The Challenge

Address One or More of the Following:

  • What initiatives in Naval Intelligence will ensure the ability to provide penetrating insight and decision advantage against Great Power Competition by 2035?
  • How does Naval Intelligence apply the lessons of two decades of special operations support?
  • How does it master AI, new national intelligence and ISR capabilities, and open sources?
  • Is there a need for closer integration with the Marine Corps?
  • What changes are needed in manning, training, organizational alignment, and operational practices?
  • How will Naval Intelligence manage the mission and stay relevant?


Open to all contributors--active-duty military, reservists, veterans, and civilians.

Submission Guidelines

  • Word Count: 2,500 words maximum (excludes endnotes/sources).
  • Include word count on title page of essay but do not include author name(s) on title page or within the essay.
  • Note: Your 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

Naval Intelligence Professionals will evaluate all entries submitted in the contest and provide the top five essays to the U.S. Naval Institute's Editorial Board for judging.  All essays will be judged in the blind -- i.e., the judges will not know the authors of the essays.

Announcement of the Winners

Winners will be recognized at the Naval Intelligence Professionals' Annual Meeting in October in Washington, D.C.

Selected Submissions

First Prize
Commander Christopher Nelson, U.S. Navy, and Andrew Rhodes
Second Prize
Major Brian Kerg, U.S. Marine Corps
Third Prize
Lieutenant Sean Margot and Lieutenant Commander Tyson Meadors, U.S. Navy
Cosponsored by
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Naval Intelligence Professionals
Cosponsored by
Naval Institute

Previous Winners

2023 Naval Intelligence Essay Contest Cosponsored by the U.S. Naval Institute and Naval Intelligence Professionals

First Prize
Lieutenant Commander Andrew Kramer, Lieutenant Commander Larry Green, and Lieutenant Corey Grey, U.S. Navy
Third Prize
Major William S. Holden, U.S. Marine Corps