of Mrs. Dwight D. Eisenhower, the International Award was renamed for the former general and U.S. president. The award honors military scholarship and is held in the highest esteem by the winners and the nations from which they come.– Sponsored by the CGSC Foundation

The Colin L. Powell Interagency Student Award recognizes the distinguished interagency graduate of each class.– Sponsored by the CGSC Foundation

The General George S. Patton Jr. Master Tactician Award recognizes that the intricacies of modern warfare have reinforced the Army’s need for exceptional tacticians at all levels. To provide a challenging academic forum for students demonstrating a special aptitude for tactics, the college inaugurated the Master Tactician Program with the 1982/83 class. This demanding extracurricular activity requires nominees to prepare a detailed tactical concept of operation predicated upon a corps-level scenario, and submit to a rigorous oral defense of their plan before a panel of experts.– Sponsored by the CGSC Foundation

The Major General James M. Wright Master Logistician Award recognizes that the intricacies of modern warfare have reinforced the Army’s need for exceptionally competent logisticians at all levels. To provide a challenging academic forum for students demonstrating a special aptitude for logistics, the college inaugurated the Master Logistician Program with the 1982/83 class. This demanding extracurricular activity requires nominees to prepare a detailed logistical plan predicated upon a corps-level scenario and submit to a rigorous oral defense of their plan before a panel of experts.– Sponsored by the CGSC Foundation

The General Douglas MacArthur Military Leadership Writing Award was established in 1985 to encourage and recognize scholarship and professional writing on leadership. The Douglas MacArthur Foundation in Norfolk, Va., sponsors this award and the Center for Army Leadership administers it.

The General John J. Pershing Award recognizes the top graduate in each CGSOC Distance Learning class.

The Major General Hans Schlup Award was established in 1997 to recognize and promote the significance and importance of international relations developed through the network of friends and professional acquaintances at CGSC in the international military student community. The international student must be a current resident student at CGSOC and must be recommended for the award by another resident student. The selection board considers the student’s overall CGSOC performance, the submitted nomination form for content quality, and participation in the DoD Informational Program.– Sponsored by the CGSC Foundation

The Excellence in Joint Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (JC4I) Writing Award recognizes the student who excels in research and writing on the subjects of JC4I. This competition is open to both CGSOC and School of Advanced Military Studies students. The Kansas City Chapter of Armed Forces Communications Electronics Association awards a plaque for the best essay at graduation.

The Birrer-Brookes Award for Outstanding Master of Military Arts and Science Thesis is presented to the author of the most outstanding MMAS thesis in each CGSOC graduating class. To compete, students must be nominated by the chair of their thesis committee and submit a complete copy of their thesis. A panel from CGSC’s graduate faculty evaluates the thesis on depth of research, substance of argument and strength of composition. The award, a CGSC chair provided by the CGSC Foundation, is named for the architects of the MMAS program, Dr. Ivan Birrer and Dr. Philip Brookes.– Sponsored by the CGSC Foundation

The Homeland Security Studies Award recognizes excellence in homeland security research. Resident CGSOC and SAMS students compete by submitting MMAS theses, monographs, written works comparable to a thesis or nontraditional works, such as computer simulations. The award, sponsored by the CGSC Foundation, recognizes the best thought or contribution to homeland security, homeland defense or defense support of civil authorities topics.– Sponsored by the CGSC Foundation

The Lieutenant Colonel Boyd McCanna “Mac” Harris Leadership Award goes to the student who excels academically and demonstrates superior leadership in class. The award is sponsored by Gary and Moira Sinise with a permanent endowment through the CGSC Foundation. (Moira Sinise is Lt. Col. Harris’ sister.)– Sponsored by the CGSC Foundation

The Iron Major Award was established in 2005 to recognize exceptional physical fitness. The award is presented to the U.S. and international students who finish first in a grueling series of events designed to test endurance and strength. The Iron Major Award is an M7 bayonet mounted on a plaque and is presented by the CGSC commandant.

The Arter-Darby Military History Writing Award, established in 1980, enhances professional scholarship by research and writing about the evolution of American tactical doctrine. Retired Lt. Gen. Robert Arter, a former deputy commandant, and former U.S. Sen. Harry Darby of Kansas City endow this award. This award for military scholarship is open to all CGSOC students. Interested students write a well-documented, historical master of military arts and science thesis or a thesis-length monograph for submission to an editorial board.

The Arter-Doniphan Award honors an American soldier and statesman whose life exemplifies the highest qualities of a member of the profession of arms. Col. Alexander W. Doniphan’s long and distinguished service in the Missouri militia included his heroic leadership in the Mexican-American War where he successfully campaigned his regiment more than 5,000 miles against forces far superior in numbers. The Arter-Doniphan award is presented to the member of the class who has earned the highest overall grade point average for the year and is sponsored by the Alexander Doniphan Committee.

The Simons Center Interagency Writing Award recognizes insight and fresh thinking in advancing the knowledge, understanding and practice of interagency coordination, cooperation, and collaboration at the tactical or operational level.– Sponsored by the CGSC Foundation

The Brigadier General Benjamin H. Grierson Award for Excellence in Strategic Studies recognizes excellence in strategic studies by students enrolled in the Strategist Program. Award selection includes recommendations from college staff and faculty, reviews of all grades, performance in the Strategist Program courses, a specific writing requirement and an oral comprehension examination. The Buffalo Soldier Educational and Historical Committee awards a replica of the Buffalo Soldier Monument at graduation.– Sponsored by the CGSC Foundation

The Father Donald Smythe Military History Award was created in 1989 to present to the best military history student. Candidates write a thesis-length paper on a historical topic and take at least two Combat Studies Institute electives. Selection is based on course performance, recommendations and the quality of the written work. This award, by recognizing excellence in the study of history, honors the memory of an esteemed scholar, Father Donald W. Smythe, who served as the John F. Morrison Professor of History from 1985-86.

The Excellence in Joint Service Warfare Award is presented to the student who contributes the most significantly to the study, implementation and spirit of joint service warfare. Additionally, the student must demonstrate proficiency in joint core courses, Joint Advanced Warfare Studies, attainment of an additional skill identifier in joint service warfare, participation in joint special operations areas of concentration, joint service warfare electives, publication of joint service warfare articles and completion of a master of military arts and science degree with a focus on joint service warfare or a comparable degree from another institution. The award is open to all members of the regular class. The award is endowed by the Military Officers Association of America.

Civilian and Military Instructors of the Year are nominated from the various departments and schools within CGSC based on their excellence in the four domains of teaching, service, scholarship and faculty development. The candidates are observed teaching and also interviewed by a five-member selection board. Once the winners are selected at the College level, they represent CGSC as nominees in the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command’s Educators of the Year selection process. Winners receive the coveted premium front row parking spots outside the Lewis and Clark Center entrance and a College chair from the CGSC Foundation. – Sponsored by the CGSC Foundation