We maintain a dynamic awards program. We single out members of our community – military, civilian, and future members – whose achievements have warranted individual recognition for their contribution to the legacy of Surface Warriors.
If you have any questions about a specific award or about our program in general please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
List of Awards
Click on the toggler below to view our complete list of awards. To see the deadlines & summaries for each award click on its name.
Admiral Arleigh Burke Surface Warfare Operational Excellence Award
Opens: Summer 2023
Recognizing superior achievements in the operational aspects of Surface Warfare, by qualified Surface Warfare Officers, & Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialists. This award not only recognizes the activity where operational excellence was demonstrated or required, but also in the activities during deployments of surface ships that require the skill & professionalism of all Surface Warriors.
Naval deployments constitute the basis for Forward Presence and Expeditionary Warfare demanded by our nation. They are quantifiable in time, mission, & result. The professionalism demonstrated during these deployments is extremely important to the continued improvement of the Surface Warfare community. Appropriate recognition of individuals who excel in the operational art of Surface Warfare is beneficial to the Surface Warfare Community, the United States Navy, as well as the United States.
Please submit all nominations electronically. If you are unable to submit due to connectivity issues, please use the email nomination form and attach a headshot photo of the nominee in uniform.
Candidates must be junior Surface Warfare Officers (SWO) or junior Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialists (ESWS), in the United States Navy, or in the United States Naval Reserve.
Candidates must be paygrade E-3 through E-7, W-2 through W-4, or O-1 through O-4.
These Candidates must have exhibited sustained excellence in the operational art of Surface Warfare, on US Navy surface ships.
Deployments must be 120 days or longer away from home port (need not be continuous), during the current fiscal year 01 October- 30 September.
The Commanding Officer may nominate ONE Officer and ONE Sailor, from the crew, who have displayed exceptional execution of Surface Warfare Operations during the deployment. Every discipline of Operational Surface Warfare should be taken into account when considering selectees. Selectees should have demonstrated superior action or commendable results in one or more of these significant Surface Warfare disciplines.
These disciplines are not limited to, but include the following: Deck Seamanship, Shiphandling, Weapons Control, Engineering, Maintenance, Damage Control, Navigation, Welldeck & Flightdeck performance, Fiscal Management, Leadership, Training, Command & Control, Communications, Food Service, & Administration.
Nomination form MUST be submitted along WITH Commanding Officer write-up no later than 15 October. Write-Up's MUST include actions, achievements, and any actions deemed important for the commitee to review.
The nominee’s accomplishments will be reviewed by the Awards Committee. One officer & one enlisted member from the Atlantic & the Pacific Commands, will be deemed by the Awards Committee to be especially worthy of further recognition. These nominee’s will be brought to the Executive Committee in order to receive an invitation to attend the annual Surface Navy Association National Symposium to accept their award.
The Commanding Officer of a deployed ship during the 12 months ending 30 September of this year can forward 2 nominees: their most exceptional Officer (O-1 through O-4, W-2 through W-4) and Enlisted (E-3 through E-7) selectee.
Is an ISIC endorsement required?
No, the criteria of this award was changed in 2016 and the requirement of an ISIC endorsement is no longer needed.
Do you require a hard copy of the award package to be mailed to the SNA office?
No, we prefer all nominations be sent electronically. Please do not send a duplicate in the mail. If you are unable to send electronically, award package can be mailed, but MUST be received by the deadline, 15 October to be considered.
Mailing address: 6564 Loisdale Ct., Suite 318, Springfield, VA 22150
The intent of the award is to empower officers and enlisted personnel to recognize those who have improved the readiness of the Navy and the lives of those who man it.
Nominations should outline leadership qualities and stress visionary qualities. Particularly on how an individual contributed both toward the increased effectiveness of his or her organization, & how the welfare of its people, should be delineated.
To be considered, potential recipients must be nominated in writing by an active duty member who may be EQUAL or JUNIOR to them in rank/rate. Each nomination must be accompanied by an endorsement from the Commanding Officer.
If multiple submissions from a command are received, we may require the CO to rank the nominees. If you have any questions please email email@example.com.
The award will be presented to active duty Navy Members in pay grade E-3 through O-4 who best exemplifies the ideals of Admiral Zumwalt.
The award will be determined by a panel of active duty or retired individuals selected by the Surface Navy Association Executive Director (nominally one flag officer, two senior officers (O5-O6), two junior officers (O3-O4), two senior enlisted (E6-E9) and a member from the sponsor’s staff).
Two awards will be presented, one E3-E6 and one E7-O4.
This award was initiated to showcase the professional activities & lives of the Surface Warfare Community. Featuring images that represent their contribution in the following areas; naval warfare; archival material, & educating the citizens of the United States regarding surface warfare department & its achievements.
Grand Prize & 1st Place - Operatiations
HTFN Hannah Young, USN
USNS TIPPECANOE (T-AO-199) AND USS RUSHMORE (LSD 47) maneuver side by side for a FAS (fueling at sea).
2nd Place - Operations
LTJG Grace Rovira, USN
USS MASON (DDG 87) Sailors perform a gun salute following a burial at sea for 20 sets of cremains.
3rd Place - Operations
PA2 Matt Abban, USCG
Cutter BEAR (WMEC 901) stays cautiously distant from an iceberg near the Arctic Circle.
1st Place - Ships
LTJG Zachary Kinsman, USN
USS HOWARD (DDG 83) conducts routine operations in Sagami Wan with a beautiful view a Mt. Fuji.
2nd Place - Ships
LTJG Sam Stewart, USN
USS MICHAEL MONSOOR (DDG 1001) passing underneath the Astoria-Megler Bridge, enroute to the Portland Rose Festival.
3rd Place - Ships
MC2 Roy Ezekiel Duran, USN
Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98) conducts a sunset sail past with Álvaro de Bazán- class frigate Almirante Juan de Borbón(F-102) of the Spanish Navy.
1st Place - Personal Interest
MC3 Taylor Crenshaw, USN
Flyover from an EA-18 as USS SPRUANCE (DDG 111) conducts a Battle of Midway Memorial ceremony while on deployment.
2nd Place - Personal Interest
LT Kathleen Barrios, USN
Quartermaster 1st Class Brenda Pena, USN uses a sextant on the bridge wing of Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS FORREST SHERMAN (DDG 98).
3rd Place - Personal Interest
MC3 Donita Burks, USN
Sailors participate in a burial at sea aboard amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2).
The award is divided into three categories: Ships, Operations (gunnery, refueling, etc.), & Personal Interest (must be Surface Navy related, can include family). The Awards Committee reserves the right to reassign the category of the submitted photo.
While aviation operations are an integral part of surface warfare, photos of aviation operations should clearly include surface warfare operations.
Up 3 photos per photographer are allowed. Any submissions made after the limit is reached will be disqualified.
Digital images must be at least 2100 pixels wide and 300 DPI. Selected images will be made into posters (40" x 30") for display at the National Symposium. Resolution must be high enough to support this size increase.
Submissions may be taken throughout the year and are submitted electronically.
Must pass all Navy safety standards and be in good taste and conduct. Must be unclassified – no scenes with classified material/spaces in the background.
Photo submissions are accepted from both amateur & professional photographers in the following categories: SNA Member, SNA Member Dependents, or select Non-Members.
Select Non-Members include active duty, reserve, retired military in the U.S. Uniform Services, or a DoD employee/contractor.
Entries must not have been previously published, in any media accessible to the public or Navy-wide (including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, DVIDS, etc). Prior publication could result in the relinquishment of prize awards. Entries must be received electronically by established contest deadlines.
There are three winners in each category and one is designated as the Grand Prize Winner.
All photos become the property of the Surface Navy Association for exclusive use until ninety days after the SNA National Symposium. Prize photos will be submitted for possible publication in Surface Warfare Magazine. The winning photographs will be displayed appropriately at the annual SNA Symposium.
In consideration of the awards presented to the winning images, photographers grant exclusive use of their winning images to SNA for use in their various media and possibly Surface Warfare Magazine, starting from selection as winner until 90 days after the National Symposium where the award is presented. Photographers retain ownership and copyright of their submitted images however, grants all rights in perpetuity to SNA to reproduce, display, publish, distribute, create derivative works of submissions while crediting the photographer (where feasible). SNA use of any submitted images not winning awards will be at the discretion of SNA and subject to arrangements with the respective photographers.
Digital images must be at least 2100 pixels wide and 300 DPI. Selected images will be made into posters for display at the National Symposium. Resolution must be high enough to support this size increase.
The Hopley Yeaton Awards, which honor the Coast Guard’s legendary sea-going forbearer, Capt. Hopley Yeaton, are given to celebrate and recognize cuttermen and cutter crews who best exemplify what it means to be a top-tier Coast Guard Cutterman in spirit and in action.
The Cutter Excellence Award annually recognizes the crew of a large cutter, the crew of a mid-sized cutter, and the crew of a small cutter. Cutter crews recognized for this award will have demonstrated exceptional performance in areas such as operations and mission accomplishment; commitment to crew and families; cutter training and readiness; and engineering.
This award recognizes the Chapters of Surface Navy Association that go above & beyond. Chapter programs are key to the ultimate success and effectiveness of the Surface Navy Association. Chapters that are particularly successful and meet specific requirements will be recognized for their efforts with the Chapter Excellence Award at the National Symposium in January.
Chapters must meet qualifying criteria in their chapter size category to earn a Chapter Excellence designation.
Nominees are selected from articles nominated by Chapter Presidents, Board Members, Superintendent of the Navy Postgraduate School, President of the Naval War College, Editor of the Naval War College Review, & Editor of the United States Naval Institute Proceedings.
Articles are reviewed by the SNA Editorial board appointed annually by the chairman of the National Award Committee.
The Editorial board then ranks the articles & forwards the same to the National Awards Committee for the final award selections.
A $1,000 check is awarded. This check is jointly sponsored by SNA & USNI ($500 each). Winner will receive a crystal commemorative award. Any Honorable Mention(s) will receive a framed certificate of recognition.
Master Gunner George Sirian Meritorious Service Award
This award recognizes a Chief Petty Officer for a consistent long-term demonstration of inspirational leadership, exceptional seamanship and operational excellence in surface warfare skills and exemplary performance in organization and management, mission accomplishment, motivation and leadership, and mentoring. The selection process starts each year with a message from COMNAVSURFOR in March requesting submissions and outlining selection criteria, timelines, etc. Final selection occurs in July. The award presentation is traditionally held the fourth week of August onboard USS CONSTITUTION underway in Boston as the culmination of a week of Heritage training for CPO Selectees.
This award is a writing contest designed to engage NJROTC & CGJROTC cadets. This year’s essay prompt will focus on the Surface Navy Association’s Hall of Fame.
Essays will be accepted between November 1 – February 15 of the current school year. SNA judging will take place between 15 February and 1 March. Winners will be announced in April. Questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Examples of heroism and selfless service abound in the history of the United States Navy and Coast Guard. Each year, the Surface Navy Association honors sailors who have demonstrated such heroism and selfless service, either in combat or the advancement of surface warfare, by including them in the SURFACE WARFARE HALL OF FAME.
Select one of the individuals in the SURFACE WARFARE HALL OF FAME who interests and inspires you. Discuss what we could learn from their example and how their experiences inspire you. Your essay should cover their heroic act or significant contribution to surface warfare as well as the obstacles or risks the individual faced. Please watch the induction video and conduct additional outside research to further supplement your essay, describing why their contribution was significant. Please cite sources used.
Please use the above buttons to view Hall of Fame Inductees and to submit student's essay.
Units are encouraged to conduct a local competition to select a winning essay.
Essay will be submitted to SNA by the NJROTC or CGJROTC Unit SNSI or equivalent and is limited to one essay per unit, not to exceed 500 words. Entries must be typed, double-spaced, in 12-point Times New Roman or an equivalent font and must include a title. Essays will be judged on content, historical accuracy, organization of materials, interest, originality, spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
SNSI Instructors: When selecting your unit’s submission, please ensure the essay properly addresses the prompt, that the individual selected is a SNA Hall of Fame Inductee and the essay is free from typographical and grammatical errors. Submissions that do not meet these minimum criteria may not be considered by the Awards Committee.
Essays submitted after the submission deadline of 11:59 p.m. EDT on 15 February 2023, will not be accepted.
RADM Herbert E. Schonland Award for Excellence in Damage Control
Recruiter of the Year Grant
Senior Enlisted Academy Naval Heritage Award
Ship Warfare Qualification Program Award
Shiphandler of the Year Award
Surface Warfare professionals have always prided themselves on expert handling of their ships. Since the early days of sailing ships, an Officer of the Deck or Captain of a ship develops & maintains a reputation as a professional seafarer in large part by the skilled handling of his or her ship in all types of weather, formation maneuvers, approaches to the anchorage or pier, keeping to the channels & fairways in ports & harbors & more recently, taking & maintaining position alongside in underway replenishment. Crisp, direct & safe handling of the ship are marks of the expert. The purpose of this award is to recognize Surface Warfare professionals that excel in the art of naval shiphandling.
The winner will be presented with the Shiphandler Award that includes an engraved plaque & invited to the National SNA Symposium to participate in the Awards Luncheon & Banquet. The runner-up will receive a certificate of recognition.
This award is awarded to Surface Navy Association members, dependents, and retirees whose community-related activities go 'above and beyond' as well as promoting the Surface Navy.
Stephen Decatur, JR. Award
Deadline to Submit: June 1, 2023 by 1600
Selected by the NJROTC or CGJROTC unit commander. One awardee for each category may be selected annually from each unit. The selections will be presented to the Surface Navy Association no later than June 1st.
Please submit nominations at least 2 weeks prior to award ceremony. If you have any questions please email, email@example.com. DO NOT EMAIL OR MAIL NOMINATIONS.
Surface Force Independent Duty Corpsman of the Year Award
The Surface Force Independent Duty Corpsman (SFIDC) Navy Enlisted Code (NEC) 8425 was established to identify highly motivated and specially trained Hospital Corpsman to manage health programs and provide primary care under indirect supervision at sea.
Surface Sailors of the Year Award
Surface Warfare Historical Remembrance
Surface Warfare Officer of the Year
Surface Warfare Research Award
“The Old Salt”
“The Old Tar”
USNA YP Squadron Commodore Award
Opens: Summer 2023
To creatively promote the values of the Surface Navy Association and to actively engage the Surface fleet and SNA members to choreograph and produce a Surface Warfare “spirit spot” video, showcasing Sailor’s lives in the Surface Navy and Coast Guard (at sea and ashore) or supporting surface warfare in industry.
Although SNA membership is encouraged, it is not required. Video must meet the below criteria.
1st Place - USS MONTGOMERY (LCS 8)
LT Sam Hardgrove, USN
Designed to operate where traditional warships can’t reach, USS Montgomery (LCS 8) brings the speed and firepower required to dominate all manner of coastal maritime threats, allowing our Navy to “Strike the Shore, From the Shoreline.”
2nd Place - USS BILLINGS (LCS 15) GOLD CREW
MN2 Justin Hovarter, USN
The USS Billings (LCS 15) Gold Crew Thundercats were kept busy with multiple evolutions ranging from flight quarters to small boat operations with our 11-meter rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB). The crew was able to sail through the Panama Canal, participate in a swim call in the Pacific Ocean, and sailed underway with the French Navy during the CARAIBES 2022 Exercise. We are proud to showcase some of our best moments from this year!
Only one video entry per command or industry group.
Video must be no more than 2 minutes in length and be submitted in mp4 format.
Video must incorporate SNA logo a minimum of two times.
The video must portray Surface Warfare in a positive light. Must pass all Navy and Coast Guard safety standards and be in good taste and conduct. Must be unclassified – no scenes with classified material/spaces in the background. No solicitation for corporate businesses. Must not have been published previously.
If music or any other audio is included in the video, it must be royalty-free or have proof of authorization for use to prevent copyright violations.
Videos will be submitted by 01 October online to National and the Awards Committee will vote based on the above criteria. Videos will be judged based on merit for creativity, artistic quality, and portraying a positive image of surface warfare. Videos will be showcased at the SNA Symposium.