Sen. Jack Reed Honored for Extraordinary Support of U.S. Maritime Industry by Daniel K. Inouye Institute

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Daniel K. Inouye Institute honored U.S. Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island on Wednesday, May 17 for his long-standing support of the American maritime industry. Joined by dozens of maritime and Senate leaders, Sen. Reed received the Daniel K. Inouye Maritime Guardian Award for his strong leadership and dedication to the U.S. maritime industry.

Irene Hirano Inouye, widow of Sen. Inouye, presented the award to Sen. Reed, whose coastal state of Rhode Island ranks 4th per capita among all U.S. states for American maritime jobs. Sen. Reed is the ranking member of both the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, where he has consistently supported programs important to the maritime industry. In 2016, Sen. Reed led the effort to restore federal funding for the Small Shipyard Grant Program which helps shipyards purchase needed equipment, improve efficiency, and train a skilled workforce for commercial shipyards while also supporting the military shipyard industrial base.

“We are honored to make this presentation to Sen. Reed who steadfastly carries forward the high priority Sen. Inouye placed on a strong U.S. maritime industry, which steps forward in service when called upon by our nation in times of crisis or conflict,” said Jennifer Sabas, Director of the Daniel K. Inouye Institute.

“I am deeply honored to receive this award and grateful to Irene and the Inouye Institute.  Senator Inouye was and continues to be an inspiration.  He fought and served with great courage, integrity, and patriotism.  To this day, his outstanding work on both the Appropriations and Commerce Committees continue to benefit Rhode Island’s maritime industry and our economy.  We in the Ocean State are proud of our maritime heritage, and from tourism to commerce to transportation, marine-related businesses are an important part of our economic future.  I am proud to support the hardworking men and women of the marine trades and I humbly accept this prestigious award on their behalf,” said Senator Jack Reed.

“Dan was widely respected for his leadership and respected voice dedicated to a vibrant and robust American maritime industry,” said Irene Hirano Inouye. “It is with pride in my husband’s memory that I am pleased to honor Sen. Reed with this year’s award for his exemplary leadership in support of the vital maritime industry.”

Prior to his death, Sen. Daniel K. Inouye had a distinguished tenure of more than 49 years of serving Hawaii in the U.S., the longest serving member to date. As president pro tempore of the Senate from 2010-2012 — third in line of presidential succession — Sen. Inouye was the highest-ranking public official of Asian descent in United States history. For his heroic actions as a member of the famed 442ndRegimental Combat Team—resulting in the loss of his right arm—the World War II veteran ultimately earned the nation’s highest award for military valor, the Medal of Honor.


James Henry, Chairman and President of the Transportation Institute said, “Sen. Reed’s support for the American Merchant Marine, which is crucial to our ability to project military forces around the world, is well-known and deeply appreciated.  He is a very worthy recipient of this award.”

Thomas Allegretti, Chairman of the American Maritime Partnership, called Sen. Reed “a champion of our industry and a worthy recipient of this award named in honor of Sen. Inouye, a great American leader.”



About the Daniel K. Inouye Maritime Guardian Award

The Daniel K. Inouye Maritime Guardian award is modeled after one of the first Hawaiian weapons ever seen in the new world. Collected on one of Captain Cook’s journeys into the Pacific, it was made of wood and imbedded with teeth from a great white shark. Called the “lei o mano,” it was reserved for the warrior who was responsible for protecting the maritime resources and for ensuring safe passage on the seas. Over his years in the Congress, Sen. Dan Inouye received the “lei o mano” for his relentless efforts, and through this award, his legacy and commitment to a strong U.S. maritime sector is passed forward.

 About the Daniel K. Inouye Institute

The Daniel K. Inouye Institute was established in 2013 to honor his legacy. A program fund of the Hawaii Community Foundation, the Daniel K. Inouye Institute will work with affiliated organizations to preserve the senator’s papers and tell his life story, support STEM education and civics learning, encourage international educational-cultural exchanges, and support collaborations between national institutions and organizations in Hawaii to widely share the Asian American and Pacific Islander experience.

About Transportation Institute 

Transportation Institute was established in 1967 as a Washington-based, non-profit organization dedicated to maritime research, education, and promotion. The Institute’s member companies participate in all phases of the nation’s deep sea, foreign, and domestic shipping trades. Many are contracted to the U.S. military services. All are of U.S. Registry – manned by American citizen-seamen, operating under the world’s highest safety and environmental standards, and proudly flying the American flag.

About the American Maritime Partnership (AMP)

American Maritime Partnership is the voice of the U.S. domestic maritime industry, a pillar of our nation‘s economic, national, and homeland security. More than 40,000 American vessels built in American shipyards, crewed by American mariners, and owned by American companies, operate in our waters 24/7, and this commerce sustains nearly 500,000 American jobs, $29 billion in labor compensation, and more than $100 billion in annual economic output. For more information about AMP, please visit