Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Annual Navy History and Heritage Awards Program

From the Director


headshot of Rear Admiral (retired) Samuel Cox, director, Naval History and Heritage Command

Rear Admiral (retired) Samuel Cox, director, Naval History and Heritage Command


I am Rear Admiral (retired) Sam Cox, the director of Naval History and Heritage Command. I would like to express my appreciation to the many private, nongovernment museums that are telling a great story about the history of the U.S Navy to the American public.

In recognition of this great work that benefits today’s Navy, I announced an awards program to reward excellence in supporting a better understanding of Navy history.

These awards are for those museums that serve as force multipliers in informing the public of our Navy’s history and the importance of sea power to the security of the nation.

We will recognize private museums that tell the Navy story with Navy-loaned artifacts, publications, documents, or historic ships through the use of exhibitions, published research, preservation, or lectures—live or virtual.

The Navy will have three awards covering calendar year 2021 with a submission deadline of June 1, 2022.

First, the Navy History and Heritage Excellence Pennant, known as the History “E” Pennant, recognizes overall excellence in telling compelling and accurate stories of service at sea.

The second award focuses on shipshape historical ships and artifacts that accurately convey the Navy’s longstanding commitment to a well-maintained fleet. The establishment of the Maintenance Excellence Pennant, known as the Maintenance “E,” recognizes excellence in preservation of macro artifacts such as ships and aircraft.

The third award is the Curatorial Excellence Pennant, known Curatorial “C,” which recognizes those who go the extra mile to interpret and curate historical Navy artifacts to accurately relay the history of Sailors and ships at sea during peace and war.

Again, my thanks to the hard work of the many staff and volunteers who operate these great museums.

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The Annual Navy History and Heritage Awards Program was established to recognize public, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organizations (including museums and individuals) who incorporate the history and heritage of the United States Navy into their publications, documents, and artifacts at their facilities. Each organization must encourage and publicize scholarly, well-researched historical stories that depict the Navy’s history and heritage as well as preserve and maintain artifacts on loan from the Navy. Applicants may utilize their museums, buildings, historic ships and/or aircraft, and other exhibits or artifacts therein to provide or promote published research, preservation of artifacts, exhibiting artifacts and information, lectures, and other presentations. This program is meant to support and promote accurate and effective programs for exhibits, artifacts, and historical research. The winners will be awarded a plaque, pennant, and certificate of award for their excellence in Navy history and heritage. There are three awards categories.

Navy History and Heritage Excellence Pennant (History “E”)

Presented to the organization recognized for outstanding overall achievement in operations, including maintenance, curation/conservation, exhibitory, and Navy history education from organizations offering U.S. Navy-related programming to the public. Excellence will be awarded irrespective of financial resources.

Download application for Navy History and Heritage Excellence Pennant (History “E”)

Maintenance Excellence Pennant (Maintenance “E”)

Presented to the organization that has demonstrated greatest improvement in material condition over the past year of a macro artifact (e.g., historic ship, aircraft). Excellence will be awarded irrespective of financial resources.

Download application for Maintenance Excellence Pennant (Maintenance “E”)

Curatorial Excellence Pennant (Curatorial “C”)

Presented to the organization that has achieved excellence in the curation of the collections in its care, including maintaining and interpreting Navy artifacts on loan from NHHC central and local collections. Excellence will be awarded irrespective of financial resources.

There is awareness that the organizations considered for this award are sometimes located in structures or former Navy vessels that were not designed as museums, and it is therefore highly unlikely that such structures are fully compliant with current industry standards for purpose-built museums. It is the purpose of this award to recognize organizations that have, within the confines of resource and facility limitations, successfully implemented sound curatorial policies and practices.

Download application for Curatorial Excellence Pennant (Curatorial “C”)

Published: Mon Jan 03 16:54:36 EST 2022