Midshipmen and Cadets Essay Contest

Sponsored with General Dynamics

The Challenge:

This new Contest encourages Navy, Marine, and Coast Guard midshipmen, cadets, and officer candidates (Naval Academy, NROTC, Coast Guard Academy, Kings Point and State Maritime Academies, and Officer Candidate Schools) to think and write about the challenges that face the Sea Services today and in the coming decade. Some questions to consider include: What is the right mix of forces? How can the different services partner in new ways to enhance national security? How will peer competition with China and Russia impact your Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marine? What capabilities will tomorrow's forces require that are not yet in the force? What could the Academies learn from NROTC or OCS and vice versa? Are naval commissioning sources preparing future officers well for what lies ahead? And what lessons from the past should guide your futures?

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

Submission Guidelines:

  • Email essay as a Microsoft Word attachment to [email protected] by 31 October 2018.
  • Include Midshipmen and Cadets 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 the essay.
  • Provide a separate attachment to include biography and compete 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 member's 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.

Announcement of the Winners: The top three winners will be published in Proceedings magazine.

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 top three winners will be published in Proceedings.
First Prize: $5,000; Second Prize: $2,500; Third Prize: $1,500
2,000 word maximum (excludes endnotes/resources).

Past Contests

2018 Midshipmen and Cadets Essay Contest Sponsored with General Dynamics


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