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    NROTC Members Kindfuller, Briand Named CNO Essay Contest Awardees

    CNO 2023 Essay Award Presentation photos

    Photo By Clifford Davis | 230921-N-FJ200-1081 ANNAPOLIS, MD. (Sept. 21, 2023) Rear Adm. Fred Kacher, acting...... read more read more



    Story by Scott Thornbloom 

    Naval Service Training Command     

    GREAT LAKES, Ill. - - Two members of the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) were recently recognized for drawing third place awards in the 2023 Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Naval History Essay Contest.
    U. S. Navy Lt. Vince Kindfuller, a University of Rochester NROTC instructor, and Midshipman 3rd Class Pierre Briand, an NROTC sophomore at the University of Southern California (USC), were formally recognized at the CNO Essay Contest Luncheon Sept. 21 at the McMullen Naval History Symposium at the U. S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.
    “I’m very honored being recognized with this award,” said Kindfuller, 30, from Potomac, Maryland. “For that last four years I’ve tried writing something for the contest but only submitted once prior to this year. When I got the email this year on the third place award I jumped out of my chair and kind of shouted for joy.”
    Kindfuller’s essay in the rising historian category was about the fleet problems and exercises the Navy held in the 1920s and 30s.These exercises were the culminating event of the training cycle for the year and helped prepare the U. S. Navy for the War in the Pacific and led to the carrier strike group doctrine of today.
    “The admiral’s at the time were given huge leeway to come up with their entire plan and doctrine on their own. My essay talks about that free play and ability to experiment really led to the doctrine that led the Navy to compete in the Pacific War.”
    Midshipman Briand, 19, from Westport, Connecticut, said receiving the third prize in the student category was a “profoundly gratifying experience. I am incredibly proud to represent the USC Trojan Battalion and the NROTC program in this accomplishment.”
    Briand’s said his essay title is ‘Rivalry and Confusion at Leyte: Lessons for Sea Control in the Pacific.’
    He said it “discusses the Battle of Leyte Gulf and uses it as a historical example to explore the importance of unified command structures, clear objectives, and joint service cooperation in modern day. The Battle of Leyte Gulf revealed flaws in the command structure and communication within the U.S. Navy as well as the shortcomings of the Imperial Japanese Navy, specifically their long-standing inter-service rivalry.”
    Briand said his essay draws parallels between these historical lessons and the challenges of modern naval warfare, particularly in the context of potential conflicts with advanced adversaries such as China. In such a conflict, the Navy will employ a distributed operations strategy whereby our naval assets are dispersed, as opposed to grouped, across the afflicted region.
    “In this environment, there must be unified upper-level commands that can pass down clear objectives so that our dispersed assets can effectively use their own discretion to execute those objectives, particularly when faced with potential disruptions in communication, Briand said.
    Briand also said the essay explores the Marine Corps' role in sea control and denial missions as well as the need for the Army and Air Force to supplement that mission, emphasizing the importance of a joint approach to address and mitigate our military’s own tactical vulnerabilities.
    “I believe that entering the CNO Essay Writing Contest holds significant importance” Briand said. “This competition is a valuable opportunity for both professional and personal development. The research, writing, and critical thinking that go into crafting an essay for this contest is intellectually enriching and helps refine essential skills. Moreover, the opportunity to contribute to the ongoing discourse surrounding vital naval affairs cannot be overstated, especially for midshipmen, who will be entering the Navy or Marine Corps and thus directly affected by these matters.”
    Both Kindfuller and Briand each received $1,000 for their third place finish.
    NROTC is overseen by Commander, Naval Service Training Command (NSTC), Capt. Craig Mattingly and his staff.
    NSTC oversees 98 percent of initial officer and enlisted accessions training for the Navy, including NROTC units at more than 160 colleges and universities; Officer Training Command (OTC) at Naval Station Newport, Rhode Island; Recruit Training Command (RTC) at Naval Station Great Lakes, as well as Navy Junior ROTC (NJROTC) and Navy National Defense Cadet Corps (NNDCC).



    Date Taken: 09.27.2023
    Date Posted: 09.28.2023 09:18
    Story ID: 454437
    Location: GREAT LAKES, IL, US

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