Defense Base Act Scholarship


Did you know that many civilians working for US companies are killed in foreign conflict each year? Because these contractors work for private companies, they don’t receive government compensation and benefits like military members.

Defense Base Act Overview

However, the US government passed legislation to ensure that injured defense contractors receive workers’ compensation. The Defense Base Act (DBA) is a form of federal workers’ compensation that covers civilian employees at overseas US defense bases. 

Defense workers can sustain severe injuries or death as they work in high-risk environments. Workers may suffer these common injuries:

  • Eye injuries and blindness,
  • Back injuries,
  • Spinal cord injuries,
  • Traumatic brain injuries,
  • Hearing loss, and
  • Psychological or emotional injuries such as PTSD. 

Sadly, civilian workers in hostile territories are routinely exposed to attacks by foreign governments. For instance, an American contractor recently died as he was barraged by ten rockets in Iraq. A year ago, Iranian rockets killed a US interpreter.

Defense Contractors in Danger 

These civilian deaths often don’t receive much news coverage, but they must be counted in the cost of foreign conflict. Consider these statistics that highlight the dangers defense contractors face in the Middle East:

  • There are around 53,000 contractors in the Middle East; 
  • There are about 35,000 American troops in the Middle East; 
  • Since 2001, 8,000 contractors for US companies have been killed in the Middle East; and 
  • US contractors killed since 2001 totaled 1,000 more than the number of US troops killed.

The Defense Base Act requires employers to provide these workers with medical care and compensation if they are injured on the job. If a defense worker is killed at work, the DBA provides survivor benefits to their family.

Scholarship Overview

To increase recognition of the important role defense contractors play in US foreign policy, Grossman Attorneys at Law is sponsoring a $1,000 scholarship contest.

Scholarship Essay Topic

Considering that the number of contractors for US companies in the Middle East is nearly 20,000 more than the number of US troops, some people have noted ethical concerns. 

We want eligible students to write on this topic: Identify one or more ethical concerns with the use of contractors in the Middle East. Describe how you would improve the ethical use of contractors.

Address the topic in a persuasive, fact-based 400-500 word essay. 

Who Is Eligible?

Applicants must be EITHER high school seniors (graduating summer 2021) accepted to a college or university OR students currently enrolled in a college or university (beginning fall semester 2021).

What Is the Deadline?

Students must submit essays by Wednesday, December 1, 2021.

What Is the Prize?

One student will be selected to receive a $1,000 scholarship.

How Will You Select the Winner?

We will judge scholarship essays on the persuasive presentation of ideas, organization, and style.

When Will Winners Be Announced?

Winners will be announced on Wednesday, December 15, 2021.

How to Submit an Application

Submit your essay here. Include a transcript or other proof of enrollment and contact information.


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