THE MEN AND WOMEN OF THE NATION’S SEA SERVICES ARE SOME OF THE BEST AND BRIGHTEST FROM COMMUNITIES ACROSS THE LAND. In the past few decades, the Sea Services have made significant strides in improving diversity in both officer and enlisted ranks in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation. However, there is still a long way to go. The Naval Institute welcomes essays that address this continuing challenge and offer prospective solutions.

Participants can choose to answer one of the following questions or write on another diversity and inclusion topic that interests them.

  • What policies of the past to promote diversity and inclusion have worked and not worked?
  • What new policy, training, and education initiatives should the Sea Services adopt to improve diversity and inclusion?
  • What new recruiting initiatives should the Sea Services adopt to improve diversity and inclusion?

Submission Guidelines

  • Open to all contributors -- active-duty, military, reservists, veterans, and civilians.
  • Essays must be no more than 2,500 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 no later than 31 January 2021.
  • Essay must be original and not previously published (online or in print) or being considered for publication elsewhere. 

First Prize: $5,000

Second Prize: $2,500

Third Prize: $1,500

Selection Process

The Proceedings staff members will evaluate every essay and screen the top essays to a special Essay Selection Committee of at least six members who will include two members of the Naval Institute’s Editorial Board and four subject experts.

Announcement of the Winners

The winning essays will be published in Proceedings magazine and on the Naval Institute website. The first prize winner will appear in the May 2021 Proceedings. The winners will be recognized during a future Naval Institute event.

Selected Submissions

First Prize
Ensign Sydney Frankenberg, U.S. Navy
Second Prize
Major Rafiel Warfield, U.S. Marine Corps
Third Prize
Lieutenant Dustin McKinney, U.S. Navy
Sponsored by
Raytheon Logo

Previous Winners