Essay Contest

For the eighteenth consecutive year, the John A. Adams ’71 Center for Military History & Strategic Analysis at the Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, Va., is pleased to announce that it will award prizes for the best-unpublished papers on Cold War military history.

The contest promotes innovative scholarship on Cold War subjects.

Any aspect of the Cold War (1945-1991) era is eligible, including papers on military strategy, plans, and operations; the relationship between the armed forces and society; international security affairs; Cold War alliances; and the connections between Cold War military history and contemporary geopolitical challenges. The essay may embrace a U.S. or global focus.

Prizes: First prize will earn a plaque and a cash award of $2,000; second prize, $1,000 and a plaque; and third prize, $500 and a plaque.

Procedures: Writers should send their entry electronically to the Adams Center at the Virginia Military Institute by Friday, November 4, 2022. Please make your submission as a MS Word document and limit your essay to a maximum of 7,500 words (minimum 4,000 words) of double-spaced text, exclusive of documentation and bibliography. A panel of judges will examine all papers; the Adams Center director will announce the winners in December 2022. The first-prize winning essay will appear in The Journal of Military History.

Submissions to:

Questions to:

Dr. M. Houston Johnson V
Intirim Director, John A. Adams ’71 Center for Military History & Strategic Analysis
Department of History
Virginia Military Institute
Lexington, VA 24450


Ms. Deneise Shafer
Administrative Assistant
Fax: 540-464-7246


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On Instagram: @vmiadamscenter


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