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, in 2020 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.
The program recognizes 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.
Each year, the Navy will have three awards covering the calendar year with a submission deadline of June 1.
Again, my thanks to the hard work of the many staff and volunteers who operate these great museums.
The Annual Navy History and Heritage Awards Program was established in 2020 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. Organizations eligible for the program 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.
This program supports and promotes effective programs in non-federal organizations for exhibits, artifacts, and historical research. This year marks the third iteration of this annual awards program.
Applicants wishing to participate in the Annual Navy History and Heritage Awards Program may do so in one of three 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”)
The window for submissions covering the 2022 calendar year will open March 1 and close June 1.