Marine Corps Gazette Essay Contests

Deadline: 1 September - 31 January

The Gen. Robert E. Hogaboom Leadership Writing Contest honors the essay that is the most original in its approach to the various aspects of leadership. Authors should not simply reiterate the 11 Principles of Leadership or the 14 Leadership Traits of an NCO addressed in the Guidebook for Marines. Authors must be willing to take an honest, realistic look at what leadership, either positive or negative, means to them and then articulate ways and methods of being an effective leader of Marines.


The contest is named for Gen Robert E. Hogaboom, USMC(Ret), who served the Corps for 34 years. Upon graduating from the Naval Academy in 1925, Gen Hogaboom saw service in Cuba, Nicaragua, and China. Following action in a number of key Pacific battles in World War II, he later served first as assistant division commander, then division commander, 1st Marine Division in Korea 1954–55. Gen Hogaboom retired in 1959 as a lieutenant general while serving as the Chief of Staff, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, and was subsequently advanced to the rank of general.


  • The contest is open to all Marines on active duty and to members of the Marine Corps Reserve.
  • Electronically submitted entries are preferred.
  • Attach the entry as a file and send to [email protected].
  • A cover page should be included identifying the manuscript as a Hogaboom Leadership Writing Contest entry and include the title of the essay and the author’s name.
  • Repeat title on the first page, but author’s name should not appear anywhere but on the cover page.
  • Manuscripts are acceptable, but please include a disk in Microsoft Word format with the manuscript.
  • Multiple entries are allowed; however, only one entry will receive an award.
  • The Marine Corps Gazette Editorial Panel will evaluate and select the winning essay.
  • All entrants will be notified about the outcome of the their entry.

Send entries to: [email protected]


$3,000 and an engraved plaque for first place;
$1,500 and an engraved plaque for second place;
$500 for honorable mention.

The 2016 MajGen Harold W. Chase Prize Essay Contest resulted in the submission of articles ranging from reorganizing the Marine rifle squad to the importance of knowing history. The Marine Corps Gazette Editorial Advisory Panel met and selected first and second place essays and one essay for honorable mention.

First place ($3,000 and a plaque) will be awarded to Capt Cory D. Radcliffe for his essay “Embrace UAS ‘Guardian Angels’ Immediately: Our Corps is 15 Years Behind.” The author maintains that our “ACE can’t provide air superiority or persistent close air support that our GCE deserves.” Capt Radcliffe presses for the Corps to pursue medium altitude long endurance (MALE) unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in order to address changes that need to be made in the current Marine Corps Aviation Plan. Using Exercise Talon Reach VII as his reference point, the author points out the optimal utilization of the MQ-9 Reaper (provided by the 163d Operation Group, California Air National Guard) in finding, fixing, tracking, engaging, and providing assessment capability to the Infantry Officer Course during this training exercise. Capt Radcliffe’s background as a VMU unmanned aircraft commander lends credibility to a thoughtful recommendation that the Marine Corps provide appropriate UAS support to our MAGTFs.

Second place ($1,500 and a plaque) is awarded to LtCol Kevin F. Murray for his essay titled “Solving the Marine Aviation Readiness Problem.” The author begins with a simple statement that Marine aviation is struggling to make mission. News reports make this problem appear to be one that Congress can be blamed for, and yet, the employment of aviation assets during the last 15 years of warfare or hybrid warfare has fundamentally altered the way we have employed and maintained aviation assets. The author maintains that an interim solution is available through the employment of MALE UAS. The utilization of the MALE UAS would allow the Marine Corps to reset aviation in order to face a world in which we will face threats from peer competitors, failing nation states, and extremist organizations.

The one essay that received honorable mention ($500 and a plaque) was written by LtCol Brian E. Russell titled “The Real Cyber Paradigm: Exploiting Excess Capacity.” We all realize that the cyber domain is growing, and it is important for our Marines “to understand and be comfortable operating in the [cyber environment] as the face our Nation’s enemies.” LtCol Russell maintains that if recognized as a domain, cyberspace can actually be an exploited environment if our Marines have access and authorization to operate in that space.

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