2013 Colby Award Recipient

Norwich University officials announced that Thomas McKenna is the 2013 William E. Colby Award winner for his book Kontum: The Battle to Save South Vietnam, a non-fiction military history based on his second tour in Vietnam.

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 William E. Colby Award was originated at Norwich University in 1999. Ambassador Colby authored two important books, Lost Victory: A Firsthand Account of America’s Involvement in Vietnam and Honorable Men - My Life in the CIA. He was a decorated World War II veteran who served with the OSS in World War II and later with the CIA. From 1951–1962, Colby served with the American Embassies in Stockholm, Rome, and Saigon. He was Ambassador and Deputy to the Commander of the U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam from 1968 to 1971. Colby served as Director of the CIA from 1973-76. In honor of his commitment to Norwich University and the symposium, the program was named The William E. Colby Military Writers’ Symposium in 1997. The 2012 Symposium will take place April 11-12.

Previous recipients of the Colby Award include James Bradley, Nathanial Fick, Colonel Jack Jacobs (Ret.), Dexter Filkins, Marcus Lutrell, John Glusman, Karl Marlantes and Michael Franzak.


Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army. Norwich University is the oldest private military college in the United States of America and the birthplace of our nation's Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). www.norwich.edu

Founded by COL (IL) J. N. Pritzker, IL ARNG (Retired), Tawani Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) grant-making organization whose mission is: to enhance the awareness and understanding of the importance of the Citizen Soldier; to preserve unique sites of significance to American and military history; to foster health and wellness projects for improved quality of life; and to honor the service of military personnel, past, present and future, through an awards program that includes the JROTC/ROTC Award for Military Excellence, the William E. Colby Award and the Pritzker Military Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing.