By Major Matt Cavanaugh

We’ve come to the end of the Summer Essay Campaign.  It was a lot of fun and I’m very proud to have had a part in getting some of these ideas out there.  For all those that participated I owe you a big thanks. And even if you weren’t in the top few listed (and I have recent personal experience with this, so I know how it feels) – you’re at the very least a bit better off than you were the moment before you gripped the pen (or struck the first key).  And that, really, was the goal.  Moreover, you now know that your writing is welcome here at War Council, so why not get some more of your ideas out there?

Though I planed to slow-roll the results (one per day for three days) – I’m just going to save all of us some time and just come out with the results in one shot. Here goes:

Top Essay: (#18) “Room to Breathe – How the Military Supports Civilian-led Counterinsurgency” by First Lieutenant Sarah Grant, USMC

Runner Up: (#11) “Know Your Enemy” by Cody Zoschak

Second Runner Up: (#1) “A Constellation of Capabilities” by Major Dan Maurer

Honorable Mention: (#12) “PTSD, Social Networking, and Electronic Isolation in Combat” by Colonel Clark Barrett, PhD., Michigan Army National Guard  

So there we have it, the Summer Essay Campaign is all wrapped up.

Two notes of housekeeping – though Colonel Barrett’s essay received several positive reviews, as it was previously published while the other essays appeared to be original, I determined that it ought to be honorably mentioned instead of cracking the top three.

The second point regards the victors spoils.  I will leave the top three up on the blog’s banner for a week or so and my cadets will read and discuss these essays. Finally, as promised, Tom Ricks has already placed a package in the mail of three signed copies of his book, The Generals, intended for Major Maurer, Mr. Zoshak, and Lieutenant Grant.  To those three: please send me your mailing addresses and I’ll get them to you as soon as possible (before first snow, if you’re lucky!).

Well done everybody and keep sending in those essays!