Why Should You Join?

MOAA members have access to services specifically designed for them.

Join Secondary page

MOAA Military Professional Essay Contest

Increase size Decrease size Text Size PrintPrint

2013 Essay Contest Results

You voted and the results are in for MOAA’s 2013 Military Professional Essay Contest. First place goes to retired Army spouse Sara VanderClute for her essay “Disabled? Or Dissembling?” Capt. Joseph A. Simonetti, New York ANG, took second place, and Lt. Col. Donald L. Gilleland, USAF (Ret), placed third. Finalists appeared in the November 2013 Military Officer. 

2014 Essay Contest 

MOAA’s annual Military Professional Essay Contest is open to current, former, and retired members of the military; members of their families; and students, staff, and faculty members at any professional military education institution. Essays may address any topic that has relevance to MOAA’s stated mission of preserving a strong national defense.

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. Readers will vote for the final placement and prizes of $1,000 for first place, $500 for second place, and $250 for third place. Additionally, one handheld GPS system will be awarded through a random drawing from all valid entries.

Contest Details

Entries will be accepted until July 31 and must be 750 words or less. Submit a Microsoft Word or PDF file with a title page to profseries@moaa.org. The title page should include:  

  1. Essay title  
  2. Writer’s name and rank/branch of service (if applicable)  
  3. Full mailing address  
  4. Phone number  
  5. Email address  

Submission of an essay constitutes permission by the author for MOAA to publish all or part in MOAA-sponsored publications.  

Read the full rules below.

Finalists will be published in the November 2014 issue of Military Officer. Readers will vote on the winning essay and second- and third-place winners, which will be announced in the January 2015 issue of Military Officer.

Official Rules 

No purchase is necessary to enter or win. Entry period ends at midnight, Eastern time, July 31, 2014. 

Only entries received before July 31, 2014, are eligible for prizes. Multiple entries are permitted; but an individual may only be awarded one prize. 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.  


The 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 the Military Officers Association of America, its agents, and members of their immediate families. Each entrant 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. 

Announcement of Winners 

Three finalists will be selected by a panel of judges. After publication, reader voting will determine final order of prizes. First-, second-, and third-place prizes of $1,000, $500 and $250, respectively, are guaranteed to be awarded. Additionally, one handheld GPS system will be awarded through a random drawing from all valid entries.  

Prize Claiming 

Winners will be notified by mail or email. The winners will be announced on the MOAA website on Dec. 31, 2014. Any notification of winning 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 

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

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 Military Officers Association of America (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 author for MOAA to reproduce all or part of the 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 posted online at www.moaa.org/essaycontest. 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.   

List of Winners 

Visit www.moaa.org/essaycontest for a list of winners, posted by Dec. 31, 2014. The contest is sponsored by the Military Officers Association of America, 201 N. Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314.