The 2012 Gen Robert E. Hogaboom Leadership Writing Contest, sponsored by the Battelle Corporation and the Hogaboom family, received almost 100 submissions. On 22 March, the Gazette Editorial Advisory Panel met to select the winners. The following are this year’s awardees.

First place goes to LtCol Mike Jernigan for his essay, “‘Otis’ Raible Defines Leadership.” On 15 September 2012 at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, LtCol Chris “Otis” Raible, Commanding Officer, Marine Attack Squadron 211, was returning from chow when the Taliban attacked the camp’s airfield. In recounting the story of LtCol Raible’s rallying his Marines and directing the defense, the author chronicles some of the leadership beliefs held by LtCol Raible: “Keep things simple and easy to execute; run to the sound of the fight; rally the Marines; . . . engage the enemy.” LtCol Jernigan will receive a plaque and $3,000.

Second place goes to Capt Gordon W Emmanuel for his essay, “No Combat? No Problem.” Capt Emmanuel writes about the “dilemma” that will face many young Marines who report to their new units without any combat experience and will repeatedly hear, “That’s not how we did it when.” The author maintains that leaders lacking combat experience can be just as effective as veterans who served in Iraq, Afghanistan, or both. Traits are shared by all who serve in the Marine Corps, which are “. . . used toward the accomplishment of a common goal.” Capt Emmanuel will receive a plaque and $1,500.

Capt Benjamin J. Stafford’s “Genuine Concern” and 2dLt Patrick Whalen’s “Leaders of Friends” were chosen as honorable mentions. Each Marine will receive a plaque and $500.


This 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 MarDiv, in Korea from 1954-55. Gen Hogaboom retired in 1959 as alieutenantgeneral while serving as Chief of Staff, Headquarters Marine Corps, and was subsequently advanced to the rank of general.