The Challenge

In “A Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority 2.0,” the Chief of Naval Operations identifies four major lines of effort (LOEs) to guide the Navy’s long-range strategy:

  • Strengthen Naval Power at and from the Sea 
  • Achieve High-Velocity Outcomes 
  • Strengthen Our Navy Team for the Future 

  • Expand and Strengthen Our Network of Partners

This year’s contest invites authors to explore what Naval Intelligence and Information Warfare should do or prioritize in the current strategic environment to achieve the high-velocity outcomes across the LOEs called for in the CNO’s “Design.”


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 Naval Intelligence 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 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 July 2019

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

Winners will be recognized at the Naval Intelligence Professionals' Annual Meeting in October in Washington, D.C.

Selected Submissions

First Prize
Commander Mike Dahm, U.S. Navy (Retired)
Second Prize
Commander Christopher Nelson, U.S. Navy, and Eric Pedersen
Third Prize
Lieutenant Commander James Landreth, U.S. Navy
Sponsored by
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Naval Intelligence Professionals

Previous Winners

2023 Naval Intelligence Essay Contest Cosponsored by the U.S. Naval Institute and Naval Intelligence Professionals

First Prize
Lieutenant Commander Andrew Kramer, Lieutenant Commander Larry Green, and Lieutenant Corey Grey, U.S. Navy
Third Prize
Major William S. Holden, U.S. Marine Corps