The Naval Submarine League has, over the years, developed an active awards program to recognize outstanding performance by members of the greater submarine community. In addition, during this past year, the League has initiated a grant program aimed at reaching beyond our own community through assistance to education and exposition.
The awards program is multi-faceted and the recognition it affords to selected individuals is meant to encourage a continuing involvement in the affairs of submarines, and undersea warfare in general, across the entire community. These awards recognize both professional performance and literary achievement.
Our Fleet Awards are among the more widely known of all those which the Submarine League bestows each year, mainly because the presentations are made during a special pan of the Annual League Symposium in June. An official Navy instruction is promulgated which sets forth the criteria for the awards and the procedures by which they are administered. Basically, the candidates are nominated by the Submarine Forces in the Atlantic and Pacific, and final selection is accomplished within the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. The winners are sent to Washington under orders but their lodging, and travel for their spouses, is paid by the League. Each awardee is given a citation, Life membership in the League and a cash prize. The various sections of the NSL Fleet Awards are:
- Frederic B. Warder Award-Presented for Outstanding Achievement to a junior military, or civilian, member of the submarine community.
- Charles A. Lockwood Award (three presented each year)– For Submarine Professional Achievement, at the Junior Officer, CPO and Petty Officer level.
- Levering Smith Award-For Submarine Support Achievement, at the LCDR, or junior, level.
- Jack N. Darby Award-For Inspirational Leadership of Command.
- Dolphin Award (two awards each year)-For the Officer and
Enlisted Man. serving on a commissioned submarine on the Submarine Force Birthday of April 11th, with the earliest date of qualification.
At the Submarine School the Naval Submarine League presents awards at three levels of instruction:
- Basic Enlisted Submarine School-The William H. Purdom Award is made to the graduate with the most improvement.
- Submarine Officers Basic Course-For Fire Control Excellence.
- Submarine Officers Advanced Course-An essay contest is sponsored by the League with an award of $100.00 for the best essay.
Literary awards are also bestowed by the Naval Submarine League for articles published in THE SUBMARINE REVIEW. The First Prize is $400.00. the Second Prize is $250.00 and the Third Prize is $150.00. In addition, a $250.00 prize is awarded for the best article by an Active Duty Author. The U.S. Naval Institute sponsors a Literary Prize of $500.00 for the best article on submarines or ASW published either in the NSL’s REVIEW or the Institute’s Proceedings. The League also sponsors an essay contest for Midshipmen and Officer Candidates at the NROTC schools. The entries are screened by the Chief of Naval Education and Training and the top six are sent to the Naval Submarine League for final judging. The First Prize is for $300.00. the second is for $200.00 and the third is for $100.00.
Also at the NROTC schools. the League presents a Frederic B. Warder Award to the outstanding Midshipman or Officer Candidate who has selected to enter the Submarine Force and is accepted for training. The winner is elected by the Commanding Officer of his Unit and is presented with a one year membership in the League and a handsome certificate. There were 30 awards this year. 38 awards in ’96 and 20 in ’95.
Another facet of the NSL awards program provides for each officer becoming Qualified in Submarines to be awarded an 18 month membership in the League. A new award will be initiated this year to honor a senior civilian who has contributed significantly to the advancement of submarines and undersea warfare.
The grant program which was formulated and instituted since mid-1996 is primarily for educational purposes, since that is one of the most important objectives of the Naval Submarine League.
Two important parts of the greater submarine community are in frequent contact with either the general public or the influential academic establishment. These parts of the community can be supported by the Naval Submarine League through grants aimed at improving contact with the public and also assisting in submarine related higher technical education. These programs are necessarily ambitious in order to be effective; therefore some explanation of the foundations of the program are appropriate.
The Submarine League is organized under the IRS Code as a tax exempt, non-profit educational (i.e. non-lobbying) association. Contributions (not membership fees) to the League are tax deductible.
Over the years since its founding, the League has amassed about a half million dollars in reserves. Budget projections indicate that the League is solvent and that this year will see additional funds added to this reserve. The very successful management of The Submarine League’s two major events, its annual Convention and annual Technical Symposium, are directly responsible for this happy situation. The efforts of many volunteers who contribute their labor to these events so that they are promoted at minimum cost coupled with the conservative management characteristic of retired military persons have generated substantial money. The League is particularly in the debt of Vice Admiral Bud Kauderer for his skillful management and successful promotion of the Technical Symposium and the assistance of The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory for their generous support in hosting the event.
The League owns the property in which its headquarters is located and has a paid professional staff of modest but adequate size and means. These features are the basis for the long term maintenance of a vigorous and active association. The costs of these efforts are being met out of current income while a surplus continues to be generated each year.
Recognizing the need to be pro-active in meeting the criteria of the IRS Code for associations, the Board of Directors in its June 1996 meeting directed creation of a program to distribute $50,000 a year on educational and charitable activities which reflect the mission of the League.
The committee formed to accomplish this task included Arlie Campbell, Jim Hay, Frank Kelso, Hank McKinney, Charlie Macvean, Mike Pestorius, and Jerry Holland. This committee met electronically in four sessions over five months to construct a broad program which would promote the League’s purposes.
The committee aimed to create a program which would meet the following criteria:
1. The program nor any component could not require excessive overhead to operate.
2. Each component had to be sized so as to make an easily recognizable impact on the community and the persons served.
3. Wide geographic dispersion of recipients was a major goal.
4. The final program required no action by the Board of Directors other than approval.
5. A variety of awards, prizes, scholarships and grants were included so that future expansion or concentration could be considered after the actual results of particular components were known. In other words, initially try a variety of actions to see which worked well so that, after learning how they worked, future efforts could be concentrated in the most productive areas and efforts without good payoff could be abandoned gracefully.
The final program as approved exceeded the specified $50,000 slightly because experience with these kinds of activities indicates actual dispensing of money will always lag the goal. Most facets of the program permit immediate action to put the proposed funds to work-rather than deferring expenditures awaiting further activities or definitions.
In the coming year The Naval Submarine League Educational Enhancement Program (SLEEP) will:
- Provide a subsidy of $10,000 to maintain the Thomas 0 . Paine Collection of Submarine Books and Memorabilia at the Nimitz Library at the Naval Academy. Administration of these funds will be overseen by the Executive Director, Naval Submarine League.
- Provide a subsidy of $5,000 to the Navy Memorial for general support and a grant of $15,000 to be used in submarine related exhibits.
- Establish an award of $1,000 at the Naval War College, to be awarded to the student who excels in a submarine related project or essay. The detailed criteria for this award and the judging will be the province of the War College. The Naval Submarine League expects the senior submarine qualified officer on the faculty to serve as a liaison for this award.
- Establish a grant of $10,000 to assist the education of a scientific or technical postgraduate student studying in the disciplines and/or areas related directly to submarine warfare. Nominations will be solicited from postgraduate schools in the United States known to be conducting research in these areas. Dr. David Burke of the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory has agreed to chair the selection committee for this fellowship.
- Provide $20,000 to finance specific projects at submarine museums and memorials (not to include the Navy Memorial). The League will solicited nominations for these projects from the submarine and undersea museums and memorials. A panel chaired by Rear Admiral H.A. McKinney, USN(Ret.), Director of the Naval Memorial in Washington, DC (which is ineligible for this grant because of the grant and subsidy provided previously) will consider these proposals and allocate the money among the most deserving and useful.
The League can expect to sustain and perhaps even enlarge this level of effort over the near term. The long term impact of each aspect may be hard to gage but the total program should have immediate and sustained influence on the knowledge and understanding of submarine’s past contributions and future importance in maintaining the security of the United States and the freedom of the sea.