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2019 CNO Naval History Essay Contest Guidelines


The Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) is announcing the 2019 CNO Naval History Essay Contest and is calling for submission of papers by 31 May 2019. In support of references (a) [A Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority, 1.0 (904 KB pdf)] and (b) [A Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority, 2.0 (2.1 MB pdf)], the Director, Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) will serve as the Navy's lead for the contest with support from the United States Naval Institute (USNI), which will receive the essays and assist with judging. The Superintendent, United States Naval Academy (USNA), President, Naval War College (NWC), and President, Naval Post Graduate School (NPS) will provide judges.

2. The CNO invites entrants meeting the criteria in paragraph 4 to submit an essay that applies lesson(s) from naval history to establishing and maintaining maritime superiority in today's environment.

3. CNOs Intent: Inspire insight and dialog across a wide spectrum of academic, military, and civilian personnel within the Sea Services and among those with a sincere interest in the history of the Sea Services.

4. Essays will be accepted from entrants in the following categories:
a. Professional Category: History curators, archivists, professors, historians, and persons with history-related doctoral degrees.
b. Rising Category: U.S. Sea-Service active, reserve and retired, and civilians not included in the Professional Category.

5. Essay requirements:
a. 3,000-word maximum (excluding footnotes, endnotes, and sources)
b. Submissions must be the authors original work, not previously published or currently under consideration for publication elsewhere, nor previously submitted to the CNO Naval History Essay Contest.
c. Submissions must be made via email to: cnoessaycontest(AT)
d. Submissions deadline: 31 May 2019
e. Include the words CNO ESSAY CONTEST (essays title) in the subject line of submission email.
f. Include word count on the title page of essay, but do not include the authors name on the title page or within the essay.
g. Provide a separate email attachment that includes authors biography and contact information - phone number, email, and mailing address.
h. For more details about the contest, please please visit or email Ms. Jaci Day: jday(AT)

6. Essays will be judged on the following criteria:
a. Relevance to topic.
b. Readability.
c. Thoroughness of research.
d. Quality of insights based on historical events.
e. Uniqueness/novelty of ideas presented.

7. All essays will be judged in the blind. A judging panel will select winning essays (first, second, and third place from each category), and the winning authors will receive the following:
a. Invitational travel orders to the 2019 CNO Naval History Essay Contest Awards Reception to meet the CNO and present the winning essays.
b. A cash prize (courtesy of USNI):
(1) First Place - $5,000
(2) Second Place - $2,500
(3) Third Place - $1,500
c. Publication of their essay in Proceedings or Naval History magazine (first-place essays) and on the NHHC website (all winning essays). Some non-winning essays may also be selected for publication.
d. A piece of copper sheathing from USS Constitution.
e. Recognition on NHHC's website.
f. A one-year USNI membership and a one-year subscription to Naval History magazine (courtesy of USNI).

8. Tasks:
a. Director, NHHC:
(1) Oversee USNI submission processing.
(2) Coordinate blind judging of submissions with USNI.
(3) Coordinate announcing the contest winners.
(4) Coordinate the 2019 CNO Naval History Essay Contest Awards Reception and invitational travel for the winning authors.
(5) Coordinate publication of winning and selected essays.
(6) Capture lessons learned.
(7) Nominate staff member judges as needed.
b. Superintendent, USNA, nominate two senior staff members to serve on the final judging panel.
c. President, NWC, nominate two senior staff members to serve on the final judging panel.
d. President, NPS, nominate two senior staff members to serve on the final judging panel.

9. For questions pertaining to the content of this NAVADMIN, please contact Ms. Meghan Cunningham, NHHC: email: meghan.cunningham(AT) For advice and guidance on writing essays, contact Ms. Jaci Day, USNI: email: jday(AT)

10. Released by Ms. Steffanie B. Easter, Director, Navy Staff.//


Return to CNO Naval History Essay Contest page.

Published: Tue Aug 20 14:14:06 EDT 2019