NEW YORK (AP) — Author and journalist Wesley Morgan is this year’s winner of the William E. Colby Award for military and intelligence writing. He was cited for his book “The Hardest Place: The American Military Adrift in Afghanistan’s Pech Valley.”

The Colby award, a $5,000 prize named for the former ambassador and CIA director, is given for “a major contribution to the understanding of military history, intelligence operations or international affairs.”

Morgan was still a college student when he began embedding with military units in Afghanistan, more than a decade ago. He has since reported on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq for The New York Times, the Washington Post and other outlets.

“I’m excited to receive this award for military and intelligence coverage, since using the lens of Kunar province’s Pech valley to illustrate how those two subjects blended together at key points during the 20-year U.S. war in the Afghan east was one of my goals with ‘The Hardest Place,’” Morgan said in a statement Tuesday.

The Colby Award is presented by Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont. Previous winners include Dexter Filkins, Karl Marlantes and Adam Higginbotham.