Marylandblack History Essay Contest

2018 CNO Naval History Essay Contest


The Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) 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). 

Please consult Frequently Asked Questions for additional guidance.  


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:

a. Professional Category: History curators, history archivists, historians, history professors, and persons with history-related doctoral degrees.

b. 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:

a. Word count: 3,500-word maximum (excludes footnotes/endnotes/sources). 

b. Submit essays via email to:

c. Submission deadline: 30 June 2018.

d. Include your essay’s title in the subject line of email. 

e. 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.

f. Provide a separate attachment that includes biography, phone number, and mailing address.

g. 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:

a. 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.

b. Cash Prizes provided by the United States Naval Institute:
    First Prize − $5000
    Second Prize − $2500
    Third Prize − $1500

c. Prize Winners will be published in Proceedings, Naval History magazine and/or on the NHHC website. Other essays may also be selected for publication.

d. A piece of copper plating from USS Constitution.

e. Recognition on NHHC’s website.

f. A one-year membership in the USNI and a one-year subscription to Naval History magazine.



a. Director, NHHC, is assigned overall responsibility for the planning and coordination of the 2018 CNO Naval History Essay Contest.

b. 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 email Ms. Meghan Cunningham: For advice and guidance on writing essays, contact Ms. Jaci Day via email:


CNO NAVADMIN 029/18, released by Vice Admiral K. M. Donegan, Director, Navy Staff.

Local History is Texas History — the 2017 Save Texas History Essay Contest

What history in your community is worth saving? That’s the question we’re asking 4th and 7th grade Texas History students in this year’s annual Save Texas History Essay Contest.

We can all think of something in our community that makes it unique, interesting, and worthy of attention and preservation. In Texas, we take great pride in our history and it shows. But local history doesn’t have to be world-famous to be worth saving. From early Spanish villas, to rural towns and modern bustling metropolises, local community history is the foundation upon which Texas history is constructed. We should all be mindful of our local history, and be able to articulate its collective value to other Texans. There are towns and cities all over Texas that point to things that make them special. For instance, what would Waco be without its historic suspension bridge, or Tyler without its Rose Festival, or Austin without Barton Springs?

Our communities are built in part on recognizable local icons or traditions–buildings, parks, events, and other things that bring diverse groups of people together. We can all think of several things in our hometowns that, if they were lost, would adversely impact their “specialness.” Kids can too. The Save Texas History Essay Contest is a chance for 4th and 7th grade students to showcase their communities and draw attention to their own vision of Texas history. Our students live, play, attend school, and have their own experiences in the place where they grow up — and we want to know what history around them is worth saving.

What could students find in their own towns that are worth saving and sharing? Examples might be a neighborhood barber shop that not only provides a service, but functions as a meeting place for friends and neighbors. It could be a festival that celebrates and symbolizes a town’s cultural heritage, or a building whose architecture is so unique that tearing it down would forever change the character of the area. It could be an economic landmark like the Sugar Building in Sugarland, that Abby House from Needville featured in her award-winning essay from last year’s contest, or a dance hall where a student’s parents met, like Shawnee Pool from Pottsboro described in her winning essay.

Now is an important moment in time for Texans to think about what history in their community is worth saving. With Hurricane Harvey’s devastation, some of our coastal communities might have lost local institutions. Perhaps this contest can help in some small way by giving students the chance to share with the rest of Texas what was lost and why it is worth saving — even if all that can be saved are memories.

Why an old-fashioned essay contest? It’s simple really. Writing is an essential skill that children need to develop to communicate effectively. Students, or anybody for that matter, should be able to express themselves effectively through the written word. Essay writing allows students to reflect deeply about a subject they know something about: their community. It encourages contemplation about their local community, and helps them to organize their thoughts and then turn them into words. The Save Texas History Essay Contest is all about putting thoughts to paper in a coherent, organized, and interesting way, and asking students to think critically about the history of their community.

So how do we get students excited about writing? First, give them something to write about that connects to their own experience, like the Save Texas History Essay Contest! Second, provide them a stimulus that will motivate them toward the goal — and it doesn’t have to include words.

This year’s grand prizes for the winning 4th and 7th grade essays are $500 each — cash — courtesy of Bob Eskridge of Bob Eskridge and Associates and Chris Cantu of Edward Jones, along with Texas flags that have flown over the state capitol, courtesy of the Moses Austin Chapter of the Sons of the Republic of Texas and Ms. Susan M. Jones. Four runners-up in each grade, along with the winning entries, will receive Save Texas History backpacks, a reproduction of a historic map from the GLO Archives, and a Letter of Appreciation from Commissioner George P. Bush. This essay contest would not be possible without the generous support of these individuals and organizations, and proves that saving Texas history can take many different shapes: from sponsoring a contest, to encouraging students to identify what history is important to them, to adopting a map. We sincerely appreciate our sponsors’ strong commitment to making this contest meaningful for Texas history students across the state.

Parents and teachers across Texas, please encourage your 4th and 7th grade students to do their part to help Save Texas History, and enter the essay contest to add their voices to the story of this great state. There is incredible value in the history and traditions of the communities that help shape these young Texans, and we can’t wait to read about it.

All entries should be postmarked by midnight, October 31, 2017. Additional details are included in the entry forms available online.


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