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By admin | July 12th, 2013

“Bing” West elected 2013 Denig Winner

Francis J. “Bing” West

Distinguished author and combat reporter Francis J. “Bing” West is winner of the 2013 Brig. General Robert L. Denig Sr. Memorial Distinguished Performance Award.

A former Marine Corps combat officer in Vietnam, Bing West is author of six non-fiction books and one novel of Marines at war; from Vietnam through Iraq and finishing in Afghanistan.  These include: Small Unit Action, The Village, March Up, No True Glory, The Strongest Tribe, The Wrong War, and his fiction novel: The Pepperdogs.

He was an infantry officer in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War once serving with a Combined Action Platoon that fought for several hundred days in a remote village. He was also a member of the Marine Force Reconnaissance team that initiated “Operation Stingray”: small unit attacks behind enemy lines. His study at the RAND Corporation entitled “The Strike Teams: Tactical Performance and Strategic Potential” became the featured event at the 1970 DoD Counterinsurgency Research and Development Symposium. The RAND Military Systems Simulations Group implemented a classified model of West’s concept that was directly opposed by MACV in favor of the Army’s concept of Air-Mobility “Fire and Thunder Operations”. By way of rebuttal, West wrote The Village, chronicling the daily lives of 15 Marines who protected the people by living among them in their hamlets. The book became a classic of practical counterinsurgency and has been on the Commandant’s Required Reading list for 36 years.

Among his many  honors are The Marine Corps Heritage Prize, the Colby Award for Military History, the VFW Media Award and the Andrew J. Goodpastor Award.

His civilian background is equally impressive as he has served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs during the Reagan administration.  He is a graduate of Georgetown and Princeton Universities and he is a member of St. Crispin’s Order of the Infantry and the Council on Foreign Relations.


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