2014 Naval History Essay Contest

The Challenge

Leaders in Action: Ordinary People Doing the Extraordinary

About the Naval History Essay Contest

The Essay Contest is aligned with the 2014 Naval History Conference and the conference’s specific Focus. The Conference will trace historical examples of heroism as well as modern accounts of courage, perseverance and drive. The Essay Contest will draw from history to inform the present and future. Entrants are invited to submit an essay, in essence a case study, on a leader in action, an individual now deceased from one of the Sea Services, an ordinary individual who did the extraordinary. The essay should address how that individual’s historical, heroic role served the Nation and, if appropriate, the international community, and how that individual’s role informs current and future leaders.

Contest Highlights

  • Call for Papers –The U.S. Naval Institute is calling for papers on the subject of Naval History as described above under “The Challenge.”  Call for papers to appear in June, 2014 Proceedings, and online June 1, 2014
  • Eligibility – Open to Naval Academy and NROTC Midshipmen, Coast Guard Cadets, enlisted personnel, officers, and civilians who are serving or have served in one of the Sea Services.
  • Deadline for Submission of Essays – July 31, 2014
  • Length of Essays – Not to exceed 3,000 words
  • Submission Process – Email essays by July 31, 2014 to: essays@usni.org Include one paragraph bio.  Authors grant USNI all perpetual publication rights in any and all media formats
  • Review Process – A joint panel composed of the Proceedings editorial staff and editorial board shall judge essays and choose winners
  • Announcement of Winners – By email and online to winners no later than September 30, 2014
  • Publication of Winning Essay – October, 2014 issue of Proceedings and online October 1


1st Prize: $5,000 and one year membership in USNI
2nd Prize: $2,500 and one year membership in USNI
3rd Prize: $1,500 and one year membership in USNI

Award Ceremony

Prize winners are honored as part of USNI’s Recognition ceremony during the Naval Institute's Annual Meeting, or a similar high profile event.  We will also invite representatives of the William M. Wood Foundation to be present to assist in the award presentation.

About Naval Institute Essay Contests

Essay contests have been central to the work of the Naval Institute for well over one hundred years. They directly fulfill the Institute’s educational mission by encouraging writing on issues of concern to the Sea Services. They provide thought-provoking articles that spur ongoing discussion of these same issues, not only in Naval Institute media, print and digital, but also in other leading defense and national security forums. 


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