Less than a year ago, Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer published Education for Seapower (E4S) and issued an action memo laying a course for the reform and improvement of naval education across the Navy and Marine Corps. The first major step from that effort occurred in September, when John Kroger was sworn in as the Navy Department’s first chief learning officer. As Kroger and his staff begin to develop a strategy for naval education across the department, the history of naval education reform is an area ripe for examination. In particular, the General Prize Essay Contest of 1879, the Naval Institute’s first-ever essay contest, provides some important insights that can contribute to the Navy and Marine Corps’ 21st-century strategy for educating the officer corps.
Naval Education in 1879
What the Chief Learning Officer Can Learn from the First Naval Institute General Prize Essay Contest.
By Commander Benjamin Armstrong, U.S. Navy