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 home page for announcements concerning upcoming essay contests.

Essay Contests - 2000 to Present

2010 General Prize Essay Contest Winners
First PrizeCaptain Victor G. Addison Jr., U.S. NavyYou Can't Always Give What You Want
First PrizeCaptain Victor G. Addison Jr., U.S. NavyGot Sea Control?
First PrizeCaptain Victor G. Addison Jr., U.S. NavyThe Answer Is the Carrier Strike Group...Now, What Was the Question?
First PrizeCaptain Victor G. Addison Jr., U.S. NavyThe Joint Force's "Wildcat Offense"
Second PrizeDr. Joe DiRenzo III and Vice Admiral James D. Hull, U.S. Coast Guard (Retired)Braced for the Next Response
Third PrizeCaptain Brian J. Donlon, U.S. Marine CorpsWhere’s the Special Trust and Confidence?
Third PrizeKirk RossWhat Really Happened at Wanat
2009 General Prize Essay Contest Winners
First PrizeKirk RossWhere Marines Could Be Marines
Second PrizeCommander Henry J. Hendrix, U.S. NavyBuy Fords, Not Ferraris
Third PrizeBarrett TillmanFear and Loathing in the Post-Naval Era
Third PrizeAndrew Erickson and David YangOn the Verge of a Game-Changer
2008 General Prize Essay Contest Winners
First PrizeColonel Mark Cancian, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired)Capitalizing on al Qaeda's Mistakes
Second PrizeLieutenant Daniel A. Hancock, U.S. NavyThe Navy's Not Serious About Riverine Warfare
Third PrizeCaptain Charity Winters, U.S. Air ForceNot Home Yet...
Third PrizeCaptain Kevin S.J. Eyer, U.S. NavyThe Bitter Cost of Business
2007 General Prize (Arleigh Burke) Essay Contest Winners
First PrizeCommander Henry J. Hendrix, II, U.S. NavyControl of the Sea Protects the New Global Heartland
First PrizeCommander David Allan Adams, USNPreemption without Regime Change
Second PrizeCommander John Patch, USNThe Navy Homeland Role: Vigilant Guard or Forward Defense?
Third PrizeLieutenant Commander John D. Dotson, USNA New Naval Strategy for a New Century
Third PrizeLieutenant Commander Thomas VanHook, MC, USNOn Demand: Sustaining the Military Health Benefit at a Reasonable Cost
2006 General Prize (Arleigh Burke) Essay Contest Winners
First PrizeRear Admiral William J. Holland, USN (Ret.)The Fleet: Low Profile Today—Vital Tomorrow
Second PrizeNate BradenThe Storozhevoy Mutiny
Third PrizeCommander Christopher R. Davis, USNRThe Navy Needs a Strategy, and This One Fits the Bill
2005 General Prize (Arleigh Burke) Essay Contest Winners
First PrizeCommander John Patch, USNSea Basing: Sound Concept or Chimera?
Second PrizeLieutenant Commander Eric R. Johns, USN (Ret.)Boats in the Water, Boots on the Ground
Third PrizeCaptain John Byron, USN (Ret.)Three Great Apes
2004 General Prize (Arleigh Burke) Essay Contest Winners
First PrizePaul H. MarxBarbarians at the Gate: Sea Power 21
Second PrizeRear Admiral William J. Holland, Jr., USN (Ret.)The Navy in the Twenty-first Century: More Than Hauling Marines
Third PrizeCaptain John Byron, USN (Ret.)U.S. Navy, Inc.
Third PrizeCaptain Randall G. Bowdish, USNBetween Scylla and Charybdis: Discussion and Dissent in the Navy
2003 General Prize (Arleigh Burke) Essay Contest Winners
First PrizeCaptain Chris Johnson, USN (Ret.)Net Centric Fogs Accountability
Second PrizeCaptain Sam Tangredi, USNRebalancing the Fleet, Round 2
Third PrizeCommander Kevin S.J. Eyer, USNHow Does It Profit a Man?
2002 General Prize (Arleigh Burke) Essay Contest Winners
Prize WinnerCaptain Terry C. Pierce, USNSunk Costs Sink Innovation
First Honorable MentionCaptain Sam Tangredi, USNImagined Conflicts, Ethical Differences: The Fantasy of the Growing Civil-Military Gap
Second Co-Honorable MentionLieutenant Commander Douglas L. Edson, USNNaval Warfare: A Necessary Proficiency
Second Co-Honorable MentionCaptain John Byron, USN (Ret.)A Navy Out of Balance
2001 General Prize (Arleigh Burke) Essay Contest Winners
Prize WinnerCommander Sheila A. Scarborough, USNNetwork-Centric Warfare Meets the Laws of the Navy
First Honorable MentionLieutenant Kenneth Ehlers Harbaugh, USNBridging the Civil-Military Divide
Second Honorable MentionCaptain Sam J. Tangredi, USNRegaining the Trust: Damage Control for the Crisis in Credibility
2000 General Prize (Arleigh Burke) Essay Contest Winners
Prize WinnerCaptain Sam J. Tangredi, USNThe Fall and Rise of Naval Forward Presence
First Honorable MentionCommander Charles W. Laingen, USNOn War, in the New Millennium
Second Honorable MentionLieutenant Thomas R. Williams II, USNIt's More Than a Trade


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23 February - Seminar

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David F. Winkler

3 March - Lecture

Sun, 2019-03-03

Stephen A. Bourque

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