ANNAPOLIS, Md. (NNS) -- Midshipman Julio A. Nilsson, a General Engineering major from Anaheim, Calif., has been awarded the Captain Joseph K. Taussig Jr. Award at the Academy's awards and dedication ceremony May 20, 2002. Nilsson graduated with the rest of the Academy's Class of 2002 May 24.
The award, a sword, was established last year through a gift to the United States Naval Academy Foundation to honor the graduating midshipman of the highest class standing who was previously enlisted and served in the U.S. Navy for at least two years.
Nilsson, a member of 20th company, served more than two years of active duty as an Aviation Boatswain's Mate (AW) 2nd Class in the U.S. Navy. He attended the Naval Academy Prep School prior to entering the Naval Academy.
The award was made possible by a gift from Mrs. Betty Taussig, in honor of her late husband, Captain Joseph K. Taussig Jr. (USNA class of 1941).
Mrs. Taussig and her late husband believed that enlisted Sailors make outstanding leaders in the Navy. "My husband spent a lifetime dedicated to Sailors and ships, and I hope that more Sailors will be inspired to become career naval officers," she said. "I believe it's important for our Sailors in the fleet to know that the Naval Academy is a place where they can continue their Navy careers as officers who lead this nation."
In 1941, Taussig was a 21-year-old ensign aboard USS Nevada (BB 39) during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He was wounded in the first five minutes of action while manning an anti-aircraft gun and forced below decks. Taussig was awarded the Navy Cross and Purple Heart for his heroic actions. He later served as Assistant Deputy Undersecretary of the Navy.
The Taussigs have a deep connection to the Naval Academy. Captain Taussig's father was the late Adm. Joseph K. Taussig (USNA class of 1899); their son is Joseph K. Taussig III (USNA class of 1966); and their grandson is Christopher T. Graves (USNA class of 1993).
The United States Naval Academy Foundation is an independent, non-profit corporation that secures private gifts to support all facets of the development of the Brigade of Midshipmen. The Foundation provides the means and the incentives for alumni, parents and friends to contribute private funds for programs at the Naval Academy that will enhance the highest levels of excellence in all areas of the Academy's mission and for which appropriated funds are not available.
For more information about the U.S. Naval Academy, go to www.usna.edu.