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My Coast Guard
Commentary | Jan. 15, 2021

Call for submissions: Naval Institute essay contest

By Shana Brouder, MyCG Staff

You can win up to $5,000 through the U.S. Naval Institute’s annual essay contest. Just answer this question: how should the sea services meld technology and innovation to maintain our nation’s advantages? 

Entries must be 2,500 or less, and submitted no later than Feb. 28. 

A Coast Guard prototype unmanned surface vehicle performs a test off Oahu, Hawaii, Oct. 7, 2020. The focus of the test was to explore how current and emerging technologies might be used to enhance maritime domain awareness in remote regions. (U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of the Coast Guard Research and Development Center/Released)“Our society is undergoing a disruptive revolution right now in regard to technology,” said Rear Adm. John Mauger, Assistant Commandant for Capability (CG-7). “As we shift into an information-based society, the model of doing business is changing to reflect that. From Uber and Lyft to Airbnb, technology is connecting people to information in a way that disrupts traditional business models. Looking to the future, the Coast Guard needs to be aware of this change in society. We must look at how we need to change our operations to fit this new business model if we are to be successful in the field.” 

If you have an idea for using autonomous machines, man-machine teaming, machine learning, or harnessing new tech in ways that maintain pace with industry and adversaries, consider entering the Naval Institute’s essay contest. 

All essays submitted must: 

  • Predict the next emerging and disruptive technologies.
  • Describe how those technologies will be used by the U.S. military or against it.
  • Discuss practical approaches for fielding and wielding emerging and disruptive technologies rapidly and getting them into the hands of warfighters.

“Throughout our history, the military has looked to junior people to figure out what is next—what should the new model of operations be,” said Mauger. “I highly encourage all Coast Guard personnel who sense changes within this field to articulate the opportunities through this essay contest.” 

The essay contest is open to all: active-duty, military, reservists, veterans, and civilians.