The “Red Tie” Award

Every year during the NIP Spring “Red Tie” Luncheon, the Red Tie Award is given out to someone who has made significant and long-lasting contributions to naval intelligence. The luncheon and award have evolved over time from the the early days (1960) when it specifically involved Soviet Naval analysts. While the 1960 luncheon included only ONI analysts, it quickly expanded to include British and Canadian counterparts. Then, after DIA was founded and many ONI analysts moved to DIA in 1962, it was attended by ONI, DIA, Brits and Canadians. From there it spread to all those who were Soviet Navy analysts, wherever they worked, and ultimately to any naval intelligence professional. In 1983 the informal "Order of the Red Tie" initiated the Dworkin Award to recognize excellence in analysis of the Soviet Navy problem and in 1988 NIP initiated the first Red Tie Award in recognition of lifetime achievement in Naval Intelligence.

Key Dates in Red Tie History

1960: First Red Tie Luncheon
1983: Red Tie Association gives out first “Dworkin Award” to recognize excellence in Soviet Navy analysis during annual “informal luncheon”
1988: NIP awards its first Red Tie Award (under NIP sponsorship)
1991: NIP assumes sponsorship of all things Red Tie (Luncheon and Award)

The Significance of the Red Tie +/-

ONI’s Soviet Naval Analysts proudly wore scarlet foulards decorated with embroidered Sverdlov-class cruisers and the Hammer and Sickle to their annual luncheon honoring analytic excellence on the maritime threat. The original Red “Tie” (designed in the mid-to-late 1960s) was embossed with red stars that were superimposed on anchors. While the design of the Red Tie has since evolved, it has always remained true to the original spirit. In that vein and to meet the challenges of the 21st century, there is a new design for the venerable Red Tie that features the proud NIP logo to commemorate the renaissance of America’s oldest intelligence service. 

Original Red Tie
NIP Red Tie
Melissa Drisko
2020 Winner: Melissa Drisko (posthumously)
Read more about Melissa's award
2019 Red Tie award to Lynn Wright
2019 Winner: Lynn Wright
NIP President Rear Admiral (Ret) presents award to Lynn Wright 


Melissa Drisko (Posthumously)

B. Lynn Wright

George Fedoroff and Dennis Harry (Posthumously)

Tish Long

CAPT JR Reddig, USN, Retired

VADM Jake Jacoby, USN, Retired