About the Program

In every defense community, there are people going above and beyond. The ones who are present at every event, every meeting and who consistently advocate for their neighbors, day in and day out.

The Defense Community Champions program was created to recognize individuals who make a difference in their defense communities through deeds big and small. Defense Community Champions are leaders on base, in communities, and across local governments and industry. The program is made possible through ADC’s partnership with Navy Federal Credit Union.

To learn more about how our previous champions are making an impact, watch our Defense Community Champions series on ADC’s YouTube channel.



All ADC member organizations can nominate a champion. Nominations are limited to one per member organization. Participating organizations must submit a partner agreement form.


Communities should nominate individuals who have made a significant impact in their defense community. Defense Community Champions go above and beyond to make meaningful connections with military members, families and veterans in their community. Nominees can be community or military members.

Please note: Individuals with a national presence (e.g., members of congress) should not be nominated. This program is intended to recognize those working on a local scale.


Local Champions: Local champions are recognized through recognition ceremonies planned by your defense community, assisted by a local Navy Federal branch. ADC will promote local champions on social media, provide a toolkit for communities to help promote your champion and provide an award. Local champions will also be featured in materials at the Defense Communities National Summit. Additional guidance on how to promote your local champion is provided during and immediately following the nomination period.

National Honorees: National honorees will be recognized during a ceremony at the Defense Communities National Summit. (Because national honorees are selected from local champions, they will first be recognized as a local champion in their community).


Yes, ADC asks each defense community to host a local ceremony to recognize their champion. Where available, ADC members will be connected with local Navy Federal Credit Union branches to participate in these ceremonies.

In the past, communities have hosted local ceremonies in a wide range of formats. Some have added the ceremony to a preexisting meeting, while others have planned a standalone event.

ADC requires each community to fill out a local ceremony form that includes details of your community’s ceremony (date, time, location, etc.). A complete local ceremony form must be filled out prior to ADC shipping your local award.


ADC conducts an in-depth external and internal review process of all nominations. Applicants are evaluated based on the narrative nominations for three categories: Connection, Impact, and Awareness.

Program Timeline

June 2024

Partner Agreement Form Opens

July 2024

Nomination Period Opens

September 2024

Nomination Period Closes

October – December 2024

Communities host Local Ceremonies

Early 2025

National Honorees Announced

April 2025

National Honorees Recognized at Defense Communities National Summit

Champions Partner Agreement Form

Are you a current ADC member?(Required)


  • I/We want to partner with ADC to host a local Defense Community Champion program in our community.
  • I/We are ADC members in good standing and represent a defense community.
  • I/We understand that only one person per year can be identified as a local defense community champion.
  • I/We agree to use the ADC selection criteria listed above to select individuals for local champion awards will contact ADC for clarification if issues arise.
  • I/We will use ADC’s Defense Communities Champion logo, material and branding for all activities related to our local champion program and understand I/We must follow branding guidelines provided by ADC.
  • I/We understand that ADC will provide the following support for a local champion program: (1) selection criteria, (2) general program materials; (3) one physical award; (4) nomination form and (5) basic program FAQ support. All other assistance needed to support the program locally will be provided by the ADC member.
I understand the above and agree to the terms listed.(Required)

For more information about the Defense Community Champions program, please contact Isabel Zimmerman.