The 2020 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, 2020.
  • 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 2020 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.

History of Military Logistics in The European WWII Theater

2020 marks the 75th Anniversary of the end of World War II. VE Day (Victory in Europe). That victory was possible, in large part, due to the invasions of France and Italy. Those invasions were fueled by massive logistical operations involving the British Isles (BOLERO) and earlier Africa and then Italy (TORCH). This is asides from logistical operations when the British were alone in Africa and the operations supporting the Soviet Union.

In honor of the 75th anniversary of VE Day, the 2020 essay question will ask: How did logistics shape the outcome of the victory in Europe, what was the scope and organization, and what do you feel was the most significant change to American military logistics that led to and supported the victory?

Cadets may consider the following when writing his or her essays:
  • What was the logistical situation prior to Pearl Harbor?
  • What changes to structures and operations were made?
  • What were the logistics to the Italian and French invasions?
  • What were the structures, materials and time lines?
  • Briefly, how have you seen logistics currently impacting your ROTC program, or any connection to what you have seen in practice with any of the concepts that you wrote about?

Any questions on the essay contest can be directed to the MHSM Essay Chairman Stephen Taber at the following email address: We look forward to your program submissions. The essays are to be delivered to the MHSM by April 3rd, 2020.

2019 Competition Winner: Cadet Easun Arunachalam, MIT Army ROTC

Cadet Arunachalam is presented a certificate by Vice President and ROTC Essay Chair Wayne Ludwig for his winning entry. Also pictured are Military History Instructor Sean McDonough (left) and Senior Military Instructor MSG David Barrera (right).

Pictured from left to right: Professor of Military Science MAJ David Stalker, Cadet Arunachalam, Senior Military Instructor MSG David Barrera, and Military History Instructor Sean McDonough.

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