In July 1995 the Editor of the Marine Corps Gazette, Col John Edson Greenwood, who retired from the Marine Corps in 1980 after 30 years of commissioned service and subsequently spent more than 20 years with the magazine, established a display in the Gazette offices honoring the Gazette’s “Fifty Year Club” for authors whose works had been published continuously for at least five decades. 

            Col Greenwood had enlisted in the Marine Corps at the age of 17 shortly before the end of World War II. In 1946 he received a Fleet appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy, graduating in 1950. During his career, he served in the Korean War and in Vietnam; commanded at the battalion, regiment, and MAU levels; taught at the Naval Academy; was aide-de-camp to LtGen Victor H. “Brute” Krulak, and military assistant to the Secretary of the Navy—the Honorable John W. Warner, Jr. As editor of Marine Corps Gazette, he was dedicated to advancing the professional journal as a forum for the exchange of ideas concerning the continuous evolution of Marine Corps capabilities. Toward this end, in October 1995 Col Greenwood sought to establish a program to “salute some of our younger authors who are making significant and continuing contributions to the intellectual side of the Corps,” and the Distinguished Marine Corps Gazette Authors group was first announced.


After more than 20 years, the Marine Corps Association and the Gazette re-establish stewardship of the Distinguished Authors Program with formalized criteria, certificates for the recipients, and a commemorative “perpetual award” to be maintained in the Gazette’s offices. The criteria to qualify for the certificate are to have published a minimum of 10 articles in the Gazette and to have accomplished one of the following achievements: placing in one of the Gazette’s annual writing contests, having at least one article published in another professional military journal, or publishing a book as either the primary author or as a contributing author, or editor.

            The new program will become a fixture of the MCA’s Annual Meeting. The leadership of the MCA and the Gazette fully expect this program to grow, and we invite all frequent contributors to the Gazette who believe they meet the established criteria to contact the Gazette editorial offices. Our intent is that recognition in this exclusive group of authors serves as an incentive to continue the Corps’ tradition of professional discourse and to inspire future thought leaders in our Corps.


            The following authors from among the original group of Col Greenwood’s day and today’s authors have met these criteria and are inducted into the Distinguished Authors Program.

            LtCol R. Scott Moore was the first author to be recognized in 1995. As an infantry officer, among his other command and staff assignments, LtCol Moore commanded 1st Battalion, 8th Marines at Camp Lejeune. Over the course of 16 years, LtCol Moore wrote numerous articles on topics including MAGTF operations, command and control, intelligence, and professional education. His works have proved uniquely durable, and many are as relevant today as when they were first written. On seven occasions, his articles were recognized either as prize winners in the MajGen Harold W. Chase Essay Contest or as recipients of the MajGen Edward A. Wilcox Professional Writing Award.

            LtGen Bernard E. “Mick” Trainor enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1946 and was commissioned in 1951. He served in the Korean War with 1st Battalion, 1st Marines and two tours of duty in Vietnam—first as an advisor and later commanding 1st Battalion,  5th Marines and the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion. Following his retirement in 1985, he began a second career in journalism as chief military correspondent for the New York Times from 1986 to 1990. Later, he covered the 2003 invasion of Iraq for NBC and MSNBC. He co-authored three books with Michael R. Gordon: The Generals’ War, Cobra II, and The Endgame: The Inside Story of the Struggle for Iraq, from George W. Bush to Barack Obama. Sadly, LtGen Trainor passed away on 2 June 2018. He is memorialized in the Gazette’s annual LtGen Bernard E. “Mick” Trainor Writing Award sponsored by the MCA and the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion Association.

            Col Mark F. Cancian was commissioned in 1973 and trained as an artillery officer. He served with 1st Battalion 12th Marines during Operation FREQUENT WIND, the evacuation of Saigon. He transitioned to the Marine Corps Reserve in 1984, serving as an infantry officer, and was mobilized for numerous high-level staff assignments during Operations DESERT STORM and IRAQI FREEDOM. He retired in 2007 and is currently a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. Col Cancian is a member of the original Distinguished Authors since July 2000.

            Maj John F Schmitt is a 1996 member of the original Distinguished Authors Program. He served as an infantry officer up to the company level before assignment to the Doctrine Center at Quantico from 1986 to 1990. During this tour, he was the principal author of several doctrinal publications and collaborated directly with the 29th Commandant, Gen Alfred M. Gray, on the Corps’ capstone publication, FMFM-1 Warfighting. He has contributed more than 100 works to the Gazette, including numerous tactical decision games. He transitioned to the Marine Corps Reserve in 1993 and remains a military consultant and writer.

            Col Jon T. Hoffman was named a Marine Corps Gazette Distinguished Author in 1998. Col Hoffman retired as a colonel from the Marine Corps Reserve in 2008 after 30 years as an infantry officer and field historian, including 17 years of active duty. His active-duty service included command of two infantry companies, three years as a history instructor at the U.S. Naval Academy, and two years as the deputy director of the Marine Corps History and Museums Division. In his civilian career, he has been the deputy chief historian for the Secretary of Defense Historical Office. He has authored and contributed to numerous Marine Corps and Army official histories and his books include Once a Legend and Chesty. He currently serves as chief historian for the U.S. Army and the Chief of the Contemporary Studies Branch at the U.S. Army Center of Military History.

            Col Thomas X. “T.X.” Hammes was commissioned in 1975 and served in infantry and intelligence assignments during his 30-year Marine Corps career to include command of an intelligence battalion, an infantry battalion, and the Chemical Biological Response Force. He participated in operations in Somalia and Iraq. Col Hammes is a member of the original Gazette Distinguished Authors. He has published 10 articles in the Gazette and more than 150 articles in numerous other professional journals. He has published three books: Deglobalization and International Security; The Sling and the Stone: On War in the 21st Century; and Forgotten Warriors. His publications have been used widely in staff and defense college curricula in the United States, UK, Canada, Australia, and Singapore. 

            LtCol Frank G. Hoffman is a member of the original group of Gazette Distinguished Authors. He retired from the Marine Corps Reserve in 2001. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and holds a doctorate from King’s College, London. He spent much of the first 33 years of his government career in the Department of the Navy in a variety of roles, including a force structure analyst, advanced concepts developer, and strategic planner. He is currently a researcher and professor at the National Defense University. To date, he has published 91 articles in the Gazette.

            Maj Paul L. Stokes retired in 2006 after 31 years of active-duty service. A former gunnery sergeant and chief warrant officer 3, he has served in a variety of leadership and communications billets from the team to theater levels. Maj Stokes has served as the Marine Corps Communication-Electronics School’s operations officer, deputy operations officer, and future operations/plans officer since January 2007. To date, he has published 19 articles in the Gazette.

            Col Eric L. Chase served as an infantry platoon commander in Vietnam and retired from the Marine Corps Reserve in 1998 after more than 30 years of active and reserve service. His father, the late MajGen Harold W. Chase, served as a first lieutenant on Iwo Jima and was wounded twice and is the namesake of the Gazette‘s annual MajGen Harold W. Chase Essay Contest. To date, Col Chase has had 37 articles published in the Gazette as well as defense-related articles in other publications—including op-eds in New York Times, Washington Post, and Newsweek. He has also published numerous publications about commercial law, and other non-military subjects. He is currently an attorney in private practice.

            Col Scott A. Cuomo is an infantry officer and MAGTF planner. He has commanded the 2d Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion and completed the Commandant of the Marine Corps Strategist Program at Georgetown University. He currently serves as the senior Marine Corps advisor

in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Force Development, and Emerging Capabilities. To date, he has published 12 articles in the Gazette. Col Cuomo also serves on the Gazette’s Editorial Advisory Panel

            LtCol Brian A. Kerg is a prior-enlisted mortarman, communications officer, and operational planner. He is a non-resident fellow at Marine Corps University’s Brute Krulak Center for Innovation and Creativity and a WSD Handa Fellow at the Pacific Forum. He is currently serving as the Northeast Asia plans officer, III MEF G-5. To date, he has published 11 articles in the Gazette. LtCol Kerg received second place in the 2023 MajGen Harold W. Chase Essay Contest.

            LtCol Arun Shankar was commissioned in 2002, 10 months after the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks. He is a tactical communications officer and an operations research analyst. He served a combined 28 months in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM and Operation ENDURING FREEDOM as a counter-IED analyst, assessments analyst, and communications officer, and holds a Ph.D. in operations analysis from George Mason University. He completed the CMC Fellowship at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and is currently assigned to U.S. Space Command. To date, he has published 10 articles in the Gazette. LtCol Shankar received an honorable mention in the 2022 LtCol Earl “Pete” Ellis Annual Essay Contest.

            Capt Michael A. Hanson is an infantry officer and graduate of Expeditionary Warfare School. He served as the last Weapons Company commander for 3rd Battalion, 4 Marines as the battalion transitioned to the IBX30 table of organization. He is currently a student at Command and Staff College and to date has published 14 articles in the Gazette. Capt Hanson earned second place in the 2023 Col Thomas M. O’Leary Writing Contest.

            Capt Walker D. Mills is an Infantry Officer currently in training to be an unmanned aircraft systems officer. He previously served on exchange to the Colombian naval academy La Escuela Naval de Cadetes “Almirante e Padilla” in Cartagena, Colombia, and with 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines as a rifle and weapons platoon commander. He is also a non-resident fellow at the Brute Krulak Center for Innovation and Future War. To date, he has published 12 articles in the Gazette. Capt Mills is the winner of the 2019 LtGen Bernard E. “Mick” Trainor Military Writing Award and earned second place in the 2021 LtCol Earl “Pete” Ellis Annual Essay Contest.