August 4, 2023

Naval Postgraduate School student addresses fleet tactics and special warfare in winning essay


Naval Postgraduate School Defense Analysis student Lt. Cmdr. Ken Walls recently took home the $5,000 grand prize in the 2023 U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings essay contest sponsored by the Naval Postgraduate School Foundation. NPS President retired Vice Adm. Ann Rondeau and NPS Foundation President Rich Patterson presented Walls with his award on July 28.

Walls, studying in the Special Operations/Irregular Warfare curriculum, has focused his research on applications of maritime special forces in naval tactics. His winning essay, Fleet Tactics & Special Warfare, makes a strong case for how Naval Special Warfare can contribute more to the fight at sea. His essay was published in the June issue of Proceedings.

“In this ongoing era of great power competition, the Navy and Marine Corps need more thought leaders like you who can look at significant challenges and offer innovative ways to combine the capabilities of disparate warfare communities to provide a tactical and operational edge,” said Proceedings Editor-in-Chief Bill Hamblet in his congratulatory letter to Walls.

The USNI/NPS Foundation Essay Contest encourages writing for publication and critical thinking among students, faculty, and staff at the Naval Postgraduate School. Selected essays are based on thesis, research, or operational experience that best advances the military profession.

“The faculty at NPS helps us refine our ideas and incorporate our professional experiences to produce innovative concepts that we can employ as we prepare ourselves, and the forces we lead, for potential future conflict,” Walls said.

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