Best and Brightest Of the Sea Services To Receive Copernicus Awards

February 1, 2017

An important function of the AFCEA Educational Foundation is administering the Copernicus Award program. Every year since 1997, the sea services—the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard—have presented the Copernicus Award to recognize individuals who have made significant, demonstrable contributions to naval warfare in command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (C4I), information systems and information warfare. The awards are co-sponsored by the U.S. Naval Institute (USNI) and the AFCEA Educational Foundation.

The nomination process represents a powerful demonstration of teamwork. First, the deputy chief of naval operations for information dominance (N-2/N-6) issues the call for nominations. All sea service active-duty, Reserve and civilian personnel who work in the C4I community are eligible for nomination. Their contributions must demonstrate exceptional initiative, leadership and insight within their areas of expertise. Contributions are not restricted to technical solutions or innovations and may arise from doctrinal, financial, organizational or other dimensions of information systems. 

A nomination must be submitted by the individual’s commanding officer or supervisor. A selection board of professionals representing all the sea services reviews each submission and prepares recommendations using the AFCEA Educational Foundation’s judging guidelines. Once completed, the recommendations of the board are sent to the N-2/N-6 for review and final selections.

Out of a pool of more than 100 nominees for the 2017 Copernicus Award, 22 winners were chosen. The competition was incredible, with nominations from superlative performers representing enlisted service members, officers and civilians. Every nomination illustrated the outstanding work, roles and responsibilities of individuals contributing to the C4I community. The 2017 award recognizes work in the previous year. 

Award winners will be honored February 21 during the West Conference, co-sponsored by AFCEA and the USNI, in San Diego.

Following is a complete list of the
2017 Copernicus Award recipients.

Petty Officer 1st Class Brandon M. Bell, USN
USS Chancellorsville (CG-62)

Gunnery Sgt. Randall H. Borland, USMC
Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps

Petty Officer 1st Class Anthony D. Brown, USN
Special Reconnaissance Team 1

Lt. Russell J. Cook, USN
USS Nevada (SSBN-733)

Lt. Cmdr. Jon R. Davis, USN
Headquarters, U.S. Pacific Command

Lt. Cmdr. Brian A. Evans, USN
U.S. Cyber Command

Lt. Daniel A. Fritz, USN
U.S. Naval Forces Korea

Lt. Benjamin T. Harper, USN
Defense Intelligence Agency

Michael A. Hodgkiss
Naval Sea Systems Command,
Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense

Dale W. Juarbe
U.S. Coast Guard Telecommunication and
Information Systems Command

Petty Officer 2nd Class Nicholas A. Larson, USN
USS Spruance (DDG-111)

Lt. Christopher A. Martin, USN
U.S. Submarine Force Pacific Fleet

Maj. James B. Parson, USMC
U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa

Lt. Daniel S. Rhame, USN
Navy Information Operations Command Maryland

Petty Officer 1st Class Justin T. Roberts, USN
Cruise Missile Support Activity Pacific

Petty Officer 1st Class Jessica A. Sexton, USN
Special Reconnaissance Team 2

Capt. Richard G. Sykes, USMC
U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa

Lt. Sharef H. Talbert, USN
Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet

Electronics Technician 1st Class Terry M. Taylor, USN
Washington Area Communications
Command’s Network Systems Division

Capt. Terry O. Traylor Jr., USMC
Marine Corps Communication-Electronics School

Lt. Cmdr. Chris Wolfer, USCG
U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area

Petty Officer 1st Class Garret B. Young, USN
Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command

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