The following provides a brief background on the formation and evolution of the Naval Intelligence Foundation and is drawn in part from an article titled "NIF Celebrates 20 Years of Service to Naval Intelligence and its People" written by CAPT Sidney E. Wood, Jr., USN (Ret.).
At the October 1986 dedication ceremony for the Navy and Marine Corps Intelligence Training Center (NMITC), Mrs. Rufus Taylor offered the NMITC Commanding Officer, CAPT Robert Trafton, a donation of $10,000 to provide a memorial to her late husband, VADM Rufus Taylor, who was the first 1630 to serve as Director of Naval Intelligence. Because federal regulations prohibited the Navy from accepting such funds directly, then-DNI RADM William Studeman requested NIP form of a foundation to accept the donation on behalf of the Navy in order to honor Mrs. Taylor’s request.
Following the accomplishment of all legal requirements, including the drafting of Articles of Incorporation accepted by the state of Virginia in May of 1988, the first trustee meeting was held on 14 January 1989. This established the NIF as a tax-exempt educational and charitable organization chartered to solicit, receive, and administer donated funds and property to advance the awareness and knowledge of naval and maritime intelligence, to preserve and extend the culture and heritage of the naval intelligence profession, and to recognize and reward the achievement of excellence on the part of naval intelligence professionals.
Under its original charter, the NIF was to foster awards recognizing excellence in naval intelligence training in VADM Taylor’s honor and memory, at both NMITC and at the Fleet Intelligence Training Center Pacific (FITCPAC). However, NIF goals, objectives, and purpose evolved toward recognizing excellence in performance whether academic or operational. It was later decided to expand the awards program to include awards for naval intelligence personnel in the fleet, at the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), and for naval reservists and civilians supporting naval intelligence.
In 2002, the Foundation partnered with the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) to sponsor an annual Naval Intelligence Essay Contest to recognize the best essay on any subject pertaining to maritime intelligence or intelligence support to naval forces. The US Naval Institute (USNI) has since taken over the role of co-sponsoring the Essay Contest with NIP.
In 1992, at the urging of then-Foundation Chairman Rear Admiral Sumner Shapiro (Director of Naval Intelligence, 1978-1982), the Foundation established a scholarship program. The NIP Scholarship Program is aptly named in honor and memory of Rear Admiral Sumner Shapiro.
Initially intended to provide financial assistance to college-bound children of naval intelligence active-duty officer and enlisted personnel, the scholarship program has expanded to now include dependent children of active duty and reserve officer and enlisted intelligence personnel from all the Sea Services, as well as one specifically for enlisted intelligence personnel.
The first scholarship of $500 was awarded in1994. Since then, with the generous contributions of NIP members, the families of naval intelligence heroes, corporate sponsors, and the annual Naval Intelligence Foundation Golf Tournament and the more recently established golf tournament sponsored by the San Diego Chapter, individual scholarships have steadily increased in number in value. There are now seven scholarships valued at $5000 each.
The original funding for the Foundation Scholarship Program was derived from golf tournaments sponsored by the Association of Naval Aviators. Since 1993, the Naval Intelligence Foundation and subsequently the Naval Intelligence Professionals has sponsored its own golf tournaments specifically to support the scholarships.
In 2010, the boards of NIP and NIF met to discuss the benefit of incorporating the NIF into the NIP organization and agreed that such incorporation would benefit both organizations. Thus, on 1 January 2011, NIF merged with NIP as the Foundation Committee and is now an integral part of that 501 (c)(3) organization with the same purpose and objectives as before.
Since its incorporation into NIP, the Foundation Committee has assumed management of the Rear Admiral Edwin T. Layton Leadership Award, which recognizes outstanding leadership and mentorship in the furtherance of naval intelligence performance; the Herman Dworkin Award for Maritime Analytic Excellence, which recognizes a civilian or military analyst working maritime issues who exemplifies —through his/her work and attitude—Mr. Dworkin’s traits of analytic expertise, strength of character, initiative, industriousness, and exactitude; and the Red Tie Award, which is given to that individual the NIP Board of Directors considers to have most represented the naval intelligence professional qualities of leadership, professionalism and dedication in support of the advancement of naval intelligence.