AccoladesA Collection of Student Scholarship

2016 Accolades

Accolades entries are organized by degree program. Each program section includes an overview of the featured student works followed by a listing of individual project abstracts for easy browsing.

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Master of Arts in Military History View all accolades »

Students in the Master of Arts in Military History program examine the role of the military and war throughout history, looking at differing historical interpretations and various types of historical knowledge.

  • 2016
  • Master of Arts in Military History

Amphibious Warfare: Conjunct Expeditions and the American Defense of New York in 1776

Author: Bradley Hood
Abstract:

On June 28, 1776 General Washington received reports of over 130 British ships arriving off Long Island. This expedition, launched against New York by the British in the aftermath of Boston, represented the largest expeditionary force that Britain had ever assembled to that date. The resulting American defense of that city, located at the intersection of three rivers and easily accessible by seagoing transports, was necessarily an amphibious one. This paper identifies gaps in the existing scholarly literature on amphibious operations and the American Revolution. Next, the author addresses this gap by applying concepts from historians and theorists such as Theodore Gatchel and Thomas More Molyneux as a lens for study. Finally, he argues that the qualification of this campaign as amphibious is important for two key reasons; first, to understand the development of early American amphibious warfare, and second, to gain insight on an emergent American way of war. While this paper is narrowly specialized, it argues for further study, and emphasizes the importance of what Dr. Gary Ohls has aptly named the amphibious “Roots of Tradition” in North America.

  • 2016
  • Master of Arts in Military History

Communicating the Legitimacy and Infrequency of Police Use of Force

Author: Erick Gelhaus
Abstract:

Currently, there is considerable discussion about perceived excessive uses of force by the police. Driven by various media outlets, these conversations involve the community and governmental officials. Unfortunately, in many cases, there is little, if any, understanding of the legal foundations for officers’ actions. Media reports do not address the infrequent rate at which officers use force. This project reviews the data and research relating to the frequency of the police using force. It reviews some of the relevant case law providing parameters to officers both of which offer a foundation for more knowledgeable police administrators to communicate this information to the public using a variety of media platforms.

  • 2016
  • Master of Arts in Military History

General George B. McClellan: The Blame Game

Author: Eric Fishman
Abstract:

The paper argues that the vast majority of historical blame for the lack of military results by the Army of the Potomac in 1862 accorded to General McClellan is overdone. The paper maintains that the significant amount of civilian interference, chiefly by President Abraham Lincoln, mitigates much of the blame assigned to General McClellan.

  • 2016
  • Master of Arts in Military History

How the British forces defeated the Argentinian forces in the Falkland Islands War of 1982

Author: John Ferriss
Abstract:

This paper identifies the primary reasons for the victory of the British armed forces in this war. The principal contention is that the decisive factor in the conflict was the the professionalism, bravery, determination, and versatility of the men Britain sent to recover the Falkland Islands.

  • 2016
  • Master of Arts in Military History

Reimagining Firepower: An Exploration of the Shifting American Preference of Volume of Fire over Accuracy in the Interwar Period

Author: Shawn Faeth
Abstract:

In the years following the conclusion of the First World War, a noticeable evolution began to take place within the doctrine of the United States military. Elemental to this shift was the transition away from a longstanding preference of accuracy to a new focus on voluminous firepower. This paper explains how the experiences of American forces in the First World War affected this radical reappraisal, as well as examines several of the implications that significantly influenced American military doctrine for decades thereafter. Examples include new standards of troop training and tactical planning that favored volume of fire over accuracy, and the evolution of military small arms to the same end that culminated in the adoption of the semiautomatic M1 rifle.

  • 2016
  • Master of Arts in Military History

The Bonus March of 1932: Disentangling Myths, Interpretations, and Perceptions

Author: Robert Renneisen
Abstract:

Historical examinations of the Bonus March have evolved over the years; yet, to this day, no consensus exists regarding the causes and responsibilities for what occurred. This capstone reexamines some of the literature and primary sources with the goal of disentangling the accepted interpretations and presenting a thesis that the historical significance of the Bonus March resulted from a leadership vacuum caused by the poor, inadequate, or absent direction of specific key individuals involved. Many popular myths and inaccuracies found their way into the early historiography of the march. Some have been corrected (if not fully accepted) in more recent histories. However, some of them still permeate both popular and academic histories. Correcting the record and examining those errors will further contribute to a better understanding and interpretation of the Bonus March incident by historians.

  • 2016
  • Master of Arts in Military History

The Cunning, the Sleepless, and the Dead: The Origins and Development of Modern Counterinsurgency Doctrine

Author: Cameron Albin
Abstract:

The military tradition forged in America’s “conventional” victories, coupled with the persistent Soviet threat of the Cold War, the failure of Vietnam, and the stunning success of Operation DESERT STORM, created public, professional, and even academic perceptions of conventional warfare as the “normal” mode of armed conflict, with small wars as the exception to the rule. However, a substantial body of evidence indicates that irregular warfare has been the primary occupation of American armed forces for the past two centuries. This paper will establish that COIN doctrine, as presented in 2006 was considered revolutionary in that it challenged the U.S. military’s focus on conventional regional conflict, in spite of the fact that the U.S. military has a long and clearly defined tradition of limited, asymmetrical conflict and Small Wars.

  • 2016
  • Master of Arts in Military History

The Destruction of the Far East Air Force, December 8th, 1941: The Strategy vs. Feasibility Gap

Author: Samuel Limneos
Abstract:

On America’s first day of World War II, December 8th 1941, United States air power in the Philippines was decimated by raids of Japanese heavy bombers and light pursuit aircraft from installations on Formosa. To add insult to the injury inflicted by Japan on the fleet at Pearl Harbor only a few hours prior, the Japanese attack force caught the American Far East Air Force off guard and on the ground. Although historians have analyzed both the strategic and logistical foundations of United States planning for Philippines defense, historiography placing the two side by side and highlighting their incongruence is sparse. Throughout the summer of 1941 increasing faith in a grandiose aerial strategy for the Philippines rapidly displaced decades of strategic neglect toward the islands. The feasibility of this strategy, debatable from the onset, was shattered in the first day of the war due to the poor correlation between strategy and logistics. The unequal relationship between strategy and logistics was inherent to the United States’ military appraisal of the Philippines. When the complex deterrent strategy in the Pacific came to fruition and rapid buildup of American airpower in the Philippines began in 1941, the abrupt changes manifested in horror and awe the logistical deficiencies in decades of the archipelago’s defense planning.