Defense Community Champions Program

The Defense Community Champions program recognizes 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 Defense Community Champions program is presented in partnership with Navy Federal Credit Union. As the world’s largest credit union exclusively serving the military and their families, Navy Federal has long been a champion for our service members and they will join you in celebrating our community champions.

The 2023-2024 Champions program is underway! ADC is excited to recognize a new class of 16 Champions across the country.


Watch this short video to learn more about the 2023-2024 Defense Community Champions Program.


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.


All ADC member organizations can nominate a champion. Nominations are limited to one per member organization. Multiple nominations from one defense community are allowed, however, they must be submitted by different organizations. Based on application numbers, participation may be limited to communities that have not participated in the program.


The Defense Community Champions program recognizes individuals at the national and local level. All defense communities have the opportunity to nominate and recognize a local champion. All local champions will be considered for national recognition. Three local champions will be selected as national honorees.


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 one local award per community. Local champions will also be featured in materials for the Defense Communities National Summit in April 2024. Additional guidance on how to promote your local champion will be provided during and immediately following the nomination period.

National Honorees: National honorees will be recognized during a ceremony at the Defense Communities National Summit in April 2024. (Because National honorees are selected from local champions, they will first be recognized as a local champion in their community).

Program Timeline

May 2023

Partner Agreement Form Opens

July 2023

Nomination Period Opens

September 2023

Nomination Period Closes

October – December 2023

Communities host Local Ceremonies

Early 2024

National Honorees Announced

April 2024

National Honorees Recognized at Defense Communities National Summit

The partner agreement form for the 2023-2024 Defense Community Champions program has closed. Please reach out to Isabel Zimmerman at with any questions.