Distinguished Submariner Award

The Naval Submarine League Distinguished Submariner Award recognizes the personal contributions of submarine qualified individuals, officer or enlisted. This award was originally established in 1983 as the Submarine Hero Award, and renamed in 2000 as the Distinguished Submariner Award.
The award is to be made to the most deserving individual when considering his or her lifetime achievements.  The contributions may have been during distinguished service in positions of responsibility in the fleet, or, following naval service, the awardee made contributions of extraordinary value to the success of the submarine force, the Navy, or the nation.
Nominations may be submitted by email to execdirector@navalsubleague.org and should provide a description (no more than a one-page attachment) of how the person meets the criteria above.


2019 Award Winners

VADM George Emery, USN, Ret.


2019 Distinguished Submariner: VADM George W. Emery, USN, Ret.

Citation for Vice Admiral George W. Emery, USN, Ret.

For outstanding and continuing meritorious service in support of the Navy and the submarine force.

Vice Admiral Emery served the Navy and his country with great distinction for over 33 years of commissioned service. Following graduation from the United States Naval Academy in 1963, he served at sea on five submarines including Andrew Jackson, Hammerhead, and Glenard P. Lipscomb. He commanded Groton and Ohio and served as a Carrier Battle Group Chief of Staff on two aircraft carriers. He served in many key shore and staff assignments, including serving as Executive Assistant to the Secretary of the Navy. Following selection to flag rank, he served as a Deputy Chief of Naval Personnel. A tour as Commander Submarine Group Five followed, before being assigned as Commander Submarine Force US Atlantic Fleet. Retiring from naval service in July 1996, he joined Raytheon Technical Services serving as Executive Vice president, then President. In retirement, he has served on the Board of Directors of several defense-related industries, as Chairman of the Senior Advisory Group to the Director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, as Chairman of the Submarine Technology Symposium on behalf of the Naval Submarine League and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, and as a member of the Secretary of the Navy’s Advisory Subcommittee on Naval History. He is the author of several recent naval historical manuscripts published by the Naval Institute, the Naval Historical Foundation and the Naval History and Heritage Command. He is a Life-Trustee of the USS Constitution Museum and was the 2011 recipient of the Museum’s “Old Ironsides Exemplary Service Award.” It is most appropriate that his dedicated service is recognized by the Naval Submarine League as a Distinguished Submariner.

Distinguished Submariner Awardees

Prior to 2019, the award was restricted to “a Naval Officer, whose contributions have been of extraordinary value to the success of the United States Navy’s submarine program … considering the entire history of the submarine program.”

2018     ADM Hank Chiles, USN, Ret. and RADM Jerry Holland, USN, Ret.
2017    ADM Powell F. Carter, USN, Ret. (posthumously), VADM Daniel L. Cooper, USN, Ret., and VADM Ron Thunman, USN, Ret.
2016    ADM Bruce DeMars, USN, Ret., and ADM William Smith, USN, Ret.
2015    VADM Kenneth M. Carr, USN, Ret. & VADM John H. Nicholson, USN, Ret.
2014    VADM Bernard M. Kauderer, USN, Ret., & ADM Charles Larson, USN, Ret. (posthumously)
2013    VADM E. A. Burkhalter, Jr., USN, Ret. & ADM Frank B. Kelso, II, USN, Ret. (posthumously)
2012    VADM Patrick J. Hannifin, USN, Ret.
2011    ADM Kinnaird R. McKee, USN, Ret.
2010    VADM Joe Williams, Jr., USN, Ret.
2009    Team Submarine
2008    Submarine Force Master & Senior CPOs & COBs
2007    Submarine Medal of Honor Winners
2006    RADM Robert H. Wertheim, USN, Ret.
2005    ADM Carlisle A. H. Trost, USN, Ret.
2004    The Submarine Family
2003    ADM William J Crowe, Jr., USN, Ret.
2002    ADM  James D. “Jim” Watkins, USN, Ret.
2001    CAPT Edward L. “Ned” Beach, USN, Ret.
2000    WW II Submariners

Submarine Hero Awardees

1999     VADM James F. Calvert, USN, Ret.
1998     VADM Arnold F. “Arnie” Schade, USN, Ret.
1997     ADM Robert L. J. “Bob” Long, USN, Ret.
1996     VADM Dennis Wilkinson, USN, Ret.
1995     VADM Eli Reich, USN, Ret.
1994     RADM John S. “Jack” Coye, USN, Ret.
1993     Mrs. Patricia Lee Lewis
1992     CAPT Slade D. Cutter, USN, Ret.
1991     RADM William T. “Bill” Kinsella, USN, Ret.
1990     RDML Richard H. “Dick” O’Kane, USN, Ret.
1989     CAPT George L. Street III, USN, Ret.
1988     RADM Roy S. Benson, USN, Ret.
1987     ADM I. J. “Pete” Galantin, USN, Ret.
1986     RADM Frederick B. “Fred” Warder, USN, Ret.
1985     RADM Eugene B. “Gene” Fluckey, USN, Ret.
1984     ADM Bernard A. “Chick” Clarey, USN, Ret.
1983     VADM Lawson P. “Red” Ramage, USN, Ret.