Jonathan Williams Receives Department of the Navy Distinguished Public Service Award

President and CEO of Pacific Battleship Center Recognized for 13 Years of Exceptional Contributions to the U.S. Navy Through Battleship IOWA Museum, Los Angeles Fleet Week and the National Museum of the Surface Navy

We are proud to announce that last week, National Museum of the Surface Navy and Battleship IOWA Museum President and CEO Jonathan Williams was awarded the Distinguished Public Service Award by the Department of the Navy.

This award, the Navy’s highest honor for non-military civilians, was presented to Williams by Secretary of the Navy, Carlos Del Toro, during the Surface Navy Association’s 34th National Symposium in Arlington, VA.

Past recipients of the Navy Distinguished Public Service Award include Tom Hanks for his work in films including “Greyhound,” Sybil Stockdale her support of POWs and their families during the Vietnam War, and Joe Rosenthal for his iconic photo of Marines raising the U.S. flag on Iwo Jima in World War II.

“I am deeply humbled to receive this award in recognition of my ongoing commitment to our Navy and those who serve,” said Williams. “This award was made possible by the support of my family and friends, and the incredible commitment of our crew and supporters. Each of these individuals are owed a tremendous debt of gratitude and I accept this award on the behalf of each of them.”

In just thirteen years the retired battleship and the organization around her have come a remarkably long way – due in large part to Jonathan’s leadership.


  • 2016 – First Los Angeles Fleet Week takes place with Battleship IOWA as its core attraction
  • 2019 – Pacific Battleship Center is granted permission to become the National Museum of the Surface Navy
  • 2022 – Congress passes a bill to officially designates Battleship IOWA as the National Museum of the Surface Navy Museum
  • 2025 – Surface Navy Museum set to open aboard Battleship IOWA

Imagine what might be next!

Be a part of all the incredible things happening at Battleship IOWA and get in on our transition to become the National Museum of the Surface Navy from the beginning. Register to become a Plank Owner, and at the same time, memorialize your service or a loved one’s.

As a Plank Owner, you receive special benefits – including perks in our points system (details coming soon), and recognition on our Plank Owner listing.

Sign up today. It’s free!

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