The Challenge

This contest encourages Navy, Marine and Coast Guard midshipmen, cadets, and officer candidates (Naval Academy, NROTC, Coast Guard Academy, Kings Point, and Officer Candidate Schools) to think and write about the challenges that face the Sea Services today and in the coming decade.  Some questions to consider include: How can the different services partner in new ways to enhance national security?  How will peer competition with China and Russia impact your Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marine?  What capabilities will tomorrow's forces require that are not yet in the force?  What could the academies learn from NROTC or OCS and vice-versa?  Are naval commissioning sources preparing future officers well for what lies ahead?  And what lessons from the past should guide your futures?

Eligibility

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

Length

2,000 words maximum (excludes footnotes/endnotes/sources).

Prior Publication

Essays must be original, not been previously published (online or in print) or being considered for publication elsewhere.

Awards

First Prize: $5,000 Second Prize: $2,500 Third Prize: $1,500

Submission Guidelines

  • Email essay as a Microsoft Word attachment to [email protected] with Midshipmen and Cadets Essay Contest on the subject line.
  • Include word count on title page of essay but do not include your name on title page or within the essay.
  • Provide separate attachment to include biography and complete contact information -- i.e., work, home, and cell phone numbers; and home mailing address.
  • Deadline: 31 October 2019

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 member's of the Naval Institute's Editorial Board and four subject experts.  All essays will be judged in the blind -- i.e., the Proceedings staff members and judges will not know the authors of the essays.

Announcement of the Winners

The top three winners will be published in Proceedings magazine.