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 firstname.lastname@example.org and should provide a description (no more than a one-page attachment) of how the person meets the criteria above.
2022 Award Winners
Mr. Martin Cooper, USN, Ret.
2022 Distinguished Submariner: Mr. Martin Cooper
Citation for Mr. Martin Cooper:
For engineering and inventions of extraordinary value to the Nation.
“Marty” Cooper is known as the “father of the cell phone.” He attended the Illinois Institute of Technology on a Navy scholarship. After serving on a destroyer, he chose to become a submarine officer and served on USS Tang (SS 563), one of the last non-nuclear submarines, during the early 1950s. After leaving the Navy, he started his career as an engineer and inventor. In 1973, he and his Motorola team designed and developed the first hand-held cellular phone. He is cited as the first person in history to make a cellular phone call in public, which was from a Manhattan sidewalk to a competitor at AT&T. Marty has received many awards, including the Charles Draper Prize for Engineering and the Marconi Prize. Time magazine named him one of the “100 Best Inventors in History.” Marty co-founded numerous communications companies with his wife and business partner, Arlene Harris. He is a pioneer in the wireless communications industry, especially in radio spectrum management, with eleven patents in the field. He formulated the law of spectral efficiency, also known as Cooper’s law, which states that the number of voice or data transactions that occur in the radio spectrum, without interfering with each other, doubles every 30 months.
Mr. Martin Cooper is most deserving of recognition by the Naval Submarine League to receive the 2022 Distinguished Submariner Award.
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.”
2022 Mr. Martin Cooper
2021 ADM Richard W. Mies, USN, Ret. and ADM Frank L. Bowman, USN, Ret.
2020 ADM Archie R. Clemins, USN, Ret. and VADM Ronald M. Eytchison, USN, Ret.
2019 VADM George W. Emery, USN, Ret.
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.