The Challenge

Advance new thinking about the U.S. Coast Guard's critical role in the 21st century.  No issue is too big or too narrow as long as it makes the Coast Guard stronger.  This does not mean authors cannot be critical and take on conventional wisdom and current practices.  In fact, we encourage you to push the "dare factor."


Open to all contributors--active-duty military, reservists, veterans, and civilians.


2,500 words maximum (excludes footnotes/endnotes/sources).

Prior Publication

Essays must be original, not been previously published (online or in print) or being considered for publication elsewhere.


First Prize: $5,000 Second Prize: $2,500 Third Prize: $1,500

Submission Guidelines

  • Email essay as a Microsoft Word attachment to [email protected] with Coast Guard Essay Contest on the subject line.
  • Include word count on title page of essay but do not include your name on title page or within the essay.
  • Provide separate attachment to include biography and complete contact information -- i.e., work, home, and cell phone numbers; and home mailing address.
  • Deadline: 31 May 2019

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

Winners will be recognized at the Coast Guard Academy Conference.

Selected Submissions

First Prize
Commander Craig Allen Jr., U.S. Coast Guard
Second Prize
Lieutenant Noah Miller, U.S. Coast Guard
Third Prize
Lieutenant Commander Stuart J. Ambrose, U.S. Coast Guard Reserve

Previous Winners