Naval Intelligence Essay Contest

Sponsored with the Naval Intelligence Professionals

The Challenge:

Sun Tzu once wrote “One who knows the enemy and knows himself will not be endangered in a hundred engagements.” In a similar vein, the Navy’s Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority highlights the importance of understanding the lessons of history as not to relearn them.

The Navy established the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) on March 23rd in 1882—it’s the nation’s longest-serving intelligence agency. LT Theodorus Mason had advocated for the creation of an intelligence office to collect and disseminate information on the latest technological developments abroad to support modernization of the U.S. Navy. The early efforts of Naval Intelligence were instrumental in driving the transformation of our wooden, wind-powered Navy to a first-rate, steam-driven modern Navy. Throughout its history, Naval Intelligence missions and organizational constructs have transformed to meet national security challenges. As we celebrate 135 years of Naval Intelligence, this contest invites authors to explore the rich history of Naval Intelligence and advance thought on lessons from its past that should be applied to help meet today’s and tomorrow’s threats and to help transform the U.S. Navy.

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 essays (preferably as a Microsoft Word attachment) by 31 July 2017 to: [email protected]
  • Include Naval Intelligence 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: Naval Intelligence Professionals will evaluate all entries submitted in the contest and provide the top five essays to the U.S. Naval Institute's Editorial Board for judging.  All essays will be judged in the blind -- i.e., the judges will not know the authors of the essays.

Announcement of the Winners: The winning essay will be pblished in the October 2017 Proceedings. Some entrants will be awarded a one-year membership in the U.S. 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.

Winner published in October 2017 Proceedings.
First Prize: $5,000 Second Prize: $2,500 Third Prize: $1,500
The winners will be recognized at the Naval Intelligence Professions' Annual Meeting in October in Washington, D.C.
Open to any contributor -- active duty military, reservists, veterans, government civilian personnel, civilians
3,000 words maximum (excludes footnotes/endnotes/sources).

Past Contests

2017 Naval Intelligence Essay Contest Sponsored with the Naval Intelligence Professionals


Conferences and Events

View All

From the Press

25 February - Reading

Sun, 2018-02-25

27 February - Book Talk

Tue, 2018-02-27

Why Become a Member of the U.S. Naval Institute?

As an independent forum for over 140 years, the Naval Institute has been nurturing creative thinkers who responsibly raise their voices on matters relating to national defense.

Become a Member Renew Membership