The 2018 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, 2018.
  • 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 2018 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.

Technology and Tactics

2017 marks the centennial of America's entry into World War I. World War I was a war of immense mechanization and technological innovation forever changing military tactics and logistics: blood transfusions and field hospitals, dreadnaughts and submarines, tanks and artillery, machineguns and mustard gas, airplanes and balloons, reconnaissance and field communications, to name a few.

In honor of the 100th anniversary of WWI, the 2017 essay question will ask: How did technological advancements change the tactics of America’s military during the war? And how did one innovation change the tactics of a specific branch of America’s military (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines) Cadets are encouraged to be creative in their presentations.

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

  • How did the use of new technologies (weapons, machinery, scientific advances) during World War I impact the war?
  • Did any of them play a role in either lengthening or in shortening the war?
  • Which side benefited the most from which technologies?
  • How did an innovation change the tactics of one service of the U.S. military (Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine)?
  • Are any of these innovations still prevalent to the military or society today?

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 celebrate the education of our fine Cadets in the State and look forward to your program submissions.

Download Contest Rules Here

Essay Contest Winners

MHSM members, please login to view full contest archives.

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