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
  • United States Naval Academy Superintendent’s Leadership and Vision Award
  • Captain Edward L. Beach, Jr. Naval History Award
  • Vice Admiral Robert F. Dunn NROTC Prizes
  • Captain Kenneth Coskey National History Day Prize
  • National History Day Teachers of Distinction Awards

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.

Knox Award Medal 2013

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.

United States Naval Academy Superintendent’s Leadership and Vision Award

Learn more about the Superintendent’s Award.

Previous Superintendent’s Leadership and Vision Award Recipients: 

·      2018  MIDN William Moore

·      2019  MIDN Anthony Perry

·      2020 MIDN Joseph Bunyard

·      2021  MIDN Jennifer Sun

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.

Previous Beach Award Recipients: 



2001Midshipman First Class and Brigade Commander Andrew T. Roy“Sailors as Diplomats: The United States Navy in Bahrain, 1971-1977.”
2002Midshipman First Class Von Patrick H. FernandesThesis: “Why Do Men Fight? Choosing to Serve in the Continental Navy.”
2003Midshipman First Class Matthew R. BishopStudies in naval history
2004Midshipman First Class James S. Van NestStudies in naval history
2005Midshipman 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.”
2006Midshipman First Class David FahertyStudies on the origins of the Chinese submarine force
2007Midshipman First Class Vanessa SolemStudies on Kamikazes
2009Midshipman First Class Joel L. HamnerScholarship at the Naval Academy
2010Midshipman First Class Matthew W. HettigerScholarship at the Naval Academy
2011Midshipman First Class Clarence F. “Skip” LambertScholarship at the Naval Academy
2012Midshipman First Class Zachary D. SchwartzScholarship at the Naval Academy
2013Midshipman First Class Daniel ZiminskiInsurgency during the time of the Roman Empire, and the culture of the Greek martial society
2014Midshipman First Class Matthew C. HuffmanThe Effect of Aviation on 20th Century Hemispheric Defense: Defending the Panama Canal
2015Midshipman First Class Philip Youngberg and Midshipman First Class Dana PetersenThe Battle off Samar: The 70th Reunion of Taffy 3 Survivors
2016Midshipman First Class Luke S. Voss Scholarship at the Naval Academy
2017Midshipman First Class Patrick M. LeechWar Without Fire: Henry V’s Treatment of Civilians in his French Campaigns, 1415-1421
2018Midshipman First Class Ryan MenkeForce in the Far East: Royal Navy Gunboat Operations on the China Station, 1860-1870

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.

Learn more about the Dunn Prizes.

Previous Dunn Prize Recipients: 

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

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.

Previous Award Recipients:  

1999Michelle OwPensacola, FLForging  a New Era Through Ironclad Technology
2000Thomas ThompsonPrince Frederick, MDFive Minutes at Midway: Turning Point of the Turning Point
2001Andrew Morrison, Rebecca Stover, Ivan BorissowOwings, MDCDR Wesley A Brown
2002Andy Pope, Zack PiperPensacola, FLPort Chicago Mutiny
2002Katie Pauley, Amy PaulDes Moines, IARADM Grace Hopper
2003Steven PelcovitsProvidence, RIMilitary Ships and Citizenship: Rights and Responsibilities of Blacks in the Civil War Navy
2004Sarah MilesCheraw, SCGrace Hopper: Exploration of Women’s Careers in the Navy, Encounters With Technology and Exchange of Knowledge in the 20th Century
2005Brynne PiotrowskiPensacola, FLAnticipated Arrival: Communications Intelligence in the Battle of Midway
2006Justin SchoonmakerLongdale, OKMidway: America’s Stand against Japanese Expansion
2007Chris Carpenter, John Bergquist, Ridley Heyrend, Matt MillerSalt Lake City, UTThe Attack and Capture of U-505: A Treasure Submerged in Code
2008Adam ShermanScottsdale, AZPrelude to Pearl Harbor: The Panay Conflict and President Roosevelt’s Compromise
2009Karissa Kleinschmidt, Katelynn Scallan, Jesse AdcockCantonment, FLGrace Murray Hopper: America’s Amazing Grace
2010Sarah SadlierTacoma, WAThe Marine Chronometer: An Innovative Solution to the Longitude Problem
2011Lawrence Alcairo, Marten LaiGuamGuam Military Buildup
2012Mia Keyser, Challis Debenham, Hallie WhitmoreAnchorage, AKThe Trials of Truth: The Amistad Revolution
2013Maria SuttonWilmington, DEThe Sinking of the USS Maine: A Turning Point in American Foreign Policy
2014Jethro Abayo, Logan Gilbert (Junior Division)Vancouver, WAVietnam Prisoners of War: Taking Responsibility When Deprived of All Rights
2014Katharine Journaey, Mark Cochran, Hannah McDonnell, Colby Gould and Emily Pierce (Senior Division)Exeter, NHThe Golden 13: Civil Responsibility Before Self
2015Shaeffer Quinn, Nick Moon, Andrew Bow, Olivia Lennon, and Riley Sproowl (Junior Division)Boerne, TX“James and Sybil Stockdale: A Heroic Duo”
2015Mickey Sloat (Senior Division)Davenport, IA“Leadership in the Cyber Sea: The Legacy of ADM Grace Hopper”
2016Cassi Taylor (Junior Division)Mobile, AL“Exploring the CSS Alabama: Encounters of the Confederate Raider and the Fiery Exchange with the Kearsarge“
2016Allie Tubbs (Senior Division)Johnston, IA“Grace Hopper Dared to Explore Computer Coding, Encounter the Glass Ceiling, and Exchange Intellectual Concepts”
2017Jason Benyousky, Ryan Hoffert, Keller Bailey, and Geoffrey Hochstetler (Junior Division)Warsaw, INThe Many Stands of Pearl Harbor
2017Joseph Horne (Senior Division)North Berwick, METhe Portsmouth Naval Shipyard: Helping America Take a Stand against the Axis Powers
2018Andrew 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”
2019Ben Kuale and Ella Ratliff (Senior Division)Siouz Falls, SD“The Art of Confusion: The Triumph of Dazzle Camouflage after Tragedy”

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 SchoolGeorgetown Day School
Sioux Falls, SD Washington, DC
Jon Blasko (2019)Michael Lee (2019)
Nimitz High SchoolWinchester High School
Humble, TXWinchester, MA
Amy Boehning (2018, 2019)Patty Lien (2018)
Mililani High SchoolSt. Benedict School
Mililani, HIDecorah, IA
William Boniface (2018)Katie McCrary (2018)
Northside Junior High School  West Henderson High School
Bothell, WAHenderson NC
Pam Brown (2019)Alfred Meadows (2019)
All Saints Catholic SchoolWilbur Cross High School)
Moore, OKNew Haven, CT
Paul Clemente (2018)Casey Metcalfe (2018)
Felix Festa Character Middle SchoolSanford Middle School  
West Nyack, NYMinneapolis, MN
Nathanial Cole (2018)Debbie Pearson (2018)
EL Haynes Public Charter School  Tri-County North Middle School
Washington, DCLewisburg, OH
Zach Crandall (2018)Jenifer Pilot (2018)
Southern Hills Middle SchoolSanford Middle School  
Boulder, COMinneapolis, MN
James Cross (2018)Al Plummer (2019)
Eastern Middle SchoolNorthshore Junior High School
Kentwood, MIBothell, WA
Caitlin Daniels (2018)  Cherie Redelings (2019)
Deal Middle School  Francis Parker School
Washington, DCBonita, CA
Stacie Garber (2018)  Stephanie Shimp (2018)
Caravel Academy  West Springfield High School
Bear, DESpringfield, VA
R. Rodrigo Garcia (2019)Patricia Sellar (2018)  
Veterans Memorial Early College High SchoolAuten Road Intermedia School  
Brownsville, TXHillsborough, NJ
Richard Gehrman (2018)   Susan Sittenauer (2018)  
Waccamaw Middle SchoolSeaman High School  
Pawleys Island, SCTopeka, KS
Mindy Greenberg (2018)Amy Steadman (2018)
American Heritage School of Boca/Delray  Derby North Middle School
Delray Beach, FLDerby, KS
Brenda Hainey (2018)Elizabeth Thornewood (2019)
Royal Valley Middle SchoolSunset High School
Mayetta, KSBeaverton, OR
Ben Hale (2018)  Melissa Waycaster (2018)
John Bapst Memorial High School  West Henderson High School
Bangor, MEHenderson, NC
Blair Hennessy (2019)Yvette Simpson-Wayne (2018)
Lincoln High SchoolDeal Middle School
Portland, ORWashington, DC
Kevin Holden (2018)Valerie Tanayan (2018)  
Narragansett Pier School  Untalan Middle School
Narragansett, RIGuam

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.