The Challenge

Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marine Academy midshipmen, cadets, and officer candidates (Naval Academy, NROTC, Coast Guard Academy, Kings Point, and Officer Candidate Schools) are encouraged to think and write about the challenges that face the Sea Services today and in the coming decade. Potential topics could include (but are not limited to): How the services can partner in new ways to enhance national security. How peer competition with China and Russia will affect your Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marine. What new capabilities tomorrow’s forces will require. Whether naval commissioning sources are preparing future officers well for what lies ahead. Lessons from the past that are relevant for today and could be a guide the future.

Eligibility

Open to Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marine Academy midshipmen, cadets, and officer candidates (Naval Academy, NROTC, Coast Guard Academy, Kings Point, and Officer Candidate Schools.)

Submission Guidelines

  • Word Count: 2,000 words maximum (excludes endnotes/sources).
  • Include word count on title page of essay but do not include author name(s) on title page or within the essay.
  • Submit essay as a Word document online at www.usni.org/midncadetessay by 15 November 2020.
  • Note: Your essay must be original and not previously published (online or in print) or being considered for publication elsewhere. 

First Prize: $2,000

Second Prize: $1,000

Third Prize: $500

Selection Process

The Proceedings staff members will evaluate every essay. All essays will be judged in the blind—i.e., the Proceedings staff members will not know the authors of the essays.

Announcement of the Winners

Winners will be published in Proceedings magazine or online.

Selected Submissions

PRIZE
TITLE
NAME
First Prize
Midshipman 1/C Jacob Kinnear, U.S. Navy
Second Prize
Midshipman 2/C Matthew Martin, U.S. Navy
Third Prize
Midshipman 2/C John M. Peluso, U.S. Navy
Sponsored by
Naval Institute

Previous Winners

2021 Midshipmen and Cadets Essay Contest Sponsored by the Naval Institute

PRIZE
TITLE
NAME
First Prize
Commerce Warfare Capabilities as an Act of Deterrence
Midshipman 1/C Robert Hatfield III, U.S. Navy
Second Prize
Building a Midshipman to Rebuild a Culture
Midshipman 1/C Matthew Martin, U.S. Navy
Third Prize
The (School) House Always Wins: Refocus the Coast Guard Academy's Priorities
Cadet 1/C Logan Tobias, U.S. Coast Guard