Frank B. Rowlett Awards


NSA established the Information Systems Security National Awards to recognize outstanding federal government organizational and individual excellence in the field of information systems security in 1989. Today, these annual awards are named in honor of the cryptographic pioneer Frank B. Rowlett signifying the importance of his work in protecting American communications. These awards are given to recognize both organizational and individual contributions to the cybersecurity discipline.

Frank B. Rowlett worked as a cryptanalyst and cryptologist when he and his colleagues solved the first Japanese machine system for encipherment of diplomatic communications, known to the Americans as RED. He also played a major role in solving a much more sophisticated Japanese diplomatic cipher machine, nicknamed PURPLE by the United States. When asked what his greatest contribution to this effort was, he once said, "I was the one who believed it could be done.“ He was inducted into the NSA/CSS Hall of Honor in 1999. Read more about Frank B. Rowlett  and his work on RED and PURPLE.

The Frank B. Rowlett Trophy for Organizational Achievement is awarded to the federal government organization that makes the most significant contributions to the improvement of national cybersecurity; operational cybersecurity readiness; or the defensive cybersecurity operations posture of the United States.

We urge you to nominate those whose accomplishments in cybersecurity most warrant recognition to ensure all deserving individuals and organizations in the community have an opportunity to compete fairly.

Award Cycle & Eligibility: Nominations are received annually through a call for nominations; and only federal government employees employed outside NSA/CSS may be nominated. NSA elements and individuals are not eligible for these awards. Contractors and contract agencies are also not eligible.
 
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Nomination narratives should be no longer than two pages and single-spaced, and should describe the specific accomplishments of the nominee or organization that occurred during the previous calendar year.  

In the signature page of the form make sure to include:

  • Signatures of supervisors, classification reviewers, and prepublication officials; and

  • Signature of the NSA representative, if available, of the agency or department. This is not required.

Please contact us for questions or more information. We also recommend providing an email alias for your government agency so we can contact your organization for the awards in coming years.

Guidance for completing and submitting the forms is below.

  1. Click on the grey area to enter text into a field

  2. Properly and completely portion-mark for classification (to include U and U//FOUO portion markings)

  3. Enter the names and titles of all required endorsers in the appropriate fields on the signature page, prior to printing the form

  4. In the header and footer, replace "CLASSIFICATION MUST BE UPDATED WHEN FORM IS COMPLETED" with the correct classification level for the document.  Classified materials must be transmitted over appropriately classified systems.

  5. Scan and email nomination forms.

The Frank B. Rowlett Awards Program presents a first place, non-monetary, Organizational Achievement Award in recognition of outstanding organizational accomplishments during the award period. Along with the winner, a runner up will also be recognized. The criteria considered include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Evidence of an organization’s ability to identify and solve significant cybersecurity problems, threats, or vulnerabilities.

  • Mission accomplishments and successes at the organizational or national level resulting from the application of cybersecurity.

  • Significant contribution to the elements or nation’s cybersecurity posture.

Download the Organizational Nomination Form

The Frank B. Rowlett Awards Program presents a first place, non-monetary Individual Achievement Award in recognition of outstanding individual accomplishments during the award period. Along with the winner, a runner up will also be recognized. The criteria considered include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Evidence of individual ability to identify and solve significant cybersecurity problems, threats, or vulnerabilities.

  • Demonstration of outstanding leadership and knowledge in the application of Cybersecurity.

  • Innovative and creative use of resources (personnel, fiscal, or facilities) to successfully accomplish cybersecurity related goals and missions.

  • Significant contribution to the improvement of his/her element’s information systems security posture.

Download the Individual Nomination Form

Year Trophy Type Individual/Agency
2019 Individual Joseph E. Werle, U.S. Transportation Command
2019 Organizational U.S. Transportation Command (Command, Control, Communications, and Cyber Systems)