The Challenge

The Leadership Essay Contest focuses on the roles of leadership and character in the U.S. Sea Services from the perspective of tomorrow's leaders. Junior officers (LCDR/Major and below)from the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard are eligible to participate.

Submission Guidelines

  • Essays must be no more than 2,000 words maximum, excluding end notes and sources.
  • Include word count on title page of the essay.
  • Essays are judged in the blind. Do not include author name(s) on title page or within the essay.
  • Submit essay as a Word document at www.usni.org/leadershipessay by 31 October 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 matter experts.

Announcement of the Winners

Winners will be published in a future issue of Proceedings.

Deadline

Submit your Essay

 

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

Sponsored by
Dr. J. Phillip London

Previous Winners

2015 Leadership Essay Contest A U.S. Naval Institute Program in Partnership with Dr. J. Phillip London and CACI International

PRIZE
TITLE
NAME
First Prize
Lieutenant Commander Jason Shell, U.S. Navy
Second Place
Ensign Justin Chock, U.S. Navy
Third Prize
Lieutenant Commander Robert E. Keller, U.S. Navy
Third Place
Captain Rafiel Deon Warfield, U.S. Marine Corps

2014 Leadership Essay Contest A U.S. Naval Institute Program in Partnership with Dr. J. Phillip London and CACI International

PRIZE
TITLE
NAME
First Prize
Ensign Jesse Burroughs, U.S. Navy
Second Prize
Captain Rafiel D. Warfield, U.S. Marine Corps
Third Prize
Lieutenant Michael Mabrey, U.S. Navy
Honorable Mention
Past as Prologue: A Fresh Perspective on Naval Leadership from the Junior Officer Ranks
Lieutenant Jonathan Lushenko, U.S. Navy
Honorable Mention
Ruthless Self-Reflection: Integrating the Most Important Leadership Trait into a Highly Effective Leadership Persona
Captain James P. Donovan, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve
Honorable Mention
Leadership Development: Seek Crucible Opportunities, Seek Mentoring
Lieutenant Jeff Janaro, U.S. Coast Guard

2004 Vincent Astor Memorial Leadership Essay Contest

PRIZE
TITLE
NAME
First Prize
Lieutenant William Scotch Perdue, Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy
Second Prize
First Lieutenant Christopher S. Tsirlis, U.S. Marine Corps
Third Prize
Ensign Anne Gibbon, U.S. Navy
Third Prize
Lieutenant Kevin M. Coyne, Civil Engineer Corps, U.S. Naval Reserve

1995 Vincent Astor Memorial Leadership Essay Contest

PRIZE
TITLE
NAME
First Prize
Lieutenant Michael M. Edwards, Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy
First Honorable Mention
Lieutenant (junior grade) Martha Suzanne Dunne, U.S. Navy
Second Honorable Mention
Lieutenant Christopher E. Devereaux, Medical Corps, U.S. Naval Reserve
Second Honorable Mention
Captain Lori Reynolds, U.S. Marine Corps

1994 Vincent Astor Memorial Leadership Essay Contest

PRIZE
TITLE
NAME
Winner
Lieutenant Michael M. Edwards, Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy
First Honorable Mention
Captain Kirk L. Freund, U.S. Marine Corps
Second Honorable Mention
Is the Naval Service Still a Profession?
Ensign Martha Suzanne Dunne, U.S. Navy
Second Honorable Mention
Military Leadership in a Multinational Era
Lieutenant Scott H. Frewing, U.S. Navy

1987 Vincent Astor Memorial Leadership Essay Contest

PRIZE
TITLE
NAME
Winner
Midshipman First Class Martin P. Siewert, U.S. Naval Reserve
First Honorable Mention
Lieutenant William F. Hoeft, Jr., U.S. Navy
Second Honorable Mention
Lieutenant Lewis C. Kimmel, Chaplain Corps, U. S. Naval Reserve
Second Honorable Mention
Taking a Chance: The Role of Risk-Taking in Military Leadership
Lieutenant Christopher A. Abel, U.S. Coast Guard
Second Honorable Mention
Lieutenant Sam J. Tangredi, U.S. Navy

1975 Vincent Astor Memorial Leadership Essay Contest

PRIZE
TITLE
NAME
Winner
Lieutenant Michael R. Svendsen, U. S. Navy
First Honorable Mention
Lieutenant Thomas F. Marfiak, U.S. Navy
Second Honorable Mention
Captain R. J. O'Rourke, U. S. Marine Corps
Second Honorable Mention
Lieutenant Thomas S. Sher, U. S. Navy
Second Honorable Mention
Lieutenant Bruce Stuart Lemkin, U. S. Navy