The 2019 Military Historical Society of Massachusetts ROTC Essay Contest

The Military Historical Society of Massachusetts (MHSM) is pleased to announce we will again host a leadership essay contest to recognize the top essay written by a Massachusetts ROTC Cadet. The winning essay will be awarded a total sum of $4,000; $2,500 in the form of a scholarship check to the Cadet author and a $1,500 check for program funds to support the study of military history to the winning Cadet’s ROTC Program.

The essays must be a minimum of 3,000 words submitted in the following manner:

  • End notes rather than footnotes should be used.
  • Bibliographies are required.
  • Manuscripts must be typed double space with one-inch margins.
  • Each Command should pick the two (2) best essays from their programs and submit them by email to:
  • Submissions must be emailed no later than April 1, 2019.
  • The winning essay will become the property of MHSM.

The scholarship and program donation will be awarded to the author and Command representatives at an MHSM luncheon to honor his or her accomplishment in April 2019 before the school semester ends. A committee appointed by the MHSM, composed of three (3) qualified individuals will judge all essays submitted. The top three rated essays in the state judged by the MHSM committee will be given to the Chair, who will select the final winner.

2019 marks the 200th Anniversary of the creation of ROTC. The ROTC story begins in 1819 with Capt. Alden Partridge, a former superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York. Capitalizing on his experience, Partridge established the American Literary, Scientific and Military Academy in Norwich, Vt. It was there that Partridge's method of producing "citizen-soldiers" first took root. There have been significant changes to the programs through the last two centuries. In honor of the 200th anniversary of ROTC, the 2019 essay question will ask: How have military historical events shaped the curriculum of ROTC over time, and what do you feel was the most significant change?

Cadets should consider the following when writing his or her essays:

  • How did major wars and conflicts affect the training curriculum and program numbers of Cadets?
  • Did these events impact developing certain leadership traits that were focused on at the ROTC programs?
  • What do you see currently impacting the curriculum within your service’s ROTC program?
  • What change would you make to the curriculum of your program that would create the most benefit to a future military leader and why?
  • What new innovations did these curriculum changes bring to the military?

Any questions on the essay contest can be directed to the MHSM Essay Chairman Wayne Ludwig at the following email address: We are very excited to celebrating the education of our fine Cadets in the State and look forward to your program submissions.

Essay Contest Winners

MHSM members, please login to view complete contest archives.

2018 Winner - Cadet Lucy Lee Essay: Cryptography in the First World War

2017 Winner - Cadet Eva Lisowski Essay: An Ordinary Hero

2016 Winner - Cadet Eric Koch Essay: American Spirit: The Yankee Division in the First World War

2015 Winner - Cadet Jocelyn Bly Essay: Mission Command: A Timeless Weapon

2014 Winner - Cadet James Kiefner Essay: Portrait of General Ulysses S. Grant (Un-titled essay)

2013 Winner - Cadet Daniel Silva Essay: From Revolution to Rapprochement | The War of 1812: The Causes, the War, the Legacy

2010 Winner - Cadet Garrett Brnger Essay: A War Fought from Both Sides: The ignored lessons of the American Revolution and their application to Vietnam

2009 Winner - Cadet William Mathews Essay: The Foreseeable Victory: A Justification for the Federal Use of Force in the Civil War

2008 Winner - Cadet Spencer Reese Essay: Washington’s Principle: Civil-Military Relations 1776-2008