2020 USNI Coast Guard Essay Contest, Deadline 30 April

USCGC Duane on North Atlantic Convoy Duty

The US Naval Institute is conducting its 2020 Coast Guard Essay Contest. Details and entry procedures are here.

The Challenge

Advance new thinking about the U.S. Coast Guard’s critical role in the new era of great power competition. No issue is too big or too narrow as long as it makes the Coast Guard stronger. This does not mean authors cannot be critical and take on conventional wisdom and current practices. In fact, we encourage you to push the “dare factor.”

Submission Guidelines

  • Word Count: 2,500 words maximum (excludes endnotes/sources).
  • Include word count on the title page but do not include your name on title page or within the essay.
  • Note: Your essay must be original and not previously published (online or in print) or being considered for publication elsewhere.

First Prize: $5,000

Second Prize: $2,500

Third Prize: $1,500

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 members 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

Winners will be published in the August 2020 Proceedings.



Probably everyone who follows this blog has 2500 words of opinion about the Coast Guard.

7 thoughts on “2020 USNI Coast Guard Essay Contest, Deadline 30 April

    • I disagree. Each year officers win the contest. They certainly have opinions, many of the recycled, but it is the articles that are not very good. I call these articles, the “Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda” class. Everyone has an opinion about what could have been done, what would have been done if, and should have been done — only if they were in charge.

      • I have noticed compared to navy most of our winners are officers, navy jr. petty officers lately seem to do well. no idea on usmc side. way back in olden days, cg had it’s own magazines, though mostly propaganda. do we need our own forum where we can speak freely. other then online I do not see it. don’t get me wrong, I have been a proceedings subscriber for years and enjoy most issues, though I admit as an old sailor some of the electronics shit sails way over my head.

      • Oh, I definitely agree, there are numerous pies in the sky that get published in Proceedings. Just take a look at last year’s winners. The first place essay was good (talked about connectivity issues on cutters), but the second place essay basically said drug interdiction is useless and the Coast Guard should divert counter-drug resources to protect fish. The third place essay pushed the idea that the Coast Guard should divert a substantial amount of resources to train African navies.

        The best articles present a problem, and then offer a solution that is realistically possible with the current resources allocated to the Coast Guard. Unfortunately, that’s often not the case.

  1. We have the results, but will have to wait until August to read the winners.

    R 131636 JUL 20
    ALCOAST 271/20
    COMDTNOTE 5700
    A. Coast Guard External Affairs Manual, COMDTINST M5700.13 (series)
    1. This ALCOAST announces the winners of the U.S. Naval Institute’s
    2020 Coast Guard Essay Contest.
    2. Overview. Located at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD,
    the U.S. Naval Institute (USNI), a private, non-profit, non-partisan
    organization, has provided an open forum for honest debate, informed
    discussion, and professional development for members of the Naval
    Services since 1873. The vision and mission of the USNI is to give a
    voice to those who seek the finest Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard
    by providing an independent forum for those who dare to read, think,
    speak, and write to advance the professional, literary, and scientific
    understanding of sea power and other issues critical to global security.
    USNI is known for its flagship magazine Proceedings and a variety of
    historical and professional books.
    3. Of 67 entries, the 2020 Coast Guard Essay Contest winners are:
    a. First prize ($5,000): LT Andrew Ray, USCG for the article, “Gaining
    Competitive Advantage: Employing USCG LEDETs in the Indo-Pacific.”
    b. Second prize ($2,500): LCDR Dan Wiltshire, USCG for the article,
    “Send in the Coast Guard! (…and the Marines too): Coast Guard Patrol Boats
    will be Vital to supporting Marine Corps Operations in a Pacific War.”
    c. Third prize ($1,500): OS3 Merrill Magowan, USCG, for the article,
    “On the Creation of Patrol Forces Indo-Pacific.”
    4. In addition to cash prizes, these authors receive one year memberships
    to the U.S. Naval Institute and their articles will be featured in August
    2020’s edition of U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings Magazine and online at
    usni.org. Congratulations! And thanks to all who submitted an entry!
    5. If you would like to write and submit an article for publication in
    Proceedings or Naval History magazines, USNI Today (online), or the USNI
    Blog (online) please visit:
    6. RDML Scott W. Clendenin, Assistant Commandant for Response Policy, sends.
    7. Internet release is authorized.

    • It would appear that Bill Well’s earlier comment above on officers typically winning the contest has come to pass yet again 🙂

      Also, WOW, did someone say something about the Indo-Pacific? Is there an echo in here? (granted, my entry focused primarily on the Pacific too, but still…)

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