Cushing Award


The Cushing Award is presented to the graduating Wisconsin Midshipman with the highest order of merit among his/her class in memory of Commander William Baker Cushing’s unusual career as well as his heroism and Wisconsin birth.

CDR Cushing, born November 4, 1842 in Delafield, Wisconsin, and appointed to the Naval Academy from New York, distinguished himself in battle throughout the Civil War, including a daring nighttime raid on and sinking of the Confederate ironclad CSS Albemarle on October 27, 1864. For this feat he received the Thanks of Congress.

Five ships in the U.S. Navy have been named USS Cushing in his honor. The most recent one, the destroyer USS Cushing (DD-985), was decommissioned in September 2005. A portrait of CDR Cushing, in full dress uniform, hangs in Memorial Hall at the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis. Nearly all of the other portraits in the hall are of Admirals. A monument that honors Cushing and his brothers Alonzo and Howard is located at Cushing Memorial Park in Delafield, Wisconsin.


Cushing Award Winners


Year Name Hometown Service Assignment
2021 Ryan Chapman Holmen Naval Officer
2020 Emily Klitgard Amery Cryptologic Warfare
2019 Cordell Maas Coloma Cryptologic Warfare
2018 Jacob Fernandes Franklin USMC Ground
2017 Jacob Best Onalaska Navy Pilot
2016 Thomas Wester Brookfield Surface Warfare
2015 Ethan Albrecht Oshkosh Naval Aviation
2014 Gregory Gerlach Elm Grove  Submarines
2013  Troy Tauber  Sturgeon Bay  Submarines
2012  Jacob Cavey  Racine  Submarines
2011  Alex Eagan  Madison  Special Operations (EOD)
2010 John Campion Green Bay  Submarines
2009 Peter Bose Union Grove  Marine Corps