Forrest S. McCartney National Defense Space Award

About the Award

The Forrest S. McCartney National Defense Space Award was created in 2005 by the National Space Club Florida Committee (NSCFL) to recognize significant contributions to national defense in a space-related area by personnel on duty in the State of Florida.
It is named for the late USAF Lt. Gen. Forrest S. McCartney, who, in addition to serving in many critical leadership space-related roles for the Air Force, was a director of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and senior manager for Lockheed Martin at Cape Canaveral AFS.

Nominees may be any active duty officer, enlisted person, civil servant, or contractor from any Department of Defense, U.S. Coast Guard, or contractor organization whose work location is in the State of Florida.

Honorees receive a desktop trophy they may keep, and will have their names inscribed on a plaque that is on display at Florida’s capitol building, as well as on a granite obelisk on display at the U.S. Space Walk of Fame in Titusville.

The NSCFL reserves the right to validate facts from senior officials.

Nomination and Selection Guidelines

Must be a United States DoD/Coast Guard active duty officer or enlisted member, or active DoD/Coast Guard civil servant, or contractor performing for either the DoD or Coast Guard.

Accomplishments must significantly contribute to the success of the defense of our nation in a space-related area.

Accomplishments may include, but are not limited to, areas of leadership or technical achievement.

Florida residency is not required to receive the award, but the achievements being recognized must have been made while employed in Florida.

Previously receiving an NSCFL Award does not automatically disqualify a candidate. The Award Selection Committee will consider the matter on a case by case basis.

Current Year Recipient

2022 – Second Lt Lucas Trantham, 5th, Space Launch Squadron, Space Launch Delta 45 – awarded February 8, 2022

Past McCartney Award Recipients

2020 – Air Force 1st Lt. Mark A. Kurtz, Spacecraft Electrical Chief for the 5th Space Launch Squadron at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

2019 – Air Force First Lieutenant Andrew Carrigan, Launch Vehicle Air Force Responsible Engineer, 5th Space Launch Squadron at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Air Force Captain Jareth Lamb, Acquisitions Flight Commander for the 45th Launch Support Squadron, 45th Launch Group at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Air Force Captain Joseph R. Dechert, Flight Mission Lead for the 5th Space Launch Squadron at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Air Force Captain John Richmond, Delta IV Flight Commander, 5th Space Launch Squadron at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Air Force 1st Lt. Joseph A. Chestnut, 45th Space Wing, Patrick Air Force Base, Florida.

Air Force Captain Joshua C. Carmer, GPS IIF Field Program Manager, 45th Launch Support Squadron, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

Air Force Major Kenneth Holmes, Air Force Special Operations Command chief of space training, Hurlburt Field, Florida.

Air Force Captain Steven A. Nielson, GPS Division Chief at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

Air Force Captain Frank Brooks Chief, Space Training, Space Specialty Team, 623rd Air and Space Operations Center, Hurlburt Field, Florida.

Air Force Captain Kathryn L. Gray from the 1st Special Operations Group, Hurlburt Field, Florida

Air Force Captain McGrew from Air Force Special Operations School at Hurlburt Field, Florida

Air Force Captain Chris Schlagheck, 1st Space Launch Squadron, 45th Space Wing, Patrick Air Force Base, Florida

Air Force Major Bart M. Hughes from Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida.

Air Force Captain Kirk L. Riggs, 16th Special Operations Wing, Air Force Special Operations Command, at Hurlburt Field, Florida.