Foundation History

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 Naval Maritime 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, 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 undertake the formation 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 14 January 1989, thus establishing 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, NIF was to foster awards recognizing excellence in the 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 reserves and civilians supporting naval intelligence. 

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.  Initially founded 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 Naval Intelligence Professionals 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 (now six) and value (now $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. The first scholarship was named for Vice Admiral Donald D. Engen, USN, a strong proponent of intelligence within the naval aviation community. With financial support derived from a bequeath in memory of a legendary intelligence officer, Captain Richard W. Bates, USN, the second scholarship was named in his honor. As the Foundation continued to generate resources to expand the scholarship program, a third scholarship was established in recognition of Naval Intelligence Professional and former President of the Foundation, founder of the annual golf tournament, Captain Anthony D. (Tony) Sesow, USN. Preference in awarding this scholarship is given to enlisted personnel serving in intelligence or intelligence related assignments. The fourth scholarship was created by the family of Commander Dan F. Shanower, USN in his memory. Commander Shanower was Officer-in-Charge of the Chief of Naval Operations Intelligence Plot who was killed during the attack on the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. The fifth scholarship was endowed by an anonymous donor to honor the life, passion and commitment of CAPT (S) Kurt Juengling, an intelligence professional who died a combat casualty from wounds he suffered during the war in Iraq. Preference in awarding this scholarship is given to college-bound dependent children of naval intelligence reservists. The sixth scholarship is named in honor of Captain George J. O’Donnell, USN (Retired), a leader and mentor of naval intelligence officers during the Cold War. It was endowed by his widow, Kay Bea O’Donnell.

The NIP Scholarship Program is named in honor and memory of Rear Admiral Sumner Shapiro, United States Navy.

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.

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 was to the benefit of both organizations.  Thus, on January 1, 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.  

The Foundation Committee has also assumed management of two additional scholarships to the Rear Admiral Sumner Shapiro Scholarship Program and increased the amount for each scholarship in the program.  The first additional scholarship was endowed by an anonymous donor to honor the life, passion and commitment of CAPT (S) Kurt Juengling, an intelligence professional who died a combat casualty from wounds received in Iraq. Preference in awarding this scholarship is given to college-bound dependent children of naval intelligence reservists. The second scholarship, in honor of Captain George J. O’Donnell, USN (Retired), was endowed by his widow, Kay Bea O’Donnell; the recipients will be dependent children of regular and reserve Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard officer and enlisted personnel.