Naval Institute’s Cyber Essay Contest 2018 ($USD 9,000 cash prize)

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Application Deadline: August 31st 2018

Essay contests have been central to the work of the Naval Institute for more than 130 years. They directly fulfill the Institute’s educational mission by encouraging writing on issues of concern to the Sea Services. They provide thought-provoking articles that spur ongoing discussion of these same issues, not only in Naval Institute media, print and digital, but also in other leading defense and national security forums.


Winners will be published in a future issue of Proceedings.


First Prize: $5,000 Second Prize: $2,500 Third Prize: $1,500


Open to all contributors–active-duty military, reservists, veterans, and civilians.


2,500 words maximum (excludes footnotes/endnotes/sources)

Essay 2018

Much has been written about defending U.S. networks and ensuring the integrity of U.S. military data.  Nearly every week there is breaking news about an adversary’s penetration of U.S. government cyber systems and threats to critical infrastructure.  It seems as if the U.S. military spends a great deal of time putting “fingers in a leaking dyke” and focusing on cyber defense.

This year’s Cyber Essay Contest encourages Navy, Marine, and Coast Guard professionals to think about what cyber capabilities can and should do to enhance conventional naval operations in the physical realm.  Some questions to consider include: How should cyber be used to degrade adversary networks, unmanned vehicles, aircraft, ships, or antiaccess/area denial systems?  What needs to be done to align current cyber command-and-control relationships to best support the kinetic warfughters?  This contest also asks cyber professionals to describe, to the operational communities, ideas and plans to deter and defeat adversaries below, on, above, and from the sea, and in the littorals.

Prior Publication: Your essay must be original , not been previously published (online or in print) or being considered for publication elsewhere.

Submission Guidelines:

  • Email essay as a Microsoft Word attachment by 31 August 2018 to:
  • Include Cyber Essay Contest on subject line of email
  • Include word count on title page of essay but do not include your name on title page or within the essay
  • Provide separate attachment to include biography and compete contact information — i.e., work, home, and cell phone numbers; and home mailing address

Selection Process: The Proceedings staff members will evaluate every essay and screen the top essays to a special Essay Selection Committee of at least six members who will include two member’s of the Naval Institute’s Editorial Board and four subject experts.  All essays will be judged in the blind — i.e., the Proceedings staff members and judges will not know the authors of the essays.

Announcement of the Winners: The winning essays will be announced in a future issue of Proceedings.


For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the Naval Institute’s Cyber Essay Contest 2018

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