Lt Gen SL Menezes Memorial Essay Competition

Lieutenant General SL Menezes Memorial USI Essay Competition 2018

United Service Institution of India (USI) has recently instituted ‘Lieutenant General SL Menezes Memorial USI Essay Competition’ for a subject connected with Military History.The essay competition has been instituted based on a corpus donated by the family of Late Lieutenant General SL Menezes and will be run under the aegis of the Centre for Armed Forces Historical Research (CAFHR) of the USI commencing from 2015. A brief on Lieutenant General SL Menezes is attached.

Lieutenant General Stanley Leslie Menezes, PVSM, SC (Retd)

Lieutenant General SL Menezes was born on 13 Nov 1922 at Bombay. After graduation from St John’s College, Agra University, he was commissioned into the 4th Bombay Grenadiers on 30 May 1943 and retired as the Vice Chief of Army Staff (VCOAS) on 31 Jul 1980.

He was awarded the Shaurya Chakra and Commander-in-Chiefs commendation in 1947 (as a Major) for gallantry during the movement of his battalion by train in Feb 1947 from Thal (Pakistan) to India in the Partition holocaust. He commanded the 3rd Battalion, the Grenadier Regiment from 1960 to 1962 and was an Instructor at the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington and Commander Tactical Wing at the Infantry School, Mhow. During the 1971 War, he was Chief of Staff of 1 Corps on the Western Front. He was GOC 4 Corps from 1975-78 and was subsequently elevated as VCOAS in 1978. In his capacity as VCOAS, he was also the ex-officio Vice President of the USI Council.

Post retirement, he wrote many articles in the USI Journal during the period 1983 to 1987 on Military History and also published a book titled ‘Fidelity and Honour : The Indian Army from the Seventeenth to the Twenty First Century’. He was Honorary Liaison Officer between the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and the Ministry of Defence, Government of India and did commendable work in that capacity. He became a Life Member of USI in Apr 1979 and was also an Elected Member of USI Council for many years.


    1. Competition is open to all, irrespective of nationality. This includes all members of the Armed Forces of India, the Territorial Army and the Senior Division of National Cadet Corps, and personnel of the Paramilitary Forces, Police and Civil Administration in India including retired personnel.

    2. The essay for 2018must be on the following topic:
    • India’s Wars Since Independence: Would we have performed better if we had a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS)?
    There has been a demand for a CDS for some time but no decision has been taken so far. Would the presence of a CDS have affected the outcome of these wars? If so, in what manner?
    3. Essay may vary in length between 3,500 to 4,500 words (including footnotes). The word length should be shown in brackets at the end of the essay. Entries violating the length are liable to be rejected.

    4. Essays should be written in the English language and printed on one side of the paper in double space. Hardcopies only should be submitted in TRIPLICATE. Essays are NOT to be sent by email.

    5. Entries will be strictly ANONYMOUS. No detail pertaining to the author is to be mentioned on the essay or in the covering letter. One sealed envelope is to accompany the essay with a paper indicating the author’s name, address, email. Service officers are to indicate their personal number, rank, date of commission, unit, address and e-mail. On the outside of the envelope, only the title of the essay is to be written. These envelopes will be opened during the USI Council meeting, after the judges have given their decision. Essays violating the anonymity rule will be rejected.

    6. The essay must be an author’s personal and original effort. Sources are to be cited in the laid down format. Jointly written essays are not accepted.

    7. Three judges chosen by the USI will adjudicate. Marks will be given on the basis of the following:-

    a. The extent to which the contribution throws fresh light on the subject.
    b. Whether in the whole or in large part it is in a form suitable for publication.
    c. Understanding of the subject.
    d. Thought, logic, development of theme.
    e. Language / expression.
    f. Essays must have relevant footnote references and a bibliography, as applicable.Essay NOT having footnotes or bibliography will be rejected
    8. The award of the judges will be final. They may recommend the first prize to the winner (a certificate and cash prize of Rs.10,000/-), as well as a certificate only to the runners-up. The names of the winner(s) of the essay competition, along with the winning essay, if recommended for publication by the judges, will be published in the USI Journal.

    9. The Institution reserves the right not to make an award, if none of the essays submitted are of a standard which the judges consider adequate. Cases of plagiarism will invite disqualification.

    10. Copyright of all essays submitted will be reserved by the United Service Institution of India.

    11. All essays should be sent to the Director, United Service Institution of India, Rao Tula Ram Marg, Post Bag No.8, Vasant Vihar PO, New Delhi-110 057, to be received not later than 15 August 2018. Essays received after last date will not be accepted. The envelopes should be marked as follows:- • ‘Lt Gen SL Menezes Memorial USI Essay Competition2018’

    12. All essays must conform to the CAFHR style sheet, available at

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Subject:India’s Wars since Independence: Would we have performed better if we had a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS).
IC – 58813 F, Col S Dinny, Directing Staff, DSSC, Wellington (Nilgiris), Tamil Nadu – 643 231, Email :
IC - 59686 K, Col Prashant Pant, 61 Field Regiment, Pin - 925761, C/o 99 APO, Email :

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