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Essay Competition

The Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security is pleased to announce its Annual Essay Competition. This competition strives to stimulate original thought on issues in Homeland Security and Homeland Defense.

Instructions for submitting essays and the essay evaluation criteria are outlined below. Please read them carefully.

Statement of Purpose:

According to the National Security Strategy, homeland security is an integral part of national security. Homeland security traces its roots to traditional and historic functions of government and society, such as civil defense, emergency response, law enforcement, customs, border patrol, and immigration. In the aftermath of 9/11 and the foundation of the Department of Homeland Security, these functions took on new organization and urgency. Homeland security strives to adapt these traditional functions to confront terrorism and disasters along with new threats and evolving hazards -- such as proliferation, cyber, transnational crime, violent extremism, stability and security of the space environment, economics, education, climate changes, energy, water and food security, and health threats. Homeland security is not simply about government action alone. It is about the collective strength of the entire country working to create and sustain a homeland that is safe and secure, and in which American interests, aspirations, and way of life can thrive.

This year’s essay question

The next question will be posted fall 2014.


Submission Guidelines

Your response may be general or focus on a specific aspect (organizational, policy, strategy, practice, technological innovation, social impact, etc.) or discipline/field, (emergency management, public health, law enforcement, critical infrastructure, intelligence, etc.). Essays may be written from any perspective - e.g. government, private sector, cultural, local community, or citizen.

Who may enter: The competition is open to everyone with an interest in homeland defense and security. Current Center for Homeland Defense and Security faculty, staff, students and graduates (of the Master's or Executive Leaders Programs) are not eligible.

Competition Guidelines: The essay should be no more than five pages, single spaced, in twelve point type and in Word or PDF format. Do not include your name on the essay. Essays must be original and not published elsewhere. Submission implies permission to publish.

Timeline: The deadline for submission is 31 January 2015. Finalists will be announced no later than 31 May 2015.

Criteria: Essays will be evaluated on relevance to the question, innovation of the idea(s), strength of the argument, and quality of the writing.

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Seventh Annual Essay Competition
"Peter Drucker emphasized the importance of continually challenging one's assumptions. He said "Make yourself capable of doing this by building organized abandonment into your system. By asking yourself every few years, If we weren't doing what we now do, would we want to start doing it? And if the answer is 'probably not,' then maybe it isn't the right thing to do anymore." How would you apply Drucker's guidance to homeland security?"
Finalists’ Essays [pdf]
Sixth Annual Essay Competition
"What is a dangerous idea you have about homeland security, and why is it dangerous?"
Finalists’ Essays [pdf]
Fifth Annual Essay Competition
"Identify a theory or insight from a field outside homeland security that has not been applied to homeland security but should be."
Finalists’ Essays [pdf]
Fourth Annual Essay Competition
"Claude Debussy said "Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art." How might this idea be applied to how we approach homeland defense and security?"
Finalists’ Essays [pdf]
Third Annual Essay Competition
"How can, or should, the United States make homeland security a more layered, networked, and resilient endeavor involving all citizens?"
Finalists’ Essays [pdf]
Second Annual Essay Competition
"What advice concerning Homeland Security would you give the next presidential administration and why?"
Finalists’ Essays [pdf]
First Annual Essay Competition
"What single aspect of Homeland Security has been most successful, and what single aspect will be most critical to Homeland Security success?"
Finalists’ Essays [pdf]