ESSAY CONTESTS BACKGROUND & RULES

The Institute's essay program aligns perfectly with our mission:

"To provide an independent forum for those who dare to read, think, speak, and write in order to advance the professional, literary, and scientific understanding of sea power and other issues critical to national defense."

The subjects examined by the vast Naval community of those who think deeply and consider the successes, failures and future of maritime and national security policy cover a broad range of fascinating, critical topics, some of which are listed below. Individual essay contests are generally made possible with support from commercial defense contractors, whose interest in encouraging new ideas surrounding specific topics lines up with the Institute's mission to host such discussions. The centerpiece of the Institute's essay program is the General Prize.

The General Prize Essay contest is perhaps the oldest continuously conducted writing contest in the entire United States. The Institute began work on the Contest in 1878 under the leadership of the most recognized and celebrated Naval Strategist in United States history, Alfred Thayer Mahan, then the Chairman of the Naval Institute.

Lieutenant Commander Allan D. Brown first proposed the idea for an essay contest sponsored by the U.S. Naval Institute for "a paper which shall be deemed the best" on 9 May 1878 at the organization's meeting in Annapolis. The first contest was in 1879. The name of the contest was changed in 1985 to the Arleigh Burke Essay Contest in honor of the World War II hero, former Chief of Naval Operations, and President of the Naval Institute. The name reverted to the General Prize in 2008. Today, the prizes honor the first, second, and third best articles published in Proceedings over the previous year, from October through September of the succeeding year.

Essay Contest may be found here.

Watch the pages of Proceedings and the usni.org home page for announcements concerning upcoming essay contests.

Essay Contests - 1980 to 1989

1989 General Prize (Arleigh Burke Essay) Contest Winners
Prize WinnerRear Admiral James A. Winnefeld, USN (Ret.)Is the Navy Ready for Conventional Arms Control?
First Honorable MentionCaptain Linton F. Brooks, USNDropping the Baton
Second Honorable MentionCommander Thomas Grassey, USNR-RJustifying the Cost of Seapower
1988 General Prize (Arleigh Burke Essay) Contest Winners
First Honorable MentionLieutenant Frederick A. Graf, USNThe Combat Officer and International Law
Second Honorable MentionLieutenant Scott A. Hastings, USNRA Maritime Strategy for 2037
1987 General Prize (Arleigh Burke Essay) Contest Winners
Prize WinnerCaptain Linton F. Brooks, USNThe Maritime Nuclear Strategy
First Honorable MentionCaptain Roger W. Barnett, USN (Ret.)Rocks in the Scuppers: Another Round in the Maritime/Continental Debate
Second Co-Honorable MentionLieutenant P. Kevin Peppe, USNAcoustic Parity, SSNs and the Maritime Strategy
1986 General Prize (Arleigh Burke Essay) Contest Winners
Prize WinnerDr. James L. GeorgeStart and the Navy
First Honorable MentionCommander James John Tritten, USNTheir Ideology
Second Honorable MentionLieutenant Commander Christopher Staszak, USNRTerrorism and the Surface Navy
1985 General Prize (Arleigh Burke Essay) Contest Winners
Prize WinnerCaptain Daniel S. Appleton, USN (Ret.)Endgame
First Honorable MentionCommander Linton Wells, IIPlus Ca Change
Second Honorable MentionCaptain Roger W. Barnett, USN (Ret.)Fathoming Soviet Intentions
1984 General Prize Essay Contest Winners
Prize WinnerDavid B. RivkinA Sound Naval Strategy
First Honorable MentionCaptain Robert C. Powers, USNCastles, Knights and Bishops
Second Co-Honorable MentionLieutenant Commander James Stavridis, USNNaval Strategy and National Ocean Policy
Second Co-Honorable MentionCaptain Linton F. Brooks, USNEscalation and Naval Strategy
1983 General Prize Essay Contest Winners
Prize WinnerLieutenant Commander T. Wood Parker, Jr., USNParadigms, Conventional Wisdom and Naval Warfare
First Honorable MentionCaptain Robert C. Powers, USNThe Return of Tactical Thought
Second Honorable MentionCaptain Andrew C.A. Jampoler, USNReviewing the Conventional Wisdom
1982 General Prize Essay Contest Winners
Prize WinnerLieutenant Paul G. Johnson, USNTomahawk: The Implications of a Strategic/Tactical Mix
First Honorable MentionTheodore C. TaylorNeeded: A Coherent Basis for Tactical Thought
Second Honorable MentionCaptain M. Eckhart, Jr., USN (Ret.)Management of Change
1981 General Prize Essay Contest Winners
Prize WinnerLieutenant Commander T. Wood Parker, Jr., USNThinking Offensively
First Co-Honorable MentionDr. James L. GeorgeNeeded: Flying Squadrons for Flexibility
First Co-Honorable MentionCaptain Wayne P. Hughes, Jr., USNMissile Chess: A Parable
1980 General Prize Essay Contest Winners
Prize WinnerCaptain Robert H. Smith, USN (Ret.)Mine Warfare: Promise Deferred
First Honorable MentionRear Admiral Robert J. Hanks, USN (Ret.)The Swinging Debate
Second Honorable MentionCommander W.S. Hoffman, USNThe State of the Navy

 
 

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