Major General Edward A. Wilcox Award for Professional Writing 1982

Capt Charles A. Leader, USMCR, presently enrolled in a graduation program at Harvard, is the 1982 winner of the MajGen Edward A. Wilcox Award for Professional Writing.

Capt Leader’s article, “Lambs to the Slaughter,” was published in the January 1982 issue.

The Wilcox Award was established in 1981 under the sponsorship of ATAC Corporation, a consulting firm homebased in Mountain View, Calif. It provides an appropriate plaque and $1,000 prize annually to the author whose original GAZETTE article “best advances knowledge, interest, or esprit in the Marine Corps.” The monetary award for this year’s winner-and for 1983 and 1984 as well-has been increased to $1,300 through the generosity of MajGen Richard C. Schulze, the 1981 Wilcox Award Winner who returned $900 of his prize for this purpose.

The judges’ panel that selected this year’s winner consisted of the following:

* BGen Eugene B. Russell, Deputy Chief of Staff, RD&S, Headquarters Marine Corps.

* Col John E. Greenwood, USMC (Ret), Editor, Marine Corps Gazette

* Col John C. Scharfen, USMC(Ret)

* Col Walter M. Fitts, Executive Assistant to Deputy Chief of Staff, Manpower

* LtCol Michael D. Wyly, OSD

* Maj Peter T. Metzger, Aide to the President

* Maj Wellington H. Gordon, Head, Infantry Officers Course, The Basic School

Panel members stated that their choice was complicated by the array of excellent articles to be reviewed and by the controversial nature of several of them. Among the criteria that most influenced the panel’s decision were factors such as the nature of the topic (i.e., was it sufficiently “broad gauge”?); the probable durability of the article (will it be worth reading in 10 years?); the quality of the writing; innovativeness and originality; and persuasiveness.

The closest competition for Leader’s article came from Col Bruce G. Brown’s two part “Maneuver Warfare Roadmap,” which was published in the Apr and May82 issues. Other “finalist” articles that the panel discussed at length included:

Maj C.O. Skipper’s, “Engineer Support: The Key to Successful Mechanization” (Jan82)

Col T.L. Gatchel’s “Gunny, Put up the Flagpole” (Feb82)

CWO-2 B.N. Lavender’s “Current Training and Maneuver Warfare” (Feb82)

Maj J.W. Klimp’s “Desert Warfare: A Strong Point Defense” (Apr82)

Maj R.N. Roman’s “No-News: Self Censorship in the Marine Corps” (Jul82; Also see Jan83 commentary)

Col J.W. Brown’s “Up or Out and the Lateral Move” (Oct82)

Capt R.S. Moore’s “Ideas and Direction: Building Marine Corps Amphibious Doctrine.” (Nov82)

MajGen Wilcox for whom the award is named was commanding general of the 1st Marine Division at the time of his death in July 1977. Gen Wilcox enlisted in the Marine Corps during World War II and was commissioned in June 1945. These activities delayed his completion of formal education, but he more than made up for that by acquiring a B.A. from the University of Maryland in 1957, an M.B.A. from George Washington University in 1962, and a degree of Juris Doctor from George Washington in 1976. Gen Wilcox fought in Korea and Vietnam, serving as commanding officer of the 1st Marines during the latter tour. In view of his keen interest in education and his recognition of the importance of the intellectual side of leadership, the use of his name in connection with this award seems particularly appropriate.

Members who have misplaced or lost their back issues and desire copies of any of the “finalist” articles are invited to write the editor for individual copies.