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.

Submission Guidelines

  • Word Count: 2,500 words maximum (excludes endnotes/sources).
  • Include word count on the title page but do not include your name on title page or within the essay.
  • Note: 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

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 September 2020 Proceedings and recognized at the Mine Warfare Symposium.

Selected Submissions

First Prize
Lieutenant Ridge Alkonis, U.S. Navy
Second Prize (Tied)
Major Anthony Pollman, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired) and Lieutenant Christopher Hevey, U.S. Navy
Second Prize (Tied)
Captain John Moulton, U.S. Navy
Sponsored by
Mine Warfare Association Logo
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