SSLA North Star Award

The SSLA North Star Award is presented annually and recognizes significant contributions in exceptional leadership and furthering the mission and vision of the SSLA within the services. Nominees should be proven sustained superior performers and this award is designed to acknowledge those who, over a period of time, have demonstrated exceptional leadership and women’s empowerment, rather than a singular, short-term accomplishment. This award is not gender-restrictive and seeks to highlight the noteworthy accomplishments of individuals that have resulted in long-term benefits to the nominee’s uniformed service and fulfillment of the service’s diversity, inclusion, equality, and gender strategic goals.

1. Award Criteria

The SSLA North Star Award recognizes an active duty or reserve officer, male or female, in the pay grades of O5 through O10 and/or a government civilian employee in paygrades GS-13 to Senior Executive Service who has demonstrated exceptional leadership in furthering the mission and vision of SSLA within the uniformed services (Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, Space Force, NOAA, and Public Health Service).

  • Nominees should be premier examples of inspirational and innovative leadership, who have demonstrated furthering the mission and vision of SSLA of empowering a network of strong and inspirational women leaders who serve and developing service women to unleash their leadership potential and increase the effectiveness of the organizations in which they serve;
  • Has demonstrated by example, inspirational, innovative and visionary leadership and mentorship on and off duty and an unfailing dedication to making a positive impact within the uniformed and/or government services community;
  • Has made significant contributions that resulted in lasting improvements in working conditions and quality of life and promoted excellence in the fleet by recognizing and calling attention to important issues that affect service women, as well as peers, subordinates, and other members of the uniformed services;
  • Has exemplified highest integrity, ethical behavior, and are a pillar of their service’s core values.

2. Nomination Process

Candidates shall be nominated and endorsed by their commanding officer (CO), officer-in-charge (OIC), or first O-6/GS-15 in the chain of command (department head level).
Nomination packages shall include the following:
  1. CO or OIC endorsement, to include the command point of contact name, e-mail address and phone number.
  2. Nomination write-up shall not exceed two pages in length. If nominations are received that exceed the prescribed length, only the first two pages will be graded.
  3. The biography of the nominee shall not exceed one page in length; please include candidate’s phone number and email address.
  4. A high resolution official military or government civilian headshot; the provided image will only be used for recognition purposes of awardees, and not used in any part of the candidate’s evaluation process.

3. Deadline

Nominations are due to the SSLA Awards Coordinator, timestamped no later than (NLT) 2359 (Eastern Standard Time), 15 April 2021. Extensions will not be granted. Nominations missing any of the items listed in paragraph 2 will not be accepted. Submit electronic nomination packages via this website (link below) or via e-mail at sslaawards (at) gmail.com. Nominations shall be unclassified and shall NOT include any personally identifiable information in any part of the nomination package.

4. Topics of Consideration in Nomination

  1. Describe the nominee’s professional achievement and leadership skills. Include positions held and significant achievements.
  2. Please outline the nominee’s sustained community involvement, volunteer activities and her/his sustained investments in promoting professional development and advancement of women in the uniformed services community (i.e. list projects and/or organizations where the nominee has served and the estimated amount of volunteer time. Include any relevant media recognition or list of awards received.
  3. Describe how the nominee serves as an inspiration and role model, empowering others within her or his sphere of influence.
  4. How does this nominee change perceived perceptions and stereotypes in ways that create greater equity amongst service members, specifically women service members? How has this nominee used their experience and senior position to influence policy change and motivate improvements to the experience of service women and others?
  5. Please provide any additional facts or considerations the reviewing awards panel should know that are relevant to the nomination.

5. Notification

Award selections will be communicated to appropriate COs or OICs/chain of command no later than 15 May 2021 and awardees will be announced via the SSLA web-page and social media outlets. Awardee(s) will be recognized at the annual Sea Service Leadership Association’s Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium, 31 August – 02 September, hosted in Norfolk, VA.