The Distinguished Graduate Award is to be given to a living graduate of the United States Naval Academy whose character, distinguished military and civilian service and stature draw wholesome comparison to the qualities that the U.S. Naval Academy strives for in keeping with its ideals of duty, honor, loyalty and integrity and “From Knowledge Sea Power,” as well as the core values of the United States Navy and Marine Corps: honor, courage and commitment. With the purpose of identifying to the public and Brigade of Midshipmen, the broad national significance of the Naval Academy as one of the Nation’s cherished institutions, candidates for the Distinguished Graduate Award will be living graduates of the United States Naval Academy who:
- Have demonstrated a strong interest in supporting the Navy/Marine Corps and the United States Naval Academy
- Have provided a lifetime of service to the Nation or Armed Forces
- Have made significant and distinguished contributions to the Nation via their public service
Nominations for this annual award will normally be provided by the presidents of Alumni Association chapters or graduated classes. However, nominees need not necessarily be a member of the Chapter or Class presenting the nomination. A narrative detailing the nominee’s contributions and distinguished service justifying selection as the recipient of the Distinguished Graduate Award must accompany the nomination. Individuals who currently occupy or are currently candidates for elective office at the state or federal level and those who currently serve in an appointed senior government position (e.g. typically requiring Senate confirmation) are not eligible to receive the award. The exemption also applies to all individuals still serving on active duty. It is preferred that those selected agree to accept the award at the Naval Academy.
Alumni nominated, but not selected in the current year, are eligible for a total of three consecutive years and then are not eligible for one year. Nominators must submit a new nomination letter each year the Alumnus is eligible in order for their package to be reviewed by the selection committee. The nomination can then be resubmitted for an additional three years; this cycle of 3 on and 1 off are indefinite. Nominations that carry over should have current year endorsements and executive summaries.
Any Alumni Association member can nominate eligible graduates for the DGA. All nominations must have the endorsement of a Class President or Chapter President. Each nomination for DGA must be routed through the nominee’s class president for their information and review. Nominations for the Naval Academy DGA are due each year by November 1st to be considered for the following year’s award.
Submissions should be made to DGA@usna.com consistent with the DGA Nomination Guidelines promulgated each year by the Alumni Association.
Nomination packages will clearly state that the nominee agrees to be nominated for the award and will make every effort to attend the DGA ceremony. Nominees should further understand that their packages will be vetted to take into consideration all publicly available information.
A member of the DGA Selection Panel may not be nominated or receive the award during his or her time serving on the Panel and for a period of two years after terminating service on the DGA Selection Panel.
Military officers, elected officials, political appointees, and Senior Executive Service officials may not be nominated or receive the award while still serving on active duty, holding public office, or still working for the government.
- July – October: Call for nominations via email and media
- November 1: Nominations due
- November: Precept letter promulgated
- December: Selection Panel convenes and selects Distinguished Graduates
- Late December: BOT Chair, Alumni Association/Foundation President/CEO, Superintendent, DGA Selection Panel Chair notify/congratulate selectees
- Late December: Director, USNA Alumni Association Director of Special Programs notifies nominators of non-selectees; DGA Program Manager notifies past DGA recipients of new selectees
- January: Announcement of DGA selectees to all Alumni Association Foundation boards; class, chapter and Club Leadership
- January: Selectees announced via various media
- Late January/Early February: Selectee bios posted to Alumni Association website
- March/April: Ceremony and related events