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2017 CNO Essay Contest
posted in News on February 6, 2017 in News on 2/6/2017

The Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) has announced the 2017 CNO Naval History Essay Contest and is calling for submission of papers by 30 June 2017.

The CNO directed a Naval History Essay Contest be developed to further our understanding of how lessons from history inform our way ahead. The United States Naval Institute
(USNI), United States Naval Academy (USNA), Naval War College (NWC), Naval Heritage History Command (NHHC), and OPNAV have coordinated efforts and produced the first CNO Naval History Essay Contest.

The Goal: Inspire insight and dialog from across the widest spectrum of academic, operational, military and civilian personnel both from within the Naval Services and those with a sincere interest in the history of the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.

The Challenge: The Sea Services have a rich history. There is much to be learned from history on multiple fronts—people, battles, strategy, tactics, leadership, values, traditions. While the CNO invites you to write on a naval historical topic of your choice, your essay should relate in some way to establishing and maintaining maritime superiority in today’s environment. The essay should provide your readers with a lesson learned from history that can be applied to today.

Two categories of entrants may participate in the CNO Naval History Essay Contests.

  • Professional Historians: U.S. and international professional historians (historian jobs including history museum curators, history teachers/professors, PhDs, published history authors).
  • Amateur Historians: U.S. Sea Service-wide active, reserve, retired, and civilians not included in above.

The USNI will facilitate entry into the CNO 2017 Naval History Essay Contest and coordinate the logistics of judging the contest.

  • Word count: 3,500 words maximum (excludes footnotes/endnotes /sources)
  • Email essays to:
  • Due date: 30 June 2017
  • Include CNO Naval History Essay Contest on subject line of email
  • All essays will be judged in the blind. Include word count on title page of essay but do not include your name on title page or within essay.
  • Provide separate attachment to include biography and complete contact information- i.e., work, home, and cell phone numbers; and home mailing address
  • For more details about this contest, please visit
  • USNI Point of Contact: Fred Rainbow – phone: (410) 295-1092, email:

CNO Naval History Essay Contest judging will be coordinated by USNI. The selections will be screened by USNI and the finalists will be presented to a joint committee. Judging Committee will be comprised of senior staff from (USNI (1), USNA (1), NWC (1), NHHC (1), OPNAV (2), and one (1) distinguished naval historian from outside the Navy.)

Recognition for the winners in both categories (first, second, and third place).

  • All CNO Essay Contest Winners will be recognized by CNO at the plenary session of the McMullen Naval History Symposium, USNA, September 2017.
  • CNO Essay Contest First Prize Winners will present their papers in a panel format at McMullen Naval History Symposium, USNA, September 2017.
  • All CNO Essay Contest Winners will present their papers to CNO/DNS/Senior Flags in Pentagon lunch in Flag Mess.
  • USNI Prizes: First Prize – $5000, Second Prize – $2500, Third Prize – $1500 (Note: These prizes apply toward both categories for a total of six prizes.)
  • First Prize Winners will be published in Naval History magazine and by the NHHC. Other essays may be published in Naval History or Proceedings, or online by the Naval History and Heritage Command.
  • All prize winners will receive one-year membership in the U.S. Naval Institute and one-year subscription to Naval History magazine.
  • All prize winners will receive a plaque, pen, and copper from USS Constitution.
  • OPNAV will supply all winners with hosted orders to attend the McMullen Naval History Symposium USNA, September 2017, and lunch at the Pentagon Flag Mess.

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