By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jonathan Nelson

“The Conn, eyes forward and keen. Through the night, ensures no contact goes unseen. Dreams of holiday routine I’ll quickly shelve, for I must be up early for the 09-12. Happy New Year, to all from our tropical tour, we look forward to the yards all 2024,” wrote Quartermaster 2nd Class Anthony Bentley in the winning 2024 Midnight New Years Deck Log Poem. 

The tradition of the Midnight New Year’s Day Poem, which dates back to 1929, allows Sailors to write the normally customary deck log entry in poetic style as a transition to the New Year. Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) encourages the preservation of this tradition through an annual New Year’s Day Deck Log Contest. 

NHHC is pleased to announce the 2024 New Year’s Deck Log Contest winners, which are as follows: 

Over time, this poem has become a cherished tradition, with each ship putting its own unique spin on it. Sailors from across the fleet are encouraged to submit their most creative deck log poems to NHHC, turning the usually formal records of ship activities into vibrant and imaginative expressions of naval life. 

“Each year we are excited to receive numerous unique and creative deck log poems from across the fleet,” said NHHC Director Samuel J. Cox, U.S. Navy rear admiral (retired). “The poetic entries invariably reflect great pride in their ship as well as pride in service to our nation, often at sea on the far side of the globe, protecting others who are enjoying a New Years holiday.

USS Farragut’s poem was written in the middle of its deployment to the U.S. 4th Fleet and U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility. During which the ship, along with U.S. Coast Guard partners, seized or disrupted an estimated 1,770 kilograms of cocaine, worth more than $44 million, and apprehended 18 suspected illicit drug runners.

Although the officer of the deck frequently pens these poems, it is not unusual for other crew members, particularly those gifted in poetry or creative writing, to join in or collaborate on crafting the New Year's Deck Log Poem. This tradition nurtures camaraderie and provides Sailors with an opportunity to collectively commemorate the holiday in a distinctive and heartfelt manner.

This year’s winning entries were reviewed and selected by Under Secretary of the Navy Erik Raven.

"On behalf of the Secretary of the Navy, I would like to thank all the Sailors and Marines standing the watch," said Raven.  "The Navy and Marine Corps team is ready and postured to respond to any contingency at a moment's notice and these deck log submissions reflect just that.”

"The entries are part of our Naval history and like those who wrote them, are part of something greater than oneself," Raven added.  "I'm especially impressed by the sense of pride, ownership, creativity that's reflected in the submissions, as well as good humor."

First place winner receives an engraved piece of copper sheathing from USS Constitution and a certificate. All winners will receive an NHHC commander's coin. To read the winning entries, visit


NHHC, located at the Washington Navy Yard, is responsible for preserving, analyzing, and disseminating U.S. naval history and heritage. It provides the knowledge foundation for the Navy by maintaining historically relevant resources and products that reflect the Navy's unique and enduring contributions through our nation's history and supports the fleet by assisting with and delivering professional research, analysis, and interpretive services. NHHC comprises many activities, including the Navy Department Library, the Navy Operational Archives, the Navy art and artifact collections, underwater archeology, Navy histories, 10 museums, USS Constitution repair facility, and the historic ship Nautilus. 


Note to Media: For more information, contact Naval History and Heritage Command Public Affairs at 202-433-7880 or