Public Affairs Awards

PA Awards Programs Graphic

Air Force Public Affairs Awards

There are two main awards programs for the Public Affairs Community.

AF Communication Excellence Awards OPR: SAF/PAR

AF Media Contest (feeds DOD TJ Awards*) OPR: SAF/PAI


NOTE: For detailed information on a specific PA award, visit

and select “SAF LEVEL” for the sponsor and “SAF PA” for the level.  You can click on any specific award for more information.



Communication Excellence

The Air Force Public Affairs Awards for Communication Excellence program is designed to foster an environment of continual innovation, leading to more effective and efficient Air Force communication programs. There are two main categories of awards:  the Air Force Public Affairs Director's Excellence Awards, which recognize Air Force communication programs and efforts; and the Individual Awards for Communication Excellence, which recognize Air Force individuals for professional excellence as Air Force or joint organization communicators.

Air force Media contest

The Air Force Media Contest is a Public Affairs competition for Active Duty, National Guard, Reserve and Department of the Air Force civilians sponsored by the Secretary of the Air Force Office of Public Affairs and administered by the Air Force Public Affairs Agency. The purpose of the competition is to stimulate and reward excellence and professionalism in the print, graphics, photography, broadcast and musician career fields. Individuals and units receive awards for outstanding achievements in furthering Air Force and Department of Defense communication objectives. The 2014 contest is the 59th iteration of the competition.

PA professionals and units are encouraged to compete for other professional communication awards and may contact sponsoring organizations for details. Some examples include:

DoD Defense Media Awards

The Defense Media Awards program honors excellence among military and civilian broadcasters, graphic artists, journalists, photographers, public affairs practitioners, mass communication specialists and videographers. It also fosters an environment of innovation and growth, leading to more effective communication programs.

This annual awards program was developed by a multi-Service working group of public affairs and visual information representatives during the spring and summer of 2016. It replaces the Thomas Jefferson (TJ) Awards program, Visual Information Awards Program (VIAP), and VI Production Awards (VIPA) program. The working group identified and validated the most essential elements of the three programs and incorporated them into one unified DoD awards program.

Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)

Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Silver Anvil Awards. The Silver Anvil Awards competition recognizes the best public relations programs of the year and the highest standards of performance in the profession. Membership in PRSA is not required, but entry does require a fee. Units do not have to win at the Air Force level to submit to the Silver Anvil Awards. Entries are submitted directly to the PRSA website at . Payment of award entry fees is permissible per Decision (B-172556, 29 December 1971) of the Comptroller General of the United States Decision when the commander determines the entry fee is a necessary expense to carry out the PA program such as by participating in comparative evaluation by a national organization from which no personal award or tangible benefit to government employees is obtained. PA offices should confirm local policies and propriety with their servicing legal and financial management offices.

AFA National Aerospace Awards

Air Force Association (AFA) National Aerospace Awards. AFA’s annual National Aerospace Awards include the Gill Robb Wilson Award for the most outstanding contribution to national defense in the field of arts and letters by an individual or organization. The award covers a wide range of activities including writing, speaking, media relations, sculpting, or painting by an Airman, Air Force civilian, unit, or group of individuals. Nominations are sent through the Major Command (MAJCOM),FOA, DRU, or MAJCOM equivalent to the Air Force Personnel Center. See AFI 36-2805 for information. 

DoD Awards Programs