The Naval Historical Foundation is proud to recognize outstanding work in the field of history. 

Below are our major prizes and awards:

  • Commodore Dudley W. Knox Naval History Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Captain Kenneth Coskey National History Day Prize
  • Captain Edward L. Beach, Jr. Naval History Award
  • National History Day Teachers of Distinction Awards
  • Vice Admiral Robert F. Dunn NROTC Prizes

Continue reading to learn more about each of these prizes and to view the archives of previous winners. The Naval Historical Foundation is also pleased to sponsor the United States Naval Academy Superintendent’s Leadership and Vision Award: Voices of Maritime History – click HERE to learn more.

Commodore Dudley W. Knox Naval History Lifetime Achievement Award

The Commodore Dudley W. Knox Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes an individual for a lifetime body of work in the field of U.S. naval history. The award is named for Commodore Dudley Wright Knox (21 June 1877 – 11 June 1960). A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and Naval War College, Knox had a distinguished career as a naval officer with service in the Spanish American War, Boxer Rebellion, Great White Fleet, and World War I. But it was his abilities as a historian, librarian, and archivist that earned him respect and admiration amongst his peers and later generations.

Learn more about the Knox Award or submit a nomination.

Previous Knox Achievement Award Recipients: 

  • 2013 James C. Bradford, William N. Still, Jr., Philip K. Lundeberg
  • 2014 John Hattendorf, Craig L. Symonds, William S. Dudley, Harold D. Langley.
  • 2015 Dean C. Allard, Thomas J. Cutler, Kenneth J. Hagan
  • 2016 Christopher McKee
  • 2017 Jon Sumida, Paul Stillwell, Edward Marolda
  • 2019 Tyrone G. Martin, Norman Polmar, David Curtis Skaggs, Jr.

Knox Award Medal 2013

STEM Teacher Fellowships

Starting in the summer of 2011, the Naval Historical Foundation began offering competitive STEM Teacher Fellowships to educators from across the country. Please visit our STEM Teacher Fellowships page to learn more.

Captain Kenneth Coskey National History Day Prize

At the annual National History Day festivities that occur every June at the University of Maryland, special prizes are awarded to high school and middle school history projects that best capture an appreciation for naval history. Two such prizes are awarded, one each in the Junior and Senior Divisions, for $1000 each. Judging is conducted by the organizers of National History Day.

 The prize is named for the late Captain Ken Coskey, a Vietnam War combat aviator and Prisoner of War, and former Executive Director of the Naval Historical Foundation.


1999 Michelle Ow Pensacola, FL Forging  a New Era Through Ironclad Technology
2000 Thomas Thompson Prince Frederick, MD Five Minutes at Midway: Turning Point of the Turning Point
2001 Andrew Morrison, Rebecca Stover, Ivan Borissow Owings, MD CDR Wesley A Brown
2002 Andy Pope, Zack Piper Pensacola, FL Port Chicago Mutiny
2002 Katie Pauley, Amy Paul Des Moines, IA RADM Grace Hopper
2003 Steven Pelcovits Providence, RI Military Ships and Citizenship: Rights and Responsibilities of Blacks in the Civil War Navy
2004 Sarah Miles Cheraw, SC Grace Hopper: Exploration of Women’s Careers in the Navy, Encounters With Technology and Exchange of Knowledge in the 20th Century
2005 Brynne Piotrowski Pensacola, FL Anticipated Arrival: Communications Intelligence in the Battle of Midway
2006 Justin Schoonmaker Longdale, OK Midway: America’s Stand against Japanese Expansion
2007 Chris Carpenter, John Bergquist, Ridley Heyrend, Matt Miller Salt Lake City, UT The Attack and Capture of U-505: A Treasure Submerged in Code
2008 Adam Sherman Scottsdale, AZ Prelude to Pearl Harbor: The Panay Conflict and President Roosevelt’s Compromise
2009 Karissa Kleinschmidt, Katelynn Scallan, Jesse Adcock Cantonment, FL Grace Murray Hopper: America’s Amazing Grace
2010 Sarah Sadlier Tacoma, WA The Marine Chronometer: An Innovative Solution to the Longitude Problem
2011 Lawrence Alcairo, Marten Lai Guam Guam Military Buildup
2012 Mia Keyser, Challis Debenham, Hallie Whitmore Anchorage, AK The Trials of Truth: The Amistad Revolution
2013 Maria Sutton Wilmington, DE The Sinking of the USS Maine: A Turning Point in American Foreign Policy
2014 Jethro Abayo, Logan Gilbert (Junior Division) Vancouver, WA Vietnam Prisoners of War: Taking Responsibility When Deprived of All Rights
2014 Katharine Journaey, Mark Cochran, Hannah McDonnell, Colby Gould and Emily Pierce (Senior Division) Exeter, NH The Golden 13: Civil Responsibility Before Self
2015 Shaeffer Quinn, Nick Moon, Andrew Bow, Olivia Lennon, and Riley Sproowl (Junior Division) Boerne, TX “James and Sybil Stockdale: A Heroic Duo”
2015 Mickey Sloat (Senior Division) Davenport, IA “Leadership in the Cyber Sea: The Legacy of ADM Grace Hopper”
2016 Cassi Taylor (Junior Division) Mobile, AL “Exploring the CSS Alabama: Encounters of the Confederate Raider and the Fiery Exchange with the Kearsarge“
2016 Allie Tubbs (Senior Division) Johnston, IA “Grace Hopper Dared to Explore Computer Coding, Encounter the Glass Ceiling, and Exchange Intellectual Concepts”
2017 Jason Benyousky, Ryan Hoffert, Keller Bailey, and Geoffrey Hochstetler (Junior Division) Warsaw, IN The Many Stands of Pearl Harbor
2017 Joseph Horne (Senior Division) North Berwick, ME The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard: Helping America Take a Stand against the Axis Powers
2018 Andrew Karafa (Junior Division)  Ada, MI “Temporary Truces: How America’s Handling of the Barbary Bullies Molded the US Navy”
2018  Caroline Maxon (Senior Division) Henderson, NC  “The Quasi War: The Undeclared Conflict”
2019  Armaan Needles (Junior Division) Milani, HI “Hawaii’s Workers Assist U.S. Triumph after Tragic Pearl Harbor Bombing”
2019 Ben Kuale and Ella Ratliff (Senior Division) Siouz Falls, SD “The Art of Confusion: The Triumph of Dazzle Camouflage after Tragedy”

Captain Edward L. Beach, Jr. Naval History Award

This prize is given to the U.S. Naval Academy midshipman who has demonstrated exceptional naval history scholarship during an academic year. Judging is conducted by Naval Academy history department faculty. Beginning in 2003, the Prize was named for recently deceased World War II submariner, noted author and long-time Naval Historical Foundation Board member Captain Edward L. Beach, Jr.



2001 Midshipman First Class and Brigade Commander Andrew T. Roy “Sailors as Diplomats: The United States Navy in Bahrain, 1971-1977.”
2002 Midshipman First Class Von Patrick H. Fernandes Thesis: “Why Do Men Fight? Choosing to Serve in the Continental Navy.”
2003 Midshipman First Class Matthew R. Bishop Studies in naval history
2004 Midshipman First Class James S. Van Nest Studies in naval history
2005 Midshipman First Class Seth K. Powell “Train for the Known, Educate for the Unknown: The Navy’s Struggle for Clarity with Graduate Education in the Humanities.”
2006 Midshipman First Class David Faherty Studies on the origins of the Chinese submarine force
2007 Midshipman First Class Vanessa Solem Studies on Kamikazes
2009 Midshipman First Class Joel L. Hamner Scholarship at the Naval Academy
2010 Midshipman First Class Matthew W. Hettiger Scholarship at the Naval Academy
2011 Midshipman First Class Clarence F. “Skip” Lambert Scholarship at the Naval Academy
2012 Midshipman First Class Zachary D. Schwartz Scholarship at the Naval Academy
2013 Midshipman First Class Daniel Ziminski Insurgency during the time of the Roman Empire, and the culture of the Greek martial society
2014 Midshipman First Class Matthew C. Huffman The Effect of Aviation on 20th Century Hemispheric Defense: Defending the Panama Canal
2015 Midshipman First Class Philip Youngberg and Midshipman First Class Dana Petersen The Battle off Samar: The 70th Reunion of Taffy 3 Survivors
2016 Midshipman First Class Luke S. Voss  Scholarship at the Naval Academy
2017 Midshipman First Class Patrick M. Leech War Without Fire: Henry V’s Treatment of Civilians in his French Campaigns, 1415-1421
2018 Midshipman First Class Ryan Menke Force in the Far East: Royal Navy Gunboat Operations on the China Station, 1860-1870

National History Day Teachers of Distinction Awards

2020 NHD Teachers of Distinction Award Press Release:

For the third straight year the Naval Historical Foundation (NHF) will recognize talented middle and high school teachers whose students produce award winning projects having a naval or maritime theme in the annual National History Day (NHD) competition.

 Continuing a program started in 2018, NHF will present “Teacher of Distinction” awards to teachers whose students (i) win NHF’s annual Coskey Prizes for Naval History or (ii) are ranked first, second or third in their categories in the NHD national competition.

 Each year some 3,000 students and several hundred teachers take part in the NHD national competition at the University of Maryland in College Park.  This year the competition was scheduled for June 14-20.

However, due to the coronavirus NHD Executive Director Cathy Gorn on March 24 announced that the competition would be conducted in a virtual format to ensure the safety of participants. ”It’s not ideal but canceling was never an option,” she said.  The virtual national competition will be in June.

Every year NHD has a broad theme for the student projects. This year’s theme is, “Breaking Barriers in History.” 

 There are five project categories:  papers, exhibits, documentaries, websites, and performances.  Competition begins at individual schools, with the top middle and high school winners advancing to regional, state, and national competitions.  Some 600,000 students from the United States, District of Columbia, territories, and international schools in China, Korea and South Asia participate annually.

 Last year NHF’s Teacher of Distinction awards went to 11 teachers from around the county, two from middle schools, the other nine from high schools. The awards consist of $200 honorariums, NHF certificates of achievement, one-year NHF memberships, and access to NHF Navy-related research assistance.  

 The NHF Coskey Prizes are named after the late Captain Ken Coskey, a Navy pilot, Vietnam prisoner of war, and former NHF executive director.  The NHD prizes were established in 1999.  Every year since then NHF has awarded two Coskey Prizes to the top ranked projects in naval history.  Each prize is a $1,000 award. 

 “We’ve been pleased and honored to award the Coskey Prizes for 20 years now,” said Admiral William Fallon, USN (Ret.), NHF chairman. “But we thought it appropriate to also recognize the teachers who inspire the students to produce outstanding naval and maritime projects.  Teachers are on the front lines of education and often don’t get the recognition they deserve.” 

Previous Teachers of Distinction

Erica Bell (2019) Jonathan Kiljik  (2018)
Edison Middle School Georgetown Day School
Sioux Falls, SD  Washington, DC
Jon Blasko (2019) Michael Lee (2019)
Nimitz High School Winchester High School
Humble, TX Winchester, MA
Amy Boehning (2018, 2019) Patty Lien (2018)
Mililani High School St. Benedict School
Mililani, HI Decorah, IA
William Boniface (2018) Katie McCrary (2018)
Northside Junior High School   West Henderson High School
Bothell, WA Henderson NC
Pam Brown (2019) Alfred Meadows (2019)
All Saints Catholic School Wilbur Cross High School)
Moore, OK New Haven, CT
Paul Clemente (2018) Casey Metcalfe (2018)
Felix Festa Character Middle School Sanford Middle School  
West Nyack, NY Minneapolis, MN
Nathanial Cole (2018) Debbie Pearson (2018)
EL Haynes Public Charter School   Tri-County North Middle School
Washington, DC Lewisburg, OH
Zach Crandall (2018) Jenifer Pilot (2018)
Southern Hills Middle School Sanford Middle School  
Boulder, CO Minneapolis, MN
James Cross (2018) Al Plummer (2019)
Eastern Middle School Northshore Junior High School
Kentwood, MI Bothell, WA
Caitlin Daniels (2018)   Cherie Redelings (2019)
Deal Middle School   Francis Parker School
Washington, DC Bonita, CA
Stacie Garber (2018)   Stephanie Shimp (2018)
Caravel Academy   West Springfield High School
Bear, DE Springfield, VA
R. Rodrigo Garcia (2019) Patricia Sellar (2018)  
Veterans Memorial Early College High School Auten Road Intermedia School  
Brownsville, TX Hillsborough, NJ
Richard Gehrman (2018)    Susan Sittenauer (2018)  
Waccamaw Middle School Seaman High School  
Pawleys Island, SC Topeka, KS
Mindy Greenberg (2018) Amy Steadman (2018)
American Heritage School of Boca/Delray   Derby North Middle School
Delray Beach, FL Derby, KS
Brenda Hainey (2018) Elizabeth Thornewood (2019)
Royal Valley Middle School Sunset High School
Mayetta, KS Beaverton, OR
Ben Hale (2018)   Melissa Waycaster (2018)
John Bapst Memorial High School   West Henderson High School
Bangor, ME Henderson, NC
Blair Hennessy (2019) Yvette Simpson-Wayne (2018)
Lincoln High School Deal Middle School
Portland, OR Washington, DC
Kevin Holden (2018) Valerie Tanayan (2018)  
Narragansett Pier School   Untalan Middle School
Narragansett, RI Guam

Vice Admiral Robert F. Dunn NROTC Prizes

The Vice Admiral Robert F. Dunn Prizes recognize and reward midshipmen who show future promise as naval officers and encourage all midshipmen to value their history and heritage as part of their ethos. The prizes are named for Vice Admiral Robert F. Dunn, USN, who retired in 2012 following fourteen years of service as President of the NHF. With former duties that included the Chief of Naval Reserve and the DCNO for Naval Aviation, VADM Dunn has a reputation in the Navy’s intellectual community as a thoughtful writer in publications such as the Naval Institute Proceedings. He currently is a Ramsey Fellow with the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

Read more about the Dunn Prizes here.



2014 Midshipman Jasper Burns
Boston University
“The Merits of Corbettian Doctrine Pre-WWI.”
2014 Midshipman Diana Vought
Regional Winner
University of Idaho
“U.S. Navy’s Implementation of Corbett’s Values.”
2014 Midshipman Brad Bosserman
Regional Winner
Texas A&M University
“The American Empire Propagation.”
2014 Midshipman Grant Knott
Regional Winner
University of Minnesota
“The Naval Origins and Role of Strategic Deterrence: A Core U.S. Navy Mission.”
2015 Midshipman Michael Odell
University of Idaho
“U.S. Navy and Coast Guard Joint Operations in Vietnam.”
2015 Midshipman Connor V. Schueler
Regional Winner
Iowa State University
“The Development of the United States Marine Corps Amphibious Assault Function, 1900-1939.”
2015 Midshipman Joshua Schwark
Regional Winner
University of Rochester
“Navy Special Warfare: The Evolution of Navy Special Force to Fit Changing Global Needs.”
2015 Midshipman Morgan Quinley
Regional Winner
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
“The Fighting Force of Women in the U.S. Navy.”
2015 Midshipman Simone Savoie
Regional Winner
Tulane University
“The Roosevelt Corollary: Imperialistic Defense of the United States.”
2015 Midshipman Matthew Decker
Regional Winner
Carnegie Mellon University
“Afghanistan Today Versus 1990: A Stronger Government with Potential to Last.”