The Challenge:

Address the strategic, operational, and tactical employment of 21st-century U.S. Navy mine warfare systems and technologies -- offensive and defensive mining, mine countermeasures, mine exploitation, and explosive ordnance disposal (EOD).

Examine the disruptive advantages and challenges of delivering and employing large-scale and affordable mine warfare capability and capacity to U.S. and allied fleets and expeditionary forces. 

Challenge Areas:

  • The promise, difficulties, and concept of operations of large-scale employment of stand-off and close-in mining technologies from purpose-built or adapted host platforms.
  • The employment of artificial intelligence–enabled autonomous and unmanned platforms.
  • The requirements, capabilities, technologies, and  processes to restore fleet freedom of maneuver through in-stride minehunting, real-time target identification, and mine neutralization.

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 author name(s) on title page or within the essay.
  • Submit essay as a Word document at no later than 31 March 2023.
  • 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. Since we receive so many submissions (more than 100 per month!), notification of acceptance on one of our platforms can take 4-6 months. We will notify you via email if your essay is selected for a prize or for publication.

Announcement of the Winners

Winners will be published in Proceedings, in print or online.

Selected Submissions

First Prize
Lieutenant (Junior Grade) A. J. Douglas, U.S. Navy
Second Prize
Lieutenant Kyle Cregge, 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