Center for Homeland Defense and Security Annual Essay Competition

Posted on 2/8/13 12:00 AM

You are invited to submit your essay for the annual essay competition, presented by the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security. This competition strives to stimulate original thought on issues in homeland security and homeland defense. The due date has been extended to February 15, 2013.

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 the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks 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:

What is a dangerous idea you have about homeland security, and why is it dangerous?

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 12-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.


The deadline for submission has been extended to February 15, 2013. Finalists will be announced no later than May 31, 2013.


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


The winner will receive a $500 cash award. Additionally, the winning and four top finalist essays will be considered for publication by Homeland Security Affairs, the online journal published by the Naval Postgraduate School's Center for the Homeland Defense and Security.