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SUBJ/2021 CNO NAVAL HISTORY ESSAY CONTEST//
POC/Dr. Peter D. Haynes, Captain, U.S. Navy (Ret.)//LOC: WASHINGTON,
RMKS/1. The Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) announces the 2021 CNO Naval
History Essay Contest and calls for the submission of papers by 31 May 2021.
Read carefully as the eligibility rules have changed from last years contest.
2. The Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) is the lead for the contest
and the U.S. Naval Institute (USNI), which has been sponsoring essay contests
since 1878, is supporting.
3. The CNO invites entrants to submit essays that apply lessons from
throughout naval history to establishing and maintaining maritime superiority
in an era of great power competition. Entrants should consider that today's
era is marked
a. Determined and increasingly aggressive efforts by China and Russia to
coordinate their respective instruments of power (e.g., economic, political,
military) to compete for commercial, geostrategic, political, and military
advantage and access.
b. Chinese and Russian expansion across the spectrum of military
operations (competition, crisis, and contingency) and domains (sea, air,
land, space, cyberspace, and electromagnetic spectrum).
c. The rise of China as an economic and maritime power and the
importance of the maritime domain and the need for the U.S. to integrate
Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard operations and multi-domain operational
concepts and capabilities.
d. The increased importance of navies, sea control, and allies and
partners in a globalized world where 90 percent of world trade (by volume)
and information travels via the seas or undersea cables.
e. The proliferation of advanced weaponry and the erosion of key U.S.
technological advantages that make it difficult for the U.S. to project power
to manage crises, deter aggression, and reassure allies and partners.
f. Fundamental strategic and technological shifts and advances that
promise to change the character and conduct of naval warfare and challenge
the Navy's ability to adapt conceptually and materially.
4. CNOs Intent: Engage and leverage the intellectual talents of the members
of the U.S. maritime services (i.e., the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard
as well as the Merchant Marine) to provide insights and catalyze discussion
on how to establish and maintain maritime superiority in an era of great
5. Eligibility. Based on feedback, the rules for entrant eligibility in
both categories have changed. Essays will be accepted from entrants
qualified in the Professional Category or the Rising Category.
a. Professional Category:
(1) Historians, professors, history curators, archivists, and persons
with history-related doctoral degrees;
(2) Authors of books on naval history (not including self-published
(3) Civilians who have published articles in an established
historical or naval journal or magazine.
b. Rising Category: Those that do not fall in the Professional Category
and are either:
(1) Active duty, reservists, veterans, and federal civilian personnel
of the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marine; or
(2) Members of foreign militaries that have orders and are serving in
an official billet in one of the above Services.
6. Submission Requirements:
a. Deadline: 2359 Eastern Standard Time, 31 May 2021.
b. Word Count: Excluding footnotes, endnotes, or sources, no more than
3,500 words for Professional Category essays and no more than 3,000 words for
Rising Category essays.
c. Co-authoring: For the Rising Historian category, an essay may be co-
authored, but both authors have to be qualified in the Rising Category.
d. Submissions must be the authors or co-authors original work, neither
previously published nor currently under consideration for publication, nor
previously submitted to the CNO Naval History Essay Contest.
e. Entrants may submit multiple essays, but the judging panel will
select only one winning essay per entrant.
f. Essays shall be submitted electronically as a Microsoft Word
attachment via the appropriate link: Professional Category
or Rising Category (www.usni.org/cnonhessaycontestrising). When filling out
the electronic form, the short biography should detail the authors or authors
eligibility for the contest.
g. On the essays title page, include the word count (excluding
footnotes/endnotes, and sources).
Essays are judged in the blind; please do not include the name of the author
or authors anywhere in the essay.
7. Essays will be judged on the following criteria:
a. Relevance to the topic: Applying lessons from naval history to
establishing and maintaining maritime superiority in an era of great power
c. Thoroughness of research;
d. Quality of insights based on historical events;
e. Uniqueness and novelty of ideas presented.
8. All essays will be judged in the blind. A six-person panel will select
the winning essay, the second-place essay, and the third-place essay for the
Rising Category, while a different six-person panel will select the winning
and runner -up essays in the Professional Category.
9. The winning authors will receive:
a. Invitational travel orders to the 2021 CNO Naval History Essay
Contest Awards Reception (to be determined) to meet the CNO and present
b. Cash prizes (courtesy of USNI). (Note: cash prizes of co-authors will
be split equally):
(1) First Place - $5,000 (both categories);
(2) Second Place - $2,500 (both categories);
(3) Third Place - $1,500 (Rising Category only).
c. Publication of the essays in USNIs Proceedings and 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. Copper sheathing from USS CONSTITUTION (provided by NHHC).
e. Recognition on NHHCs website.
f. A one-year USNI membership and a one-year subscription to Naval
magazine (courtesy of USNI).
a. Director, NHHC shall:
(1) Coordinate receipt, acknowledgment, and blind judging of
(2) Nominate two senior staff members to serve as judges; one for
(3) Coordinate with the Office of the Chief of Naval
Operations(OPNAV), USNA, Naval War College (NWC), Naval Postgraduate School
(NPS), and USNI, each of which shall nominate two judges, one for each
(4) Coordinate announcing the contest winners;
(5) Coordinate the 2021 CNO Naval History Essay Contest Awards
Reception and invitational travel for the winning authors;
(6) Coordinate publication of winning and selected essays; and
(7) Capture and forward lessons learned.
11. For more details about the contest, please visit https
://www.history.navy.mil/get-involved/essay-contest.html or www.usni.org/essay
-contests. For questions, please contact Dr. Pete Haynes, NHHC: email:
peter.d.haynes1(AT)navy.mil. For advice and guidance on writing essays,
please email essayquestions(AT)usni.org.
12. Released by Mr. Andrew S. Haeuptle, Director, Navy Staff.//