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The Military Historical Society of Massachusetts ROTC Essay Contest

The Military Historical Society of Massachusetts (MHSM) Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Essay Fellowship is open to cadets and midshipmen enrolled in a Senior ROTC program at any New England college or university.

The winning essay will be included in the Papers of the Military Historical Society of Massachusetts, a journal in periodic publication since 1881, and also awarded a total sum of $4,000 consisting of a $2,500 Fellowship check to the selected cadet/midshipman author and a $1,500 donation to support the study of military history at the winning author’s ROTC program. In addition, the winning author and the ROTC command representative will each receive a MHSM membership for one year.

Essays must be a minimum of 3,000 words and submitted in accordance with the following criteria:

  • Chicago-style formatting (The Chicago Manual of Style) shall be used.
  • Citations will be in endnotes; bibliographies are required.
  • Manuscripts shall be double-spaced, typed in 12-point font with 1-inch margins, and in PDF format.
  • Each school may submit up to six (6) essays.
  • Essays must be submitted via email to: mhsmrotcessaycontest@gmail.com.
  • The submission deadline is April 30, 2022
  • The winning essay will become property of the MHSM for publication as described above.

The Fellowship and ROTC program donation will be awarded to the author and a command representative at a MHSM luncheon prior to the conclusion of the Spring 2022 semester. This event will include a brief presentation by the winning author and may be conducted virtually given COVID-19 considerations, including the potential for some colleges and universities to be operating by remote learning.

A Committee appointed by the MHSM and composed of qualified individuals will judge all submitted essays. The top three (3) essays as judged by the Committee will be provided to the Chair, who will select the final winner.

Cadets and Midshipmen as well as ROTC Cadre are invited to submit any questions regarding the ROTC Essay Fellowship to: mhsmrotcessaycontest@gmail.com.


2021-2022 Essay Topic: 
Changes in Warfare in the 21st Century 

The world has changed greatly in the last 20 years and change will continue. Warfare has changed and evolved with it. The essay should discuss the changing nature of warfare both in the last 20 years and on into the future. Topics might include, but not be limited to:
• Cyberwarfare and cybersecurity;
• Drone warfare;
• Armed forces make-up reflecting these trends moving forward;
• Collateral damage to both friends and foes, both physical and psychological.

2020 Competition Winner: Cadet Kyle Hammalian
Boston University Air Force ROTC

Cadet Hammalian is pictured with the certificate he received from the Military Historical Society for his winning entry. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the awards dinner will be scheduled at a later date.

2020 Winning Essay
Strategic Logistics and Logistical Strategies: How the Allies Triumphed in Europe

Past Essay Contest Winners

MHSM members, please login to view complete contest archives.

Past Winners
2020 Winner – Cadet Hammalian Essay: Strategic Logistics and Logistical Strategies: How the Allies Triumphed in Europe
2019 Winner – Cadet Easun Arunachalum Essay: Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps: Progress and Prospects
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