Main Image Credit Chesney Gold Medal Award
The Chesney Gold Medal is the highest award in the gift of the Council of the Royal United Services Institute
The purpose of the award is to mark a lifetime distinguished contribution to international defence and security, to the benefit of the United Kingdom and/or the Western Alliance. Serving politicians are ineligible for the award.
The Chesney Gold Medal was established in 1899 to honour the memory of General Sir George Chesney, with the periodic award to the author of any ‘especially eminent work calculated to advance the military sciences and knowledge.’
In 2000, the Council updated the award, so that henceforth ‘the medal should be awarded from time to time to the originator of distinguished or authoritative work or works that have added to knowledge or achieved advances in the defence and international security fields to the benefit of the United Kingdom and/or the Western Alliance. Serving politicians are ineligible for the award.’
It was first awarded in 1900 to Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan USN, arguably the maritime equivalent of Clausewitz, and has been awarded thirty-four times since, including to Winston Churchill in 1950, Baroness Thatcher in 2000 and Henry Kissinger in 2015.