​The Coast Guard has introduced the Rear Admiral Richard E.Bennis Awards for Excellence in Maritime Security. This bi-annual award serves to highlight and recognize outstanding achievements and contributions of the maritime community with regards to implementation of Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) requirements and other maritime security best practices in safeguarding our nation’s marine transportation system. Our intent is to recognize and encourage organizations demonstrating a true comprehensive culture of security.

In addition, the award serves as a tool to encourage organizations to assess their overall security program to identify strengths and weaknesses, seek creative solutions for addressing known risks, build a system of continuous improvement, and share best practices that would benefit similar organizations.

The Rear Admiral Richard E. Bennis award honors an outstanding Coast Guard leader who embodied our Core Values and demonstrated an exceptional commitment to the security of the United States and the marine transportation system.

The late Rear Admiral Bennis began his career in 1972 as a graduate of the University of Rhode Island. He went on to serve as Captain of the Port Charleston, South Carolina, and Hampton Roads, Virginia.

On September 11, 2001, while serving as Captain of the Port New York, Rear Admiral Bennis organized the extraordinary waterborne evacuation of nearly 500,000 people from lower Manhattan after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Rear Admiral Bennis served honorably in the Coast Guard for 30 years until his retirement in 2002.

Award eligibility: All marine transportation related organizations owning, operating, or otherwise managing vessels, waterfront facilities, fleeting areas, or other entities engaged in maritime operations subject to Coast Guard maritime security regulations may apply for this award.

Award categories: Port Authority of the Year, Company of the Year and Facility of the Year.

Award criteria: Applications will be evaluated on the following categories, in no particular order: Partnerships, People, Process, Physical Security and Other Security Activities.

Application procedures: Applications can be submitted via email or mail directly to ryan.f.owens@uscg.mil. Mailed applications can be sent to: Rear Admiral Bennis Award Commandant (CG-FAC), ATTN: Office of Port and Facility Compliance, US Coast Guard Stop 7501, 2703 Martin Luther King JR Ave SE, Washington, DC 20593-7501.

Applications will be accepted from September 16, 2013 to January 15, 2014. Potential applicants should visit the Coast Guard news section on http://homeport.uscg.mil/ for further guidance.

For questions or comments contact program coordinator, Mr. Ryan Owens at (202) 372-1108 or at Ryan.F.Owens@uscg.mil.