Emerging & Disruptive Technologies Essay Contest

Sponsored with support from Leidos

About the Emerging & Disruptive Technologies Essay Contest

Proliferation of new technology has allowed United States' competitors to field capabilities that erode our military's technological advantage.  The high cost of some U.S. systems threatens our ability to maintain a quantitative advantage.  Like the first two "Offset" strategies, the Third Offset will leverage emerging technology, but its driven by economic necessity.  It focuses heavily on autonomy, man-machine teaming, and machine learning, but it doesn't stop there.  The Department of Defense is looking across the technology spectrum for innovative ways to harness new technologies and combine them with tactics, techniques, and strategies to maintain a pacing edge over our adversaries.

The Challenge:

  • Predict the emerging and disruptive technologies that will be game changers
  • Decribe how those technologies will be used by the US military--or against it
  • Discuss practical appraches for fielding and wielding emerging and disruptive technologies raipidly, and getting them into the hands of warfighters

Prior Publication: Your essay must be original , not been previously published (online or in print) or being considered for publication elsewhere.

Submission Guidelines:

  • Email essays as a Microsoft Word attachment by 28 February 2018 to: [email protected]
  • Include Emerging & Disruptive Technologies Essay Contest on subject line of email
  • Include word count on title page of essay but do not include your name on title page or within 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: Some entrants will be awarded a one-year membership in the Naval Institute.

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.


The winning essays will be published in a future issue of Proceedings.
First Prize: $5,000 Second Prize: $2,500 Third Prize: $1,500
The winners will be recognized at the Sea-Air-Space Symposium held in April 2018.
Open to all contributors--active-duty military, reservists, veterans, and civilians.
3,000 words maximum (excludes footnotes/endnotes/sources).

Past Contests

2018 Emerging & Disruptive Technologies Essay Contest Sponsored with support from Leidos

Lieutenant (jg) Mark K. Jbeily, U.S. Navy

2017 Emerging & Disruptive Technologies Essay Contest Sponsored with support from Leidos

LCDR Jonathan K. Vandervelde, USN (Ret.)

2016 Emerging & Disruptive Technologies Essay Contest Sponsored with support from Leidos

Jesse Sloman & Sean Cate


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