The Colonel Geoffrey Brooks Memorial Essay Competition
Colonel E.G. Brooks was an accomplished officer of The Royal Regiment who was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his actions as a Major in 6th Field Regiment RCA on 26 February 1945 during Operation BLOCKBUSTER when, the Commanding Officer of his supported battalion, the Cameron Highlanders, having been killed by a sniper, he took command and controlled the operations of the forward companies until the arrival of the battalion second-in-command. Returning to his OP, he directed the fire of his own guns and those of the rest of the divisional artillery in fighting off five separate counter-attacks, to such good effect that not one of these reached the objectives gained by the Camerons. Colonel Brooks commanded 2nd Regiment RCHA in Korea and was a member of the mounted escort to the sovereign at the Coronation in 1953. He went on to serve as Director of Artillery from 1960-63. He died in 1964. The stained glass window illustrated to the left of this page was installed in his memory at the Royal Military College where he had served as Staff Adjutant from 1948-50.
The contest is open to all serving and retired military personnel and students attending post-secondary educational institutes. Additionally, the essay contest running from 1 July to 1 April is mandatory for junior officers and Assistant Instructor-in-Gunnery students and highly encouraged/discretionary for Warrant Officers and Master Warrant Officers.
Topics for the 2022/23 Essay Contest
Focus on current and recent conflicts and lessons/observations that will allow the RCA to fight and survive on the modern battle space. Next contest the rules will remain the same. The recent conflicts such as Russia/Ukraine (2022) and Nagorno–Karabakh Conflict (2020) saw heavy use of Fd, AD and Locating/STA artillery assets. How is the modern RCA to fight, move and communicate in the modern evolving battle space? Below are five broad topics on which to base essays.
- Employment of Fd Arty at the BG and Bde level against a peer, near peer or superior enemy;
- Employment of Locating/STA Arty at the BG and Bde level against a peer, near peer or superior enemy;
- Employment of AD Arty at the BG and Bde level against a peer, near peer or superior enemy;
- Survivability of artillery on the modern battlefield; and
- Artillery in Northern operations.
Essay entries should be between 2,000 to 3,000 words in length. The title and page of any published or unpublished work to which reference has been made, or from which extracts have been taken, must be quoted and footnoted.
Entries must be submitted electronically in MS Word format. Authorship of entries must be strictly anonymous. Each competitor will adopt a motto or nom de plume, which will be quoted at the top of the essay and will be the only name to appear on the essay. To further safeguard anonymity, authors will insert their nickname in the “Author” block under “Properties” on MS Word.
Entries must reach RHQ RCA by 1 April. The winner will be announced on Artillery Day (26 May).
$1800.00 in prizes will be awarded. (1st Prize -$1000; 2nd Prize -$500; and 3rd Prize -$300)
Submission to RHQ
The essay will be emailed to RHQ RCA at firstname.lastname@example.org. The subject line will be “Entry – Geoffrey Brooks Essay Competition”. The email will include the essay as an attachment and within the text of the email the author will include his/her service number (if applicable), rank, name and address, which will remain with RHQ for administrative purposes. RHQ will forward the essay to the judging committee.
RHQ RCA will arrange for a committee to judge the entries. The decisions of this committee will be final. Results will be made known in the next issue of the Canadian Gunner News and recorded on this website. All who submitted essays will be contacted by letter.
RHQ RCA cannot be held responsible for the loss or return of any essay submitted; nor shall it incur any liability whatsoever in connection with the receipt, dealings, judging and reports of essays.
The copyright of any essay submitted will remain with the author; however, submission of a paper to the competition gives The RCA permission to publish said document as RHQ RCA sees fit and retain a copy in The RCA Museum library and archives.
Reproduction or distribution in whole or part of any of The Geoffrey Brooks Memorial Essays posted here without the express written consent of their author is strictly forbidden.
- Retooling the RCA for Large-Scale Operations By Captain Edgar Ma, 1 RCHA
- Officer Retention at the Tactical Level By Y Battery, 2 RCHA
- The Value of Experience By Captain Mark Staples, The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery School
- Dispersion in the Digital Age – Deploying a Gun Bty for the Modern Fight By Captain Alexander Wiebe, 1 RCHA
- “Fires of The 2020s: What’s Old is New Again” By Captain Brendan Hogan, 2nd Regiment RCHA
- “Innovation and Adaptation: How British and Canadian artilleries rose to meet the demands of the First World War” By Second-Lieutenant Jonas Bystorm, 20th Field Artillery Regiment RCA
- “Overcoming the Key Barriers to MRR Operability” By Lieutenant Jacob Neeb, 4th Artillery Regiment (General Support) RCA
- “Where the Hell Are the Drones?” By Captain Conway Hui, 15th Field Artillery Regiment RCA
- “Operational Research and the RCA” By Captain Brendan Hogan, The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery School
No prize was awarded this year.
- CB Fire during the Battle of Hill 70 By Captain Brendan Hogan, The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery School
- Khyber Pass By Warrant Officer Sebastian Normand, The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery School
- Star Techs, The Next Generation By Major Joseph O’Donnell, The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery School
- Panzermeyer Attacks! By Captain Nicholas Kaempffer, The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery School
- Des légions romaines à aujourd’hui: The Guns! Thank God, the Guns! By Sous-Lieutenant Patrick Vendette, 4th Artillery Regiment (General Support) RCA
- Ubique, Always By Captain Ioana Stoica, 4th Artillery Regiment (General Support) RCA
- The Rise of Private Military Corporations By Captain Nicholas Kaempffer, The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery School
- Even Speed Bumps Need Protection: The Requirement for a Counter Unmanned Aerial System / Anti Munition Capability within Canadian Armed Forces Deployed to Latvia By Lieutenant Adam Weaver
- Hard Lessons in the Holy Land By Captain Graham Richards
No prize awarded.
- Fire Plan Vimy: The Barrage that Built a Nation By Major David Grebstad, 2nd Regiment RCHA
- Artillery Reserve Units Importance, Issues & Future By Sous Lieutenant Djetou, 2nd Field Regiment RCA
- The Fires of Normandy By Major David Grebstad, 2nd Regiment RCHA
- Artillery and the Enduring Paradigm of the Modern Style of Warfare By Major David Grebstad, 2nd Regiment RCHA
- Bullets, Bombs and Ice Cream By Lieutenant Nicholas Kaempffer, The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery School
- The Guns of Sicily By Major David Grebstad, 2nd Regiment RCHA
- To Move The Guns By Captain Rick Parent, 2nd Regiment RCHA
- Interpersonal Communication Skills – A Key to Success in Coalition Operations By Lieutenant-Colonel Paul Payne, LFAA
- Staying Terrific: Ensuring a Relevant Royal Regiment in the Post-Afghanistan Era By Colonel Peter Williams, Strategic Joint Staff
- Spare The Guns, Spoil The Insurgents, On the Successful Employment of Artillery during Stabilization Operations By Major David Grebstad, 2nd Regiment RCHA
- Battle Procedure for Artillery Troop Level Operations By Major David Grebstad, 2nd Regiment RCHA
- Andrew McNaughton – His Influence on Artillery and Intelligence During the First World War By Captain Jamie Phillips, The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery School