Sean Naylor staff writer for Army Times has won Honorable Mention for the 25th annual Gerald R. Ford Prize for Distinguished Reporting on National Defense. The award recognizes journalists whose high standards for accuracy and substance help foster a better public understanding of National Defense. This year, the award will be presented by Steve Ford, son of the late President Gerald R. Ford and Chairman of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation, at a National Press Club luncheon in June. Following the presentation of the award, Chris Matthews will address the audience.

When announcing their decision to award Sean Naylor the Honorable Mention Gerald R. Ford Prize for Distinguished Reporting on National Defense in 2011, the judges issued the following statement:

“For Honorable Mention, the judges selected Sean Naylor from Army Times. The panel felt that Mr. Naylor’s articles provided prescient insights into a volatile, dangerous and strategically critical part of the world. His in-depth research, excellent sources and ability to connect the dots provided important information on an area that has to date received relatively little attention in the press.”

The judges for this year’s contest were:
Chair, Debra van Opstal, Executive Director, US Resilience Project; Michael Champness, Reserve Colonel on active duty, Senior Individual Mobilization Augmentee to the Deputy Director of Operational Capability Requirements at Air Force Headquarters; Robert Holzer, Principal Analyst, National Security Programs, Gryphon Technologies, and recipient of the 1998 Gerald R. Ford Journalism Prize for Distinguished Reporting on National Defense; David M. Olive, Principal at Catalyst Partners with more than 30 years experience in business, politics, law, and public affairs, including establishment of The Washington Homeland Security Roundtable; Erik Peterson, Managing Director of the Global Business Policy Council at AT Kearney and Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies; Karen Scowcroft, Senior Vice President and Chief Counsel – Financial Services for CIT Group Inc.

The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation sponsors the Gerald R. Ford Journalism Prizes for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency and Distinguished Reporting on National Defense to recognize and encourage thoughtful, insightful, and enterprising work by journalists covering the presidency and national defense. The Foundation is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan corporation whose programs are supported entirely by contributions and bequests in an effort to honor President Ford’s sustained commitment to public service.

For more information about the annual prize or previous winners contact: Joe Calvaruso, Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation, 303 Pearl Street NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504-5353, (616) 254-0397, or visit our website at .

This year’s Honorable Mention:
Sean D. Naylor, 45, is a senior writer for Army Times, where he has worked since June 1990. His principal beat is special operations forces. Previously he covered combat operations, exercises, training, readiness, weapons systems, force modernization and the Army’s senior leadership.

Mr. Naylor received his bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University in 1988 and a Master of Arts in International Relations from the same institution in 1990. In 1987 he traveled to Pakistan and Afghanistan as a freelance reporter covering the Afghan mujahideen, meeting and conversing with Jalaluddin Haqqani, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and Hamid Karzai, among others.

Since joining Army Times, Mr. Naylor has covered military operations as an embedded reporter in Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq, most recently spending a month with U.S. special operations forces in Afghanistan in 2010.

His coverage of 2002’s Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan earned him the White House Correspondents Association’s 2003 Edgar A. Poe award for excellence in reporting an issue of regional or national importance. It also led to a best-selling book, Not A Good Day To Die – The Untold Story of Operation Anaconda, published in March 2005 by Berkley Books, New York, N.Y. Mr. Naylor is also the co-author, with Tom Donnelly, of Clash of Chariots – The Great Tank Battles, published by Berkley to favorable reviews in 1996. He is currently on leave from Army Times, working on a book about Joint Special Operations Command.

Born in Canada, and raised in England and Ireland, Mr. Naylor became a U.S. citizen on March 14, 2000. He lives in Washington D.C. on Capitol Hill, reluctantly hung up his rugby boots 11 years ago after a 25-year playing career, and is an avid soccer fan.

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