The Challenge

Entrants should consider that today's era is marked by:

a.  Determined efforts by China and Russia to coordinate their respective instruments of power (e.g., economic, political, and military) to compete for commercial, geostrategic, political, and military advantage and access.

b.  Chinese and Russian expansion across the spectrum of military operations (competition, crisis, contingency) and domains (sea, air, land, space, cyberspace, and electromagnetic spectrum).

c.  The rise of China as an economic and maritime power and the importance of the maritime domain and the need for the U.S. to integrate Navy-Marine Corps operations and multi-domain operational concepts and capabilities.

d.  The increased importance of navies, sea control, and allies and partners in a globalized world where 90 percent of world trade (by volume) and information travels via the seas or undersea cables.

e.  The proliferation of advanced weaponry and the erosion of key U.S.technological advantages that makes it difficult for the U.S. to project power to manage crises, deter aggression, and reassure allies and partners.

f.  Fundamental geopolitical, economic, and technological changes that promise to change the character and conduct of naval warfare and challenge the Navy's ability to adapt conceptually and materially.

Length

3,000 words maximum (excludes footnotes/endnotes/sources).

Prior Publication

Submissions must be the author's original work, neither previously published or currently under consideration for publication elsewhere, nor previously submitted to the CNO Naval History Essay Contest.

Entrants may submit multiple essays, but the judging panel will select only one winning essay per entrant.

Prizes

(Two categories)

Professional Category

History curators, archivists, professors, historians, and persons with history-related doctoral degrees.

$5,000 — First Prize

Rising Category

Active-duty, reserve, retired, and federal civilian personnel from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Coast Guard not included in the Professional Category.

$5,000 — First Prize

$2,500 — Second Prize

$1,500 — Third Prize

a.  Invitational travel orders to the 2020 CNO Naval History Essay Contest Awards Reception (location and date to be determined) to meet the CNO and present their respective papers.

b.  Publication of their essay in the Naval Institute's Proceedings or Naval History magazine (first-place essays) and on the NHHC website (all winning essays). Some non-winning essays may also be selected for publication.

c. Copper sheathing from USS CONSTITUTION.

d.  Recognition on NHHC's website.

e.  A one-year Naval Institute membership and a one-year subscription to Naval History magazine (courtesy of the Naval Institute).

Eligibility

Anyone can enter the essay contest who is employed by one of the Sea Services. It is open to all civilian employees who work for the Navy, Coast Guard, or Marine Corps. It is also open to all military who are in the Navy, Coast Guard, or Marine Corps, regardless of rank.

Submission Guidelines

  • Include word count on the title page but do not include your name on title page or within the essay.
  • Include the the essay category with the title (Professional or Rising) in the essay submission form.

Judging

Essays will be judged on the following criteria:

    a.  Relevance to the topic:  Applying lessons from naval history to establishing and maintaining maritime superiority in an era of great power competition;

    b.  Readability;

    c.  Thoroughness of research;

    d.  Quality of insights based on historical events;

    e.  Uniqueness/novelty of ideas presented.

All essays will be judged in the blind.  A judging panel will select winning essays (first, second, and third prize from the Rising Category and first prize from the Professional Category).

Deadline

Submit your Essay

 

Please log in or create an account in order to make a submission.

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Previous Winners

2019 CNO Naval History Essay Contest Sponsored with General Dynamics

CATEGORY
PRIZE
TITLE
NAME
Professional Historian
First Prize
Commander Joel Holwitt, U.S. Navy
Professional Historian
Second Prize
'Suppose They Gave a War and the Merchant Marine Did Not Come?'
Salvatore R. Mercogliano
Professional Historian
Third Prize
America's Future Navy Should Learn from Interwar Submarine Development
Commander Joel Holwitt, U.S. Navy
Rising Historian
First Prize
Lieutenant Commander Jeff Vandenengel, U.S. Navy
Rising Historian
Second Prize
Tactical Incubators: Sailors and their Systems
Lieutenant Commander Ryan P. Hilger, U.S. Navy
Rising Historian
Third Prize
Lieutenant Philip D. Mayer, Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy

2018 CNO Naval Hisory Essay Contest Sponsored with General Dynamics

CATEGORY
PRIZE
TITLE
NAME
Professional Historian
First Prize
Rear Admiral James Goldrick, Royal Australian Navy (Retired)
Professional Historian
Second Prize
Commander Joel Holwitt, U.S. Navy
Professional Historian
Third Prize
Lieutenant Colonel Frank G. Hoffman, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve (Retired)
Rising Historian
First Prize
Lieutenant Robert E. Swain III, U.S. Navy
Rising Historian
Second Prize
Vice Admiral James R. Fitzgerald and Rear Admiral Richard F. Pittenger, U.S. Navy (Retired)
Rising Historian
Third Prize
Achieving Dominance in the Cyber Domain: Lessons from Rickover’s Development of the Nuclear Navy
Lieutenant G. Creigh Greensmith, U.S. Navy

2017 CNO Naval History Essay Contest Sponsored with General Dynamics

CATEGORY
PRIZE
TITLE
NAME
Professional Historian
First Prize
Lieutenant Commander Joel Holwitt, U.S. Navy
Professional Historian
Second Prize
Trent Hone
Professional Historian
Third Prize
Ryan Wadle
Rising Historian
First Prize
Lieutenant John Miller, U.S. Navy
Rising Historian
Second Prize
Lieutenant Colonel James W. Hammond III, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired)
Rising Historian
Third Prize
Lieutenant (junior grade) Daniel Stefanus, U.S. Navy