Request an Award

The Office of the Governor can grant awards to individuals or groups in North Carolina to recognize exemplary service. All North Carolinians, including state employees, are eligible for all awards. Please note that self-nominations will not be accepted for any awards, and nominations from family members are highly discouraged. Awards are strictly honorary and not legally binding. Requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Due to the demands of responding to the COVID-19 emergency, we are currently requiring that all requests for awards must be received at least 120 days before the event date. Thank you for your understanding.

The Governor can grant the following awards:

  • The Order of the Long Leaf Pine
    This is the highest award for state service granted by the Office of the Governor. Nominations can be made for retiring individuals who have 30 or more years of service in the State of North Carolina. All submissions must include a biography of the nominee. Non-state employees must submit three (3) letters of recommendation and a statement of service from Human Resources on letterhead, if available. All nominations of state employees must be submitted by a Human Resources Officer and include a statement of service. Please note that all award requests for state employees must be submitted within 120 days of the nominee’s retirement date.
  • The Old North State
    Nominations can be made for individuals who have 20 or more years of service in the State of North Carolina. These submissions must be accompanied by a biography of the nominee and a statement of service from Human Resources on letterhead, if available.
  • Certificate of Appreciation
    Granted to recognize the efforts of an individual, organization, or business. Nominations can be made for those who have contributed outstanding public service in North Carolina. Submissions must include a biography and a statement of service from Human Resources on letterhead, if available.
  • Laurel Wreath Award
    Granted to individuals in North Carolina who have made outstanding contributions to sports or athletics. All nominations should include supporting documentation including any previous athletic awards, news articles, or commendations, as well as a recommendation from a coach or athletic director.
  • Student Excellence Award
    Nominations can be made by a non-family member who is the nominee’s principal, teacher, counselor, school administrator, or community leader for individual students to recognize outstanding service to their school or community beyond academic achievement. Submissions must include a biography of the nominee and two letters of recommendation (with at least one from a school principal, teacher, counselor, or administrator). Recommendations cannot be submitted by parents or other family members.
  • Community Hero Award
    Recognizes North Carolinians for outstanding acts of heroic service to others. This honor is reserved for individuals who have shown courage and compassion under extraordinary circumstances, such as those who have saved the life of another person. This award is administered at the Governor’s discretion.

Supporting Documents

Biography: please include details of the nominee’s years of service in North Carolina as well as any published works, newspaper articles, and notable leadership within a department, organization, or business. It is also appropriate to detail community involvement and volunteerism, and to provide stories about the nominee, descriptions of his/her life or other information that allows the Governor’s Office to gain an understanding of his/her character.

Letters of Recommendation: recommenders can include any person who can speak to the nominee’s service, work ethic, character, leadership skills, community involvement, volunteerism, etc. Anyone can be a recommender including but not limited to: congressional leaders, former teachers, coworkers, community leaders, religious leaders, mentors, students, family friends, etc. Recommendations should NOT be completed by immediate family members.

All supporting documents should be submitted by email to using the following email subject line: Supporting Documents for <Award Type> Nomination for: <include name of Nominee> (example: Supporting Documents for Order of the Long Leaf Pine Nomination for: Jane Doe). Please use official letterhead whenever possible.

Award Guidelines

To honor individuals who are retiring from the military, the Governor provides letters of recognition. Please Request a Letter rather than an award. Awards should NOT be used to acknowledge birthdays, non-professional anniversaries, reunions, or personal events other than retirement. For these occasions, please request a letter.

Please consider the following information before submitting an award request. The Office of the Governor reserves the right to decline any request or make exceptions to these guidelines:

  • All award requests must be made 120 days before the presentation date, with the exception of retiring state employees. All requests for retiring state employees must be submitted within 120 days of the nominees’ retirement date.
  • Late requests may not be processed in time for the preferred presentation date. The Governor’s Office reserves the right to request further or additional information about the nominee or event at any time throughout the approval process.
  • Each type of award requires various documents of support. Your request for an award will not be processed until the Office of the Governor has received all of the required supporting documents.
  • The issuance of an award does not indicate or imply a direct endorsement from Governor Cooper or the Governor’s Office.
  • For requests that are granted, awards will be delivered no more than two weeks in advance of the presentation date.
  • If a nominee has received an Order of the Long Leaf Pine Award, he or she cannot be nominated for an Old North State Award.

Please complete the Award Request Form, including a working telephone number where you can be reached for possible questions or clarification regarding the information you have provided.

To follow up on an award request, you can reach us at 919-814-2000 or via email at

Complete the Award Request Form