National Museum of the Surface Navy Logo


Freedom of the Seas 2021

Protecting and Defending our Oceans

Surface Navy Assn. Awards

October 22, 2021

Freedom of the Seas Awards

October 23, 2021


In Honor of the Battle of Leyte Gulf

The Freedom of the Seas Awards is the premiere annual event of the National Museum of the Surface Navy at the Battleship IOWA.  The events are held in honor of the Battle of Leyte Gulf anniversary, the largest naval battle of World War II and in the history of the world.  Both events are held aboard the iconic Battleship IOWA, a Leyte Gulf veteran, at the Port of Los Angeles and includes a delicious meal prepared by local award-winning chefs.  The Awards honors those that embody the core principles of the American Surface Navy’s mission to protect and defend our oceans for the benefit of the free world.  Invited and attending guests include top leaders from the fields of education, veterans, community, industry, government, and military.


  • Leadership and representatives from military, government, maritime, and industry.
  • Leadership and representatives from education, veterans, community, and youth.
  • Media and influencers.


Freedom of the Seas Award
The Freedom of the Seas Award goes to an accomplished individual who embodies the core principles of America’s Surface Navy to protect and defend our oceans for the benefit of the free world.

VADM Samuel L. Gravely, Jr. Leadership Award
2021 Supporting Sponsor: Collier Walsh Nakazawa LLP
The VADM Samuel L. Gravely, Jr. Award recognizes leaders who exemplify the trailblazing, courageous service of the late U.S. Surface Navy Vice Admiral.

Humanitarian Service Award
This award recognizes those that exemplify the fearless bravery and tenacity necessary to sail through troubled waters to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief as a core principle of America’s Surface Navy.

Global Trade and Communications Award
This award recognizes leaders in commercial shipping and communications that embody a core principle of the Surface Navy in utilizing the ocean for the benefit of the free world.

2021 Freedom of the Seas Award Recipients

Freedom of the Seas

Ambassador (Ret.)

Robert C. O’Brien

VADM Samuel L. Gravely JR.

U.S. Navy Admiral (Ret.)

Michelle Howard

Humanitarian Service

Los Angeles Mayor

Eric Garcetti

Trade & Communications



A Presidential Dinner

Enjoy a gourmet menu and signature cocktail inspired by special guest Chef Andre Rush, White House chef, and retired serviceman.

Plan of the Evening

  • 6:00pm:  Waterfront Cocktail Hour on the Bow with Chef Andre Rush
  • 7:00pm:  Dinner on the Fantail Under the Tent, menu inspired by Chef Andre Rush, White House and Veteran
  • 7:30pm:  Freedom of the Seas Awards Presentation
  • 9:15pm:  After-party
  • 10:00pm:  Event Concludes

Thank you to our 2021 Sponsors


Shelley Allen and Amb. Bob Kohorst (Ret.)
Steve Shatynski


Europa Village Wineries
Anchor Steam
Tito’s Handmade Vodka



Judge Stephen Larson (Ret.)
Larson LLP

Scott Palmer
Palmer Hunter & Hall


Alexander B. Gray
American Global Strategies LLC

Alan Jackson
Werksman, Jackson & Quinn

*as of October 12, 2021


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