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AFCEA International and U.S. Naval Institute

Copernicus Awards for 2016

(For accomplishments performed during FY 2015)


will be awarded at WEST 2016, San Diego, CA

Reception and Awards Presentation

San Diego Convention Center

or at the AFCEA Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium, Baltimore, MD


Click Here for Award Nominations information

(Nominations are submitted to the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations)


Winners 2015

(For accomplishments performed during FY 2014)


    CPO Emily Gray, USS SAN DIEGO (LPD 22)

    MAJ Anthony Guess-Johnson, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command

    PO2 Andrew Guthrie, U.S. Coast Guard Base, Seattle

    PO1 Fahmi Kaddour, USS CHAFEE (DDG 90)

    Mr. Patrick Kelley, Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division, Newport

    PO1 Joshua Kennedy, Navy Information Operations Command, Colorado

    LT Benjamin Lamb, Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron ONE ONE TWO

    PO1 Byron Markley, Naval Special Warfare Support Activity One

    PO1 Nick Mobley, USS CARNEY (DDG 64)

    Mr. Christopher Mommaerts, U.S. Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station,
Far East

    CWO3 Adam Morrison, USS GETTYSBURG (CG 64)

    CWO2 Kelly Murphy, 9th Communication Battalion

   1stLt Taylor Paul, Marine Wing Communications Squadron 38 Detachment

    LCDR Sean Plankey, U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters

    LCDR Donald Porter, U.S. Pacific Command

    PO1 Scott Rhead, Naval Special Warfare Support Activity Two

    SSgt Andres Rodriguez, 2D Marine Special Operations Support Battalion

    Sgt Jorey Salley, Marine Wing Communications Squadron 38 Detachment

    Sgt Paul Schler, Marine Special Operations Support Group

    1stLt Charlie Shaw, Marine Air Support Squadron 2

    CAPT Tara Sutcliffe, U.S. Cyber Command Cyber Support Element to USPACOM

  LCDR Vince Taylor, U.S. Coast Guard Telecommunication and Information
Systems Command

    Mr. David Vierra, Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity

    Sgt Austin Walker, 1st Intelligence Battalion

    Sgt Anthony Williams, 8th Communication Battalion


Copernicus Award - WEST 2015

The 2015 Copernicus Award winners accepting at West 2015 are (back row, l-r) Lt. Benjamin Lamb, USN, Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 112; Lt. Cmdr. Sean Plankey, USCG, U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters; Capt. Tara Sutcliffe, USMC, U.S. Cyber Command, Cyber Support Element to U.S. Pacific Command; Christopher Mommaerts, U.S. Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station, Far East; Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kelly Murphy, USMC, 9th Communication Battalion, I Marine Expeditionary Force; Capt. Charlie Shaw, USMC, Marine Air Support Squadron 2; Sgt. Austin Walker, USMC, 1st Intelligence Battalion; Lt. Cmdr. Vince Taylor, USCG, U.S. Coast Guard Telecommunication and Information Systems Command; Sgt. Paul Schler, USMC, Marine Special Operations Support Group; (front row, l-r) Sgt. Anthony Williams, USMC, 8th Communication Battalion; Master Gunnery Sgt. Vincent Frye, USMC, accepting on behalf of Sgt. Jorey Salley, USMC, Marine Wing Communications Squadron 38, and 1st Lt. Taylor Paul, USMC, Marine Wing Communications Squadron 38; David Vierra, Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity; Petty Officer 1st Class Byron Markley, USN, Naval Special Warfare Support Activity 1; Petty Officer 1st Class Joshua Kennedy, USN, Naval Information Operations Command, Colorado; Petty Officer 1st Class Nick Mobley, USN, USS Carney (DDG-64); and Petty Officer 2 Andrew Guthrie, USCG, U.S. Coast Guard Base, Seattle.

Copernicus Award - WEST 2014


The 2014 Copernicus Award winners accepting in person are (l-r) Vice Adm. Ted Branch, USN, award presenter and deputy chief of naval operations for information dominance and director of naval intelligence; Vinay Krishna, Naval Sea Systems Command; Capt. Didier A. Legoff, USN, Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence and Space; Samuel C. Serman, Norfolk Ship Support Activity; Lt. Justin R. Porter, USN, Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 112; Seraj Dhaliwal, Command, Control, Communications Engineering Center; Electronic Technician 2nd Class Benjamin B. Dwyer, USCG, Goast Guard Cutter Richard Etheridge; Cmdr. John Debok, USCG, Coast Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Information Technology Service Center; Seth E. Erxleben, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division; Chief Warrant Officer 3 David A. Meissner II, USN, Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron 1; and Staff Sgt. Guillermo D. Garcia, USMC, Marine Corps Forces-Pacific.


Copernicus Award - CYBER 2014

The 2014 Copernicus Award winners at the Cyber Symposium in Baltimore, MD:

Accepting the Copernicus Award are (front row, l-r) Lt. Cmdr. Yolanda M. Tripp, USN, Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station Atlantic; Lt. Tracy L. Culbert, USN, U.S. Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station, Sicily; Susan E. Whitley, Naval Air Systems Command; Ensign Kiley D. Provenzano, USN, USS Gettysburg (CG-64); James A. Mayers, Marine Air-Ground Task Force Command, Control and Communications, Marine Corps Systems Command; IT2 Jonathan D. Martinez, USN, Coastal Riverine Squadron Four; (back row, l-r) Dale C. Linne von Berg, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory; Stephen Hoshowsky, Acquisition Directorate Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Information, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Project Office; Lt. Cmdr. Paul F. Farrell, USN, Commander Carrier Strike Group 10; Lt. Cmdr. Robert S. Bair, USN, Joint Interagency Task Force South; and ISC Lavelle Lee Council, USN, Afloat Training Group, Mayport.



Award Overview:

The Copernicus award was established in 1997 as a result of a discussion among Lieutenant General C. Norman Wood, USAF (Ret.), then President and CEO of AFCEA International, Captain James A. Barber, USN (Ret.), then Publisher and CEO of the U.S. Naval Institute, and the late Vice Admiral Art Cebrowski, USN, who was the Navy N6 at that time. The name for the award came from the Copernicus Architecture used as the blueprint for the future C4I structure of the Navy. Recipients are selected based on their sustained superior performance in a C4I/IT-related job. The selections are made each year by Navy judges who review applications from the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, including active duty and civilians. AFCEA and the U.S. Naval Institute present the awards at their annual Western Conference held in San Diego each winter.

While the award was established in 1997, its history with AFCEA goes much farther back. The Copernicus Architecture (shifting the center of the universe) was drafted in December 1990, under the direction of the Navy’s Vice Admiral Jerry O. Tuttle. It was explained in the August 1991 Signal and in the AFCEA International Press book Naval Command and Control, Policy, Programs, People and Issues (December 1991). This revolution in post-Cold War Navy C3 thinking, but without the name Copernicus, first appeared in the August 1988 Signal, in Strategic C3 Systems for the 21st Century, by Admiral Tuttle. A review of that architecture contains issues that resonate and are unsolved today.

It predicted “prolonged regional conflicts in the Middle East and Persian Gulf...a scramble for intelligence and resultant inundation of information.” It called for a modular approach to software with data in a common binary format and open system architectures. It recommended shifting investment away from "stove-pipe, vertical, end-to-end systems, in favor of horizontal building block programs and with off-the-shelf commercial equipment. It said the requirement for joint interoperability is greatly magnified in C4I systems, especially in the contingency and low intensity conflict environments... where a joint task force commander is likely to be the tactical on-scene commander."

Vice Admiral Cebrowski (a disciple of Tuttle’s) was honored in 2003 with a special award of merit for initiating these awards. His last major address was at West 2005 after leaving as the first Director of the Office of Force Transformation. The U.S. Naval Institute and AFCEA are honored to recognize individuals who continue to demonstrate in operations that Copernicus remains relevant today. 


Copernicus Award Questions?

Please contact Casmere Kistner
(703) 631-6147




2014 Copernicus Award Winners
(For accomplishments performed during FY 2013)

2012 Copernicus Award Winners


2011 Copernicus Award Winners


2010 Copernicus Award Winners


2009 Copernicus Award Winners


2008 Copernicus Award Winners


2007 Copernicus Award Winners


2006 Copernicus Award Winners


2005 Copernicus Award Winners


2004 Copernicus Award Winners



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