The Dickey Chapelle and Military Order of the Iron Mike Awards are presented each year at the Modern Day Marine Grand Banquet to two individuals for their exceptional service to their country and the United States Marine Corps.

The Dickey Chapelle Award honors the memory of the late Dickey Chapelle, an American foreign correspondent who first covered Marines in combat at the Battle of Iwo Jima and was killed while on patrol with a Marine Corps infantry unit engaged in combat operations against enemy forces during the Vietnam War. The award was established by the Marine Corps League to extend recognition to a woman who has contributed substantially to the morale, welfare and well-being of the officers and men and women of the United States Marine Corps.

The Marine Corps League’s annual Military Order of the Iron Mike Award was established by the Marine Corps League for the purpose of honoring a person who has most significantly contributed to the United States of America and the United States Marine Corps. The award is named for the landmark statue, “Iron Mike,” located at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina. The statue and the Iron Mike Award symbolize courage, tenacity and distinguished leadership.

2023 Iron Mike Award Recipient

Col Nicole Mann, USMC and NASA Astronaut


Col Nicole Mann is a native of California with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and MS in Mechanical Engineering. She was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1999. As a Colonel in the Marine Corps, she has served as an F/A-18 Test Pilot and has served two deployments aboard the USS Enterprise (pause for effect). She accumulated over 2,500 flight hours in 25 different types of aircraft, 200 carrier arrestments, and flew 47 combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. In June 2013 she was selected by NASA and in October 2022, as the first indigenous woman from NASA to go to space, she launched to the International Space Station as commander of SpaceX Crew-5. She not only lived and worked aboard the space station, the also completed multiple space works.

2023 Dickey Chapelle Award Recipient

Elizabeth King, Staff Director of the Senate Armed Services Committee


Elizabeth King has devoted over twenty fi ve years serving our country in a variety of capacities. In 1993 she received her Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center and began her career on Capitol Hill as a Legislative Aide for Senator Alan Dixon. In 1995 she served as a counsel on the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission. She has served as Legislative Director for Representative Mary Meehan, a member of the House Armed Services Committee and has been Senator Jack Reed’s primary liaison to the Senate Armed Services Committee and Senate Appropriations Committee in the areas of defense, military construction, veterans, and foreign operations.

Prior to joining the Senate Armed Services Committee, she served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs and promoted the Department’s strategy, legislative priorities, policies, and budget to the United States Congress. Her steadfast leadership in both military and veterans’ affairs sets her apart as a force that guards the morale, welfare, and wellbeing of our servicemembers and veterans.

Past Dickey Chapelle Award Recipients

Senator Tammy Duckworth

Ellyn Dunford

Martha Raye

Marjorie Merriweather Post

Kate Smith

Esther Clark

Sister Veronica

Jeane J Kirkpatrick

Sally Ride

Rear Admiral Grace Hopper

Maj Robin Higgins

Yvette Somers

Assistant Secretary of the Navy Barbara Spyridon Pope

Elaine Rodgers

Carmella LaSpada

Linda Sloan Mundy

Susan Braaten

Stephanie Bates

Zandra Meyers Krulak

Katie K. Dixon

Clara J. Miller

Diane J. Jones

Rita McMichael & Karin Guenther

Carol Sefton

Brenda Nyland

Beverly Angello Young

Lynn Pace

Karen Driscoll

Lin Ezell

Debra Dunham

Bonnie Carroll

The Honorable Kay R. Hagan 

Shannon Maxwell

Chief Cathy L. Lanier

Debbie Paxton

Dr. Betty Moseley Brown, Ed.D

Congresswoman Susan Davis

Congresswoman Niki Tsongas

Military Order of the Iron Mike Award Recipients

Senator Jack Reed

Senator Pat Roberts

White House Chief of Staff, Donald T. Regan

Senator Zell Miller

Senator Dewey Bartlett

Senator Dirk Kempthorne

Senator Conrad Burns

Senator Charles Robb

Congressman David O’B. Martin

Congressman John P. Murtha

Congressman Gerald B.H. Solomon

The Honorable John Warner

The Honorable James H. Webb, Jr.

Ambassador Kenneth Taylor

Bob Hope

H. Ross Perot

Howard K. Smith

John Wayne

James F. Jordan

Alfred Lerner

Senator John Warner

General Raymond G. Davis, USMC(Ret)

Colonel Harvey C. Barnum, USMC(Ret)

General Peter Pace

Arnold Fisher

Major General Donald R. Gardner, USMC(Ret)

Lieutenant General George R. Christmas, USMC(Ret)

Major Paul F. Hastings, USMC(Ret)

Sergeant Major Carlton Kent, 16th SMMC

Lieutenant Colonel Tim Maxwell, USMC

Congressman Howard P. “Buck” McKeon

Congressman Rob Wittman

Bob Simmons

Senator Thomas R. Tillis