Copernicus 2018 Awards

Presented by AFCEA International & the U.S. Naval Institute 

Copernicus Winners 2018

(Pictured, right, from left to right: LCDR Christopher A. Weis, USN; CPO Shaun J. Hoban, USN;
PO1 Eugene A Stewart, USN; Mr. Stuart L. Farlin; LT Richard G. Dobias, USN; LT Andres A. Blanco,
USN; LCDR Jacob P. Galbreath, USN; LT Gabriella M. Smyth, USCG; Maj Stephanie A. Mafrici, USMC;
GySgt Robert M. Moore, USMC; Mr. Travis D. Gibson; Mr. John C. Fincannon)


Award Nominations Information                                                                                                                                                                                                              


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 further 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?

For more information, contact AFCEA Educational Foundation Scholarship and Awards Program


Award Winners 

2018 Copernicus Winners (accomplishments in 2017)

Lieutenant Daniel M. Ballance, USN
Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command

Lieutenant Commander Timothy W. Bierbach, USN
Patrol Squadron Four Five

Lieutenant Andrew A. Blanco, USN
Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center

Lieutenant Richard G. Dobias, USN
Navy Information Operations Command San Diego

Mr. Stuart L. Farlin
Naval Information Forces (NAVIFOR)

Mr. John C. Fincannon
Marine Corps Cyberspace Operations Group

Lieutenant Commander Jacob P. Galbreath, USN
Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station, San Diego

Mr. Travis D. Gibson
United States Coast Guard Command, Control, and Communications Engineering Center

Chief Petty Officer Shaun J. Hoban, USN
USS Mount Whitney (LCC-20)

Lieutenant Timothy G. Laufer, USN
U.S. Naval Forces Korea

Major Stephanie A. Mafrici, USMC
Marine Wing Communications Squadron 18

Ensign Craig L. McKnight, USN
USS Farragut (DDG-99)

Lieutenant Tyson B. Meadors, USN
National Security Council

Gunnery Sergeant Robert M. Moore, USMC
Communication Training Battalion, Marine Corps Communication-Electronic School

Petty Officer Michael R. Scarborough, USN
USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76)

Chief Warrant Officer Stephen J. Schmid, USCG
United States Coast Guard Aviation Logistics Center

Chief Petty Offier Mitchell A. Sheppard, USN
Navy Information Operations Command Hawaii

Lieutenant Gabriella M. Smyth, USCG
United States Coast Guard Cyber Command

Cryptologic Technician (Collection) Petty Officer Eugene A. Stewart, USN
Special Reconnaissance Team One

Lieutenant Commander Christopher A. Weis, USN
U.S. Fleet Cyber Command

Chief Petty Officer Peter J. Zemore, USN
USS Sampson (DDG-102)



2017 Copernicus Award Winners

2016 Copernicus Award Winners

2015 Copernicus Award Winners

2014 Copernicus Award Winners 

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