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Special Reports

Rewarding Those Who Contribute to Peace and Human Progress

The International Strategic Studies Association began, in 1983, the process of making Awards for Outstanding Contributions to Strategic Progress to individuals who, by their leadership, had advanced the cause of international peace and the progress of their own, and other, nations. Throughout the years since their foundation, the ISSA Awards have been presented to a number of world leaders. On two occasions, the Association has named special Awards in honor of Dr Stefan T. Possony (1915-1995), one of the founders of ISSA, who had been called "the greatest strategic philosopher of the 20th Century". Those Awards were made to individuals who had made their contribution through Science and Technology.

In 1997, the Association transformed the Awards — which had been represented in the past by certificates and different engraved silver dishes or bowls — into an Order in two grades: the Gold Star Award for Outstanding Contributions to Strategic Progress, and the Silver Star Award for Outstanding Contributions to Strategic Progress. In doing this, ISSA called on Garrard, the Crown Jewellers, of London, to assist in designing and striking the collar medals (shown here in the Gold Star form) so as to conform with international standards of protocol.

The Gold Star Award is normally reserved for Heads-of-State, Heads-of-Government or very special cases at the discretion of the Awards Committee. The Silver Star Award is reserved for those of Cabinet-level or other levels of Government or Private Service. The Possony Prize is always presented in the form of the Silver Star.

With the creation of the system of Awards into the form of an Order, the Grand Mastership of the ISSA Awards is always the President of the Association.

In addition to receiving the Gold or Silver Medal, recipients of the ISSA Awards are also conferred with the honor of Honorary Life Membership in the Association, and with the right to join ISSA for any period they desire as Senior Research Fellows.

Some recipients of ISSA Awards gather at the Strategy2000 banquet in Washington DC, June 20, 2000 (from left): VADM Ko Tun-hwa (Taiwan); Hon. Caspar Weinberger (US); HM King Kigeli V (Rwanda); Rt. Hon. Sir Geoffrey Pattie (UK); HIH Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie Haile-Selassie (Ethiopia).

In recent years, the recipients have included:

  • His Excellency Maj.-Gen. Michael Jeffery, Governor-General of Australia, 2009.
  • The Hon. Sir Charles Court, former Premier of Western Australia, 2008.
  • Pres. Dr Askar Akaev, of the Kyrgyz Republic, 2003.
    Pres. Dragan Cavic, of Republica Srpska, 2003.
  • The Honorable Caspar W. Weinberger, former US Secretary of Defense (Gold Star), 2000;
  • Vice-Admiral Ko Tun-hwa, noted geostrategist and former Vice Minister of Defense, Republic of China; currently National Policy Advisor to the President of the ROC (Taiwan) (Stefan T. Possony Prize and Silver Star), 2000;
  • General the Honorable Alexander M. Haig, Jr., former US Secretary of State, and former Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, of NATO (Gold Star), 1997;
  • His Majesty King Kigeli V, the Umwami w'u Rwanda (King of Rwanda), for his work in helping to warn of the coming genocides in his country and region (Gold Star), 1998;
  • The Honorable Bill McCollum, US Congressman from Florida, for his work in international security (Silver Star), 1998;
  • The Honorable Jim Saxton, US Congressman from New Jersey, for his work in international security (Silver Star), 1998;
  • His Imperial Highness Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie Haile-Selassie, President of the Crown Council of Ethiopia, for his humanitarian achievements in helping win recognition for the plight of Ethiopian refugees in the worldwide diaspora (Silver Star), 1997;
  • Dr Paul Kaminski, former US Under-Secretary of Defense for Acquisitions and Technology, for his pioneering work in stealth technologies (Possony Prize; Silver Star), 1997.
  • Philip Yeo, Senior Singapore Government official, 1983.
  • Sen. John Tower, US, 1983,
  • Lt.-Gen. Daniel O. Graham, former Director of Defense Intelligence, US, and Chairman, High Frontier, 1983,
  • Rt. Hon. Sir Geoffrey Pattie, former British Minister of State for Defence, and former Minister for Trade & Industry, 1983.

Members and non-members of the Association may make recommendations to the Awards Committee, nominating for consideration any individuals they deem worthy of receipt of an ISSA Award. The Awards are normally presented at the ISSA Strategy Conference, the Global Strategic Forum. A Special Awards Banquet is held to present the Awards.

US Congressmen Bill McCollum (R-FL) (left) and Jim Saxton (R-NJ) (right) meet with ISSA President Gregory Copley after receiving their ISSA Silver Star Medals at the Washington DC banquet on October 6, 1998.

His Majesty King Kigeli V of Rwanda is congratulated by ISSA President Gregory Copley as the King is presented with the ISSA Gold Star Medal at the ISSA banquet in Washington DC on October 6, 1998.

A piper pipes-in the head table guests at the 1998 ISSA Awards banquet. Leading this group were the 1997 Silver Star Award winner Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie Haile-Selassie of Ethiopia, HE Boniface Benzingé, the Chancellor to Rwanda's King Kigeli (whom he was escorting), and ISSA President Gregory Copley.

ISSA Director Pamela von Gruber greets guests to the 1998 ISSA Awards banquet which was held in Washington DC on October 6, 1998.

US Congressman Jim Saxton, watched by ISSA President Copley, speaks to the delegates from more than 40 countries following his investiture with the ISSA Silver Star Medal in Washington DC on October 6, 1998.

© 2010 International Strategic Studies Association. ISSA does not warrant or assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed.