The military memoir by Medal of Honor recipient Colonel Jack Jacobs, USA (Ret.) has won the 2010 Colby Award.
Named for the late Ambassador and former CIA Director William E. Colby, the Colby Award recognizes a first work of fiction or non-fiction that has made a significant contribution to the public’s understanding of intelligence operations, military history, or international affairs. The $5,000 award will be presented by Tawani Foundation in association with the Pritzker Military Library on October 22, 2010 at Chicago’s Palmer House Hotel, in partnership with the Library’s 2010 Liberty Gala (pmlgala.org). At the same time, the $100,000 Pritzker Military Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing will be presented. The 2010 recipient will be announced via live webcast from the Library on June 21, 2010.
In his memoir, If Not Now, When? (Berkley, 2008), Jacobs describes his childhood in post-World War II New York City, his experiences at Rutgers University where he joined the ROTC program, and how that decision eventually led him to his service in Vietnam. As an advisor to a Vietnamese infantry battalion, Jacobs was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for saving the lives of 13 allied soldiers during an intensive firefight despite severe wounds.
“I am honored that my book has been chosen for an award associated with William Colby,” said Jacobs. “His legacy stands as a model for all members of our Armed Forces, past and present.”
“This is an important piece of history...a story of extraordinary service in combat on the battlefield and in Washington,” said William E. Butterworth III, the #1 Wall Street Journal and New York Times best-selling novelist who writes as W.E.B. Griffin, on behalf of the Award Selection Committee. “Bill Colby would be very proud of Colonel Jacobs’ fine memoir.”
In addition to the Medal of Honor, Jacobs’ distinguished military record includes two Silver Stars and three Bronze Stars. Following two tours in Vietnam, he served on the faculties of the National War College in Washington, DC and the United States Military Academy at West Point. He retired from the Army in 1987 and had a successful career on Wall Street. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a military analyst for NBC/MSNBC.