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Vance R. Wanner Memorial Award

The Military Operations Research Society exists to enhance the profession of military operations research. That profession is measured by the significance of its contributions to decisions affecting the nation's security. Such contributions should be timely, responsive to evolving national needs and of high technical quality. The strength of the military operations research profession depends on several essential elements. There must be well trained and educated professionals, imbued with a deep sense of ethics, a substantial body of professional methodology and effective study agencies, blessed with strong leadership.

To underline the importance of these elements of professional strength and to recognized individuals who have contributed significantly to their achievement, MORS established the Vance R. Wanner Memorial Award, named after the Society's first Executive Secretary. Each year the Society grants the award to a military operations research professional who is deemed to have played a major role in strengthening the profession.

MORS takes pride in honoring these pre-eminent leaders in this relatively young, but increasingly important profession.


The criteria for eligibility are as follows:

  1. Distinguished service over time to the profession of military operations research.
  2. Enhancement of the image and substance of military operations research as a unique scientific discipline and as a means for broadening the vision of defense decision makers.
  3. Sustained excellent performance as a leader and a manager in the conduct of military operations research, resulting in important contributions to national security.
  4. Extension of individual knowledge and talents to others in the profession of military operations research leading to improvement of our analytic capabilities and managerial competence.
  5. Contribution to the institutional aims, goals, and professional status of the Military Operations Research Society, leading to long-term enhancement of its role in providing a forum not otherwise available to the community.
  6. While serving in an active capacity, Sponsors and the Board Members are not eligible for the Wanner Award.

Nominate a deserving individual today.
Click here to download the nomination form


Wanner Award Laureates

2013 - Dr. Gregory S. Parnell

Dr. Gregory S. Parnell has made significant, long-term contributions to the Military Operations Research Society and has a distinguished record of service to the profession of operations research in R&D, program analysis, management and teaching positions that span a career of over 35 years. One of his most important of many military operations research community services was as editor of Military Operations Research Journal from January 1996 to June 2001 where he and his editorial staff established the journal as a premiere publication for military research. Dr. Parnell has left his mark on a number of generations of operations research analysts while on the campuses of Air Force Institute of Technology, United States Military Academy and Virginia Commonwealth University. His outstanding research skills have also left their mark on military analysts across the Department of Defense and positively influenced a number of major defense acquisition programs. Dr. Parnell is a most talented professional who’s long and valuable service to the military operations research community and accomplishments are in keeping with the very essence of the Vance R. Wanner Award.

2012 - BG (Ret) Michael L. McGinnis, FS

BG(R) (Dr.) Michael L. McGinnis is a distinguished leader, innovative researcher, mentor and significant contributor to the Military Operations Research Society. He has been dedicated to enhancing the national security analytic community for over four decades. His significant research projects, including directing the Unit Manning Task Force and participation in the Officer Personnel Management System Task Force, have greatly impacted the direction and the management of the Army. His leadership and continued participation in MORS and his focus on the development and advancement of junior analysts sets him apart from others in his field. He has proven to be a “game changer” for the national security community for many years but his work as a “life-changer” for countless junior analysts is what makes him an invaluable asset for our community.

2011 - Dr. Andrew G. Loerch, FS

Dr. Andrew G. Loerch has provided dedicated analytical, educational, and professional leadership to the military operations research community for over three decades.  Throughout his distinguished career, Dr. Loerch has consistently developed the next generation of operations research analyst thereby significantly strengthening the analytic support provided to decision makers on key issues.  As Associate Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Systems Engineering and Operations Research at George Mason University, Dr. Loerch’s teaching of operations research applications have enhanced the image and substance of military operations research and will continue to have an impact long into the future.  His service to the Military Operations Research Society has been long and distinguished.  He served as President of the Society in 2004-2005, was a member of the Board of Directors from 1996 to 2006 and, in more recent years, continued to serve on the Educational and Professional Development Colloquium as Head Judge.  He has provided active support and leadership to numerous Special Meetings.  He has contributed several articles to Society publications and was editor of the Methods of Military Operational Analysis, published by the Society in 2007.  He has also been nominated five times for the Barchi Prize for the outstanding paper presented at the annual MORS Symposium.  Dr. Loerch’s leadership, professional and academic accomplishments, and immeasurable contributions to the national security community and to the Military Operations Research Society all exemplify the spirit and ideals of the Vance R. Wanner Memorial Award.
 
2010 - Andrew W. Marshall
 
Andrew W. Marshall has provided dedicated analytical, educational and professional leadership since he took a position with RAND in 1949. He directed studies on how our adversaries might apply asymmetric means against our forces by leading critical thinking and analysis for the Department of Defense. Mr. Marshall’s contributions as Director, Net Assessment were instrumental in winning the Cold War.  His advocacy for the Revolution in Military Affairs has modernized our armed forces.  Mr. Marshall’s visionary leadership, professionalism and immeasurable contributions to the national security community all exemplify the spirit and ideals of the Vance R. Wanner Memorial Award. 
 
2009 – Stuart H. Starr, FS
 
Dr. Starr has provided dedicated analytical, educational, and professional leadership to the military operations research community for over three decades.  Throughout his distinguished career, Dr. Starr has consistently championed enhancements in the tools, data, and resources used in military analyses, thereby significantly strengthening the analytic support provided to decision makers on key issues.  Dr. Starr’s analyses in the command, control, communications, and intelligence area have enhanced the image and substance of military operations research and will have a lasting impact.  His pioneering work in cyber warfare analysis, in particular, has solidified his reputation as a leader in the operations research field.  Dr. Starr’s service to the Military Operations Research Society has been long and distinguished.  He served as a member of the Board of Directors from 1993 to1999 and, in more recent years, as an Advisory Director.  He has provided active support and leadership to over a dozen workshops either as the workshop chair or as the lead of the synthesis group.  He has contributed several articles to Society publications and was awarded the Clayton Thomas medal for lifetime achievement in operations research by the Society in 2004.  Dr. Starr’s leadership, professional and academic accomplishments, and immeasurable contributions to the national security community and to the Military Operations Research Society all exemplify the spirit and ideals of the Vance R. Wanner Memorial Award.
 
2008 - Thomas L. Allen, FS
 
Dr. Tom Allen epitomizes the selfless service and sustained excellence of the ideal MORS Wanner Award winner. He has demonstrated significant, continued, long-term exceptional service to the Military Operations Research Society. For more than two decades, Tom has worked within the Symposium as a working group presenter and advisor, composite group chair, and working group chair, specifically the Aerospace Defense Working Group. Dr. Allen has also served as an organization group member or synthesis group member for eleven different special meetings, covering topics as diverse as new sciences, test and evaluation, modeling and simulation, and the Quadrennial Defense Review. He helped facilitate three of the last five annual symposia, including participation as a session co-chair or panel member. Tom also has served the Society faithfully in positions of leadership culminating as the President of MORS in 2001 to 2002. He was inducted as a Fellow of the Society in 2005, in recognition of his long-term contributions to MORS.
 
2007 - Walter W. Hollis, FS
 
Mr. Walter Hollis, FS, has served the US Army for fifty-five years. He has been one of the Army’s most senior operations research analysts and has been a leader in Army Operations Research for more than three decades. One of his early visions was to improve the relationship between the testers, the acquisition people and the analysts. Today this vision is a reality and stands as a major contribution to the ORSA community and the Army. He was instrumental in convincing the Army to consolidate the Army developmental and operational testing activities and in designing operational tests of key weapon systems. As the Department of Defense Test and Evaluation Executive Agent for Chemical and Biological Defense Program, he ensured cross-services cooperation and coordination to affect progress towards improving the Nation’s defense capability. He was the Army Sponsor of the joint-service Military Operations Research Society and member of the Senior Advisory Board of the International Test and Evaluation Association and has frequently been invited to deliver keynote speeches or serve on senior level panels at professional meetings and seminars. Mr. Hollis led the Military Operations Research Society toward the use of special-issue workshops. This yielded cost savings by bringing together a diverse set of minds that focused their efforts on the issue at hand and developed solutions, results of which are returned to the services for consideration and incorporation. Mr. Hollis was the MORS Army Sponsor from 1980 to 2006 and has supported many MORS Workshops and Special Meetings. In 1995 the MORS Board of Directors elected him a Fellow of the Society due to his significant, long-term contributions and tireless commitment to furthering the Society. This lifetime honorary recognition was for contributions to the Society beyond the practice of military operations research. He has provided enthusiastic support and continues to encourage membership and service to the Society. He has demonstrated the highest levels of initiative, competence, and selfless service in the execution of operations research, systems analysis, and test and evaluation activities to support a total force of quality Soldiers and civilians. In recognition of his long and valuable service to the military operations research community and to MORS, the Society bestows this award.
 
2006 - Roy E. Rice, FS
 
Dr. Roy Rice has made significant long term contributions to the Military Operations Research Society and to the operations research profession as a leader, as a volunteer helping to make MORS workshops and symposiums a success, as an active member contributing to the professional dialogue and professional development with his peers, and as a mentor to the junior members of the profession. He has led development both of formal training courses that have trained thousands and of informal mentoring programs throughout his career. He has developed innovative methodologies and tools and led assessments that have addressed many of the most challenging problems confronting the OR community. His analyses have addressed a wide range of defense problems: optimizing performance or costs of C4ISR force mixes; has made significant long term contributions to the Military Operations Research Society and to the operations research profession as a leader, as a volunteer helping to make MORS workshops and symposiums a success, as an active member contributing to the professional dialogue and professional development with his peers, and as a mentor to the junior members of the profession. He has led development both of formal training courses that have trained thousands and of informal mentoring programs throughout his career. He has developed innovative methodologies and tools and led assessments that have addressed many of the most challenging problems confronting the OR community. His analyses have addressed a wide range of defense problems: optimizing performance or costs of C4ISR force mixes; cost and operational performance trade studies for the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program; strategic force optimization and strategic stability; logistics analyses and strategic mobility modernization. Dr Rice exemplifies the high standards of the Military Operations Research Society. His sustained accomplishments in work of the highest technical caliber and practical utility are characteristic of our most talented professionals and are in keeping with the very essence of the Vance R. Wanner Award. In recognition of his long and valuable service to the military operations research community and to MORS, the Society bestows this award.
 
2005 - Vernon M. Bettencourt, FS
 
Mr. Vernon M. Bettencourt is a recognized leader and advisor on the development and application of analysis in support of national defense programs, Vernon M. Bettencourt has been an analyst in positions of ever growing scope and importance. He has served as an active duty Army officer, with a civilian systems engineering organization, with a Federally Funded Research and Development Center, and as a member of the Senior Executive Service of the United States Government in a series of appointments with the Headquarters Department of the Army. Throughout his career he has been a teacher and mentor to other analysts. He has been a leader in developing the application of analysis in support of new major systems acquisitions and in providing clear and actionable guidance to subordinate Army major commands. He has led in the development of analysis techniques for examining issues surrounding command, control, and communications systems and networked battlefield systems, as well as in the development of models and simulations to support analysis of important Army issues. In recognition of his long and valuable service to the military operations research community and to MORS, the Society bestows this award.
 
2004 - David M. Maddox
 
While simultaneously rising to the highest military rank in the US Army, General Maddox was responsible for making Operations Research an integral part of its planning and operations. During his career he conducted many OR studies to develop the Army’s forces, equipment, and fighting doctrine. Some of his early studies led to decisions to procure the Army’s “Big Five” systems and to implement new Airland Battle doctrine, both of which were used to prosecute Operation Desert Storm and other military operations successfully. Throughout his analytic career, General Maddox set the standard for the highest quality OR analysis, and he pursued these standards even as a 4-star General. While the CINCUSAREUR, he actively directed and participated in the study to learn how to draw down U. S. forces from 250,000 to 75,000 after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
 
Although not the father of Army OR, when he became part of the senior leadership General Maddox institutionalized the use of OR throughout the Army. He established major planning and analysis processes used by the Army to develop effective equipment and forces. He formed the Army’s first OR analysis command and he created the Army’s OR career field. If not the father, General Maddox was the prodigal son who made OR integral to all of the Army’s planning and operations. His combined analytic activities and senior leadership were without peer.
 
2003 - Natalie W. Crawford
 
Mrs. Natalie Crawford is a distinguished military operations research and analytic leader at the top of the Defense Department’s list of experts regularly asked to chair senior level panels, boards, councils, and war-gaming steering groups. An ardent analysis advocate and supporter, she has influenced the development of the nation’s defense capabilities for decades. Her personal research work has ranged across all aspects of military aircraft and weapons employment. In her RAND, Project Air Force, and Air Force’s Science Advisory Board leadership roles, she constantly promotes the value of the military operations research profession and the use of operations research methods to address some of the nation’s most complex military problems. Mrs. Crawford is a consummate and tireless mentor. She never misses an opportunity to infuse her analytic expertise and substantive knowledge of Air Force systems and organizations into the next generation of military operations research analysts. Her wise council is treasured by scores of young analysts and multiple Air Force Chiefs of Staff. Mrs. Crawford’s ability to communicate with the full spectrum of decision makers and her involvement and influence are regularly reflected in MORS symposia and special meetings. She has encouraged and supported RAND contributions and partnerships in the full range of MORS activities.
 
Mrs. Crawford’s broad ranging accomplishments reflect great credit upon the military operations research profession, the Society, the Air Force and the Nation.
 
2002 - Michael F. Bauman, FS
 
Mr. Michael F. Bauman is recognized as the 2002 Military Operations Research Society Vance R. Wanner Laureate for his exceptional contributions to the military operations research profession. As Director, US Army TRADOC Analysis Center, his actions have covered the most important aspects of the profession, from tireless development of today’s junior analysts into tomorrow’s leaders, continuous pursuit of new technologies as enablers of improved analytical capabilities, application of these resources to the most important problems of the military, and presentation of the products of the profession-insights, to the leadership in a timely manner in terms they understand. His contributions to MORS through his own activities and those of TRAC personnel across all MORS functions are outstanding. His broad ranging accomplishments as an innovator, entrepreneur, and service-oriented leader in improving the capabilities of the Army’s greatest asset, the soldier, reflect great credit upon the military operations research profession, the Society, and the US Army Training and Doctrine Command.
 
2001 - William G. Lese, Jr., FS
 
In recognition of his enduring contributions to the profession of military operations research, Dr. William G. Lese is awarded the Vance Wanner Memorial Award for the year 2000. Dr. Lese's commitment to analytical excellence has left a legacy of programs with direct and lasting impact on the field of military operations research. A staunch supporter of Joint analysis, Dr. Lese’s leadership and innovation raised the quality of Joint and DoD analysis to new heights, contributing significantly to the defense of the United States. As architect of the Modern Aids to Planning Program, Dr. Lese initiated analytic support to the combatant commands that endures under the Joint Analytic Support Program. As Scientific and Technical Advisor to the Commander in Chief, US Central Command, Dr. Lese was instrumental in establishing the warfighting analysis cell that performed admirable duty in Desert Storm. In the Office of the Secretary of Defense, he oversaw program analysis leading to the recapitalization of the Land Forces into the new era of force projection. His insightful efforts led to significant improvements in Cost and Operational Effectiveness Analyses in support of weapon system acquisition. Dr. Lese has ensured that the tools of operations research meet the demands of future defense analysis through the initiation of the Joint Analytic Model Improvement Program and the Joint Warfare System (JWARS) program. Through his commitment to and support of the Defense Resource Management System program, Dr. Lese used defense analysis as a means of developing Partnerships for Peace with emerging democracies, materially affecting the security posture of many Eastern Bloc nations. Dr. Lese has been a consistent advocate and contributor to the Military Operations Research Society, including service as a Director of the Society from 1984-1988 and 1991-1995, and as Sponsor of the Society for the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Dr. Lese’s contributions to the science and practice of military operations research and to the defense of the United States for over 35 years are in the highest tradition of the Vance R. Wanner Memorial Award.
 
2000 - Seymour J. Deitchman
 
Seymour J. Deitchman is one of the nation's most accomplished and well regarded analysts of defense issues. He is renowned for his ability to integrate the multiple dimensions of problems into a form that is readable, understandable, and actionable. In doing so, he exemplifies the highest standards of operations research, which include a passion for clear thinking, creative option development, objective assessment, sound analysis, integrity, and depiction of conclusions in a form that policy makers can use. He has served in private industry, in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and Office of the Secretary of Defense, as vice president for programs at the Institute for Defense Analyses, and as a member of U.S. Government and NATO advisory panels. Since 1982 he has served as a member and then as a Consultant and Special Advisor to the Naval Studies Board, National Research Council. During his career, Seymour Deitchman has conducted detailed technical analyses, managed research and development programs, been a corporate research officer, written distinguished books including one "On Being A Superpower: and not knowing what to do about it" published in January 2000, and he has been the synthesizer on many studies.
 
1999 - Donald B. Rice
 
Mr. Donald B. Rice has promoted the application of analytical thought to defense policy, planning and programming throughout his career. As the President and Chief Executive Officer of RAND from 1972 to 1989, he was responsible for ensuring that institution’s intellectual and financial health. In this way, and through his selection and promotion of key individuals, he provided distinguished service to the profession of military operations research. Before joining RAND he had a career as a military operations researcher, educator and manager at the Naval Post Graduate School and in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. After completing his tour of duty at RAND, he served as Secretary of the Air Force for four years where he rigorously applied the principles of analytical thought to defense decision making and promoted the career of the many individuals who have made and who continue to make contributions in that field.
 
1998 - Larry D. Welch
 
General (ret) Larry D. Welch has applied a rare combination of vision, leadership and analytical expertise to our most urgent and persistent national security problems. The principles of military analysis and the associated ethics has been an integral part of his leadership roles at the highest level of each of the organizations he has served.
His career in the Air Force started in 1953 and culminated in 1986 when he became Chief of Staff of the Air Force. It continues with his visionary leadership of the Institute for Defense Analyses, together with his broad-ranging contributions to the national security community overall. In the late 1960’s he developed the Air Force’s first air-to-air combat model and used it to help define the F-15 program. His support of the Military Operations Research Society includes articles of effective analysis and presenting the keynote at a Symposium.
His understanding of military operations has led others to seek his counsel, as is evidenced by his leadership and membership on numerous appointed national-level advisory boards and commissions.
His interests and influence have extended to the highest levels of our government, always marked by an objective and analytically sound basis. For his entire multifaceted career he has been a significant force in advising and shaping the national security agenda, both from a military and a civilian perspective.
 
General Welch’s dedication to country, visionary leadership, personal integrity and dedication to quality analysis exemplifies the spirit and ideals of the Vance R. Wanner Memorial Award.
 
1997 - Paul K. Davis

1996 - Edward C. Brady, FS 

1995 - E.B. Vandiver III, FS 

1994 - James N. Bexfield, FS 

1993 - David S.C. Chu 

1992 - John D. Robinson 

1991 - Marion L. Williams, FS 

1990 - John K. Walker, Jr., FS 

1989 - Wayne P. Hughes, Jr., FS 

1988 - Clayton J. Thomas, FS 

1987 - Wilbur B. Payne, FS 

1986 - Seth Bonder, FS 

1985 - Marion R. Bryson, FS 

1984 - David A. Schrady, FS 

1983 - Jasper A. Welch, Jr. 

1982 - Walter L. Deemer 

1981 - Jack R. Borsting, FS 

1980 - Glenn A. Kent 

1979 - Bernard O. Koopman 

1978 - Philip M. Morse
 

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