MOAA Military Professional Essay Contest

What military leaders of the past two decades have affected your leadership and how?

Try for the top essay spot in the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) annual military professional essay contest and $1,000. Second- and third-place winners will receive $500 and $250, respectively.

The winning essay will be published in the December 2015 issue of Military Officer . Second- and third-place essays will be published online. 

Military professional essay contest entries will be accepted until July 31 and must be 1,500 to 2,000 words. Please submit a Microsoft Word or PDF file with an appropriate title page to . Read the full rules below.


MOAA's annual military professional essay contest is open to current, former, and retired members of the military and their families and students, staff, and faculty members at any professional military education institution. Essays should address the topic given above.

Entries will be judged by an independent panel, and the top three essays will be chosen on the basis of original thought, clarity and logic of writing, and style. MOAA reserves the right to disqualify off-topic entries.

Title page
Include the following information on the title page:

  • Essay title
  • Writer's name and rank and branch of service (if applicable)
  • Full mailing address
  • Phone number
  • Email address

Individual writers retain copyright to their work, but by submitting an entry, they give MOAA permission to publish winning entries in the December 2015 issue of Military Officer, in its various print and digital forms and on its website, . Separate arrangements may be made with the writers of nonwinning entries MOAA wishes to publish.

Official Rules:

No purchase is necessary to enter or win. Entry period ends at midnight, Eastern time, July 31, 2015.


Only entries received before July 31, 2015, are eligible for prizes. Multiple entries are permitted, but an individual may be awarded only one prize. Entries will not be acknowledged. MOAA assumes no responsibility for entries that are corrupted or otherwise not received correctly or for any problems or technical malfunction of any equipment used to submit an entry or otherwise communicate regarding the contest, including injury or damage to participants or to any other person's computer related to or resulting from participating or downloading materials in the contest.

Announcement of Winners:

Three winners will be selected by a panel of judges. First-, second-, and third-place prizes of $1,000, $500, and $250, respectively, are guaranteed to be awarded.


Prize claiming:

Winners will be notified by mail or email. The winners will be announced in the December 2015 issue of Military Officer . Any notification of winnings returned as undeliverable may result in the awarding of the prize to an alternate winner. No responsibility is assumed for lost, mutilated, misdirected, illegible, or postage-due mail. Taxes are the sole responsibility of the prizewinner. All claims are subject to verification by MOAA, whose decisions are final and binding in all matters.



Odds of winning will depend on the number of entries received.



Contest is open to current, former, and retired members of the military and their families and students, staff, and faculty members at any professional military education institution, age 18 or older, except employees of MOAA, its agents, and members of their immediate families. Entrants must complete the following information on their record to be eligible: full name, military information (if applicable), valid email address, street address, city, state, and ZIP code. Claimant may be required to complete an affidavit of eligibility that must be signed and returned within 14 calendar days from the date printed on the notification of winning.


Awarding of Prizes:

Entry and acceptance of a prize constitutes permission to use the winner's name, photograph, or other likeness for the purpose of advertising, trade, and promotion on behalf of the MOAA, without further compensation to the winner unless prohibited by law. Prizes are not transferable, and there will be no substitutions, except due to unavailability. Entry constitutes permission from an author for MOAA to reproduce all or part of an essay; however, MOAA will not share essays with third parties. Entries will not be acknowledged. By accepting any prize, the winner releases MOAA and its affiliates from any loss, damages, cost, or expense associated with the prize product. All federal, state, and local laws apply. Sweepstakes is void wherever prohibited by law. Complete rules are posted online at . MOAA reserves the right to cancel, terminate, modify, or suspend the contest in the event that the contest is not capable of running as planned, including infection by computer virus, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes beyond the control of promoter that corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of the contest. In the event of a dispute as to the winner's identity, entries will be deemed made by the holder of the mailing address associated with the entry.


For winner's list:

Visit for a list of winners, available in December 2015. The contest is sponsored by MOAA, 201 N. Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314.