Leadership Ideas, Information and News

Thursday, November 04, 2010

CNO Presents Stockdale Leadership Awards at Pentagon

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Shannon Burns, Defense Media Activity - Anacostia

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The chief of naval operations presented the Vice Adm. James B. Stockdale Leadership Award to two commanders at the Pentagon in the Hall of Heroes Nov. 3.

Adm. Gary Roughead presented the annual award, which is presented to two active duty commanding officers below the rank of captain, to Cmdr. Michael A. McCartney, representing U.S. Pacific Fleet, and Cmdr. Jeffrey M. Grimes, representing U.S. Fleet Forces Command.

McCartney and Grimes were presented the award due to their leadership, personal initiative and exemplary performance and contribution to the overall success of the operational units they command.

McCartney, the former commanding officer (CO) of USS Chung-Hoon (DDG-93) and Grimes, the current CO of USS Maryland (SSBN 738) (Gold Crew), inspire their Sailors and fellow officers to do their best, said Roughead, at the awards ceremony.

"This truly is a significant award in my book for the principle reason that it is not an award that those higher in the chain of command elect to bestow on a particular commanding officer," said Roughead. "This is an award that is recommended by the peers of that individual."

McCartney took command of the Pearl Harbor-based Chung-Hoon in October 2008 and relinquished command in May 2010. While he was in command, the ship completed a six-month, independent cruise in the 7th, 5th and 6th Fleet Areas of Responsibility, including escort duty in the Suez Canal. Chung-Hoon also served as Destroyer Squadron 31's flagship during Exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training with the Singapore and Royal Malaysian navies, as well as during Exercise Koa Kai off the coast of Hawaii. The Chung-Hoon received outstanding ratings from the Board of Inspection and Survey and earned its first red "E," for engineering excellence, and its second blue "E," for logistical excellence.

"This award is important because Vice Adm. Stockdale is a Medal of Honor recipient; he's a hero," said McCartney. "To be considered to have even some of his qualities is quite humbling and quite an honor."

Grimes reported aboard the Kings Bay, Ga.-based Maryland in 2007. During his tour as the CO, Maryland has received the 2008 and 2009 Commander, Submarine Squadron 20 "E" for battle efficiency and the 2008 Omaha Trophy for top performance among Trident submarines. These awards are testaments to both the crew and his superior leadership skills and were one of the many reasons Grimes was chosen to mentor prospective commanding and executive officers as part of the Strategic Programs Prospective Commanding Officer/Executive Officer Course.

"To get this award is very humbling", said Grimes. "This is a great honor to my family, it's a great honor to the ship and a great honor to those people that came before me who taught me, trained me and mentored me."

Both awardees, nominated by their peers, were among a total of nine candidates recommended by their fleet commanders for consideration by a panel of senior officers.

Vice Adm. James B. Stockdale expressed that there were five key roles for a leader – a moralist, a jurist, a teacher, a steward and a philosopher.

Stockdale was a U.S. Naval Academy graduate and a pilot. In September 1965, he ejected out of his A-4E Skyhawk over North Vietnam and for eight years was held prisoner and was frequently tortured. In 1976, he received the Medal of Honor. He served as president of the Naval War College in Newport, R.I., from Oct. 1977 until August 1979. In 2005, Stockdale died and is buried at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

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