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CHIPS Articles: 2018 CNO Naval History Essay Contest

2018 CNO Naval History Essay Contest
By Naval History and Heritage Command - February 20, 2018
The Chief of Naval Operations is announcing the 2018 CNO Naval History Essay Contest and calling for submission of papers by 30 June 2018. The Director, Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC), will serve as the Navy's lead for the contest, with the support of the United States Naval Institute (USNI), which has executed essay contests since 1879, and with additional assistance from the Superintendent, United States Naval Academy (USNA); President, Naval War College (NWC); and President, Naval Postgraduate School (NPS).

The Challenge

The Sea Services have a rich history. History informs our modern understanding on multiple fronts to include: people, battles, strategy, tactics, leadership, values, and traditions. The CNO invites you to write on a naval history topic of your choice that relates a lesson(s) from history that applies to establishing and maintaining maritime superiority in today's environment, as discussed in reference (a).

CNO’s Intent

Inspire insight and dialog from across the widest spectrum of academic, operational, military, and civilian personnel, both from within the Sea Services and among those with a sincere interest in the history of the Sea Services.

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

  1. Professional Category: History curators, history archivists, historians, history professors, and persons with history-related doctoral degrees.
  2. Rising Category: U.S. Sea Service active, reserve, retired, and civilian personnel not included in the above criteria.

The following requirements apply to 2018 CNO Naval History Essay Contest:

  1. Word count: 3,500-word maximum (excludes footnotes/endnotes/sources).
  2. Submit essays via email to:
  3. Submission deadline: 30 June 2018.
  4. Include your essay’s title in the subject line of email.
  5. 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.
  6. Provide a separate attachment that includes biography, phone number, and mailing address.
  7. For more details about this contest, please visit the NHHC CNO Naval History Essay Contest web page, or email

Six winners (first, second, and third place from both categories) will be selected and receive the following:

  1. Hosted travel orders to meet the CNO and present their papers to CNO; Director, Navy Staff; and other Senior Flag Officers at an appropriate venue.
  2. Cash Prizes provided by the United States Naval Institute:
    First Prize - $5,000
    Second Prize - $2500
    Third Prize - $1500
  3. Prize Winners will be published in Proceedings, Naval History magazine and/or on the NHHC website. Other essays may also be selected for publication.
  4. A piece of copper plating from USS Constitution.
  5. Recognition on NHHC’s website.
  6. A one-year membership in the USNI and a one-year subscription to Naval History magazine.


  1. Director, NHHC, is assigned overall responsibility for the planning and coordination of the 2018 CNO Naval History Essay Contest.
  2. Director, NHHC, will coordinate the following with the United States Naval Institute:
  1. Develop judging criteria.
  2. Coordinate judging panel, which will include judges from the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations staff, the Naval Institute's History Advisory Board, USNA, NWC, and NPS.
  3. Receive and acknowledge each entry.
  4. Forward all essays to the judging panel.
  5. Coordinate announcing the six winners.
  6. Coordinate for an appropriate prize presentation.
  7. Publish selected essays.
  8. Capture lessons learned.
c. Superintendent, USNA, shall provide two senior staff members to serve on the judging panels.
d. President, NWC, shall provide two senior staff members to serve on the judging panels.
e. President, NPS, shall provide two senior staff members to serve on the judging panels.

For questions pertaining to this message and the execution of the 2018 CNO Naval History Essay Contest, please contact Ms. Meghan Cunningham via phone: (202) 433-2331 or email: For advice and guidance on writing essays, contact Ms. Jaci Day via email:

Released by Vice Admiral K. M. Donegan, Director, Navy Staff.

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