Enlisted Prize Essay Contest

Sponsored by Textron Systems

The Challenge:

Write on a topic that makes the naval profession stronger. No subject is too large or too small. For example:

  • Identify opportunities to better use enlisted professionals' talents.
  • Share leadership best practices.
  • Improve tactical doctrine.
  • Identify unfair rules or policies.
  • Provide insider information to sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen.
  • Help first-tour ensigns and/or second lieutenants do their jobs more effectively.

Note: This contest will run twice annually -- total prizes of $12,000 per year.

Prior Publication: We will assume that your essay has not been previously published (online or in print) or being considered for publication elsewhere, unless otherwise notified by you.  All previously published essays are ineligible.

Submission Guidelines:

  • Email essay by 31 March 2017 to: essay@usni.org
  • Include Enlisted Prize Essay Contest Submission on subject line of email
  • Include word count on title page of essay but do not include your name on title page or within the essay
  • Provide separate attachment to include biography and complete contact information—i.e., work, home, and cell phone numbers; and home mailing address

Selection Process: The Proceedings staff members will evaluate every essay and screen the top essays to a special Essay Selection Committee of at least six members who will include two members of the Naval Institute’s Editorial Board and four subject experts. All essays will be judged in the blind—i.e., the Proceedings staff members and judges will not know the authors of the essays.

Memberships: All prize winners receive one-year memberships in the U.S. Naval Institute

Sponsor: The Naval Institute's Enlisted Prize Essay Contest is made possible by a three-year grant from Textron Systems, whose businesses include Advanced Information Solutions, Electronic Systems, Geospatial Solutions, Lycoming Engines, Marine & Land Systems, Support Solutions, Unmanned Systems, Weapon & Sensor Systems, and TRU Simulation & Training.

About Naval Institute Essay Contests

Essay contests have been central to the work of the Naval Institute for more than 130 years. They directly fulfill the Institute's educational mission by encouraging writing on issues of concern to the Sea Services. They provide thought-provoking articles that spur ongoing discussion of these same issues, not only in Naval Institute media, print and digital, but also in other leading defense and national security forums.

Winners will be announced and published in the April 2017 issue of Proceedings.
First Prize: $3,000 Second Prize: $2,000 Third Prize: $1,000
All prize winners will be recognized at West 2018.
Open to enlisted personnel—active duty, reserve and retired--from any nation's sea services.
1,500 words maximum (excludes footnotes/endnotes/sources).

Past Contests

2017 Spring Enlisted Prize Essay Contest Sponsored by Textron Systems

2016 Enlisted Prize Essay Contest Sponsored with Textron Systems

Hospital Corpsman Second Class Crystal Tao, U.S. Navy Reserve

2015 Enlisted Prize Essay Contest sponsored by Textron Systems

Sergeant Dion J. Edon Jr., U.S. Marine Corps


Conferences and Events

WEST 2017

Tue, 2017-02-21 - Thu, 2017-02-23

San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, CA

Tuesday, 21 February - Thursday, 23 February 2017 Co-Sponsored by AFCEA International and the U.S. Naval Institute. Registration...

2017 U.S. Naval Institute Member Event

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From the Press

Taped Oral History Interview

Tue, 2017-02-21

Arnold L. Punaro

Meet the Authors & Book Signings

Tue, 2017-02-21

Admiral James Stavridis

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