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Since the Duke of Wellington established the Institute in 1831, many of the most influential thinkers have spoken at its podium, published their ideas in RUSI’s publications and have been recognised for their contribution to the practice and understanding of defence and security.

To recognise such excellence, RUSI awards the following prizes. 

Chesney Gold Medal

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

The medal is awarded to mark a life-long distinguished contribution to international defence and security, to the benefit of the United Kingdom and/or the international community. It was first awarded in 1900 to Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan of the US Navy, and recipients since have included Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher and Dr Henry Kissinger, among others.

The Duke of Wellington Medal for Military History

The Duke of Wellington Medal for Military History aims to reward on an annual basis the best English language writing on military history, interpreted widely to include the role of the armed forces, the conduct of wars, and the impact of conflict on nations and societies, over any period up to the present day.

Trench Gascoigne Essay Prize

RUSI’s annual essay competition is awarded for original writing on contemporary issues of national and international defence and security.