U.S. Navy War of 1812 Bicentennial Essay Contest for Military Veterans in Michigan

Some call it ‘The Forgotten War’ or the ‘Second American Revolutionary War’; others call it the war that ‘nobody won’;  some know it as the war during which the U.S. Navy first played a starring role;  still others know it was then that the Star Spangled Banner was written; many don’t know a thing about it.  Essentially, the War of 1812 marked the first time the mighty British Navy was ever truly challenged…..by the fledgling American nation.  Also joining in the fray were France, Canada, and Native Americans.   Three years later, after all was said and done, nothing essentially had changed;  borders, possessions, power, and control were virtually unchanged.  The only real losers were the Native Americans, who had mostly decided to support the French and British. 

2012 marks the 200th anniversary of this conflict and the U.S. Navy is celebrating in a big way.  Since April, an armada of Navy and tall ships has been stopping in coastal cities along the eastern seaboard for week long celebrations, concerts, events and airshows.  The armada will continue visiting cities in the U.S. and Canada along the St. Lawrence Seaway and throughout the Great Lakes until October.  The fleet stops in Detroit September 3-10, 2012 where dozens of activities will bring attention to the U.S. Navy and the tens of thousands of young men and women who serve.  For a full schedule and more information, visit  www.ourflagwasstillthere.org.

In Detroit, a few special contests have been added…..golf events too.  If you are a Michigan resident, military veteran 45 years of age or older, might enjoy a little bit of historical research, and think you can write, consider this contest.  Get busy with those books and internet research….. the deadline is early August.



Why was the War of 1812 Important in the Development of the U.S. Navy?                              

 In cooperation with the U.S. Navy Recruiting District Assistance Council-MI (RDAC), the Michigan Council for History Education, and the Michigan War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission, American House Senior Living Communities, you are invited to submit an entry for the following:

WHAT?  This essay contest will empower you to learn how the War of 1812 influenced Michigan through naval battles on the Great Lakes and high seas.  Known as the ‘Forgotten Conflict’, the War of 1812 shaped the future of Michigan and its people.

 WHO?  This contest is open to any veteran of military service, age 45 or older. 

 WHY? The Bicentennial of the War of 1812 offers an excellent opportunity for veterans to learn and share information about this war and of life experiences from a veteran’s perspective through military service; learning does not end with graduation from high school or college.

 HOW? By independently researching key events and naval battles on the Great Lakes and the High Seas, you may use resources available at local libraries, museums, and the internet to learn about this topic or add to current knowledge.

 WHEN?  All entries must be postmarked by Wednesday, August 8, 2012.

Any late entry will not be accepted.

 PRIZESThe Military Veterans Essay Contest offers the following awards:

One Division: Military Veterans age 45 or older: 1st Place – $1000; and 2nd Place – $500. 

Top-10 entries will receive Certificates of Recognition.

 Awards will be presented by an American House representative at a special event for the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 celebration in the Metro Detroit area during September 3-10, 2012.  Photos taken at that Awards Ceremony may be used in publications of the U.S. Navy, the Michigan Council for History Education, and may be posted on various websites.  There may be additional interviews, biographical information, and news coverage requested by local media and U.S. Navy Community Outreach (NAVCO) or PR personnel.

 Military Veterans Essay Contest for the War of 1812 – (45 years of age and older)

 Guidelines for Essays:

–          May not exceed 1000 words.

–          Text must be at least 11-point font

–          Must be typed/computer-written on white paper

–          Double space with one-inch margins

–          Provide original essay, with entry form found below, stapled to top left hand corner

–          Provide three (3) additional copies (without entry form); do not put name on copies

–          Each paper copy must be stapled in the upper left hand corner

–          Do not place essays in folders or binders

–          Include footnotes, references, and bibliography (not counted in word count)

 Please note:  Failure to follow these guidelines will result in either point deductions or disqualification of entry.

 Judging Criteria:

–          25 points, creativity and originality

–          25 points, responding thoughtfully to theme

–          20 points, presenting of ideas clearly and effectively

–          20 points, appropriate spelling and grammar

–          10 points, citing footnotes, references, historical documents

–          **Ten points will be deducted for every 100 words exceeding 1000

–          ***If there is any plagiarized content, entry will be disqualified


 NOTE:  Essays will be judged by a panel of local experts and educators.   Winners may be asked to video record their essays for use by U.S. Navy and must agree to media interviews.  Winners agree that their work is original and may be also used for promotional purposes.  Submissions become the property of Military Veterans Essay Contest Sponsors for use in print or other media as determined.

 Decisions of the judges are final.

 Any questions may be directed at NRD-MI RDAC Chair Janina Jacobs via email at Jjacobs2456@gmail.com.


Official Entry Form for Veterans Essay:                                                   


Why was the War of 1812 Important in the Development of the U.S. Navy?                              



Veteran Information:      

Date of Birth:

Home Address:  



Home or Cell Phone:  


Which branch of the military did you serve?   Which years?  
Veteran’s Signature:  


Are you a member of an American House? Circle Appropriate Response:                  YES                       NO If Yes, Loc:  
If available, will you participate in Awards recognition in Sept.? Circle Appropriate Response:                  YES                       NO    

 All entries must be postmarked by Wednesday, August 8, 2012.

 Note:  Judges’ decisions are “Final” and may not be contested.   Please send completed forms to:

 David Dillingham, 2620 Middlebelt Road, West Bloomfield, MI 48324

 Attention: Military Veterans Essay Contest



Form: OEVEssay Completed Applications include:

1.   Copy of completed Official Entry Form for Veteran Essay

2.   Essay marked with Name

3.   3 Copies of Essay without Name

Veteran Entry Form (sample):

Please supply 1 copy with name and 3 copies without name.


Why was the War of 1812 Important in the Development of the U.S. Navy?


For Office Use Only; To be assigned by judges:  Blind Entry Number:___________

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)