NOAA Association of Commissioned Officers 

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ACO Award Nomination Process

The NOAA Association of Commissioned Officers (ACO) administers the annual NOAA Corps Junior Officer of the Year, Science, and Engineering awards.  The ACO recognizes the wide range of accomplishments and contributions of NOAA's uniformed personnel, and encourages each Command and Supervisor to nominate Junior Officers for these honors.


Junior Officer of the Year
This award is presented annually to a single NOAA Corps officer, below the grade of Lieutenant Commander, for outstanding contributions to NOAA, outstanding performance, and/or the positive reflection cast upon the Corps. NOAA Corps officers who are promoted to lieutenant commander during the calendar year are eligible for the award. A list of past Junior Officer of the Year can be found in our JO of the Year Awardees section.


Science Award
The ACO Science Award recognizes officers who make outstanding scientific contributions which distinguish them above their peers. All NOAA Corps officers and members of other uniformed services assigned, detailed, or attached to NOAA are eligible. 


Engineering Award
The ACO Science Award recognizes officers who make outstanding engineering contributions which distinguish them above their peers. All NOAA Corps officers and members of other uniformed services assigned, detailed, or attached to NOAA are eligible. 


Nomination Procedure: 
A nomination for a NOAA ACO award shall consist of at least two pages. The first page shall be a cover memo addressed to the National ACO, stating the name, grade, billet title, and job description of the nominated officer. The following page(s) shall be the personal comments of the nominator, which reflect the basis for the nomination. Nominations should include a detailed description of the officer?s duties and accomplishments, and the positive impact of those achievements on the Agency and the Service. All commands and field offices are encouraged to submit officer nominations for these awards. Candidates for Junior Officer of the Year must be nominated by a supervisor in their chain of command, while the Science and Engineering award nominations may be made by the supervisor or any commissioned officer. 


Submit nominations via e-mail to [email protected]. In the nomination email, please have the supporting files attached as .PDF or readable by Microsoft Word.  The subject line of the nomination email should be "Junior Officer of the Year Nomination", "Science Award", or "Engineering Award" as appropriate. This will assist the selection committee with accurate tracking and sorting of the nominations. 


Junior officers with civilian supervisors are encouraged to forward them this information.

For more information on the awards please refer to the NOAA Corps Directives on Awards (Chapter 12 part 7).