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. Each year, the CNO invites writers to produce essays on their choice of naval historical topics that relate in some way to establishing and maintaining maritime superiority in today's environment. The essays must also provide readers with a lesson learned from history that can be applied to today.

2017 Winners (Professional Historian Category)

1st Place:  Recapturing the Interwar Navy's Strategic Magic by Lt. Cmdr. Joel Holwitt

2nd Place  Guadalcanal Proved Experimentation Works by Trent Hone

3rd Place  Sea Power Goes Celluloid: Lessons from Interwar-Era Naval Publicity by Ryan Wadle

2017 Winners (Rising Historian Category)

1st Place:  There Are No Benign Operations by Lt. John Miller

2nd Place  The United States Needs Mobile Afloat Basing Lt. Col. James W. Hammond

3rd Place  Of Suns and Dragons by Lt. j.g. Daniel Stefanus


The CNO Naval History Essay Contest is hosted by the U.S. Naval Institute (USNI). More information on how to enter the contest and submission guidelines can be found here: