Awards Eligibility and Nomination Categories

Thank you for your interest in submitting a Sammies nomination! If you know a federal employee who demonstrates innovation, strong leadership and a passion for public service in their work, we want to recognize them through the Service to America Medals. 

General Information

The deadline for the 2024 nominations is January 5, 2024.
Finalists are announced the first week of May during Public Service Recognition Week.  The winners are announced at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., each fall and honored during a celebrity-filled television and online special. 

Please read about the current medal categories below and their specific eligibility requirements before submitting a nomination.  

In addition to meeting eligibility requirements, successful nominees will also demonstrate:  

  • Strong commitment to federal service. 
  • A significant accomplishment within their field that meets the needs of the American people. 
  • Excellence in customer service to citizens or other beneficiaries. 

We welcome nominations for individuals and teams. While we acknowledge that many important accomplishments involve hundreds of federal employees, our honoree recognition is limited to a maximum of three named individuals who can represent a larger team and their achievements. 

Nomination Guidelines

Nominator Eligibility

Nominators can be anyone—federal employee or not, friend or family member, supervisor or employee. However, we do not accept self-nominations. 

Nominee Eligibility

While nominators are not required to be federal employees, nominees must be career civilian federal employees of the Executive Branch of the U.S. government. Similar employees of the Library of Congress, Government Accountability Office, Congressional Budget Office, Architect of the Capitol, Government Publishing Office, Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, Smithsonian Institution and Botanical Gardens, plus commissioned officers of the U.S. Public Health Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are also eligible. 

For all medal categories, except the Paul A. Volcker Career Achievement Award, please identify an accomplishment that has occurred within the past three years. We want to share the most recent government success stories that will best resonate with the American public. 

For Career Achievement, nominations should highlight a series of accomplishments or sustained achievements throughout the nominee’s 20 or more years as a public servant. 

Medal and Nominations Categories

Federal Employee of the Year

This award recognizes a federal employee whose professional contributions exemplify the highest attributes of public service.

Special Guidelines:
The Sammies Selection Committee chooses this award from among the group of finalists. We do not accept nominations directly for this category. An individual cannot win both the Federal Employee of the Year award and the medal category for which they are a finalist.

See Past Honorees

Paul A. Volcker Career Achievement

This medal recognizes a federal employee who has led significant and sustained achievements during 20 or more years of public service.

Special Eligibility Criteria:
The nominee must have worked in public service for at least 20 years as a career federal employee as of Jan. 1 during the current nomination cycle. 

See Past Honorees Learn More

Emerging Leaders

This medal recognizes young federal employees who have made an important contribution early in their professional careers.

Special Eligibility Criteria:
Nominee must be 35 or younger as of Jan. 1 during the current nomination cycle.

See Past Honorees

Safety, Security and International Affairs

This medal recognizes a federal employee for a significant accomplishment in fields such as civil rights, cybersecurity, law enforcement, emergency preparedness and response, border security, counterterrorism, defense and military affairs, intelligence or diplomacy.

See Past Honorees

Management Excellence

This medal recognizes a federal employee for demonstrating superior leadership and management excellence through a significant contribution to the nation that exemplifies efficient, effective and results-oriented government.

See Past Honorees

Science, Technology and Environment

This medal recognizes a federal employee for a significant contribution to the nation in activities related to such areas as artificial intelligence, biomedicine, digital services, economics, energy, information technology, meteorology, resource conservation and space.

See Past Honorees

People’s Choice

The People’s Choice selection is based solely on the total number of votes each finalist receives and is separate from the selection of the category award winners.

Special Guidelines:
Individuals are automatically considered for this award when they are selected as finalists. We do not accept nominations directly for this category. An individual may win both the People’s Choice award and the award for the category in which they are a finalist. 

See Past Honorees