Chesney Gold Medal

The Chesney Gold Medal is the highest award in the gift of the Council of the Royal United Services Institute.


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.

  • 2015: Henry KISSINGER
    2013: General David H PETRAEUS (Retd)
    2006: Sir Lawrence FREEDMAN
    2000: Baroness THATCHER
    1997: The Marquess of ANGLESEY
    1991: Correlli BARNETT
    1985: General Sir John HACKETT
    1981: John TERRAIN and Ronald LEWIN
    1975: Captain Stephen W ROSKILL RN
    1973: Professor Michael HOWARD
    1968: Professor Arthur J MARDER
    1965: Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir John SLESSOR
    1963: Major General J F C FULLER and Captain Sir Basil LIDDELL HART
    1955: Sir Arthur BRYANT
    1950: The Rt Hon Winston S CHURCHILL
    1936: Professor Spenser WILKINSON
    1932: Colonel C de W CROOKSHANK MP
    1931: Commander C N ROBINSON
    1930: Dr C E W BEAN
    1929: Colonel H C WYLLY
    1928: L G CARR-LAUGHTON
    1927: Brigadier-General Sir James E EDMONDS
    1926: Vice Admiral Sir Herbert RICHMOND
    1925: Captain Sir George ARTHUR
    1924: Professor G A R CALLENDER
    1921: Major General Sir Charles CALLWELL
    1919: Major General E D SWINTON
    1914: Sir Julian CORBETT
    1913: Colonel Sir Lonsdale Augustus HALE
    1911: Professor C W C OMAN
    1910: Sir John Knox LAUGHTON
    1909: The Hon J W FORTESCUE
    1907: Major General Sir Frederick MAURICE
    1900: Captain Alfred Thayer MAHAN USN