The post–Cold War period has ended, and we are living in momentous times—an era of intense global competition. The 2018 National Defense Strategy says the U.S. military is emerging from a period of “strategic atrophy.” The conventional overmatch the U.S. military enjoyed at the end of the Cold War is eroding. We are also in the midst of a technological tsunami: artificial intelligence, 5G, additive manufacturing, quantum science, energetics, new materials, and synthetic biology. Renewed competition will require us to rethink our culture, to come to grips with how we organize to face the national, strategic, and operational challenges facing the Sea Services, and thereby the way they will have to fight.” The National Defense Strategy says we have to pursue “urgent change at significant scale.” Do we have the right culture to embrace it?
- What lessons did we learn and what habits did we form over the past 25 years that do not apply to the next 25?
- What specific metrics should the Sea Services rely on to determine if their culture is right?
- What reforms in education and training will or should advance our Services?
- Do the different cultures of the warfare areas add to or detract from, or even damage, the overall Service cultures?”
- Open to all contributors -- active-duty military, reservists, veterans, and civilians.
- Essays must be no more than 3,000 words, excluding end notes and sources. Include word count on title page of the essay.
- Essays are judged in the blind. Do not include your name on the title page or in the body of the essay.
- Submit essay as a Word document at www.usni.org/genessay no later than 31 December 2020.
- Essay must be original and not previously published (online or in print) or being considered for publication elsewhere.
First Prize: $6,000
Second Prize: $3,000
Third Prize: $2,000
The Proceedings staff members will evaluate every essay and screen the top essays to the Naval Institute’s Editorial Board composed of serving Sea Service professionals.
Announcement of the Winners
The winning essays will be published in the May 2021 Proceedings and on the Naval Institute website. The winners will be recognized at a future Naval Institute event.