The Vice Admiral Rufus L. Taylor Award for Excellence in Instruction was the first award presented by the Naval Intelligence Foundation. In fact, the money donated to endow this award in October 1986 by Mrs. Rufus Taylor, occasioned the need for the Foundation. The award recognizes clearly demonstrated excellence in naval intelligence instruction and is given annually to one Navy or Marine Corps instructor, faculty, or staff at both the Center for Information Warfare Unit Hampton Roads (formerly: Navy Marine Corps Intelligence Training Center-NMITC) and the Center for Information Warfare Unit San Diego (formerly Fleet Intelligence Training Center Pacific - FITCPAC). The award consists of a commemorative wall plaque, an engraved "spy" telescope, and a 1-year membership in the Naval Intelligence Professionals.
Vice Admiral Taylor was born in 1910 in ST Louis, MO and graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1933. He began what was to be a long connection with the Naval Intelligence community as a Japanese language student stationed in Japan from 1938 to 1941. He was next assigned to the Philippines and was with the Intelligence Unit on Corregidor at the time of the surrender of the islands to the Japanese. After evacuation by motorboat and submarine to Australia, he served on the staff of the Commander, Allied Naval Forces, Southwestern Pacific until 1943.
During the remainder of the war, he served with the Office of Naval Intelligence in Washington and with FRUPAC in Hawaii. He served with the occupation forces in Japan after the end of the war. After further sea duty, he returned to Washington and was assigned to the National Security Agency. Following additional intelligence assignments with the Pacific Fleet, he returned to Washington in 1959 where he held a number of naval intelligence posts, including duty as the Director, Naval Intelligence. This was followed by duty as the Deputy Director, Defense Intelligence Agency and as Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency where he served until his retirement in 1969.