Copernicus 2018 Awards

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

2018 Copernicus Awards (for accomplishments in 2017) will be presented:

February 6-8, 2018
San Diego, CA
San Diego Convention Center

Attire is Service Dress Blue (Navy and Coast Guard uniformed personnel, Service "A" (Marine Corps)
and business attire for civilians.

May 15-18, 2018
Luncheon 12:00 - 1:30 PM
AFCEA Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium
Baltimore MD Convention Center



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 


2017 Copernicus Winners (accomplishments in 2016)

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

Gunnery Sergeant Randall H. Borland, USMC
Headquarters United States Marine Corps

Petty Officer First Class Anthony D. Brown, USN
Special Reconnaissance Team One

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

Lieutenant Commander Jon R. Davis, USN
Headquarters, U.S. Pacific Command

Lieutenant Commander Brian A. Evans, USN
United States Cyber Command

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

Lieutenant Benjamin T. Harper, USN
Defense Intelligence Agency

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

Mr. Dale W. Juarbe
USCG Tiscom

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

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

Major James B. Parson, USMC
U.S. Maine Corps Forces, Europe

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

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

Petty Officer First Class Jessica A. Sexton, USN
Special Reconnaissance Team Two

Captain Richard G. Sykes, USMC
U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Europe

Lieutenant Sharef H. Talbert, USN

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

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

Lieutenant Commander Chris Wolfer, USCG
U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area

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




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