Wednesday, June 29, 2011
TACTICAL VICTORY: MASTER'S STUDENT EARNS PRESTIGIOUS ARMY AWARD AND TITLE
MANHATTAN -- A Kansas State University graduate student was able to maneuver to the forefront of his peers in a competition on warfare tactics.
U.S. Army Maj. Scott Horrigan, a master's student in security studies, Lansing, competed for and won the title of distinguished master tactician, along with the Gen. George S. Patton Jr. Award from the Army's Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, also known as CGSC. The award -- an M-1902 army officer saber with the recipient's name engraved on the scabbard -- is given to the student who demonstrates a special aptitude for tactics at the division, brigade and battalion level.
"This award is an exciting capstone to the last 10 years of military service that has included three deployments to Afghanistan," Horrigan said. "Over the last year I have been given a great opportunity by both CGSC and K-State to take my experiences and reflect on them in an academic setting, which has provided depth and additional meaning that will only serve to benefit me in the future."
Horrigan was nominated by his Command and General Staff College instructors to compete for the honors. After gaining acceptance in the competition he and the other candidates competed in three rounds, with only a few contestants advancing into each subsequent round. Students were initially evaluated on a written examination that tested their knowledge. A second round focused on the art and science of tactics, and the final phase evaluated their expertise in planning and decision making.
"Without the last year of academic study I don't believe I would have won this award," Horrigan said. "While CGSC honed my understanding of military doctrine and tactics, K-State taught me to think critically and apply analysis to the complex problems."
Horrigan's victory in the competition doesn't come as much of a surprise to K-State administrators.
"When I interviewed Maj. Horrigan for his admission to the security studies program, I was very impressed by his thoughtfulness and concern for the soldiers under his command," said David Stone, director of K-State's Institute for Military History and 20th Century Studies. "I'm delighted that the Command and General Staff College has recognized his talent and hard work with the Gen. George S. Patton Jr. Award."
"Kansas State University's master's degree students have been recognized as distinguished CGSC graduates four out of the last five Command and General Staff College graduations," said Cheryl Polson, associate dean of the graduate school. "Maj. David Anderson, Maj. Andrew Watson and Maj. Norman B. Hodges IV -- all graduates of the K-State adult education master's degree program offered at Fort Leavenworth -- have also been distinguished CGSC graduates the past two years."
The security studies program is offered jointly at K-State and Fort Leavenworth. Horrigan will complete his master's degree in the program this fall.
Additionally, Kevin Shea, a 2010 fall doctoral graduate in adult and continuing education, was recognized as one of the Command and General Staff College's top military and civilian instructors of the year. He was selected from several nominees in each of the five teaching departments at the Command and General Staff College, after being nominated and then evaluated by a team of the college's faculty.
Shea will represent the Command and General Staff College in the overall U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command competition for the Instructor of the Year Award.