The Challenge:

Address the strategic, operational, and tactical demands for 21st-Century Navy mine warfare, mine countermeasures, explosive ordnance disposal, mining technologies, systems, and platforms. Examine the promise of autonomous and unmanned vehicles.  Consider the difficulties of delivering capable and affordable solutions to the fleet.


The contest is open to all persons eligible for membership (including those already members) in the Naval Institute.


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

Prior Publication

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


First Prize: $1,500 Second Prize: $750 Third Prize: $500

Submission Guidelines:

  • Email essay as a Microsoft Word attachment to [email protected] with Naval Mine Warfare Essay Contest in subject line of the 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., home mailing address; and work, home, and cell phone numbers.
  • Deadline: 31 March 2019.

Selection Process

A joint panel composed of experts from the Mine Warfare Association and the Proceedings editorial staff shall judge essays and choose winners.  All essays will be judged in the blind — i.e., the Proceedings staff members and Mine Warfare Association judges will not know the authors of the essays.

Announcement of the Winners

Winners will be announced in the June 2019 Proceedings and recognized at the Mine Warfare Symposium.

Selected Submissions

First Prize
Lieutenant John Miller, U.S. Navy
Second Prize
Using Emerging Technologies to Defeate 'Old Mines in New Cloths'
Commander Matthew Ivey, Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy
Third Prize
Maritime Mining Must be a Navy-Led Mission
Lieutenant Joshua McCauley, U.S. Navy
Sponsored by
Mine Warfare Association Logo
The Mine Warfare Association

Previous Winners

2018 Naval Mine Warfare Essay Contest Sponsored with the Mine Warfare Association

First Prize
Admiral James Winnefeld Jr., U.S. Navy (Retired), and Captain Syed Ahmad, Judge Advocate General Corps, U.S. Navy (Retired)
Second Prize
Lieutenant Allan Lucas, U.S. Navy, and Captain Ian Cameron, U.S. Marine Corps
Third Prize
To Starve a Nation—Lessons from the Offensive Mine Campaign of World War II
Lieutenant Commander Christopher Nelson, U.S. Navy