The U.S. military's long-comfortable technological edge is steadily eroding. To address that challenge, the Department of Defense seeks to use emerging technology, focusing heavily on autonomy, man-machine teaming and machine learning, and innovative ways to harness new technologies with tactics, techniques, and strategies to maintain a pacing edge over adversaries. How should the Sea Services meld technology and innovation to maintain our nation’s advantages?

The Challenge

  • Predict the next emerging and disruptive technologies
  • Describe how those technologies will be used by the U.S. military or against it
  • Discuss practical approaches for fielding and wielding emerging and disruptive technologies rapidly and getting them into the hands of warfighters

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 your name on the title page or in the body of the essay.
  • Submit essay as a Word document at no later than 28 February 2021.
  • 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

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 members 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

Winners will be published in a future issue of Proceedings.

Selected Submissions

First Prize
Michael Knutzen
Second Prize
Captain Sean Harper, U.S. Marine Corps
Third Prize
Captain Walker Mills, U.S. Marine Corps and Erik Limpaecher
Sponsored by
MITRE Corporation logo

Previous Winners